“Jeff Chandler looked as though he had been dreamed up by one of those artists who specialize in male physique studies or a little further up the artistic scale. He might have been plucked bodily from some modern mural on a biblical subject. For that he had the requisite Jewishness (of which he was very proud) – and he was not quite real. Above all, he was impossibly handsome. He would never have been lost in a crowd with that big square, sculpted 20th century face and his prematurely gray wavy hair. If the movies had not found him the advertising agencies would have done – whenever you saw a still of him you looked at his wrist-watch or his pipe before realising that he was not promoting something. In the coloured stills and on posters, his studios showed his hair as blue, heightening the unreality. His real name was Ira Grossel, his film-name was exactly right.” – David Shipman in “The Great Movie Stars – The International years”. (1972).
Jeff Chandler was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1918. He had a major movie career with Universal Studios in the 1950’s. His movies include “Broken Arrow”, “The Lady Takes A Flier”, “Flame of Araby”, “Return to Peyton Place” and “The Plunderer’s”. He died after undergoing surgery in 1961.
Tough, virile lead with prematurely steel grey, wavy hair and a muscular physique who starred in action films of the late 1940s and 50s, often as American Indians (three times as Cochise), gangsters, cavalrymen and “natives”. Not a docile star, Chandler rebelled against Universal’s mediocre action projects and was suspended several times. Chandler’s career was cut short by his premature death–due to blood poisoning after routine spinal surgery for a slipped disc–at age 42.
Jeff was born in Brooklyn and attended Erasmus High School. After high school, he took a drama course and worked in stock companies for two years. His next role would be that of an officer in World War II. After he was discharged from the service, he became busy acting in radio drama’s and comedies until he was signed by Universal. It would be in the fifties that Jeff would become a star making westerns and action pictures. He would be nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950). He would follow this by playing the role of Cochise in two sequels: The Battle at Apache Pass (1952) and Taza, Son of Cochise (1954). While his premature gray hair and tanned features served him well in his westerns and action pictures, the studio would put him into soaps and costume movies. In his films, his leading ladies would include Maureen O’Hara, Rhonda Fleming, Jane Russell, Joan Crawford, and June Allyson. Shortly after his last film Merrill’s Marauders (1962), Jeff died, at 42, from blood poisoning after an operation for a slipped disc.
The above IMDB entry can be accessed online here.
The above TCM overview can be accessed online here.