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Rory Calhoun ACTOR


Rory Calhoun, born on August 8, 1922 as Timothy McOwn in Los Angeles, California, was raised in Santa Cruz, California. He married twice and had four daughters. His trademark was a black cowboy hat, and he stood 6’3”, a tall and good-looking man. He was featured in more than 80 films and 1,000 television episodes. Calhoun is most remembered for his work in action and western genre movies, but he acted in many types of features.

Calhoun had a tough life growing up. His father died in 1923. In the 1930’s he dropped out of high school, got involved with the wrong group, and took up petty theft. In 1940 he was arrested for stealing a car. After his three year sentence, he decided to take control of his life and became a lumber jack, working in Santa Cruz, California. It was there, in the Hollywood Hills in 1944, that a lucky run-in with actor Alan Ladd’s Hollywood agent wife, Sue Carol, got him a screen test at 20th Century Fox.

This company obviously liked him, because they had him form a contract with them. He changed his screen name to Frank McCown, and debuted in the movie “Something for the Boys” (1944) with actress Carmen Miranda. He was given mostly small parts in movies for the first few years, although he played a supporting role in the Laurel and Hardy film “The Bullfighters” (1945).

In 1974 Henry Wilson, an accredited agent, changed his name to Rory Calhoun. He then started appearing in more films. Calhoun started to form a fan following with his part in “The Red House” (1947), although his first starring role was in “Adventure Island” (1947). In the late 1940’s, Calhoun acted in his first two western movies “Sand” (1949), and “Massacre River” (1949). These movies helped pave his way to appearing in many more films about the west, and was soon offered spots in larger budgeted films like “River of No Return” (1954) with Marilyn Monroe, Tommy Rettig and Robert Mitchum.

Some of his better known films include “With a Song in my Heart” (1952) ,a film in which he played a pilot who saved Susan Hayward’s life, the comedy “How to Marry a Millionaire” (1953), in which he played an honest but poor fire ranger who won over Betty Grable’s heart, and “Ain’t Misbehavin” (1955), a musical about an older man who falls in love with a younger woman. Some of his cowboy roles are the western-comedy “A Ticket to Mohawk” (1950), “Domino Kid” (1957), “The Hired Gun” (1957), and “Apache Territory” (1958).

He undertook two period pieces when he was cast in “The Colossus of Rhodes” (1961), looking uncomfortable in a toga, and played the title role in “Marco Polo” (1962). After, he played a US spy in the World War II drama “A Face in the Rain” (1963), and as a sergeant in another World War II picture, “Operation Cross Eagles” (1967). Calhoun acted in some additional laughers when he was in “The Night of the Leprus” (1972), “Angel” (1984), and the sequel “Avenging Angel” (1985). In 1977, he appeared in the disaster movie on NBC “Flight to Holocaust”. He was in some more western films in the later parts of his acting career when he played roles in “Bad Jim” (1990) and “Pure Country” (1992) starring George Strait and Lesley Ann Warren, his very last role.

Calhoun died at the age of 76 of advanced emphysema and diabetes, following a ten-day hospitalization.  His date of death was April 28, 1999, and he was in Burbank, California when his life ended. He was not forgotten though. Calhoun was referred to several times in an episode of the very well known sitcom “The Simpsons”. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his contributions in the motion picture industry, and another for his involvement in television. He will forever be remembered as a remarkable and well-liked leading man in many films and television shows, especially in the western genre.


    1992    Pure Country   

    1990    Roller Blade Warriors: Taken by Force

    1989    Bad Jim   

    1988    Hell Comes to Frogtown    

    1985    Half-Nelson   

    1985    Avenging Angel  

    1984    Angel   

    1983    Running Hot 

    1982    The Blue and the Gray 

    1980    Smokey and the Judge   

    1980    Motel Hell    

    1979    The Rebels     

    1979    The Main Event   

    1979    Flatbed Annie & Sweetiepie: Lady Truckers

    1978    Love and the Midnight Auto Supply

    1977    The West Is Still Wild   

    1977    Mule Feathers   

    1977    Mission to Glory: A True Story

    1977    Flight to Holocaust

    1976    Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood   

    1972    Night of the Lepus   

    1969    Operation Cross Eagles

    1969    American Cross Eagles    

    1968    Dayton's Devils   

    1967    The Girl of the Nile   

    1967    The Emerald of Artatama    

    1967    Our Men in Baghdad   

    1967    Gilligan's Island: The Hunter

    1966    Operation Delilah   

    1966    Apache Uprising   

    1965    Young Fury   

    1965    Finger on the Trigger

    1965    Black Spurs   

    1964    Bonanza: Thanks for Everything, Friend

    1963    The Young and the Brave    

    1963    The Gun Hawk Actor 

    1963    A Face in the Rain    

    1962    Requiem for a Heavyweight  

    1962    Marco Polo 

    1961    The Treasure of Monte Cristo    

    1961    The Secret of Monte Cristo   

    1961    The Colossus of Rhodes

    1960    Thunder in Carolina Hard Drivin'   

    1958-1959    The Texan   

    1958    The Saga of Hemp Brown    

    1958    Apache Territory   

    1957    Utah Blaine  

    1957    The Hired Gun   

    1957    The Domino Kid    

    1957    The Big Caper  

    1956    Red Sundown   

    1956    Raw Edge   

    1956    Flight to Hong Kong    

    1955    The Treasure of Pancho Villa   

    1955    The Spoilers    

    1955    The Looters   

    1955    Ain't Misbehavin'  

    1954    The Yellow Tomahawk  

    1954    River of No Return    

    1954    Four Guns to the Border    

    1954    Dawn at Socorro    

    1954    A Bullet Is Waiting    

    1953    The Silver Whip   

    1953    Powder River   
    1952    How to Marry a Millionaire   

    1952    With a Song in My Heart   

    1952    Way of a Gaucho

    1951    Rogue River    

    1951    Meet Me After the Show    

    1951    I'd Climb the Highest Mountain   

    1950    Return of the Frontiersman  

    1950    County Fair   

    1950    A Ticket to Tomahawk    

    1949    Sand    

    1949    Massacre River    

    1948    Miraculous Journey   

    1947    The Red House   

    1947    That Hagen Girl    

    1947    Adventure Island   

    1945    The Great John L.    

    1945    The Bullfighters   

    1945    Nob Hill   

    1944    Something for the Boys  

    1941    Sundown 

Matinee Classics - A Ticket to Tomahawk starring Dan Dailey, Anne Baxter, Rory Calhoun, Walter Brennan, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Kemper, Connie Gilchrist, Arthur Hunnicutt, Will Wright, Chief Yowlachie and Victor Sen Yung
Matinee Classics - Adventure Island starring Rory Calhoun, Rhonda Fleming, Paul Kelly, John Abbott, Alan Napier and Douglas Spencer
Matinee Classics - How to Marry a Millionaire starring Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, Lauren Bacall, David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, Cameron Mitchell, Alexander D'Arcy, Fred Clark and William Powell
Matinee Classics - River of No Return starring Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun, Tommy Rettig, Douglas Spencer and Murvyn Vye
Matinee Classics - River of No Return starring Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun, Tommy Rettig, Douglas Spencer and Murvyn Vye
Matinee Classics - River of No Return starring Robert Mitchum, Marilyn Monroe, Rory Calhoun, Tommy Rettig, Douglas Spencer and Murvyn Vye
Matinee Classics - That Hagen Girl starring Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, Rory Calhoun, Lois Maxwell, Dorothy Peterson, Charles Kemper, Conrad Janis and Penny Edwards

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