In The Spotlight Redux

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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mongoII
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Post by mongoII »

Moira, Wallace Ford (God bless him) certainly had his share of heartaches.
Once in Canada he began a cycle that involved living in 17 foster homes - the longest being with a farm family that treated him like a slave which forced him to finally run away. He was 11 years old.
Like I told Miss Goddess on TCM, I hope his reunion with his mother was a joyous one.

I've always enjoyed Ford in the movies, especially in "The Informer", "Freaks", "The Mummy's Hand", "Blues in the Night", "The Set Up", "He Ran All the Way", and "A Patch of Blue".

Ann Dvorak's parents divorced when she was 8. She did not hear from her father after that for fourteen years, when she put out a letter in 1934 asking for information leading to his whereabouts. Six other men responded claiming to be her father before he did. He was living in Philadelphia at the time and had no idea she was in the movies. I'm not certain how the reunion went.
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In the Spotlight: MARY BETH HUGHES
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The cool blonde was born Mary Elizabeth Hughes on November 13, 1919 in Alton, Illinois.
Her parents divorced in 1923. After the divorce, Hughes' mother moved with her only child to Washington D.C.
As a child, Hughes began acting in stage productions. While acting in a school play in the early 1930s, her performance caught the attention of a repertory theater company owner, who offered her a part in a touring production of "Alice in Wonderland". While touring with another production, she was offered a contract from a talent scout but declined the offer to finish high school.

Upon graduating from high school in 1937, she returned to the repertory theater company where she continued to appear in various stage productions until the summer of 1938 when she relocated to Los Angeles with her mother to pursue a film career.

After six months of failing to land movie roles, Hughes and her mother made plans to return to Washington D.C. until Hughes met an agent, who introduced her to powerful William Morris agent Johnny Hyde. Hyde landed Hughes a contract with MGM, and she soon landed a small, uncredited role in the 1939 film "Broadway Serenade".
Hughes appeared in other bit parts in films including "The Women" with Norma Shearer, "Dancing Co-Ed" with Lana Turner, and the Busby Berkeley film "Fast and Furious", and "Free, Blonde and 21".
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Mary Beth, MGM starlet

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Mary Beth with Robert Lowery in "Free, Blonde and 21" (1940).

One can vocalize lines and someone else can say anything they want to with their eyes. Mary Beth Hughes has such eyes as they are very expressive. She has the essence of innocence and naughtiness all at the same time, whereby she can change her look in an instant and it all looks so natural.

As a starlet under contract with MGM, Hughes went on studio appointed dates with several actors including Lew Ayres, Franchot Tone, Mickey Rooney, and James Stewart.

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Mary Beth Glamour Shot

In 1940, Hughes was offered a contract with 20th Century Fox. Later that year, she landed a role opposite John Barrymore in "The Great Profile", a role that she later noted as one of her favorites.
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John Barrymore, May Beth & Lionel Atwill in "The Great Profile" (1940).

She also appeared in, "Stardust", "Four Sons", "The Cowboy and the Blonde", "Charlie Chan in Reno", "Orchestra Wives", "Over My Dead Body", and "The Ox-Bow Incident" as Henry Fonda's fiancee.
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Mary Beth, Alan Curtis, Don Ameche & George Ernest in "Four Sons" (1940).
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(1941)

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Mary Beth (left) points dagger eyes at Ann Rutherford (1942)

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With Milton Berle (1942).

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Mary Beth in costume as Rose in "The Ox-Bow Incident" (1943).
While under contract to Fox, she also went prearranged dates with Milton Berle and George Montgomery.
In 1940, against Fox's wishes, Hughes began a relationship with actor Robert Stack (her Bobby). The romance lasted a year.

In 1943, Fox did not renew her contract when it expired, and the following year, Hughes began appearing as a nightclub act and she soon signed a three-picture deal with Universal.
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(1944).

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Despite being a cult favorite, Mary Beth will probably be remembered best for her role in the outrageously campy "I Accuse My Parents" (1944), which was later used as cannon fodder for "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (1988).

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Mary Beth as Gaye Livingston in "Take It Big" (1944).

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With Dan Duryea (above) and Erich Von Stroheim (below) in "The Great Flamarion" )1945).
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Mary Beth with Charles Russell in the B film noir "Inner Sanctum" (1948).

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Mary Beth with a distressed Ray Milland in "Close to My Heart" (1951).

Throughout the mid-1940s and 1950s, Hughes appeared in film and television roles including the cult classic "I Accuse My Parents", "Men on Her Mind", "The Great Flamarion", "Caged Fury", "Inner Sanctum", "Young Man with a Horn", "Close to My Heart", "Highway Dragnet", and "Dig That Uranium" with the Bowery Boys.

