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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (8) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 25 December 1934Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Date of Death 3 October 1997New York City, New York, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameJohn Atchley

Mini Bio (1)

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 Rusoff saw 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).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Weaver <TomWeavr@aol.com>

Spouse (2)

Deborah Walley (28 April 1962 - 1966) (divorced) (1 child)
Jan Ashley (? - 3 October 1997) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (8)

Was adopted when only a few months old. Never knew his birth parents.
Married actress Deborah Walley in 1962 and they subsequently became sand-and-surf playmates in the film Beach Blanket Bingo (1965). They had one son, TV associate producer Anthony Brooks Ashley born on May 4, 1963, but divorced three years later.
Earned a B.A. in economics at Oklahoma State University.
Both Motorcycle Gang (1957) and Hot Rod Gang (1958) featured John's singing skills. He later had recording contracts with a few labels
Lost out to Michael Landon for the title lead in I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957).
Played Frankie Avalon's best pal in a few "beach party" flicks of the 1960s.
Interviewed by Tom Weaver in the book "Interviews with B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers" (McFarland & Co., 1988).

Personal Quotes (1)

This is a terrible thing to admit, but maybe the key to my success with exploitation films is that I always LIKED those movies, and I never had any real reason to turn them down. I just enjoyed doing them.

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