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Paula Raymond

Paula Raymond
Paula Raymond

Ronald Bergan’s “Guardian” obituary from 2003:

During Hollywood’s golden age, most of the large film studios kept a roster of attractive young women under contract to play the supporting wives and girlfriends of male leads, roles, in other words, that bigger stars would not take. One of them was Paula Raymond, who has died aged 79, and was mainly paid to stand around looking pretty as others carved out large pieces of the action.In 1950, however, MGM gave her the chance to co-star opposite Cary Grant in Crisis, and Robert Taylor in The Devil’s Doorway – and it looked as though Raymond, a striking brunette, might break into real stardom. Certainly in the former, the first feature by Richard Brooks, she is delightfully cool as she accompanies her brain surgeon husband (Grant) to a south American country, where the dictator (José Ferrer) needs an operation. Caught up in a revolution, the couple want to return to New York, where the chic Raymond would rather do some shopping.

Anthony Mann’s Devil’s Doorway, one of the first anti-racist westerns, had Robert Taylor as a native American, who believes that his people can live in peace and harmony with the whites – as his own romantic relationship with Paula Raymond suggests. A courageous film with a downbeat finale, it was, not surprisingly, a commercial failure, and Raymond’s memories of the production were dominated by her attempts to fend off the director’s sexual attentions.

Nevertheless, a year later, she was again cast in an Anthony Mann picture, The Tall Target, though, as she explained later, “This time he left me alone; he had learned his lesson.” Playing a southern belle in the movie, she is among a group of suspicious characters on a train where detective Dick Powell is trying to stop a possible assassination attempt on President Lincoln.

Born Paula Ramona Wright in San Francisco, Raymond studied ballet, voice, music and piano as a child. On a trip to Hollywood with her Irish-born mother at the age of 13, she made her screen debut in Keep Smiling (1938), as a bratty version of Shirley Temple, with her brown hair curled and dyed blond.

After attending Hollywood high school, she studied law in San Francisco, at the same time as appearing with various theatre groups. However, she gave up her acting ambitions when she hastily married Captain Floyd Patterson, while he was on leave from the war in the Pacific. Two years later, they divorced and, to support her young daughter Raeme (who predeceased her), Raymond returned to Hollywood to take bit parts under the name of Rae Patterson.

In 1947, she was signed by Columbia, where, as Paula Raymond, she spent two years appearing in B-movies, including a number of westerns such as Challenge Of The Range (1949), starring Charles Starrett. “The films I did at Columbia featured horses, dogs and children; forget the adults. I was just filling space,” she recalled.

She was a little more visible at MGM, mainly because the films were more prestigious. In 1949, she played David Wayne’s society girlfriend in the Katherine Hepburn-Spencer Tracy comedy Adam’s Rib (1949), before her two, rare leading roles in Crisis and Devil’s Doorway. In 1950, in the Esther Williams musical The Duchess Of Idaho, she was a secretary enamoured of her wealthy playboy boss John Lund, whom she saves from the advances of fortune hunters, and in Grounds For Marriage (also 1950), she was the snooty fiancée of divorcee Van Johnson, who was unfortunately still in love with his former wife, Kathryn Grayson.

After leaving MGM, Raymond appeared in the film for which she is pro-bably best remembered, the low budget, science-fiction cult classic, The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953). As a palaeontologist who links several sea and beach disasters to a prehistoric creature on the loose as a result of an atomic test, she provided a little glamour and romance in a picture where the actors were secondary to Ray Harryhausen’s special effects.

Raymond did not have much to do as the wife of philandering cop Gig Young in The City That Never Sleeps (1953), nor as the wife of faithful policeman Gary Merrill in The Human Jungle (1954). But in the 1950s, she was hardly off the small screen in such television series as Perry Mason, 77 Sunset Strip, The Untouchables, Maverick and Wyatt Earp. In 1962, she was involved in a car crash that required extensive facial plastic surgery. Yet within a year, she was back at work.

Aside from television appearances, Raymond made a few movies in the 1960s, including two for cheapo director Al Adamson, Blood Of Dracula’s Castle (1967), in which she played the count’s wife, and a lurid western entitled Five Bloody Graves (1969), where she was the madame of a travelling brothel.

After retiring for some years, in 1977 she got a role in a daytime US soap-opera, Days Of Our Lives, but – ever accident-prone – she tripped over a telephone cord on her third day, broke her ankle and was written out of the show. She made her last screen appearance in a mindless thriller called Mind Twister (1993).

