Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

NAME AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS THAT YOU REGARD AS A TRAGIC FIGURE


Recommended Posts

Nip, I believe this still from the film A Ticklish Affair which you posted earlier has actress Carolyn Jones standing off to the right in it...

shirley-jones-gig-young-carolyn-jones-a-

And, one could say her passing from colon cancer at the mere age of 53 was a bit of a tragedy.

(...wouldn't ya say?)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Curly Howard died at age 48 of a stroke/brain hemorrhage in 1952.  He is believed to have suffered the first of several strokes in late 1944/early 1945, while he was still a member of The Three Stooges.  In his last films, his deteriorating health is sadly evident onscreen, as his performances became more and more sluggish.  He suffered a debilitating stroke on the set of 1947's Half-Wits Holiday and was forced to retire from the group.  He spent the last years of his life in and out of hospitals and nursing homes.

He didn't live long enough to see the Stooges' resurgence in popularity in the late '50s when the team's films became afterschool staples on American television stations.  The team has gained millions of new fans worldwide in the decades since, with Curly being singled out as the "favorite Stooge" of most fans.  He has achieved cult-like status in our culture, not on the same level as James Dean or Marilyn Monroe, but almost.

And he never got to see any of it.  He never knew how loved he is by an adoring public.  And that to me is tragic.  

Curly Howard.jpg

  • Like 10
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

Gig Young shot and killed his live-in girlfriend then himself.

Albert Salmi shot and killed his wife then himself.

these 2 are not tragic figures because they committed murder.

Tragic in the sense that they once led good lives then went downhill and, quite obviously, lost their minds and wasted not only their own lives but others. 

(Albert Salmi, though, never seemed quite right to me.)

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Wayne said:

Curly Howard died at age 48 of a stroke/brain hemorrhage in 1952.  He is believed to have suffered the first of several strokes in late 1944/early 1945, while he was still a member of The Three Stooges.  In his last films, his deteriorating health is sadly evident onscreen, as his performances became more and more sluggish.  He suffered a debilitating stroke on the set of 1947's Half-Wits Holiday and was forced to retire from the group.  He spent the last years of his life in and out of hospitals and nursing homes.

He didn't live long enough to see the Stooges' resurgence in popularity in the late '50s when the team's films became afterschool staples on American television stations.  The team has gained millions of new fans worldwide in the decades since, with Curly being singled out as the "favorite Stooge" of most fans.  He has achieved cult-like status in our culture, not on the same level as James Dean or Marilyn Monroe, but almost.

And he never got to see any of it.  He never knew how loved he is by an adoring public.  And that to me is tragic.  

Curly Howard.jpg

Tragic, too, in that he seemed to have been very much a romantic who loved women, but who was used and taken advantage of by an endless string of them. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Vidor said:

 

Well, there was the giant picture of Dean on this page...

Yep, I missed it. I guess I should read the whole yarn all the way through before I post.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, uncle charlie said:

I would add the following:

Gig Young

Brandon DeWilde

Joe Spinnel

Albert Salmi

I can’t watch these actors without thinking of their sad demises.

I get that.  And add to that list:

CARL SWITZER

LEO GORCEY

GEORGE REEVES

Sepiatone

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned Jean Harlow, one of Hollywood's earliest tragedies.  Harlow died at 26 of kidney failure, thought to have been brought on by a childhood bout with scarlet fever. During Jean's last film, Saratoga, she started to feel ill and went downhill quickly.  While I don't believe she was considered a full-fledged alcoholic, Jean's heavy drinking is thought to have disguised earlier kidney symptoms.  When a doctor was finally brought in, she was incorrectly diagnosed with a gallbladder infection and given medication that actually may have hastened her eventual death. By the time she was correctly diagnosed by a second doctor, it was too late. 

Such a tragedy.  During her peak, Harlow had proven herself as one of cinema's best comediennes and had developed into an excellent actress.  I would have loved to have seen Jean mature into the 1940s.  Perhaps she would have proven herself adept at film noir, or a melodrama. But she never got the chance. 

Beautiful Jean Harlow in a revealing bathing suit 😍 | Jean harlow, Vintage  swimwear, Movie stars

  • Like 11
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

By the time she was correctly diagnosed by a second doctor, it was too late. 

 

It was already too late--or to be more accurate, it wouldn't have made any difference.  There are only two treatments for kidney failure, dialysis and a transplant, and neither had been invented in 1937.  When your kidneys failed, it was lights out.

 

Oh, and I am guilty of morbidly watching "Saratoga" and thinking "how sick does she look?".

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not quite certain if Frances Gifford qualifies as being tragic but, if not, the circumstances in her life were such that she was the next thing to it.

