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Tyrone Power Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (49) | Personal Quotes (4) | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 5 May 1914Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 15 November 1958Madrid, Spain  (heart attack)
Birth NameTyrone Edmund Power Jr.
Nickname Ty
Height 5' 11½" (1.82 m)

Mini Bio (1)

One of the great romantic swashbuckling stars of the mid-twentieth century, and the third Tyrone Power of four in a famed acting dynasty reaching back to the eighteenth century. His great-grandfather was the first Tyrone Power (1795-1841), a famed Irish comedian. His father, known to historians as Tyrone Power Sr., but to his contemporaries as either Tyrone Power or Tyrone Power the Younger, was a huge star in the theater (and later in films) in both classical and modern roles. His mother, Patia Riaume (Mrs. Tyrone Power), was also a Shakespearean actress as well as a respected dramatic coach.

Tyrone Edmund Power, Jr., (also called Tyrone Power III) was born at his mother's home of Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1914. A frail, sickly child, he was taken by his parents to the warmer climate of southern California. After his parents' divorce, he and his sister Anne Power returned to Cincinnati with their mother. There he attended school while developing an obsession with acting. Although raised by his mother, he corresponded with his father, who encouraged his acting dreams. He was a supernumerary in his father's stage production of 'The Merchant of Venice' in Chicago and held him as he died suddenly of a heart attack later that year.

Startlingly handsome, young Tyrone nevertheless struggled to find work in Hollywood. He appeared in a few small roles, then went east to do stage work. A screen test led to a contract at 20th Century Fox in 1936, and he quickly progressed to leading roles. Within a year or so, he was one of Fox's leading stars, playing in contemporary and period pieces with ease. Most of his roles were colorful without being deep, and his swordplay was more praised than his wordplay. He served in the Marine Corps in World War II as a transport pilot, and he saw action in the Pacific Theater of operations.

After the war, he got his best reviews for an atypical part as a downward-spiraling con-man in Nightmare Alley (1947). Although he remained a huge star, much of his postwar work was unremarkable. He continued to do notable stage work and also began producing films. Following a fine performance in Billy Wilder's Witness for the Prosecution (1957), Power began production on Solomon and Sheba (1959). Halfway through shooting, he collapsed during a dueling scene with George Sanders, and he died of a heart attack before reaching a hospital.

His three children, including his namesake, Tyrone William Power IV (known professionally as Tyrone Power Jr.), have all followed him in the family acting tradition.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (3)

Deborah Ann Smith (7 May 1958 - 15 November 1958) (his death) (1 child)
Linda Christian (27 January 1949 - 7 August 1956) (divorced) (2 children)
Annabella (23 April 1939 - 26 January 1948) (divorced)

Trivia (49)