· Paula Raymond (Paula Ramona Wright), actor, born November 23 1924; died December 31 2003

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Robert Goulet

Robert Goulet
Robert Goulet

Ronald Bergan’s Guardian obituary:

Anybody who has seen the original 1960 Broadway production of Lerner and Lowe’s Camelot or heard the album of the show will never forget the two showstopping numbers delivered by Robert Goulet, who has died while awaiting a lung transplant, aged 73. The handsome singer with the rich baritone voice makes his first entrance as Lancelot singing the self-mocking C’est Moi, but later he sings the hauntingly beautiful If Ever I Would Leave You.Unfortunately, in Joshua Logan’s 1967 movie version, Franco Nero was inexplicably cast and his singing voice dubbed, thus depriving future generations of enjoying Goulet’s standout performance.

Goulet, whom Variety magazine described as “having the looks and the speaking and singing voice of the ideal Lancelot,” seemed assured of a bright future in the musical genre. Judy Garland described him as a living 8 x 10 glossy. Alas, at the time of Camelot, the sort of musical that required Goulet’s kind of powerful modulated singing was on the wane.

Camelot was the high point of his career, but he won a Tony for best actor in a musical as the paterfamilias in Kander and Ebb’s The Happy Time (1968) and, in three television productions, played Tommy Albright in Brigadoon (1966), Billy Bigelow in Carousel (1967) and Fred Graham/Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate (1968), opposite his second wife Carol Lawrence, who had played Maria in the original Broadway production of West Side Story. Around the same period, Goulet started to appear in films, mainly 1960s Hollywood farces such as Honeymoon Hotel and I’d Rather Be Rich (both 1964), after having lent his voice to the feline character of Jaune Tom, “the best mouse catcher in all of Paris”, wooing Mewsette (voiced by Judy Garland) in Gay Purr-ee (1962).

Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Goulet was the son of a textile mill guard and fine amateur singer of French-Canadian extraction. After his father died, when Robert was in his teens, the family moved to Alberta, eventually settling on his grandfather’s farm 200 miles north of Edmonton. At 16, Goulet was singing with the Edmonton Symphony. His performance in Handel’s Messiah earned him a scholarship to the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.

It wasn’t long before he was appearing in Showtime, Canada’s leading television variety programme, when he was dubbed “Canada’s first matinee idol”. After three years, he left for New York. A theatrical agent recommended him to the librettist Alan Jay Lerner, and composer Frederick Loewe for, Camelot.

Goulet recorded more than 50 albums, made frequent TV appearances and, in 1982, was named Las Vegas entertainer of the year. His rather old-fashioned cabaret show led to him parodying himself as the consummate lounge singer in Louis Malle’s Atlantic City (1980). “If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re a fool,” Goulet remarked.

He later took himself off in an episode of The Simpsons, arriving at Bart’s treehouse casino:

Goulet: “Are you sure this is the casino? Mr Burns’ casino? I think I should call my manager …”

Nelson: “Your manager says for you to shut up!”

Goulet: “Vera said that?”

Vera was Vera Novak, a Yugoslavian-born writer and artist who became Goulet’s business manager and whom he married in 1982, immediately after his divorce from Lawrence. In her 1990 memoir Carol Lawrence: the Backstage Story, she described Goulet as having a quick temper, mood swings and a drink problem. Goulet’s comment on the book was: “She was terribly angry because when I left I didn’t leave her for another woman.” Of his drinking: “I never was a run-down-in-the-gutter alcoholic. I never missed a performance.”

Goulet returned to Broadway a few times, playing King Arthur in a 1993 revival of Camelot, and took over one of the leads in La Cage aux Folles in 2005. His last performance was in the one-man show A Man and his Music, in September in Syracuse, New York.

He is survived by a daughter from his first marriage and two sons by Lawrence.

· Robert Gerard Goulet, singer and actor, born November 26 1933; died October 30 2007

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James Farentino

James Farentino
James Farentino

“Independent” obituary from 2012:

The American actor James Farentino was endowed with the dashing good looks that should have made him a Hollywood leading man, but he might be remembered more for the women in his life than his screen roles. Four times married, he was also close to being four times divorced. At various times, he and his final wife, Stella, started legal action to end the marriage on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences”, only to withdraw the petitions.

Before his last marriage he had a five-year relationship with Tina Sinatra, daughter of the legendary crooner Frank. In 1994, after it had ended, he was put on probation and ordered to undergo counselling for stalking her, making harassing phone calls and violating a restraining order. Three years earlier, he had made headlines when he was arrested by police who intercepted a package of cocaine being sent to his Canadian hotel room while he was shooting the television film Miles from Nowhere. Then,in 2010, he was arrested for misdemeanour battery after allegedly trying to remove a man physically from his Hollywood home.

These torrid off-screen antics overshadowed Farentino’s acting career and gradually saw it dry up. Before the rot set in, his face was known to worldwide television audiences as Dr Nick Toscanni (1981-82) in the glossy soap Dynasty. In trying to exact revenge on Blake Carrington (John Forsythe) for his role in the death of Nick’s brother, the psychiatrist flirted with the oil tycoon’s wife, Krystle, and bedded his married daughter, Fallon. Later, the actor was seen in a cameo role as Ray Ross, the estranged father reunited with Dr Doug Ross (George Clooney), in several 1996 episodes of the medical series ER.

Farentino was born in New York in 1938, where his father was a clothing designer. He dropped out of high school and took various jobs before training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. His stage début came on Broadway with the role of Pedro in The Night of the Iguana (Royale Theatre, 1961-62). He returned to Broadway in revivals of A Streetcar Named Desire (as Stanley Kowalski, Vivian Beaumont Theatre, 1973) and Death of a Salesman (as Biff, Circle in the Square Theatre, 1975).

However, he made his biggest impression on television, first taking one-off character roles in series such as Naked City (1962), The Defenders (1963), Ben Casey (1965) and The Fugitive (1967). Then he was signed up as one of the last contract performers at Universal Studios. He popped up in The Virginian (two roles, 1966, 1970), A Man Called Ironside (1967) and many other programmes, before spending three years as Neil Darrell, one of the trio of lawyers, in The Bold Ones (1969-72). He followed it by playing the globe-trotting private eye Jefferson Keyes in the short-lived Cool Million (1972-73).

Farentino was nominated for aSupporting Actor Emmy for his portrayal of Simon Peter in the epic Anglo-Italian series Jesus of Nazareth (1977). Four years later, he acted Juan Peron in the television film Evita Peron, with Faye Dunaway miscast as the heroine. Then came another starring role, Frank Chaney – alongside a hi-tech policehelicopter – in the crime drama Blue Thunder (1984), but the series was axed after a rival drama, Airwolf, took off to greater heights.

Farentino acted the managing editor Frank DeMarco in Mary (1985-86), but the star, Mary Tyler Moore, asked for the Chicago newspaper sitcom to be taken off after only 13 episodes. His next sitcom co-star, in Julie (1992), was Julie Andrews, who played an actress leaving the bright lights of Broadway for Iowa to marry a vet, but that series was also short-lived.

As television appearances became rarer, Farentino had a short run in the soap Melrose Place as Mr Beck, a shady character seen holding Amanda Woodward (Heather Locklear) hostage in a desolate cabin and demanding a multi-million-dollar ransom.

Most of the films in which the actor appeared were totally forgettable, although he won a Golden Globe as Most Promising Newcomer for his role in the comedy The Pad and How to Use It (1966) as Ted, who gives his friend Bob (Brian Bedford) moral support on a first date but ends up with the young woman, Doreen (Julie Sommars), himself. Later, Farentino was seen alongside Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen in the time-travel fantasy The Final Countdown (1980).

He had only one screen role in his last 10 years, in the 2006 TV film Drive. “I’ve got a resumé that could choke a horse,” he said, curiously, in 2003. “I’m impressed by it. Producers who are casting people, they’re all in their 20s now. You show it to somebody in the motion picture industry or television, they don’t know and they don’t care.”

James Ferrantino (James Farentino), actor: born New York 24 February 1938; married 1962 Elizabeth Ashley (marriage dissolved 1965), 1966 Michele Lee Dusick (one son; marriage dissolved 1982), 1985 Deborah Mullowney (marriage dissolved 1988), 1994 Stella Torres (one son); died Los Angeles 24 January 2012.