In 1961, Hughes decided to retire from acting and began working as a receptionist in a plastic surgeon's office.
While working as a receptionist, she also continued her appearances in nightclubs. The following year, she directed and starred in a Los Angeles production of "Pajama Tops". For the rest of the 1960s, she would go on to appear in a variety of television shows like "Rawhide" and "Dennis the Menace".
In 1970, she landed a regular role on "The Red Skelton Show", appearing in 11 episodes before the show ended later that year.
In 1976, she again retired from show business citing that she was "tired of auditioning for sexy grandma roles". Hughes' last onscreen appearances was in "The Working Girls" and "Tanya".

In the late 1970s, Hughes opened a beauty parlor in Canoga Park, California. She closed the shop in the late 1980s and began working as a telemarketer until 1991 when she was laid off.

After her romance with Robert Stack ended, Hughes married actor Ted North in 1943. The couple had one son, Donald, before divorcing in 1947. In 1948, she married singer/actor David Street. The marriage ended in 1956.
In 1973, Hughes married her manager, Nicky Stewart, about 9 years older than she and probably loved cats as much as Mary Beth, as they lived with many of them in Mary Beth's humongous, ranch home in Sepulveda, California.
That marriage also ended in divorce four years later.

Mary Beth Hughes died at the age of 75 on August 27, 1995 of natural causes in Los Angeles.
Her only child, Donald North, was last known to be scuba diving and selling high-end underwater equipment.
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Mary Beth Hughes (1919-1995)
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Post by mongoII »

In the Spotlight: PETER LORRE
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The essential lead/character actor was born Laszlo Lowenstein on June 26, 1904 in Rózsahegy, Hungary, to Alois and Elvira Löwenstein.
When he was a child his family moved to Vienna where Lorre was educated in elementary and secondary schools.
He left home when he was 17 and joined an improvised theater. In 1922, he worked as a bank clerk.
In the late 1920s the young 5' 5" actor moved to Berlin where he worked with German playwright Bertolt Brecht, and eventually appeared in a few films.
The German-speaking actor became famous when Fritz Lang cast him as the psychopathic child killer in his 1931 film "M".
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When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Lorre took refuge first in Paris and then London where he played a charming villain in Alfred Hitchcock's "The Man Who Knew Too Much".

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Lorre with future first wife, actress Celia Lovsky in 1934.

Eventually, he went to Hollywood where he specialized in playing wicked or wily foreigners, beginning with "Mad Love" and followed by "Crime and Punishment".
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He starred in a series of Mr. Moto movies (8 in all), in which he played a Japanese detective and spy. He did not much enjoy these films but they were lucrative for the studio and gained Lorre many new fans.
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Lorre chatting with Don Ameche and Sonja Henie between takes (1938).

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Katharine Hepburn, Jascha Heifetz, and Lorre (1939).

In 1940, Lorre co-starred with Clak Gable and Joan Crawford in "Strange Cargo" and took the lead in "Stranger on the Third Floor" and "The Face Behind the Mask" with Evelyn Keyes.
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Lorre with Margaret Tallichet (1940).

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Lorre with Evelyn Keyes in the sad love story (1941).

Lorre enjoyed considerable popularity as a featured player in Warner Bros. suspense and adventure films. He played the role of Joel Cairo in "The Maltese Falcon", as Pepi the piano player in "All Through the Night" and portrayed the character Ugarte in the film classic "Casablanca". It was Lorre's character who introduced the "letters of transit" (there was no such thing in reality) which became, in some ways, the dramatic center of the film.
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Bogart, Lorre, Mary Astor, & Sydney Greenstreet in "The Maltese Falcon" (1941).

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Lorre, Astor & Bogart resting on the cushy Greenstreet on set of "The Maltese Falcon."

In 1941, Peter Lorre became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
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Lorre enjoying the beach (circa 1942).

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Lorre with Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca" (1942).
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Lorre as Ugarte in "Casablanca"

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Bogart and Bergman in "Casablanca"? Uh-oh...could it be?

He also co-starred in, "The Cross of Lorraine", "The Mask of Dimitrios", and played Dr. Einstein in "Arsenic and Old Lace" (filmed in 1941, released 1944). In 1946 he starred with Sydney Greenstreet and Geraldine Fitzgerald in "Three Strangers", a suspense film about three people who are joint partners on a winning lottery ticket, and in "The Verdict", "The Beast with Five Fingers", "Casbah", etc.
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Raymond Massey, Cary Grant & Lorre (1944).

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Lorre clowning around with Priscilla Lane on set of "All Through the Night"
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Lorre with Charles Boyer in "Confidential Agent" (1945).

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Lorre with Andrea King (1946).