She was a beautiful actress who played jungle girls on a couple of film occasions, able to mix sexual attractiveness with a wholesome appeal, first in the 15 chapter serial Jungle Girl, followed by a role not dissimilar to that opposite Johnny Weissmuller in Tarzan Triumphs. She was then hired by MGM, playing a school teacher in Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, with the possibility of better opportunities for her seeming to be on the horizon.

In 1947, however, she was in an automobile accident which almost killed her, sustaining a severe head fracture. Her career was sidelined because of the incident, and, as the years rolled by, there was a decline in her health, both physically and mentally. Losing her contract to MGM, Gifford had a loss of confidence in her talent after attempting comebacks in some minor films. By 1958 she was placed in a mental institution and would continue to be in and out of various ones for the next 25 years of her life.

In 1983 a film journalist tracked her down, now apparently recovered, doing volunteer work in a Pasadena library. This once beautiful actress spent her final years in obscurity, dying of emphysema in 1994.

Perhaps Frances Gifford's story strikes me harder than it does many others. As a young boy I frequently saw her on television in the Tarzan film, and developed a heavy crush on her. I also wondered why I didn't see this wonderful looking woman, who exuded a genuine warmth of personality in her Tarzan role, in other films.

359280_full.jpg

5010371874c74e6fba74c83fd88f1145.jpg

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

One-Eyed Jacks 1961 (8) (cropped).jpg

Pina Pellicer was, and still is, one of the most beloved Mexican actresses of all time. She set a standard for realism in a time when "melodrama" and "artificial" acting still ran rampant. She was best known for her groundbreaking performance in One-Eyed Jacks (1961) with Marlon Brando. She is greatly missed. Fans still wonder why she left us so soon. Perhaps next of kin will continue her magnificent tradition.   - IMDb Mini Biography By: Brian Michael Tracy <bmtbond007@hotmail.com>

Pina Pellicer was a Mexican actress best known in Mexico for portraying the female lead in Macario (1960), and in the United States for One-Eyed Jacks (1961).  Her birth name was Josefina Yolanda Pellicer López de Llergo.  Pellicer committed suicide on December 4, 1964, aged 30. The presumed cause was depression.

 

 

 

 

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Belinda Lee PictureEnglish Classic Blonde Bombshell: Glamorous Photos of ...Belinda Lee | Hollywood actor, Hollywood, Frankie howerd

BELINDA LEE

Green-eyed blonde bombshell Belinda Lee was born in Devon, England, to a hotel owner (Robert Esmond Lee) and florist (Stella Mary Graham) on June 15, 1935. Nicknamed Billie, she was an incredible beauty while still in her early teens attending the Rookesbury Park Prep School at Hampshire and St. Margaret's boarding school at Devon. Expressing an avid interest in acting, she focused on dramatics at the Tudor Arts Academy at Surrey (1947), then gained entry via a scholarship to London's RADA, in which she made her stage debut in "Point of Departure".

The sharp-faced Belinda was noticed by Rank Studio director Val Guest while performing at the Nottingham Playhouse. Artificially groomed in starlet parts, the first being The Runaway Bus (1954), Guest went on and helped her obtain a movie contract with Rank while introducing her to one of Rank's prime still photographers, Cornel Lucas. That same year she married the much older Lucas, who helped promote her as a sex goddess with thousands of glamorous photographs.

Initially promoted as a docile young beauty, her parts gradually grew sexier. Belinda worked intently in films but found frustration typed as a buxom peroxide blonde. Boxed in as a second-string Diana Dors, she played a sensuous foil to Benny Hill in Who Done It? (1956) and was served up as sexy window dressing opposite both John Gregson in Miracle in Soho (1957) and Louis Jourdan in Dangerous Exile (1957).

Estranged now from Lucas, Belinda headed off to Italy for a change of pace and atmosphere but only found more of the temptress roles she sought to avoid -- Aphrodite, Messalina and Lucrezia Borgia -- in low-budget spectacles. She also became preoccupied with married men, one being Prince Filippo Orsini, whose position with the Vatican led to a major scandal. This particular turbulent romance and a dissipating relationship with the Rank Studio (her last picture for the studio was Elephant Gun (1958) with Michael Craig) triggered a near-fatal suicide attempt with pills in January of 1958. She later divorced Lucas and continued her torrid affair with Prince Orsini, and then others.

It all ended much too soon for the 25-year-old when she decided to join her current love, the much older Italian playboy/journalist/film producer Gualtiero Jacopetti, on a trip to Las Vegas, where he was working on a documentary (Women of the World (1963) ["Women of the World"]. While she, Jacopetti and co-producer Paolo Cavara were auto passengers on their way to Los Angeles from Vegas, their driver lost control of their speeding car and flipped. The 25-year-old actress was thrown from the car and died of a fractured skull and broken neck. The other three escaped with fairly minor injuries. Cremated in the States, her ashes were eventually returned to Rome and placed in the Campo Cestio Cemetery.

