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David Hedison (1927-2019)


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American actor David Hedison has died at the age of 92. Originally billed under his birth name of Al Hedison, he appeared in several memorable roles on film and television. Among his films were the starring role in The Fly (1958), as James Bond's American counterpart Felix Leiter in both Live and Let Die (1973) and Licence to Kill (1989), as well as The Enemy Below (1957), The Lost World (1960), The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), and The Naked Face (1984). On TV, he co-starred for 4 seasons in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1964-1968), and for 5 years (1991-1996) on the soap opera Another World.

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I can still remember that there was a minor controversy when he was fired from ANOTHER WORLD...They brought in someone who had run another soap (SANTA BARBARA?) into the ground to revamp it, streamline it, and raise the ratings...And it was canceled in 1998.

If I can recall correctly though, he had some really good scenes. For all its various faults, including the fact that it moved slow as molasses in January, ANOTHER WORLD had some damn good acting.

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I saw "The Fly" in the movie theater with my big brother.

David Hedison was handsome and good in that movie.

I think he should have had a bigger film career.

Seems like he ended up doing an awful lot of soaps after his TV series ended.

I was always surprised to hear he was still working somewhere on TV.

Guys like Hedison are the last of a breed.

 

 

 

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54 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Hey! Glad you’re OK, you were MIA last week.

Actually 3 weeks!. I moved (and lived to tell the tale, just barely). Hurt my back so was out an extra week more than I planned. Thanks for missing me!

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55 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

He was also on several episodes of...

(wait for it)

MURDER SHE WROTE

LOL. Well, of course! Thankfully Christmas in July is over on Hallmark Mysteries (though continuing on the Hallmark channel)

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48 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

I just remembered that David Hedison was in another TV series called " Five Fingers ", co-starring with the Beautiful Luciana Paluzzi.

I never watched it; I wonder if anybody else here did?

I dont recall that series. When was it on? Paluzzi was one of my favorite Bond girls (bad girl category)

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21 minutes ago, Hibi said:

I dont recall that series. When was it on? Paluzzi was one of my favorite Bond girls (bad girl category)

I'd never heard of it either. According to my Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, it ran from October 3, 1959, to January 9. 1960. Apparently it was not a hit. Hedison played an American spy posing as a Communist agent. He pretended to be a theatrical agent who placed musical talent all over the continent (not sure which continent). Paluzzi was a fashion model who had no idea who Hedison really was. Paul Burke also appeared in the series as Hedison's contact. Supposedly the series was loosely based on the 1952 film Five Fingers, starring James Mason.

To me, Hedison will always be Captain Lee Crane.

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1 minute ago, scsu1975 said:

I'd never heard of it either. According to my Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, it ran from October 3, 1959, to January 9. 1960. Apparently it was not a hit. Hedison played an American spy posing as a Communist agent. He pretended to be a theatrical agent who placed musical talent all over the continent (not sure which continent). Paluzzi was a fashion model who had no idea who Hedison really was. Paul Burke also appeared in the series as Hedison's contact. Supposedly the series was loosely based on the 1952 film Five Fingers, starring James Mason.

To me, Hedison will always be Captain Lee Crane.

I learned to read by reading the TV Guide-- had a lot of illustrations. LOL

So there are a great many TV shows and their cast that I can remember without ever having seen the show.

The show wasn't on long, so it didn't make a big splash on TV.  But the photos of the sophisticated Luciana Paluzzi impressed me tremendously.

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I was a huge fan of the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea series and Mr. Hedison. I was watching the MeTV episode this weekend and was thinking how he was the last main regular from the show who was left* with Robert Dowdell having passed last year and Terry Becker having died at the very end of 2014, only to just learn that David had passed away a couple of days before the airing. I had also seen him on The Love Boat one week earlier. I had been glad that he did get to work on screen with Vincent Price in a "Voyage" episode since they didn't get to do so when they co-starred in The Fly (1958).

Some of Hedison's other best-remembered big-screen roles included The Enemy Below (1957), Assault Force aka ffolkes (1980) and portraying James Bond's American friend Felix Leiter in both Live and Let Die (1973, opposite Roger Moore in his first outing as 007) and License to Kill (1989, opposite Timothy Dalton). Interestingly, in a 1964 episode of Moore's series The Saint, Hedison guest starred in a storyline with a subplot where Moore's character Simon Templar tells a female character he is actually James Bond and Hedison refers to that claim in a joke in the epilogue, this being nine years before Moore and Hedison's first Bond movie. Moore would actually play the superspy in a comedy sketch on a British variety show in the late sixties, which shows they must have been throwing his name around as a potential Sean Connery replacement at the time, in the way I remember a lot of public speculation about Pierce Brosnan getting the role even during the run of his series Remington Steele a full decade before his first Bond outing.