Eventually Lorre's acting career in Hollywood experienced a downturn, whereupon he concentrated on radio and stage work.
He appeared as a character actor in television and feature films, often spoofing his former "creepy" image as in "Quicksand" and "Beat the Devil".
In 1954, he had the distinction of becoming the first actor to play a James Bond villain when he portrayed Le Chiffre in a television adaptation of "Casino Royale". Also in 1954, Lorre starred alongside Kirk Douglas and James Mason in the hit-classic Disney's "20,000 Leagues under the Sea".
In the early 1960s he worked with Roger Corman on several low-budgeted, tongue-in-cheek, and very popular films including "Tales of Terror" and "The Raven" with Vincent Price.
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James Mason, Kirk Douglas, Paul Lukas & Lorre in Disney's "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" (1954).

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Vincent Price with Lorre in "Tales of Terror" (1962).

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According to Vincent Price, when he and Peter Lorre went to view Bela Lugosi's body during Bela's funeral in 1956, Lorre, upon seeing Lugosi dressed in his famous Dracula cape, quipped, "Do you think we should drive a stake through his heart just in case?"

Lorre's distinctive Viennese-meets Middle American accent and large-eyed face has been a favorite target of comedians and cartoonists, to the point where Lorre has become far more familiar with the public in caricature form than for his actual performances.
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Lorre's distinctive accent and large-eyed face has been a favorite target of comedians and cartoonists throughout the years.

He was married three times: to actress Celia Lovsky in 1934; Kaaren Verne in 1945 and Annemarie Brenning in 1953 until his death. Annemarie bore his only child, a daughter, Catharine, in 1953.
His daughter, Catharine Lorre, was once almost abducted by The Hillside Stranglers. She was stopped by the Stranglers, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, imitating policemen. When they found out she was Lorre's daughter, they let her go. She didn't realize that they were killers until after they were caught.
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Lorre with third wife Annemarie Brenning and daughter Catharine.

Overweight and never fully recovered from his addiction to morphine, Lorre suffered many personal and career disappointments in his later years.
When he died in 1964 of a stroke he was 59 years old. Lorre's body was cremated and his ashes interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood. Vincent Price read the eulogy at his funeral.
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Quoted: All that anyone needs to imitate me is two soft-boiled eggs and a bedroom voice.

The delightful little guy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Last edited by mongoII on June 24th, 2008, 6:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
jdb1

Post by jdb1 »

Lorre's morphine addicition was no joke: as was all too common at the time, it was originally doctor-induced to alleviate pain. He had more than one internment in drug reabilitation centers, and not the fancy ones, either. He did at least one stint at the Lexington Addiction Center in Kentucky, which was part of a federal prison complex. Every biography of Lorre that I've read mentions how hard he struggled to beat his addiction, and how kind and supportive he was to his fellow patients.

He was a soft touch in most things: Lorre was a primary source of income for Bertolt Brecht when Brecht lived in America, and there were times when Lorre could ill afford it. Brecht had no compunctions about living off of his Broadway and Hollywood friends, and then went back to Germany to denounce such capitalists.

One of the things I like to think about with Lorre is his friendship with Bogart, and how they loved to goof around and play practical jokes on their colleagues on the movie set. That must have been a sight to see. Imagine those two giggling together.
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Post by mongoII »

Judith, thanks for your input regarding the incomparable Peter Lorre.
I didn't realize he had such a problem with the morphine until I began research on his profile. It's a shame he went through that in his short life.

For some reason I imagined him as a generous and humorous guy. I have a few pictures coming up with him clowning on the set, including one with Bogart.
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Post by jdb1 »

Everything I've read and heard of Lorre over many years indicates that he was a very nice guy, though he may let his ego run away with him a bit in his attitude towards the ladies. A charmer like Lorre could probably get over with just about anyone; some men have that ability, and it doesn't matter much what they look like. Brecht was another ladies' man, and by all account he was a rude slob. But some kinds of charm will trump homeliness or slobbishness every time. (Insert knowing and regretful sigh here.)
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Post by moira finnie »

I'm delighted to see you spotlighting Peter Lorre, Mongo. Having read all of Lorre's bios that I could find, (The Lost One by Stephen Youngkin is extraordinarily well documented), he did indeed seem to have a gift for inspiring loyalty in his friends. This, btw, included the lovely, talented actress, Celia Lovsky, who became his first wife, helped him to get the heck out of Germany and Europe, nursed him through his constant struggles with his addiction and subsequent financial problems and even--after he divorced her to marry Kaaren Verne (see All Through the Night and Desperate Journey for some glimpses of this talented but under-utilized actres), kept helping him financially and emotionally. Lovsky is even said to have brought the man soup when he was ill during this period. Now that's loyalty, (bordering on masochism, I guess :? ).

In the next three months we have a wealth of good, not so hot and rare gems from Lorre coming up on TCM, (including Thank You, Mr. Moto! (1937) on June 11th at 12am as part of the Asian interpretations on film, but I'm particularly interested in Aug. 13th, which features Peter Lorre for 24 hours!