 

 

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Brigid Mary Bazlen - (June 9, 1944 – May 25, 1989) was an American film, television and stage actress. Although she made only three Hollywood films, The Honeymoon MachineKing of Kings, and How the West Was Won, she is still remembered for the latter two. Bazlen retired from acting while she was in her late 20s (1972), and she died from cancer at the age of 44.[1]

Brigid Bazlen - Turner Classic MoviesBrigid Bazlen Net Worth, Age, Height, WeightKingofkings3.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff Hunter - see details below

Jeffrey Hunter Sgt Rutledge.jpgMike's Movie Projector: Top 5: Five beautiful screen actorsJeffrey "Jeff" Hunter (November 25, 1926 - May 27, 1969 ...Jeffrey Hunter Biography, Jeffrey Hunter's Famous Quotes ...

 

While in Spain in November 1968 to film Cry Chicago (¡Viva América!), a story about the Chicago Mafia, Hunter was injured in an on-set explosion when a car window near him, which had been rigged to explode outward, accidentally exploded inward.[23] Hunter sustained a serious concussion. According to Hunter's wife Emily, he "went into shock" on the plane ride back to the United States after filming and "couldn't speak. He could hardly move." After landing, Hunter was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles but doctors could not find any serious injuries save for a displaced vertebra and a concussion.[29]

On the afternoon of May 26, 1969, Hunter suffered an intracranial hemorrhage while walking down a three-stair set of steps at his home in Van Nuys, California.[23][29] He fell, knocked over a planter, and struck his head on the banister, fracturing his skull.[30] He was found unconscious by Frank Bellow, actor and friend of Hunter, who came for a visit,[31] and taken to Valley Presbyterian Hospital where he underwent brain surgery. He died at about 9:30 the following morning at the age of 42.[32]

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say Susan Peters (1921-1952) had a tragic life.

A promising young actress who garnered an Academy Award nomination for her role in RANDOM HARVEST and further acclaim for SONG OF RUSSIA, she was on a hunting trip with her husband on New Year's Day in 1945 when she reached for a rifle and it dislodged into her abdomen, leaving her permanently paralyzed from the waist down. After a long recovery, she made a return to films with THE SIGN OF THE RAM. She did some stage, radio and TV work, but began suffering from depression. Her physical health started suffering as well, and in August of 1952 she began starving herself. She died on October 23rd of kidney failure, pneumonia, malnutrition and dehydration. 

Susan Peters (MGM, 1943). Portrait Photo (10" X 13"). Drama.. ... | Lot  #54495 | Heritage Auctions

 

 

  • Like 6
Link to post
Share on other sites

Two more:

Olive Thomas (1894-1920), star of The Flapper, who was vacationing with husband Jack Pickford (brother of Mary) in France when,  from IMDb:

Olive accidentally ingested bi-chloride of mercury from a French-labeled bottle in a darkened bathroom, believing it to be another medication. Found unconscious, she died five days later. The death made worldwide headlines. Olive was only 25 when she died.

Robert Williams (1894-1931), on the cusp of stardom when he starred in Platinum Blonde with Jean Harlow. Again, from IMDb:

Bobby was rehearsing with Constance Bennett for his next RKO picture, Lady with a Past (1932), when he complained of stomach pains. After a day or two the pain worsened, and despite his protests Williams was rushed to a hospital for an appendicitis operation. Before the operation was completed his appendix burst. Days later, on November 3, 1931, Williams died of peritonitis. He was 34 years old. Platinum Blonde (1931) had been released just four days earlier, and the first reviews proclaimed that Hollywood had a new star. Instead, Robert Williams became one of Hollywood's great might-have-beens.

  • Like 5
Link to post
Share on other sites

Danish American character actor comedian Karl Dane is a classic illustration of an actor who was a victim of the transition to the talkies.

Dane's silent film career blossomed after his appearance as Slim, John Gilbert's buddy in The Big Parade, which would be the second biggest box office hit of the silent era. The tall, big boned actor was soon co-starring with some of the biggest actors of the time, including Valentino (Son of the Sheik), Gish (La Boheme) and Gilbert again (Bardelys the Magnificent). Soon he was teamed by MGM with English comedian George K. Arthur as half of a comedy team, Dane and Arthur, which lead to a long term contract with the studio.

Then the talkies struck and Dane's thick Danish accent made it exceedingly difficult to find film roles. In The Big House, in which he appeared, he had no dialogue. Later that same year MGM terminated his contract, with Dane soon on vaudeville with a solo comedy act that was bombed by the critics.

