Broken Arrow: Western Movie, Book, TV, and History Discussion

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 December 13 Birthday Wishes

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Manco

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PostSubject: December 13 Birthday Wishes   Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:09 am

Van Heflin [1910 - 1971]
Mark Stevens [1916 - 1994]
John Hart [1917 - 2009]
Don Taylor [1920 - 1998]
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Chain Lightning
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PostSubject: Re: December 13 Birthday Wishes   Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:05 am

Howdy Manco!!

Van Heflin was not your typical handsome leading man. He tried acting in plays earlier in his career and after dismal reviews, gave it up and went to sea on a tramp steamer. It was Katherine Hepburn, who after watching him in another attempt at acting that convinced him to try his luck in film. His first appearance in film was in 1936 and it would be another 6 years before he finally got his breakout role of Jeff Hartnett in the 1942 film, Johnny Eager, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor opposite Robert Taylor. The 50's would be his best decade with appearances as the farmer in Shane, the small rancher in the original 3:10 To Yuma and as the bullying father in Gunman's Walk. Van Heflin had a knack for playing humble men of courage and both Shane and 3:10 To Yuma allowed him to display this talent perfectly. During the 60's, he was cast in The Greatest Story Ever Told and the 1966 remake of Stagecoach, both of which were finanical flops. One of his last appearances was in the 1970 film, Airport as the mad bomber In 1971, Van Heflin suffered a heart attack while swimming in his pool and never regained consciousess. He died at the young age of 60.

Mark Stevens was a curly headed, freckle faced character actor, who made his film debut in 1943. After Hollywood darkened his hair and covered up his freckles, he was cast in several pictures by M.G.M. as a future leading man. For some reason he never made the grade. He was often overshadowed by his leading ladies and compared to a lesser version of John Payne or Alan Ladd. He often dabbled as producer and director during his career. Later he would be cast in supporting roles in films like Street With No Name opposite Richard Widmark. Stevens continued to work steadily in film through 1987, except for an 8 year period in which he lived in Europe. I remember him best from his starring role in the 1953 western, Jack Slade, in which he played a driven gunman. Stevens also appeared in the western, Gunsight Ridge.

John Hart began his film career in 1937 and with his movie star good looks, it appeared he was on the road to stardom. Unfortunately, WW II came along and when Hart returned to Hollywood, he was back to square one. He was cast in a slew of B-westerns, like Texas Lawmen, The Plunderers, Kansas Territory ect. He is best known for replacing Clayton Moore as The Lone Ranger from 1950-1953 in 52 episodes of the series, because of a contract dispute with Moore. He also starred in the 1957 t.v. series, Hawkeye And The Last Of The Mohicans as Hawkeye. Hart appeared in the 1981 flop, Legend Of The Lone Ranger with Klinton Spillsbury and fittingly played the masked man one last time in his final role, in an episode of Happy Days in 1982.

Don Taylor broke into film in 1943 and continued to act in bit parts and small roles until 1969, but it is not for his acting he is known for. In 1957 he decided that he preferred working behind the camera and started out directing episodes of I Dream Of Jeannie, Have Gun Will Travel, The Rifleman, Hotel De Paree and many other t.v. series. During the 70's, he finally broke into major films with Escape From The Planet Of The Apes, Damien, Omen II, The Island Of .Dr Moreau and The Final Countdown. Taylor continued to work as a director until 1988. He is also the father of actor Jonathan Taylor, who you will remember from the t.v. series, Tool Time.

Ed


Last edited by Chain Lightning on Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:32 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Nightlinger

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PostSubject: Re: December 13 Birthday Wishes   Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:14 pm

Mark Stevens co-starred in an interesting film noir with Clifton Webb and William Bendix. The star of the movie was the actress who played his secretary, the one and only Lucille Ball, five years before I Love Lucy.
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Tinhorn

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PostSubject: Re: December 13 Birthday Wishes   Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:18 pm

Nightlinger, the name of that movie was The Dark Corner, directed by Henry Hathaway.
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Art Pepper

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PostSubject: Re: December 13 Birthday Wishes   Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:46 am

Add to this list a performer who isn't known for Westerns, but has the lead in a flick which will probably be, for better or worse, the biggest Western since 2010's True Grit: Jamie Foxx, leading man of Tarantino's soon-to-be-unleashed Django Unchained.
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Nightlinger

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PostSubject: Re: December 13 Birthday Wishes   Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:43 am

Tinhorn, I knew that but must have had a senior moment because I didn't realize I had left out the title.
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Tinhorn

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PostSubject: Re: December 13 Birthday Wishes   Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:06 pm

I know what you mean. I'm not there in age yet, but my eyesight started going, and then my hair. It's only a matter of time.
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