Some of the most intriguing movies are: Hotel Berlin (1945) at 6am that day, which I really like, though it doesn't seem to get its due as a Warner's WWII drama, Quicksand (1950) at 5pm 8/13, a little known noir, and of course, two of Mr. Lorre's best, Stranger on the Third Floor on 8/13 at 9:15pm, & The Mask of Dimitrios at 12:15am 8/14. For full August schedule, please see here.

Thanks for featuring Mr. L. He was a strange, yet truly endearing actor.
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mongoII
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Post by mongoII »

Moira, thanks for the additional info regarding Mr. Lorre.
Also glad that you mentioned his upcoming films on TCM, especially his day and night under the stars in August. You can be sure that I will be watching.
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Post by mongoII »

Remembering Audie Murphy this Memorial Day.

In the Spotlight: Audie Murphy (first posted April 23, 2007)
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Audie Leon Murphy was born on June 20, 1924
to Emmett and Josie Bell Murphy, two poor sharecroppers, and grew up near Celeste, Texas. Murphy went to school in Celeste until the eighth grade, when he dropped out to work and help support his family. Murphy was the sixth of twelve children, only nine of whom survived to see their 18th birthday.

During the 1930s, Murphy also worked in a combination general store, garage, and filling station in Greenville, Texas. In 1940, his father deserted the family and never returned. At 16, Murphy was working in a radio repair shop when his mother died on May 23, 1941. Later in the year in accordance with his older sister, Corrinne, Murphy put his three youngest siblings into an orphanage to ensure their care.

Immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Murphy — then just 17 years old — tried to enlist in the military, but the services rejected him because he had not yet reached the required 18 years of age. Shortly after his 18th birthday in June 1942, Murphy was finally accepted into the United States Army, after being turned down by the Marines and the paratroopers for being underweight and of slight build.

Due to his fragile physical appearance, Murphy still had to "fight the system" to get overseas and into combat. While in Italy, his instinctive skills as a combat infantryman began to earn him promotions, increased responsibilities, and decorations for valor.

Eventually lifted to "Living Legend" status
Audie Murphy was credited with destroying 6 tanks besides killing 250 German soldiers and wounding and capturing many others. By the end of World War II, he was a legend within the 3rd Infantry Division as a result of his heroism and battlefield leadership. His principal U.S. decorations included the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Star Medals, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Star Medals with Valor device, and three Purple Hearts (for the three wounds he received in combat).
Murphy suffered from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his return from the war. He was plagued by insomnia, bouts of depression, and nightmares related to his countless bloody battles.

Actor James Cagney invited Murphy to Hollywood in September 1945 after seeing the young hero's photo on the cover of the July 16 edition of Life Magazine. But the next few years in California were difficult for Murphy as he trained to become an actor. He became disillusioned from lack of work, was broke financially, and slept on the floor of a gymnasium owned by his friend Terry Hunt (Murphy would later name one of his sons Terry out of respect for his friend).
But he eventually received token acting parts in the films "Beyond Glory" with Alan Ladd and "Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven". Murphy's third movie, "Bad Boy", gave him his first leading role. He starred in the 1951 adaptation of Stephen Crane's Civil War novel, "The Red Badge of Courage". He expressed great discomfort in playing himself in "To Hell and Back" the 1955 Universal movie of his book.
He turned in such a fine performance that the Hollywood powers that be finally recognized his talent. As a direct result of this film, Universal Studios signed Murphy to his first seven-year studio contract.
The film grossed almost ten million dollars during its initial theatrical release, and at the time became Universal's biggest hit of the studio's entire 43-year history.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Audie Murphy has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1601 Vine Street.
In the twenty-five years Murphy spent in Hollywood, he made a total of 44 feature films, most of them Westerns, including "Kansas Raiders" as Jesse James, "Drums Across the River", "Destry" good remake, "Night Passage" with James Stewart, "No Name on the Bullet", "The Unforgiven" with Audrey Hepburn, "Posse from Hell", etc.

In addition to motion picture acting, Audie Murphy also became successful as a country music songwriter. He teamed up with talented artists and composers such as Guy Mitchell, Jimmy Bryant, Scott Turner, Coy Ziegler, and Terri Eddleman.

Murphy married actress Wanda Hendrix in 1949. She often talked of his struggle with PTSD even claiming that he slept wih a gun under his pillow and had at one time held her at gunpoint. They were divorced in 1951, having produced no children. He then married former airline stewardess Pamela Archer, with whom he had two children: Terry Michael Murphy (born 1952) and James Shannon Murphy (born 1954). Audie Murphy eventually became a successful actor, rancher, and businessman. He also bred and raised Quarter Horses and owned ranches in Texas, Tucson, Arizona and Perris, California.

