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Rory Calhoun Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (18) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 8 August 1922Los Angeles, California, USA
Date of Death 28 April 1999Burbank, California, USA  (emphysema and diabetes)
Birth NameFrancis Timothy Cuthbert
Nickname Smoke
Height 6' 4" (1.93 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Rory Calhoun was born Francis Timothy McCown in Los Angeles, the son of Elizabeth Cuthbert and James McCown. Rory starred in over 80 films and 1,000 television episodes. Before becoming an actor he worked as a boxer, a lumberjack, a truck driver and a cowpuncher. Tall and handsome, he benefited from a screen test at 20th Century-Fox, arranged for him by Sue Carol, a Hollywood agent and the wife of actor Alan Ladd, who is said to have spotted Calhoun while he was riding a horse in a Los Angeles park. He debuted on screen in Something for the Boys (1944), with Carmen Miranda, billed as "Frank McCown". David O. Selznick changed his name to Rory Calhoun, and after playing small parts for a while, he graduated to starring in western films, including River of No Return (1954) with Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum. Calhoun's better-known pictures include How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Lauren Bacall, Monroe and Betty Grable, and With a Song in My Heart (1952) with Susan Hayward.

From 1959 to 1960 he starred in the CBS television series The Texan (1958). More than two decades later he returned to CBS for five years as Judge Judson Tyler on the daytime serial Capitol (1982). His final appearance, 70 years old but handsome as ever, was as Ernest Tucker in Pure Country (1992). Calhoun has two stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures, and one for television.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <kinephile@aol.com>

Spouse (2)

Susan Kathleen Langely (19 April 1971 - 28 April 1999) (his death) (1 child)
Lita Baron (29 August 1948 - 17 July 1970) (divorced) (3 children)

Trade Mark (1)

Black cowboy hat

Trivia (18)

Mentioned numerous times in the episode of The Simpsons (1989) where Mr. Burns steals the puppies from the Simpsons.
As a teenager Calhoun dropped out of high school and drifted into petty crime, becoming a car thief. He was caught and spent three years in a federal reformatory. In the mid-'50s blackmailers threatened to make his prison record public; instead, Calhoun himself revealed it. He died after a ten-day hospitalization for advanced stages of emphysema and diabetes.
When Lita Baron sued for divorce, she named 79 women with whom he had allegedly committed adultery. Calhoun responded, "Heck, she didn't even include half of them".
His daughters with Lita Baron are Cindy (b. 1957), Tami (b. 1958) and Lorri (b. 1961). His daughter with Sue Rhodes is Rory Patricia (b. 1971).
Calhoun's second cousin is popular Canadian sportscaster and talk show host Bob McCown (host of "Prime Time Sports" on the Fan 590 Radio and nationwide on Rogers Sportsnet).
Second wife Sue Rhodes was a journalist.
In 1955 his agent, Henry Willson, disclosed information about Calhoun's years in prison to "Confidential" magazine in exchange for the tabloid not printing an exposé about the secret homosexual life of Rock Hudson, another Willson client. The disclosure had no negative effect on Calhoun's career and only served to solidify his "bad boy" image.
Henry Willson, an agent known for a stable of young, attractive, marginally talented actors with unusual names (Rock Hudson, Tab Hunter) signed Rory to a contract and initially christened him "Troy Donahue", then changed it to "Rory Calhoun". He used the Troy Donahue name later on another up-and-coming actor, with excellent results.
In 1943, while horseback riding in the Hollywood Hills, he accidentally met actor Alan Ladd, whose wife Sue Carol was an agent. She landed him a one-line role in the Laurel and Hardy comedy short The Bullfighters (1945) under his name of "Frank McCown".
After his release from San Quentin, Calhoun worked several odd jobs, including cowpuncher and lumberjack.
His young criminal career was rather extensive. A high school dropout, he stole a revolver at age 13, which landed him in the California Youth Authority's Preston School of Industry reformatory at Ione, CA. He escaped while in the adjustment center (jail within the jail). After robbing several jewelry stores, he stole a car and drove it across state lines. This offense sent him to the federal penitentiary in Springfield, MO, for three years. When he finished his sentence he was incarcerated in San Quentin State Penitentiary in California on other charges and remained there until he was paroled just before his 21st birthday.
When he was nine months old his father died. After his mother remarried he occasionally used the last name of his stepfather, Durgin.
Guy Madison was one of his closest friends. The two men often went on fishing and hunting trips. Guy and his (second) wife Sheila Connolly named him godfather to their first born Bridget.
He and Vitina Marcus had a daughter, Athena Marcus Calhoun, who became "The World's Most Beautiful Showgirl" and was awarded "The Key to the City of Las Vegas" in 1987.
Was a registered Republican who campaigned for Richard Nixon in 1968 and 1972.
The July 22, 1970, issue of "Variety", in the Hollywood Production Pulse column, states that the movie "The Low Price of Fame" had started filming May 18 in Iowa, starring Calhoun, Gardner McKay and Yvonne De Carlo. Jerry Schafer was producer / director and executive producer was Donald B. Running, for Carvel Productions. There is no evidence the film was completed or released.
Partners, with Victor M. Orsatti, in Rorvic Productions, a film production company.
The June 30, 1971, issue of Variety, in the Hollywood Production Pulse section, lists a movie "Everyman" directed by Jerry Schafer for Hollywood International Pictures with actors Rory Calhoun, Ruth Roman, Rosie Grier, Jim Mitchum, Tom Bosley, Jesse White, John Fiedler, and Percy Helton which started filming Jun 14, 1971, in Dallas. No evidence the movie was completed or released.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on Susan Hayward] I learned a lot from that lady. I learned more about my trade, about presence in front of the camera, by watching her. She acted like it was nothing, with no effort.

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