Oklahoma-bred John Ashley got his start in the movie business while on a vacation in California. A friend from Oklahoma State University got him onto the set of the John Wayne movie The Conqueror (1956), and Wayne in turn steered him toward a job in television in the William Castle series Men of Annapolis (1957). One day, Ashley was at the offices of American International Pictures to pick up his girlfriend, who was auditioning for a part in the company’s Dragstrip Girl (1957). AIP house writer Lou Rusoffsaw Ashley waiting in the hall and decided the young man was the type AIP was looking for to play the Dragstrip Girl (1957) male lead. Ashley acted in a long line of “kids-in-trouble” melodramas, monster movies and in the Beach Party series before carving a lucrative niche for himself as producer-star of a series of Filipino exploitation pictures. He was also producer of several TV series, including The A-Team (1983) and Werewolf(1987).