While on a business trip on May 28, 1971 (during Memorial Day weekend), flying in bad weather with a pilot unqualified to fly on instruments, Murphy's private plane crashed into Brush Mountain, near Catawba, Virginia, some 20 miles west of Roanoke. The pilot and all five passengers, including Murphy, were killed. Audie Murphy was 46 years old. In 1974, a large granite memorial marker was erected near the crash site.

On June 7, 1971, Audie Murphy was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. A small walkway leads to his final place of rest in Section 46, located near the Amphitheater. It is the second most-visited gravesite, second only to President John F. Kennedy's grave.

The tombstones of Arlington's Medal of Honor recipients are normally decorated in gold leaf, but Murphy had requested that his stone remain plain and inconspicous, as would be the case with an ordinary soldier. An unknown person maintains a small American flag next to his engraved Government-issue headstone.
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Quoted: "I never liked being called the 'most decorated' soldier. There were so many guys who should have gotten medals and never did--guys who were killed."

Quite a man, that Audie Murphy.
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In the Spotlight: FLORENCE BATES
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The grand character actress was born Florence Rabe on April 15, 1888 in San Antonio, Texas, the second child of Jewish immigrants. Her father was the owner of an antique store.

Bates showed musical talent as a child, but a hand injury inhibited her from continuing her piano studies. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Mathematics in 1906, after which she pursued a career in schoolteaching and social work.

Around 1909 she met and married her first husband and soon gave up her career to raise their daughter. When her marriage ended in divorce, she began to study law and passed the bar in 1914, becoming at the age of 26 the first female attorney in her home state.

After the death of her parents, Bates left the legal profession to help her sister operate their father's antique business. Buying for the store took her to Europe and Asia, where she utilized her proficiency in foreign languages. Also during this time she became a radio commentator with a bilingual program designed to foster good relations between the United States and Mexico.
In 1929, following the stock market crash and the death of her sister, Florence closed the antique shop and married wealthy oil baron William F. Jacoby.
When he lost his fortune, the couple moved to Los Angeles and opened a bakery. This business remained successful until the Jacobys sold it in the 1940s.

In the mid-1930s, Bates auditioned for and won the role of Miss Bates in a Pasadena Playhouse adaptation of Jane Austen's "Emma". When she decided to continue working with the theatre group, she took the name Florence Bates because she thought her first character had brought her good luck.

Bates got bit parts in several features but continued to focus on local theater until 1939, when she met and did a screen test for Alfred Hitchcock.
Impressed with her talent and surprised to learn that her training had not come from the stages of London and New York, he cast her as the vain American dowager Mrs. Van Hopper in his 1940 film "Rebecca". Directed by Hitchcock, Bates made her movie debut in this release with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier, and from it she became a well-known character actor and went on to roles in more than fifty films.
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Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine & Bates in "Rebecca" (1940)

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Bates plays the vainglorious dowager Mrs. Van Hopper.

Her movie career began after her fiftieth birthday, and for the rest of her life she enjoyed a variety of comic and dramatic supporting roles with some of Hollywood's biggest names.
She shared the screen with Ginger Rogers in "Kitty Foyle", Jean Arthur in "The Devil and Miss Jones", Nelson Eddy in "The Chocolate Soldier", Charles Laughton in "The Tuttles of Tahiti", George Sanders in "The Moon and Sixpence", Bob Hope in "They Got Me Covered", Cary Grant in "Mr. Lucky", Marlene Dietrich in "Kismet", Gypsy Rose Lee in "Belle of the Yukon", Errol Flynn in "San Antonio", Jennifer Jones in "Cluny Brown", Irene Dunne in "I Remember Mama", Bette Davis in "Winter Meeting", Ann Sothern in "A Letter to Three Wives", Doris Day in "Lullaby of Broadway", etc.
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Nelson Eddy, Rise Stevens & Bates in "The Chocolate Soldier" (1941).

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Bates played the character of Tiare Johnson in this movie (1942).

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Bates played the role of Karsha in "Kismet" (1944).

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Bates was a hoot paired with S.Z. 'Cuddles' Sakall in this 1945 western.

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Bates played the character of Nancy Riddle in this 1946 domestic drama with comic undertones.

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Florence Bates played Elizabeh Murdock in this 1947 adaptation of Raymond Chandler's work.

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Moyna MacGill, Margaret Hamilton & Bates as Mandy the pickpocket in "Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven" (1948).(That's Irene Ryan on the tail end).

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Bates was a hoot as the philistine radio executive Mrs. Manleigh in "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949).

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Robert Young, Betsy Drake & Bates in "The Second Woman" (1950).

Bates had a regular role on the early television sitcom "The Hank McCune Show" and made guest appearances on "I Love Lucy", "My Little Margie", and "Our Miss Brooks".
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Bates (left) as Mrs. Pettebone with Lucy & Ethel on
"I Love Lucy" episode "Pioneer Women" (1952).