The actor's final film appearance was in 1932. Having given up on his film career, Dane took a crack at mining, as well as being a mechanic and a carpenter but couldn't stay employed for an extended period of time, all of which deeply depressed him. Then came the legend, denied by some, of his opening a hot dog stand outside the gates of MGM. His former partner, George K. Arthur, however, wrote, "Another man might have kidded and clowned and made a feature of being "mine host" in a restaurant, but when Karl opened his hot dog stand in Westwood his own feeling of despair must have been served across the counter with the hamburgers. People could not bear to watch it. So they didn't come to buy his hamburgers."

An attempt at seeking extra work at MGM and Paramount was apparently turned down because his look and big rangy body type were too distracting.

In April 1934 Dane was pickpocked of all the money he had - $18. The next day, a friend, Frances Leake, became worried when he failed to show up to see a movie with her. She went to his apartment and, after getting the landlady to open his door, found Dane dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A suicide note, "To Frances and all my friends-goodbye" was located next to a scrapbook of his film career, including photos and reviews.

No friends or relatives would claim the actor's body and police held it, hoping for relatives in Denmark to claim it. Finally character actor Jean Hersholt stepped forward and insisted that MGM pay for his funeral and burial. The studio agreed with about 50 people attending. Hersholt was a pallbearer, with the actor interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetary. The estate of Karl Dane, co-star of the second biggest film hit of the silent era less than a decade before, was valued at $197.

Karl_Dane_1927.jpg

56784941fcf40d0a2de8e469df39444c.jpg

5468_1004169517.jpg5468_108541503126.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Sad 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's disconcerting to see Dane sitting around in "The Big House" but not being allowed to talk.

 

He made some short films at the end that are available on the internet.  The accent is definitely thick.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 "You can't be twenty on Sugar Mountain                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Though you're thinking that you're leaving there too soon..." - Neil Young

                                                                                                                                          th?id=OIP.rFt_PtXuu0dW5ErDO8GMowAAAA&pid=Api&P=0&w=232&h=173

Link to post
Share on other sites

1930's movie star Frances Farmer who wound up in a barbaric insane asylum, as portrayed by Jessica Lange in the 1982 film, "Frances."

1930's singer/movie star Lillian Roth whose career took a nose dive due to alcoholism, as portrayed by Susan Hayward in the 1955 film, "I'll Cry Tomorrow."  She redeemed her career in 1962 with star billing in the Broadway musical "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" with Barbara Streisand, and was also featured as Mrs. Brice in the national touring company of "Funny Girl" in 1964, again getting top billing.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

1930's movie star Frances Farmer who wound up in a barbaric insane asylum, as portrayed by Jessica Lange in the 1982 film, "Frances."

 

Frances Farmer had a rough life but that movie is almost wholly fictionalized.  IIRC she never had a lobotomy.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Stephan W. Burns - see details below 

 
 
http://rhsclassof1985.com/test/240r/240Rcast/StephanBurns2.jpgStephen W. Burns - Actor - CineMagia.ro
 
 
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Stephen W. Burns)
 
Jump to navigationJump to search
Stephan W. Burns
Born November 15, 1954
Died February 22, 1990 (aged 35)
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–1987

Stephan William Burns (November 15, 1954 – February 22, 1990; also credited as Stephan W. Burns, Stephen W. Burns, and Stephan Burns) was an American actor best known for playing Pete Stancheck in Herbie Goes Bananas and Jack Cleary in the miniseries The Thorn Birds.

Early life and career[edit]

Burns was born on November 15, 1954 in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and grew up in the small town of Chews Landing, New Jersey. As soon as he graduated high school, Burns moved to New York City to study theater. He worked odd jobs during the day to pay for his rent and the acting classes he attended at night. Auditions eventually led to an offer for the lead role in the national touring production of the Broadway hit Grease.

Burns moved to Hollywood and within six months, he was offered the role of Li'l Abner in the 1978 TV special Li'l Abner in Dogpatch Today. During his short career, Burns starred as Pete Stancheck in Walt Disney Productions' Herbie Goes Bananas and appeared on several television shows, as well as starring in the ABC series 240-Robert and The Thorn Birds miniseries. Other credits include Eight Is Enough, Heart of the City and Simon & Simon.

Death[edit]

After being involved in a serious car accident in 1984, Burns received an emergency blood transfusion. Unfortunately, the blood was contaminated, infecting Burns with HIV.[1] Burns died on February 22, 1990, in Santa Barbara, California.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Montgomery Clift .  After the 1956 car crash that was so serious Clift’s doctors claimed it was “amazing” that he was even alive.  Months of surgeries, rebuilding, and physical therapy followed.  He resumed filming of Raintree County.  Clift joked that it would be a smash just for the audience coming to compare his before and after the accident scenes.  He died at 45 after years of drug and alcohol abuse.  Clift's teacher at the actor studio called Clift's decline “the longest suicide in Hollywood history.”

 

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: The Long Suicide of Montgomery Clift |  Vanity Fair         430 Montgomery Clift ideas | montgomery clift, montgomery, classic hollywood

 

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2021 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...