Kept a copy of all the scripts from his movies and had them bound.
His great-grandfather, Tyrone Power (1795-1841), wrote the two-volume "Impressions of America: during the years 1833, 1834, 1835".(London: R. Bently, 1836).
Interred at Hollywood Memorial Cemetery (now called Hollywood Forever), Hollywood, California, USA. His tombstone includes the masks of Comedy and Tragedy and the inscription, "Good night, sweet prince...".
Children: Romina Francesca born 2 October 1951, Taryn born 13 September 1953 and Tyrone William born 22 January 1959 were all born at Cedars Hospital, Los Angeles, California.
He gave a commencement speech at the University of Tampa in 1948. He was awarded an honorary degree in the Arts.
Portrayed Senator Dean Edwards on the syndicated radio show "Freedom USA" (1951-1952).
Appears on the album jacket of The Beatles' album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".
Father of Tyrone William Power IV, known professionally as Tyrone Power Jr..
Older brother of Anne Power.
Mother's name is Patia Riaume (Mrs. Tyrone Power).
In 1920, lived at 212 S. Cordova Street, Alhambra, California.
He originally turned down role of "Leonard Vole" in Witness for the Prosecution (1957) due to depression over his film career. He was doing a lot of stage work and told Billy Wilder that he wasn't sure he ever wanted to make another film. Without Power, Wilder dropped the project, as they needed a star of his magnitude. Later, the producers went back to him and offered him $300,000 plus a percentage of the film, and he agreed to do it.
His last complete work was a public-service announcement for television (in which he appeared on a motion-picture set in costume) about spotting the signs of a heart attack and going to the hospital to have a doctor check it out. The film still exists and has been shown in biographical tributes. Power died of a heart attack while filming Solomon and Sheba (1959) shortly after the public-service spot first aired.
His name was invoked in an underwear commercial by spokesman Wally Cox who said, in his best, Mr. Milquetoast voice, "I may look like Wally Cox, but inside I'm Tyrone Power".
The novel "Quicksilver" by Fitzroy Davis chronicles, in fictional form, a tour of "Romeo & Juliet" with Katharine Cornell that Power was with in the 1930s before going to Hollywood. Others in the cast included, at various times, Orson Welles, Brian Aherne and Basil Rathbone. All the names have been changed but many of the stories in the book did actually happen. When Aherne joined the cast, Welles was demoted, taking over Power's role, and Power moved into a smaller one. This is included in the book. It was a best-seller, written in 1942 after many of the actors had Hollywood success, and the story goes that Cornell tried to buy up all of the copies. Given that Davis knew these actors' fates by the time he wrote the book, it's easier to figure out who was who, though it appears the author did mix various traits among the characters in order to make the actors less recognizable.
When he was working on forming a theater company in Europe in the 1950s, he hired author Nora Sayre to read plays. She writes about that time in her book, "On the Wing," and about Power's relationship with girlfriend Mai Zetterling and the woman who was to become his third wife, Debbie Minardos.
Was immortalized in the song, "My Baby Just Cares for Me" with the lyrics, "My baby don't care for Tyrone Power/She'd rather be with me by the hour".
When romance novelist Barbara Cartland was asked how she could write such steamy books while still a virgin, she answered, "We didn't need sex. We had Tyrone Power".
Was the adoptive father of his ex-wife's, Annabella daughter, Ann Power.
Charlton Heston wrote in his 1995 autobiography "In the Arena" that while filming Ben-Hur (1959) he was shocked to learn of Power's sudden death, especially since the actor was only a decade older than him. He said the incident made him think about his own mortality for the first time.
According to the genealogy book, "Debrett Goes to Hollywood" by Charles Kidd, Power on his father's side was distantly related to both Laurence Olivier and author Evelyn Waugh. One of his first cousins was the prominent director Sir Tyrone Guthrie, who founded the Stratford Theatre in Ontario and the Guthrie Theater in Minnesota. Power was also related to the Mori family of Italy who were a prominent family in music. Power's paternal grandmother was descended from the French Huguenots.
There are yearly memorial services at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on the anniversary of his death, November 15. There is also one for Rudolph Valentino yearly.
Lead character in the play "Filthy Rich," which is a film-noir parody, is named Tyrone Power.
Mentioned in three films: Sunset Blvd. (1950) with the line "Can you see Ty Power as a shortstop?"; All About Eve (1950) with the line "What shall I tell Tyrone Power?"; and Flags of Our Fathers (2006) when the character of Rene Gagnon is referred to as "Tyrone Power" because of his good looks.
He was originally cast in Richard Burton's role in The Robe (1953).
At the time of his death Power was a major in the United States Marine Corps Reserves.
Cartoon artist C.C. Beck, on the Marvel Comics website, states that several characters in the Captain Marvel series were based on film stars. The mighty Egyptian magician Ibis the Invincible, who was featured in every issue of Whiz Comics, was based on Tyrone Power as he appeared in The Rains Came (1939).
During the filming of Jesse James (1939) he had a fling with a local girl who got pregnant and put the child, a boy, up for adoption. Power spent a small fortune in the 1940s searching for the child, without success.
He was considered for the role of Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind (1939).
He turned down Burt Lancaster's role in From Here to Eternity (1953).
Has his own chapter, "Disillusioned: Tyrone Power" in "The Star Machine" by Jeanine Basinger, Alfred J. Knopf Publishers, 2007.
His heart attack was due to hereditary heart disease and smoking.
His 1938 Photoplay cover is the first shot in the film Enter Laughing (1967).
On Nov 14-16, 2008, an event was held at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre to mark the 50th anniversary of his untimely passing. Four of his films were screened: Love Is News (1937), The Mark of Zorro (1940), The Razor's Edge (1946) and Nightmare Alley (1947). In attendance were his children, Tyrone Power Jr., Romina Power and Taryn Power. Also attending were several actors who worked with him, including Coleen Gray, Piper Laurie, Terry Moore and Jayne Meadows.
In Dreamboat (1952), a large photo of Power is prominently displayed on the wall of the agency Clifton Webb and Anne Francis enter in New York City.
Was involved in an illicit affair with Judy Garland that ended when he would not leave his wife for her (January-May 1943).
He was signed by Twentieth Century-Fox in 1936 as an answer to MGM's big star Robert Taylor.
At age 16 he was an usher at the Orpheum Theatre in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Was originally set to star in Way of a Gaucho (1952) with Henry King directing, but in May 1951 King requested a transfer to another picture and Power's name also disappeared from the picture.
As a US Marine Corps pilot in World War II, he flew supplies into and wounded out of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Played a West Point cadet (uncredited) in Flirtation Walk (1934). Twenty-one years later he starred in The Long Gray Line (1955), again about West Point, but this time as the legendary enlisted man, Martin "Marty" Maher, whose service to the Academy will never be forgotten.
He was the first performer to win a "Harvard Lampoon" Worst Actor Award for The Rains Came (1939) in 1939.
Both he and his father Tyrone Power Sr. died while "on the job", requiring their roles to be recast and re-shot--his father in The Miracle Man (1932) (replaced by Hobart Bosworth) and he in Solomon and Sheba (1959) (replaced by Yul Brynner).
Cousin of Crane Wilbur.
In her 1982 autobiography "Lana: The Lady, The Legend, The Truth", Lana Turner revealed that she had fallen pregnant by Power in December 1946 as a result of an illicit affair between the couple. When Annabella refused to give Power a divorce, Turner was forced to undergo an abortion or face them both losing their respective careers.
Friend of Eddy Duchin. Portrayed Duchin in The Eddy Duchin Story (1956) and like Duchin, died at a young age.
Tyrone's father had Irish, English, and French Huguenot ancestry. Tyrone's mother had French-Canadian, German, and English roots.
According to Quigley Publishing Co.'s International Motion Picture Almanac, Tyrone Power is one of the top 100 box office stars of all time, remarkable because he only had a 19-year career (taking 3 years off for his time in the military). Other actors on the list enjoyed careers from 25-50 years.

Personal Quotes (4)

I've done an awful lot of stuff that's a monument to public patience.
The secret of charm is bullshit.
I'm sick of all these knights in shining armor parts, I want to do something worthwhile like plays and films that have something to say.
Some day I will show all the motherfuckers who say I was a success just because of my pretty face. Sometimes I wish I had a really bad car accident so my face would get smashed up and I'd look like Eddie Constantine.

Salary (1)

Witness for the Prosecution (1957) $300,000+ % of gross

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