Florence Bates enjoyed her work in films and was grateful for the financial, social, and professional success it gave her.
She also never forgot the origins of her success and throughout her life maintained ties to the Pasadena Playhouse, attending plays, endowing scholarships, and offering encouragement to local actors.

She continued in films into the 1950s, although after the death of her husband in 1951 her own health and happiness declined.
Florence Bates died of a heart attack at age 65 on January 31, 1954, in Burbank, California.
She was laid to rest in Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), California.
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Florence Bates (1888 - 1954).

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She was survived by a granddaughter, who lived in Texas and inherited the actress's fortune.
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Post by Vecchiolarry »

Hi Joe,

All your character choices are excellent but I have a special love for Florence Bates, as a great character actress.

She was a friend of Rhea Langham, the Texas millionairess who married Clark Gable. And my grandmother and Rhea were good friends and Florence was a guest at several of Nell's and Rhea's parties (although I never met Miss Bates)..
However, I have seen most of her movies and she does steal scenes everywhere.
My favourite is "The Brasher Doubloon" but I won't give away the story for those who haven't seen it. Florence is wonderful in it and I wish TCM would play it!!
Also, she steals her scenes from Ann Sothern (not an easy task) in "A Letter to Three Wives" and manages to religate Kirk Douglas to the back burner (also not easy to do).....

She should have been nominated for an Oscar several times but surely for "Rebecca" - - - "Tell me, my dear, have you been doing something you oughtn't??!!"......

Larry
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mongoII
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Post by mongoII »

As usual Larry, thanks for the additional info regarding Florence Bates and Gable's ex Rhea.
I have yet to see "The Brasher Doubloon" and I too hope that TCM airs it one day soon.
I believe that my favorite Bates performance is in "A Letter to Three Wives". She was perfecto.
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Post by mongoII »

In the Spotlight: DALE ROBERTSON
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The handsome movie actor was born Dayle Lamoine Robertson on July 14, 1923 in Harrah, Oklahoma.

At the age of 17 he was attending Oklahoma Military College, and boxing in professional prize fights to earn money. He earned 32 athletic awards in football, baseball, boxing, tennis, polo and swimming. And he was named all-around outstanding athlete.
Harry Cohn of Columbia Pictures approached him after a fight in Wichita, Kansas and asked him to come out to Hollywood to test for the role of Joe Bonaparte in a boxing picture called "Golden Boy." Robertson refused, saying he was in the middle of training 17 polo ponies, and could not leave his family at his age. William Holden eventually was cast in the role.

After serving in a tank crew and in the combat engineers in North Africa and Europe during World War II, the twice-wounded Robertson never reported to a military medical unit. Wounded by shrapnel, he dressed his own wounds and got on with the mission. Since he never reported it he was overlooked a purple heart.

He started his acting career while still on active duty in the U.S. Army. While stationed in California, he had a photograph taken for his mother. A copy of the photo displayed in the photo shop window attracted movie scouts, and the six foot tall, Robertson soon was on his way to Hollywood.

After a few small parts in "The Boy with Green Hair", "Flamingo Road", and "The Girl from Jones Beach" as a lifeguard, he signed a contract with 20th Century-Fox.
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With Fox he appeared in "Call Me Mister" with Betty Grable, "Take Care of My Little Girl" with Jeanne Crain, "Golden Girl" with Mitzi Gaynor, "The Outcasts of Poker Flats" with Anne Baxter, "Lydia Bailey" with Anne Francis, "O. Henry's Full House" with an all star cast, "The Silver Whip", and "The Farmer Takes a Wife" again with Grable.
Other films included primarily westerns, "Devil's Canyon" with Virginia Mayo, "City of Bad Men", "The Gambler from Natchez" (his favorite role), "Sitting Bull", "Dakota Incident", and a romp with Gina Lollobrigida in "Fast and Sexy" aka "Anna of Brooklyn", etc.

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Dale with Betty Grable and Dan Dailey in "Call Me Mister" (1951)
Yup, that's Danny Thomas lurking.

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Anne Baxter, Dale, and Miriam Hopkins in "The Outcasts of Poker Flat" (1952).

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(1952)

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Dale with Joanne Dru in "Return of the Texan" (1952).

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Dale as Barney Woods in the "The Clarion Call" (1952) segment of the O. Henry anthology.

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(1953).

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(1953).

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Dale in "The Gambler from Natchez" his favorite role (1954).

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(1954)

Robertson sometimes made use of his physique in "beefcake" scenes such as the one in 1952's "Return of the Texan" when he's seen bare-chested and sweaty, repairing a fence.

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Dale with Marilyn Monroe at an all star baseball game (1952).

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Dale with Vincent Price in "Son of Sinbad" (1955).

