Tag: Jeff Hunter

A KISS BEFORE DYING


A KISS BEFORE DYING …. 1956
Click here for film trivia!

(Gordon Grant)  In this suspenseful film based on the Ira Levin novel, Jeff is an intelligent and inquiring 'good guy' whose actions play a pivotal role in the story.  Jeff's character becomes suspicious after he learns that smooth-talker Wagner is seriously involved with a woman from a wealthy family, but the woman is entirely unaware that her sister–an apparent suicide–was Wagner's prior girlfriend. With Virginia Leith, Mary Astor, and future star Joanne Woodward.

 
 

A GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN


A GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN …. 1967
Click here for film trivia!

(Technical Adviser – Mountain Climber) Jeff has a cameo role in this comedy about a married man (Walter Matthau) led astray by a friend (Robert Morse).  The comedy co-starred Inger Stevens, with Lucille Ball, Jack Benny as well as Jeff and many others in cameos.  Jeff's cameo only lasts for a few seconds, and consists of one line:  "Because she's there."

 
 

Biography

Jeffrey Hunter
Born: November 25, 1926
Died: May 27, 1969

Click to see photos of Jeffrey Hunter’s Final Resting Place.

Jeffrey Hunter was born Henry Herman McKinnies, Jr. in New Orleans, the only child of a Louisiana sales engineer and his wife. The family moved to Milwaukee in 1930, and young “Hank,” as he was known, was reared in Wisconsin.

While still in high school, Hunter acted on Milwaukee radio station WTMJ; this led to summer stock work and then to Chicago theater activity.
served in the U.S. Navy at Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois 1945-1946. He then attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he received a bachelor’s degree from the School of Speech. He continued his stage appearances and was featured in the 1949 film version of Julius Caesar, which starred Charlton Heston.

Attending UCLA on a scholarship, Hunter was spotted by Hollywood talent scouts while appearing in a school production of “All My Sons” in May of 1950. He made a screen test at Paramount, but was hired by 20th Century Fox where he made his first “mainstream” film appearance in Fox’s Fourteen Hours, a film which also served as the debut for Grace Kelly.

Over the next two decades, Jeffrey Hunter would show his versatility as an actor by starring or co-starring in a wide variety of movies – dramas, comedies, westerns, science fiction and war films. He often played the handsome decent, wholesome suitor or husband in domestic contemporary dramas and comedies of the period.

Hunter was married to actress Barbara Rush on December 1, 1950. They had one child, a son, Christopher. Although they were divorced on March 29, 1955, Rush would remember him fondly and said she considered him to be the handsomest man she ever met.

His movie career gained momentum after he co-starred with John Wayne in the John Ford western classic The Searchers (1956). Hunter, who often displayed a wry sense of humor, is quoted as saying in an interview, “I was told I had arrived when, during the filming of The Searchers, they gave me almost as much ammunition as they gave John Wayne.”

On July 7, 1957, Hunter married Joan “Dusty” Bartlett, a former model. They had two sons – Todd and Scott. He also adopted Steele, Dusty’s son from a previous marriage. This marriage ended in divorce in 1967.

In 1961, Hunter was cast in the difficult and challenging role of Jesus Christ in King of Kings. His reverent performance earned Hunter considerable praise. According to director Nicholas Ray’s biography, the script was approved by the Vatican before filming was begun.

In 1963, Hunter signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. At Warners, he starred in the western TV series “Temple Houston”. Nearly 30 episodes of the hour-long series were filmed before the series was canceled in 1964. Hunter’s 1963 film The Man From Galveston was originally the pilot episode of this television series.

Hunter was cast as Captain Christopher Pike of the U.S.S. Enterprise in the original “Star Trek” television pilot, “The Cage,” in 1964, but turned down the option to make an unprecedented second pilot and continue the role in the series. Footage from “The Cage” was later incorporated into a two-part episode in “Star Trek’s” first season.

During the next several years, he acted in several films in Europe and Asia.

After a whirlwind courtship, Hunter married actress Emily McLaughlin in February 1969. She is best known for her role as Nurse Jessie Brewer on the ABC soap opera “General Hospital” from 1963 until her death in 1990.

In 1969, while filming ¡Viva America! in Spain, Jeffrey Hunter was accidentally injured in an explosion on the set. Soon afterward he began complaining of dizziness and headaches. Shortly afterward, on May 26th, 1969, he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and several blows to the head, and died the next day, during surgery to repair the skull fracture; the precise circumstances that caused his death have been the subject of debate since that time. Jeffrey Hunter was 42 years of age.

Films


THE FILMS OF JEFFREY HUNTER
Did Jeff vie for a role as President Kennedy? Click here to find out!

During his career, Jeffrey Hunter acted in almost 50 films. His first film was Julius Caesar (1950), in which he had an uncredited role as a member of the Roman Senate. The first role for which he received top billing was in Sailor of the King (1953). His last film was ¡Viva America! (1969).  The year shown for each film is the year that the film was first released anywhere in the world; most of the films were released in the United States first.

Jeff also did some work as a producer; to learn more, click here.

For more detailed information on each film, such as cast and crew information, try a visit to imdb.com.

KING OF KINGS


KING OF KINGS …. 1961
Click here for film trivia!

(Jesus Christ)  Jeff won high praise for his sincere, luminous portrayal in this big-budget widescreen biblical epic, considered one of the best of its genre. Directed by Nicholas Ray and narrated by Orson Welles, the film co-starred Robert Ryan, Rip Torn, Siobhan McKenna, Viveca Lindfors, and Hurd Hatfield.

More photos: