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Steve Brodie Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trivia (6) | Personal Quotes (3) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Born in El Dorado, Kansas, USA
Died in West Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (cancer)
Birth NameJohn Stephens
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Primarily known as a "B" movie bad guy of hundreds of films, husky actor Steve Brodie was born John Daugherty Stephens on November 25, 1919, in El Dorado, Kansas. Raised in Wichita, he dropped out of school and raced cars, boxed and worked on oil rigs to get by. He initially entertained a criminal law career but that interest quickly wore off after having to toil as a property boy.

A passion for acting then was instigated and Brodie found early work in summer stock. Changing his stage name to "Steve Brodie", a move to New York did not pay off but a subsequent move to Los Angeles did. He broke into films after being spotted by an MGM talent scout in a Hollywood theatre production entitled "Money Girls". Loaned out for his first film, Universal's Ladies Courageous (1944), Brodie appeared in a few tough-guy bit parts in such MGM films as Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), The Clock (1945) and Anchors Aweigh (1945) before he was dropped. It wasn't long before he was signed by RKO and it was with studio that his reputation as a heavy in westerns grew, with such roles as notorious outlaws Bob Dalton in Badman's Territory (1946) and Cole Younger in Return of the Bad Men (1948). In between those two pictures were strong roles in three film noir classics: Desperate (1947) (leading good guy), Crossfire (1947) and Out of the Past (1947) (both supporting baddies).

A hard-living, hard-drinking actor, Brodie married "B" actress Lois Andrews in 1946 but the couple divorced four years later, not long after appearing together in the western programmer Rustlers (1949). He married Barbara Savitt--the widow of bandleader Jan Savitt--in September of 1950 and the union produced son Kevin Brodie two years later (Kevin later became a producer/director). Steve's second marriage lasted until 1966.

Interest in Brodie eventually waned at the studio and his contract was not renewed. Freelancing elsewhere, he appeared as a lead in Rose of the Yukon (1949) and another classic film noir, Armored Car Robbery (1950) (on the right side of the law for a change), and also earned good parts in Home of the Brave (1949), The Steel Helmet (1951) and Lady in the Iron Mask (1952) (as the Musketeer Athos). Most of his post-RKO film work, however, would be in low-budgeters: I Cheated the Law (1949), The Great Plane Robbery (1950), Army Bound (1952), The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953), Donovan's Brain (1953) and Under Fire (1957). He also appeared as the hero's nemesis in several Tim Holt / Richard Martin westerns, including The Arizona Ranger (1948), Guns of Hate (1948) and Brothers in the Saddle (1949). In the late 1950s he had leads in the "C"-level films Spy in the Sky! (1958), Arson for Hire (1959) and Here Come the Jets (1959).

A familiar presence on 1950s and 1960s TV, he worked on such crime series as Public Defender (1954), Hawaiian Eye (1959), Surfside 6 (1960), Perry Mason (1957), Burke's Law (1963) and such western series as The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (1955) (recurring part), The Lone Ranger (1949), Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (1951), Laramie (1959), Sugarfoot (1957), Maverick (1957), Rawhide (1959), Gunsmoke (1955) and comedies including The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952), _"The Beverly Hillbillies" (1962)_ (qav). He also appeared in a touring production of "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" starring Paul Douglas and Wendell Corey. The company ended abruptly when the liberal-minded Douglas, in a North Carolina interview, strongly criticized the conservative state and the resulting backlash forced the production's closure.

Brodie's later years were marred by drinking arrests. In the 1970s he made sporadic appearances, including a lead in the campy low-budget horror film The Giant Spider Invasion (1975) opposite Barbara Hale and a part in Delta Pi (1984) [aka "Mugsy's Girls"], which was written, produced and directed by son Kevin and was also his last film. He also provided voice work in commercials and showed up at nostalgia conventions, including The Knoxville Western Film Fair in 1991, less than a year before his death.

In 1973 Brodie married a third time, to Virginia Hefner, and they had a son Sean. Suffering from esophageal cancer and heart problems, Brodie died at age 72 on January 9, 1992, at a West Hills, California, hospital.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (3)

Virginia Carol Hefner (16 April 1973 - 9 January 1992) (his death) (1 child)
Barbara Ann Stillwell Savitt (7 September 1950 - 1 April 1966) (divorced) (1 child)
Lois Andrews (14 October 1946 - 9 March 1950) (divorced)

Trivia (6)

Father of director Kevin Brodie
Grandfather of actress Farren Monet.
John Stephens (Steve Brodie) reportedly adopted the name of Brooklyn bookmaker and daredevil Steve Brodie (1863-1901) who in 1886 claimed to have jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge in a publicity stunt.
Born and raised in Kansas, his father, Alexander Lewis Stephens, was from Ohio, and his mother, Lena Blanche Daugherty, was a native of Illinois. His father died when he was a year old.
According to an article by Laura Wagner on Steve in the movie magazine Films of the Golden Age, Spring 2014 issue, Steve was arrested in 1961 on drunk driving charges.

Personal Quotes (3)

I loved making pictures with Tim Holt. I particularly liked playing a villain. When people booed you and hated you for the way you performed, it meant you had done your job well. Those western pictures were fun, and Tim Holt and Richard Martin were great guys to work with.
[in 1991] Everybody wants to be a leading man . . . but early on I discovered it is much better to be a heavy because you work more. When a part was given to me, I went at it hard. If I had my life to live over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I've had a ball.
I couldn't get arrested in New York. Then I got an idea: why not come up with a name that people will remember and possibly even want to exploit? The next time I went to a tryout, I told the fella taking names that I was Steve Brodie. "Are you any relation to the guy who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge?". "Yes", I answered. "He was my uncle. We're both considered the black sheep of the family". And the following morning I received a phone call telling me I had the job.

Salary (1)

Ladies Courageous (1944) $75 /week

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