TURHAN BEY BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
Turhan Bey was born March 30th, 1922 in Vienna Austria with the birth name Turhan Gilbert Selahattin Sahultavy. He was the son of a Turkish diplomat and a Czechoslovakian mother. As the National Socialist Party gained power, Bey and his family fled first to Switzerland, then Paris and eventually to the US in 1940. He studied acting at Ben Bard's School of Dramatic arts and at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Bey landed his first role in the Errol Flynn vehicle "Footsteps in the Dark" (1941) also starring Brenda Marshall, Alan Hale Sr., Ralph Bellamy, William Frawley, Roscoe Karns, Allen Jenkins, Lee Patrick and Jack La Rue, and then was snapped up by Universal who put him under contract. Roles in serials like "Junior G-Men of the Air" starring the Dead End Kids, Little Tough Guys, Lionel Atwill, Billy Halop, Frank Albertson, Huntz Hall, Frankie Darro, Gabriel Dell, Leo Gorcey, Eddie Waller and Gene Reynolds and horror films like "The Mummy's Tomb" co-starring Lon Chaney Jr., George Zucco, Dick Foran, Wallace Ford and Elyse Knox (both 1942) soon followed.
Due to World War II, available actors were depleted and therefore, he began finding work in Hollywood in 1941, however, when that genre dried up in the late '40s, so did Bey's career. He was loaned out briefly to MGM but then was called up for an extended term of military service. After 1950 he appeared in only one film, "Prisoners of the Casbah" (1953) with Gloria Grahame and Cesar Romero, and produced another, "Stolen Identity" (1953) starring Donald Buka, Joan Camden and Francis Lederer.
During his career many of his films were done with Maria Montez. Some films he has credited to his name are, "Raiders of the Desert", "White Savage" with Jon Hall, Thomas Gomez, Sabu Dastagir, Pedro De Cordoba and Sidney Toler, "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" (1944) also starring Jon Hall, Andy Devine, Leif Erickson, Kurt Katch and Frank Puglia, "Bowery to Broadway" starring with Susanna Foster, Jack Oakie, Rosemary DeCamp, Andy Devine, Frank McHugh, Leo Carrillo, Ann Blyth, Mantan Moreland and Donald Cook, "Follow the Boys" starring alongside George Raft, Vera Zorina, Grace McDonald, Charles Grapewin, Regis Toomey, George Macready, Walter Abel, Carmen Amaya, The Andrews Sisters, Evelyn Ankers, Louise Beavers, Noah Beery Jr., Steve Brodie, Nigel Bruce, Lon Chaney Jr., the Delta Rhythm Boys, Andy Devine, Marlene Dietrich, W.C. Fields, Susanna Foster, Thomas Gomez, Louis Jordan, Ted Lewis, Jeanette MacDonald, Clarence Muse, Donald O'Connor, Max 'Slapsie Maxie' Rosenbloom, Artur Rubinstein, Peggy Ryan, Randolph Scott, Dinah Shore, Freddie Slack, Gale Sondergaard, Sophie Tucker, Orson Welles, among many others, "Sudan" starring with Andy Devine, George Zucco, Robert Warwick and Philip Van Zandt and "Arabian Nights" starring Jon Hall, Sabu Dastagir, Leif Erickson, Shemp Howard, Billy Gilbert and John Qualen, one of his best by far.
Later in life he chose to settle in Austria, and turned his attentions to stage directing and his hobby of photography which became his second career. About fifty years after leaving Hollywood, he returned in 1989 for an awards ceremony and began to receive offers for episodic TV work on, "SeaQuest DSV", "Murder, She Wrote" and "Babylon 5".
Bey did become a well-respected photographer in his native Vienna, and he directed plays at the Marionette Theater in Salzburg. Since retiring he has appeared in a number of documentries icluding a German documentry about his life.
2008 Hollywood Chinese
1995 The Skateboard Kid II
1953 Stolen Identity
1949 Parole, Inc.
1948 The Amazing Mr. X
1947 Out of the Blue
1944 Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves
1944 The Climax
1943 Background to Danger
1943 The Mad Ghoul
1942 Arabian Nights
1942 The Mummy's Tomb
1941 Shadows on the Stairs