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(1958)

For most of his career, he played in Western movies and TV shows. His two best-remembered series were the "Tales of Wells Fargo", in which he played a roving company 'trouble-shooter' named "Jim Hardie", and "The Iron Horse", in which he won an incomplete railroad line in a poker game and took up the challenge of running it.
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Dale as Jim Hardie on TVs "Tales of Wells Fargo" (1957 - 1962)
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(1964)

In 1981 he was part of the original starring cast of ABC's popular "Dynasty". He disappeared after one season.
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Dale on TVs "Dynasty" (1981)

Robertson was also one of the hosts of the syndicated show 'Death Valley Days' during the 1960s.
He is a well known rodeo speaker, having appeared at such events as the Pike's Peak or Bust Rodeo in Colorado Springs.

He received the Golden Boot Award in 1985, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and is also in the Hall of Great Western Performers.
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Dale in recent years.

He is an inductee in the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
One thing that Dale was never very fond of was the press. And they reciprocated by "awarding" him their "Sour Apple Celebrity Award" for three years in a row.

Married 5 times including to actress Mary Murphy, he is the father of 3 daughters.
At 85 the rugged cowboy is retired on a ranch near Oklahoma City.
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Dale Robertson western star.
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mongoII
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Post by mongoII »

In the Spotlight: EVELYN ANKERS
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The beautiful blonde screamer was born on August 17, 1918, in Valparaiso, Chile. The daughter of British parents, she was brought up in England, and later attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.
By the time she completed her studies in school in the mid 1930s, Ankers was landing small roles in British film productions, including "Rembrandt" with Charles Laughton, and "Fire Over England" with Vivien Leigh, among others.

She came to America in 1940, after Britain had been attacked by the Nazis. Her first success there came on the Broadway stage in "Ladies In Retirement", which starred Flora Robson.
She came to Hollywood in 1941 and, after a brief contractual obligation to MGM which yielded not a single film role, she was contracted by Universal. She returned to the screen in "Bachelor Daddy", but her first big break came in the Abbott and Costello hit "Hold That Ghost".
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Ankers (center) with Richard Carlson, Bud Abbott, Joan Davis, & Lou Costello in "Hold That Ghost" (1941).
She is noted for playing the cultured young leading lady in many American horror films during the 1940s, most famously "The Wolf Man" at age 23 opposite Lon Chaney, Jr., a frequent screen partner.
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Ankers with Lon Chaney Jr. as "The Wolf Man" (1941), a superior chiller.

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Ankers sharing a light moment with Maria Ouspenskaya
on the set of "The Wolf Man".

Known as "the Queen of the Screamers", her other horror films include "The Ghost of Frankenstein", "Captive Wild Woman", "Son of Dracula" good chiller, "The Mad Ghoul", "Jungle Woman", "Weird Woman" playing a villainess, "The Invisible Man's Revenge", and "The Frozen Ghost", her final Universal credit in 1945.
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Ankers, Lon Chaney Jr. (the monster) Bela Lugosi (Ygor) in "The Ghost of Frankenstein" (1942).

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Ankers with Milburn Stone (Doc on 'Gunsmoke') in "Captive Wild Woman" (1943).

Ankers also appeared in "Burma Convoy", "Eagle Squadron", "Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror" "The Great Impersonation", "Hers to Hold" with Deanna Durbin, "Ladies Courageous" with Loretta Young, "The Pearl of Death", "Pardon My Rhythm", "Queen of Burlesque", "Tarzan's Magic Fountain" looking for youth, and played Calamity Jane in "The Texan Meets Calamity Jane", for which she received top billing.
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Ankers with Turhan Bey in "Burma Convoy" (1941).

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Ankers in a publicity cheesecake pose.

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Deanna Durbin, Joseph Cotten, Gus Schilling, & Ankers (1943).

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(1943)

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Ruth Hussey, John Carroll, Ankers & Bruce Cabot in "Pierre of the Plains"(believe it or not).

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The lingerie girls including Ann Miller, Nina Foch & Ankers (2nd from right).

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George Zucco, Tuhan Bey and Ankers (1943).

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(1944)

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Jon Hall, Ankers & Alan Curtis in "The Invisible Man's Revenge" (1944).

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(1944).

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Nigel Bruce, Ankers & Basil Rathbone in "The Pearl of Death" (1944).

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Ankers with Lon Chaney Jr. in "The Frozen Ghost" (1945).

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One of two films in which Ankers co-starred with husband Richard Denning.

Ankers was engaged to actor Glenn Ford, but she broke the engagement when she met actor Richard Denning while Ford was on location and in 1942, Ankers married the handsome Denning.
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While he went off to the Navy, Ankers' exercised her larynx in numerous Universal horror flicks. Their only child, a daughter Dee was born in 1945.