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Nancy Gates

Nancy Gates
Nancy Gates

“Wikipedia” entry:

The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Gates,[2] Nancy Gates was born in Dallas, Texas, Gates grew up in nearby Denton, and was described as “a child wonder.”[3] A 1932 newspaper article about an Easter program at Robert E. Lee School noted, “Nancy Gates, presenting a soft-shoe number, will open the style show.”[4] That same year, she had a part in the Denton Kiddie Revue.[5]

In 1935,[6] she appeared in the production “A Kiss for Cinderella,” which starred Brenda Marshall and a minstrel show that included Ann Sheridan, both of whom were from Denton.[3] She was in show business before she finished high school, having her own radio program on WFAA in Dallas[6] for two years while she was a student at Denton High School,[7] from which she graduated.[8] Musically oriented, Gates was featured as a singer in a 1942 concert by the North Texas Teachers College stage band.[9]

Gates attended the University of Oklahoma for one year before getting married.[2]

Gates entered acting at a young age, receiving a contract with RKO at the age of 15, which required court approval because of her status as a minor.[10] Orson Welles screen-tested her for a role in the 1942 film The Magnificent Ambersons. Although she did not get the role, which went to Anne Baxter, the test paved the way for her future entry into film.[3] That same year she had her first credited role, in The Great Gildersleeve. In 1943 she went on contract with RKO, her first film with them being Hitler’s Children that same year. She began receiving roles in mostly B-movies, many of which were westerns or sci-fi, eventually receiving lead roles as the heroine. In 1948 she starred opposite Eddie Dean in Check Your Guns, and in 1949 she played alongside Jim BannonMarin Sais, and Emmett Lynn in an episode of the Red Ryder serial, titled Roll, Thunder, Roll. She would star in several other films over the next ten years, especially in westerns like Comanche Station (1960), and in support roles, most notably in two Frank Sinatra films, Some Came Running and Suddenly.

In total Gates starred or co-starred in 34 films and serials. She retired from acting in 1969.

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Mikey Spillane

Mikey Spillane
Mikey Spillane

Frank Morrison Spillane (March 9, 1918 – July 17, 2006), better known as Mickey Spillane, was an American crime novelist, whose stories often feature his signature detective character, Mike Hammer. More than 225 million copies of his books have sold internationally. Spillane was also an occasional actor, once even playing Hammer himself

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Lola Albright

 

 

Lola Albright
Lola Albright

 

TCM Overview:

A charming but often miscast leading actress, with a tough style reminiscent of Barbara Stanwyck, Lola Albright was shown at her best in “A Cold Wind in August” (1961). She won the Best Actress award at the 1966 Berlin Film Festival for her performance in “Lord Love a Duck” as Tuesday Weld’s mother who turns suicidal when she thinks she has ruined her daughter’s life. Albright was also known to TV viewers as Edie Hart, the girlfriend of Craig Stevens’ “Peter Gunn” (NBC, 1958-60; ABC 1960-61).

Albright was a switchboard operator, stenographer and photographer’s model while doing bit dramatic roles to learn her craft. She made her film debut with a small part in “The Pirate” (1948), with Judy Garland and Gene Kelly. She was seen with Garland and Fred Astaire in “Easter Parade” (also 1948) but won her first real notices as the wife of a boxing match manipulator who becomes involved with a fighter (Kirk Douglas) in “Champion” (1948). Some of her roles were unchallenging, such as in “The Tender Trap” (1955), where Albright was merely one of the women in Frank Sinatra’s life. Yet, for all the programmers, there were shots such as “A Cold Wind in August,” in which Albright again won critical acclaim, this time for playing an aging stripper. Albright’s film career petered out around 1968, the year she played David Niven’s wife and the mother of a nubile teen-age daughter in “The Impossible Years.”

Unlike other film actors who were slow to take the plunge into TV, Albright was actively working in the medium from 1951, when she guest-starred in two episodes of “Lux Video Theatre.” Throughout the 50s, she appeared made numerous guest appearances, including several during the 1955-56 TV season as a love interest on “The Bob Cummings Show.” Albright was on “Peter Gunn” for its entire three-season run and, in 1965, replaced an ailing Dorothy Malone for part of the season on “Peyton Place” (ABC). She continued appearing on episodics, particularly those of Universal TV, into the early 80s. She never really clicked in TV-movies, appearing in only three: the thrillers “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” (NBC, 1967) and “Terraces” (NBC, 1977) and the melodramatic “Delta County, U.S.A.” (ABC, 1977).

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Barry Brown

Barry Brown
Barry Brown

Barry Brown (April 19, 1951 – June 25, 1978) was an American author, playwright and actor who performed on stage and in television dramas and feature films, notably as Frederick Winterbourne in Peter Bogdanovich‘s Daisy Miller (1974), adapted from the classic Henry James novella (1878). Bogdanovich praised Brown’s contribution to the film, describing him as “the only American actor you can believe ever read a book.”

