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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 1 April 1929Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Nickname Jackie

Mini Bio (1)

Jonathan Haze is an American actor, producer and scary movie idol. Best known for his work in Roger Corman films, and especially for playing "Seymour" in Corman's black comedy cult classic, The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Haze's career spans more than 20 films in six decades, including screen-writing the science fiction comedy Invasion of the Star Creatures (1962).

Born in Pittsburgh into a show business family, Haze's cousin was legendary jazz drummer and bandleader Buddy Rich. Haze started his career behind-the-scenes working stage production for his cousin Buddy, eventually becoming stage manager for Josephine Baker. A move to Los Angeles lead to Haze to working in film production and consequently becoming an almost exclusive player for low-budget producer/director Roger Corman. The slight-framed, curly-haired, gawky-looking lad made his inauspicious screen debut in Corman's Monster from the Ocean Floor (1954), but managed to continue on a steady scale in minor roles of tough guys and weirdos. He played a pickpocket in Swamp Women (1955), an ex-convict in Five Guns West (1955) and a man contaminated by radioactive fallout in Day the World Ended (1955), which was Corman's first foray into the sci-fi genre. His on-screen versatility noted, Haze received larger roles and subsequent better billing in the cheapjack productions Gunslinger (1956), It Conquered the World (1956), Naked Paradise (1957), Carnival Rock (1957), Not of This Earth (1957), and Bayou (1957) (a.k.a. "Poor White Trash").

Following work as a Viking in the incredulous The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957), Haze landed his first starrer in the Warner Bros. drama Stakeout on Dope Street (1958), directed by Irvin Kershner. Haze plays an average teenager who, along with 2 friends, finds $250k of heroin and decides to go into the drug selling business. The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), however, catapulted Haze into cult stardom. As the slow-witted sad sack Seymour Krelboyne, Haze plays the unassuming Skid Row flower shop assistant who nourishes a seemingly harmless seedling, then falls prey to its grotesque, bloodthirsty plant while having to kill and serve up human beings as plant food. The comedy, which featured Haze's good friend Dick Miller and an unknown Jack Nicholson, grew overwhelmingly in status over the years thanks to midnight TV and spawned a hit Broadway musical and resulting musical film. Haze worked alongside Miller and Nicholson again in Corman's Edgar Allan Poe-like The Terror (1963) which starred Boris Karloff.

Near this time Haze began to veer away from acting opting to work behind-the-scenes again. He wrote the script for the sci-fi comedy Invasion of the Star Creatures (1962) and worked in production for such films as The Premature Burial (1962), Medium Cool (1969) Another Nice Mess (1972), and Corman's The Born Losers (1967).

Experience, connections and opportunity then lead to Haze producing commercials. As a CEO of a commercial production company, he created successful national and international campaigns for the likes of United Airlines, Kool-Aid, Schlitz Beer and more during the 70's, 80's and 90's. In 1999, he made a cameo in Corman's "The Phantom Eye" (1999).

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

Spouse (1)

Roberta Keith (? - 7 July 1981) (divorced)

Trivia (2)

His cousin was famous drummer Buddy Rich.
Profiled in "Names You Never Remember, With Faces You Never Forget" by Justin Humphreys (BearManor Media).

Personal Quotes (1)

"Most of the fight scenes between women somehow don't turn out right on the screen. Women don't have the same muscular coordination as men. On film the gals look like they're either playing volleyball or patty-cake. This leads the audience to laugh, something than every producer fears in an action thriller." - on his role training the female stars of 'Swamp Women' to perform their own fight scenes.

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