Ankers made over fifty films between 1936 and 1950, then retired from movies to be a housewife (occasionally playing television roles) at the age of 32, returning ten years later to make one in 1960, the religious film "No Greater Love" with husband Richard Denning.

She eventually retired to Hawaii with her husband (where Denning continued his career portraying the governor in the highly successful television series "Hawaii Five-O").
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Ankers and husband Denning retired to Hawaii (c. 1980).

Sadly Evelyn Ankers died of ovarian cancer at the age of 67 on August 29, 1985 in Maui, Hawaii.
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Final resting place of Evelyn Ankers & Richard Denning.

Widower Denning would remarry a family friend just eight months later. The marriage lasted 12 years until his death in 1998. He was laid to rest in Hawaii beside his first bride Evelyn.

If Fay Wray was the "Scream Queen" of the 1930s, then Evelyn Ankers surely held that title in the 1940s.
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mongoII
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Post by mongoII »

In the Spotlight: LOUIS HAYWARD
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The suavely handsome actor, was born Seafield Charles Grant on March 19, 1909 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Hayward was brought to England and was educated there and on the Continent.
With his career not set, Hayward spent a short time managing a London nightclub. He displayed the talent and decided on acting - and he was quickly tapped by playwright Noel Coward as his patron.

Hayward was a slight man, 154 pounds, a trifle over 5'10" with dark brown hair and blue eyes, although matinee idol-handsome. He developed acting skills as a co-star in the London staging of several Broadway plays, among them "Dracula" and "Another Language".

He began his film career in the British "Self Made Lady" in 1932, which was followed by five UK films through 1933.
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Paul Muni with Hayward (1937).

His most notable role possibly is Leslie Charteris' The Saint in "The Saint in New York" as the familiar British Simon Templar character.
Along with good looks he had an airy delivery of speech which worked as both hero and rogue or occasional suave villain.
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Hayward as Simon Templar in "The Saint in New York" (1938) with Kay Sutton.

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Hayward amongst the ladies (1938).

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Hayward with his wife Ida Lupino (1938).

In 1939, he played a dual role in "The Man in the Iron Mask", followed by "My Son, My Son!" as spoiled rotten and causes nothing but grief and pain to everyone who loves him, "The Son Of Monte Christo", "Dance, Girl, Dance" with Maureen O'Hara, and "Ladies in Retirement" with Ida Lupino, etc.
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(1939)

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(1940)

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(1940) with George Sanders.

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(1940)

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(1941)
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Hayward as the scoundrel Albert Feather in "Ladies in Retirement" (1941).

During World War II, Hayward enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and commanded a photographic unit that filmed the Battle of Tarawa While a Captain in the Marine Corps (of the photographic section) he and his unit filmed the Battle of Tarawa. It was the first time in the history of amphibious warfare that photographers had landed to take a beachhead with the initial assault waves. The battle was one of the bloodiest in Marine history - - three days of fighting cost the Marines nearly 3,000 casualties. Over 4,500 Japanese were killed.
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A still from the documentary made by Hayward about the combat on Tarawa.

The carnage that Capt. Hayward saw would lead to depression and a complete physical collapse. A documentary titled "With the Marines at Tarawa" was released. Hayward was awarded the Bronze Star.

Overcoming the psychological stress of his war experiences, Hayward returned under the lights. Already with a few mysteries under his belt he was cast-perhaps not surprisingly-as twins in the Agatha Christie thriller "And Then There Were None" in 1945 which was a hit.
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(1945)

Other films included, "The Strange Woman" with Hedy Lamarr, "The Return of Monte Cristo", "The Black Arrow", "Ruthless", "Fortunes of Captain Blood", "Lady in the Iron Mask", "Duffy of San Quentin", among others.
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(1946)

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(1947)

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(1948)

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Hayward with Zachary Scott in "Ruthless" (1948).

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Hayward as Capt. Sirocco in "The Pirates of Capri" (1949).

He was one of the first to incorporate the one percentage-of-profits deal for both the theatrical and TV releases of his post-1949 films, ensuring him comfortable lifelong income.
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(1950)

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Hayward in "Fortunes of Captain Blood" (1950).

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Hayward as "The Son of Dr. Jekyll" (1951).

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"The Saint's Girl Friday" (1953) aka "The Saint's Return").

In 1954, Hayward produced and starred in the 39-week TV series "The Lone Wolf". He also produced the British series "The Pursuers" and the American series "The Survivors".

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Paul Kelly with Haywad in "Duffy of San Quentin" (1954).

Married 3 times including to Ida Lupino. In between he dated actress Mari Blanchard.
Hayward had a son Dana by his third wife of 31 years.
In 1985 Louis Hayward died in Palm Springs, California of lung cancer at the age of 75.
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Louis Hayward (1909 - 1985)

The actor has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for movies and TV.
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