Born Barry Brown in San Jose, California, he was the eldest child of Donald Bernard Brown and Vivian Brown (née Agrillo). His sister was the actress Marilyn Brown, who committed suicide in 1997 at the age of 44. His brother is the novelist James Brown (Final Performance, Hot Wire), who etched an intimate portrait of their dysfunctional family in his acclaimed memoir, The Los Angeles Diaries, published by HarperCollins in 2003.

Brown began his acting career as a child of five and took part in many television and live performances. He appeared withVan Johnson in a stage production of The Music Man at the age of ten.

Brown was 19 when he made his first major screen appearance in Halls of Anger (1970), followed by The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid (1972) and his breakthrough role as the American Civil War draft dodger Drew Dixon in Robert Benton‘s critically acclaimed Bad Company (1972), co-starring with Jeff Bridges. The publicity and promotion for this film was capped by an article in Esquire introducing filmgoers to the “dashing, brooding Brown” in color photographs by Chris von Wangenheim, along with a text mention of Brown’s obituary collection focusing on little-known and forgotten Hollywood personalities.

After playing opposite Cybill Shepherd in Daisy Miller, Brown concentrated on television throughout the 1970s, including the TV movie The Disappearance of Aimee(1976), about evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson, and numerous TV episodes. His final features were the crime drama The Ultimate Thrill (1974) and Joe Dante‘sPiranha (1978).

An authority on actors and film history, Brown was a contributor to Scream Queens: Heroines of the Horrors by Calvin Beck and Bhob Stewart. Published by Macmillan in 1978, the book features illustrated biographical profiles of 29 fantasy film actresses and directors. Brown did a similar survey, the unpublished Unsung Heroes of the Horrors, covering the lives of some lesser known Hollywood talents, and he also contributed to various magazines, including Films in Review and Castle of Frankenstein. The book Who Was Who on Screen Third Edition, by Evelyn Mack Truett was dedicated to Brown, whom she credited with giving data support for the previous edition.

Brown’s marriage to Jennie Vlahos on March 4, 1972 ended in divorce May 1972. In June 1978, Brown committed suicide at his home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California.

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Nancy Kulp

Nancy Kulp
Nancy Kulp

Nancy Kulp (August 28, 1921 – February 3, 1991) was an American character actress best known as Miss Jane Hathaway on the popular CBS television series The Beverly Hillbillies.   Also was featured in :The Parent Trap” with Hayley Mills in 1961.

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Whit Bissell

Whit Bissell
Whit Bissell

A wide-ranging character actor with Broadway experience, Bissell entered films in 1943 with “Holy Matrimony” and went on to appear in over 80 more. specializing as ineffectual types and high-strung professionals. He is perhaps best remembered for his role as the scientist who turned Michael Landon into a wolfman in “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” (1957).

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Brandon de Wilde

Brandon de Wilde
Brandon de Wilde

TCM Overview:

When Brandon De Wilde died in a motorcycle accident in July 1972 he was only 30 years old but in that short lifetime he had starred in several films now considered classics, been nominated for an Academy Award®, won a Golden Globe, been the first child actor to win a Donaldson Award (for his theatrical debut at the age of seven), had his own television series, hung out with The Beatles, Gram Parsons and Jim Morrison, was the father of a young son and had been divorced twice.

Andre Brandon De Wilde was born into a theatrical family on April 9, 1942 in Brooklyn and spent his early life in Baldwin, Long Island. His father Frederick A. “Fritz” De Wilde was an actor and a Broadway stage manager and his mother Eugenia was a part-time actress on Broadway. Despite his surroundings Brandon did not show any interest in acting until 1949 when a friend of his father was casting a play by Carson McCullers, The Member of the Wedding and was looking for a young boy and thought Brandon might be good. As Virginia Spencer Carr wrote in her book Understanding Carson McCullers, “[Ethel] Waters and Julie Harris had been signed for the principal roles, and every part was cast except for the role of John Henry West, which was assigned, finally, to five year old [sic] Brandon De Wilde, who had never acted before and could not read. The child’s father, Fritz De Wilde (who was cast as Jarvis Addams, the bride-groom) read the entire play aloud to him to help him learn his lines and in the process, young Brandon learned the lines of everyone else as well, much to the chagrin of Waters, whom he prompted regularly until she told him, ‘Now honey, I don’t want you to bother me anymore.'”