Hedison also showed his own sense of humor parodying his "VTBS" Captain Crane character on a Milton Berle variety special during the sci-fi show's original run. I'm glad I got to see him in person at an all-star gala event in NYC back in the nineties. My condolences to his family, including daughters Alexandra and Serena, and Alexandra's spouse Jodie Foster. Funny thing, I looked up whether David and Jodie had ever worked together before she had married his daughter, and the only event I could find up to that time was the ABC Silver Anniversary Celebration special I remember seeing as a kid.

*Actually, Allan Hunt (who portrayed surfer dude Riley) and High Chapparal actor Mark Slade (who played an early recurring Seaview crewman named Malone) are still living among "VTBS" series regulars.

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2 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

 

The show wasn't on long, so it didn't make a big splash on TV.  But the photos of the sophisticated Luciana Paluzzi impressed me tremendously.

Photos of Luciana have always impressed me tremendously as well.

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DAMN!

Now that Capt. Crane is gone, I've apparently missed my very last chance to find out how and why that pencil on his charting table never rolled off it while the Seaview was being tossed and turned by the sea monster/alien of the week!!!

(...sorry, just couldn't resist...R.I.P. David Hedison)

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36 minutes ago, Dargo said:

DAMN!

Now that Capt. Crane is gone, I've apparently missed my very last chance to find out how and why that pencil on his charting desk never rolled off it while the Seaview was being tossed and turned by the sea monster/alien of the week!!!

(...sorry, just couldn't resist...R.I.P. David Hedison)

I guess you never noticed that it was a square pencil.   Standard Navy issue for ships and subs.

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48 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

I guess you never noticed that it was a square pencil.   Standard Navy issue for ships and subs.

Okay then, how it didn't SLIDE off the damn charting table then, smart GUY?!!!

;)

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Losing a lot of personal favorites this year in the film and music fields - and David Hedison unfortunately is one of them. I also remember him in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", "The Fly", "Murder She Wrote", many a "Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" appearance.

 

RIP

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9 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

I'd never heard of it either. According to my Complete Directory to Prime Time Network TV Shows, it ran from October 3, 1959, to January 9. 1960. Apparently it was not a hit. Hedison played an American spy posing as a Communist agent. He pretended to be a theatrical agent who placed musical talent all over the continent (not sure which continent). Paluzzi was a fashion model who had no idea who Hedison really was. Paul Burke also appeared in the series as Hedison's contact. Supposedly the series was loosely based on the 1952 film Five Fingers, starring James Mason.

To me, Hedison will always be Captain Lee Crane.

dam right.

 

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Yeah, I too was a fan of "Voyage" and first knew Hedison from that. And I'll sheepishly admit----

For YEARS I thought AL and DAVID were brothers.  TWIN brothers, seeing as they looked so much alike:D  

You know.... Twin brothers.  Just like TOUCH and MIKE CONNERS!  ;)  :D 

But, Rest In Peace, Al, David or whatever.

Sepiatone

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He was the first actor to play CIA agent Felix Leiter twice in the James Bond films. First in "Live And Let Die" and later in "Licence To Kill", he had one of his best roles in the second one where he is fed to a shark and loses an arm.

I met him at a autograph show years later and he signed a "Licence To Kill" photo for me. When I asked him about how they had Leiter mutilated by the shark, he said "I wasn't sure it they would put in the Bond films again, unless they brought me back with iron claws or something!"

Fine actor, good guy, glad I got to meet him. 

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20 hours ago, Dargo said:

DAMN!

Now that Capt. Crane is gone, I've apparently missed my very last chance to find out how and why that pencil on his charting table never rolled off it while the Seaview was being tossed and turned by the sea monster/alien of the week!!!

(...sorry, just couldn't resist...R.I.P. David Hedison)

bob dowdell is still alive.

:D

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8 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Yeah, I too was a fan of "Voyage" and first knew Hedison from that. And I'll sheepishly admit----

For YEARS I thought AL and DAVID were brothers.  TWIN brothers, seeing as they looked so much alike:D  

You know.... Twin brothers.  Just like TOUCH and MIKE CONNERS!  ;)  :D 

But, Rest In Peace, Al, David or whatever.

Sepiatone

Although I never had any doubt about Al being David, and nobody could ever Touch Connors, there was a period I was unsure if Hans Gudegast and Eric Braeden were the same guy, and I wondered the same about Rudy Solari and James Farentino (the former are the same, the latter different). And it wasn't until Maureen Stapleton died, and I wondered why her obits had no mention of her sister Jean, that I learned Maureen and Jean were not related, contradicting an assumption I had had for about forty years.

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