De Wilde was a natural and received critical acclaim for his performance from no less an authority than the legendary actor John Gielgud, who wrote in a letter to a friend, “I saw an excellent play yesterday Member of the Wedding […] The little boy from next door [Brandon De Wilde] a child of eight, gives a wonderful performance and serves as an almost silent chorus, representing the youngest generation. He is on the stage playing all through the hysterical scenes of the young girl, sometimes vaguely aware of what it all means, sometimes just bored and longing for notice, and sometimes just thinking to himself – all done with extraordinary subtlety and emphasis.”

Having received the Donaldson Award for his performance, he was signed by director Fred Zinnemann to reprise his role in the film adaptation of The Member of the Wedding in 1952, for which he was awarded a Special Golden Globe Award for Best Juvenile Actor.

His next role would be his most famous, as the tow-headed boy Joey Starrett who worships gunman Alan Ladd in George Stevens’ classic Western Shane (1953). He filmed it in the summer and fall of 1951, but the film was not released for two years due to extensive editing. De Wilde’s immortal line at the end of the film, “Shane! Shane! Come back!” was voted as number 47 of the AFI’S 100 Best Movie Quotes and it ranked number 69 of the Best Movie Quotes by Premiere Magazine earlier in 2007. His performance earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor (he lost to Frank Sinatra for From Here to Eternity) and the praise of critics like The New York Times’ Bosley Crowther who wrote, “Mr. Ladd, though slightly swashbuckling as a gunfighter wishing to retire, does well enough by the character, and Jean Arthur is good as the homesteader’s wife…But it is Master De Wilde with his bright face, his clear voice and his resolute boyish ways who steals the affections of the audience and clinches Shane as a most unusual film.”

The attention from Shane won De Wilde his own television series for ABC entitled Jamie in which he played an orphan living with his aunt. The show only ran during the 1952-1953 season due to a contractual dispute. He would spend the next six years appearing on television on programs such as Climax!, The Screen Director’s Playhouse, The Alcoa Theater and The United States Steel Hour. At the age of 17 in 1959, he appeared in a controversial drama entitled Blue Denim co-starring Carol Lynley. In it, De Wilde’s character gets Lynley pregnant and the two try to find an abortionist.

De Wilde spent three more years in television on shows like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Wagon Train before making All Fall Down (1962) in which he plays the younger brother of Warren Beatty and the following year he made Hud with Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, and Patricia Neal. Although his character was only 16, De Wilde was actually 20 during the filming of Hud. He was the only one of the principal actors not to be nominated for an Academy Award, but on Oscar® night, De Wilde accepted the Best Supporting Actor Award for Melvin Douglas who was unable to attend.

By 1965, when he appeared in his last major film opposite John Wayne – the WWII drama In Harm’s Way – De Wilde had become part of a hard-living, drug-taking Hollywood group including Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. During this time, he had become interested in launching a music career. De Wilde was in the Bahamas in February 1965 at the same time The Beatles were filming Help! and hung out with the band, who got stoned on the pot De Wilde provided. Paul McCartney remembered De Wilde as “a nice guy who was fascinated by what we did. A sort of Brat Pack actor. We chatted endlessly, and I seem to remember writing [the song] “Wait” in front of him and him being interested to see it written.” This interest led De Wilde to become friends with up and coming musician Gram Parsons in New York and the two would sing harmony together. Parson’s friend and fellow musician John Nuese said that De Wilde sang better with Parsons than anyone except Emmylou Harris. De Wilde brought Parsons and his band into the studio at RCA to record some tracks but the project never materialized.

Most of De Wilde’s remaining work would be television guest appearances. He once spoke about his career to author Linda Ashcroft at a party they attended with Jim Morrison. Ashcroft later wrote that she “listened to him talk about having given most of his life to acting, which sounded so strange from such a young man. He was about Jim [Morrison’s] age, though he looked younger. He spoke of giving up movies until he could come back as a forty-year-old character actor. All that had been in his favour as a child, his being small for his age and a bit too pretty, had worked against him as an adult. […]”

Sadly De Wilde’s life was cut short by a driving accident. On July 6, 1972, he was in Denver, Colorado appearing onstage in the play Butterflies Are Free. That night while on his way to the theater, he was killed when his motorcycle ran into a truck. His good friend Gram Parsons was so affected by his death that he and Emmylou Harris wrote the song In My Hour of Darkness about De Wilde,

Once I knew a young man
Went driving through the night
Miles and miles without a word
With just his high-beam lights
Who’d have ever thought they’d build such
a deadly Denver bend
To be so strong, to take as long as
it would till the end

by Lorraine LoBianco