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Tribute To Stephen Boyd


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Just watched the 1966 Sci-fi classic, Fantastic Voyage. Which aired yesterday and would love to see a TCM tribute dedicated in honor of the sadly, underappreciated actor Stephen Boyd. Mr. Boyd starred in this classic sci-fi classic. Along with Raquel Welch and Edmund O'Brien.  His ruggedly handsome good  looks enabled him to star in a number of versatile roles. Including in his most memorable film, 1959' Ben Hur. As the villainous Masala. Despite his phenomenal role in this memorable film, Mr. Boyd did not receive an Academy Award. Nor was he even nominated. . Though he died very young, many of his most memorable films show cased his exceptional acting skills. It's a shame because he could have taken advantage of playing James Bond. To showcase his deep masculine voice, chiseled good looks and cleft chin  I really wish that TCM would air some of his films. While introducing them to both new & old film fans. Including The Man Who Never Was (1956). Island in The Sun (1957), The Night Heaven Fell (1958). The Bravados (1958) Woman Obsessed (1959) The Best of Everything (1959) Ben Hur (1959)  The Big Gamble (1961) Lisa (1962). Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962) The Fall of The Roman Empire (1964) Genghis Khan (1965) The Oscar (1966) The Bible (1966).

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I always thought he should have won the Best Supporting Actor Award for BEN-HUR instead of Hugh Griffith.

Not that Griffith wasn't fantastic as well, but Boyd was just perfect as the back-stabbing, devious Messala. 

I mean with 'friends' like Messala, Ben-Hur didn't need any more enemies. 

Anyway, Boyd was indeed a fine actor who made a strong impression in a lot of films.

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11 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

I've only seen three of his films - Ben-Hur, Billy Rose's Jumbo and Fantastic Voyage - but I thought he was quite good in all three. I ceratinly wouldn't mind seeing more.

you gotta see him in the oscar.

 

 

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I've read up on STEPHEN BOYD in the past.  I've since forgotten most of what I read . . . but I do recall when you look at his output of films in the 1970s they are truly a mad mix of genres and low-budget items.  In fact, most of his movies from the mid-70s until his death June 2, 1977 are so obscure they're not easily found to watch. 

THE SQUEEZE (1976-UK) is available, which is a sleazy and gruff crime drama, but  Impossible Love, Women In Hospital, Lady Dracula, Potato Fritz (aka:  "Montana Trap") + a couple of Italian Euro-crime police movies  are not easy to find and watch.  → And even if you did find them, they're not in English and so Boyd is dubbed. 

If you Google pictures of Stephen Boyd by 1975 he was very thin.  I don't know if he quit smoking before his premature death at 45, but if you watch "The Squeeze" you can see he was awfully thin.  His performance in that film was as a 'bad guy'', btw.  This was not nice or honourable Stephen!  →  He's a British gangster and he sneers at Stacy Keach "You reek of [effing] p-i-s-s!" during one scene.  

The one thing I simply cannot figure is why Hollywood didn't call for his services by the early 1970s.  I've never read, from any source, that he was an obnoxious cuss who alienated everyone and, thus, Hollywood refused to cast him.  I guess it was just one of those peculiar things that happens in the motion picture biz?    Anyway, you can see his filmography on Wikipedia or the IMDb and note a large number of obscure films he starred in from 1969 until his passing, including a couple of made-for-television movies.  

I've got some Stephen Boyd movies in my video stash; I'd like to see his 1973 movie CONTROL FACTOR (aka:  "Big Game, The").  Looks kind of interesting.  (Also starred France Nuyen, Ray Milland, Cameron Mitchell, John van Dreelen). 

I've seen THE THIRD SECRET (1964-UK) along with the circus movie with Doris Day ["Billy Rose's JUMBO"] thanks to its showings on TCM. 

At one point his birthdate was considered to be July 4, 1927 or July 4, 1928.  I remember reading old obituaries that had his age at '49', but now appears he was actually born July 4, 1931.  He died on a golf course.  His wife, Elizabeth Mills Boyd (1912-2007), was with him when he was stricken with a heart attack.  She passed on in 2007 at age 94.  She had been the caretaker of one of his homes in California while he was filming all over the world and he eventually married her.  

If you Google this in the 'search bar' you should get a picture of Boyd and wife Elizabeth:

     "Stephen Boyd and his wife, Elizabeth, at benefit party for UNICEF in Tokyo". 

ALSO:  There is an extant 'Stephen Boyd Blog' you can find easily enough on your 'Search Bar'.  It's got a fair amount of information contained therein for fans. 

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Yes. He reached a low point in his career during the 1970's. By accepting low budget films. Including that dreadful  1977 classic film,  Lady Dracula. Sadly, his alcohol consumption and chain smoking eventually caught up with him. As his ruggedly handsome  looks which he bore profoundly throughout his youth, literally diminished. After dying prematurely at the age of 45.

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Millions of people who are both heavy smokers and hard drinkers nevertheless live far past the age of 45.  Who knows why Stephen Boyd wasn't fortunate enough to live longer? 

He was nowhere near being one of the hardest drinkers or heaviest smokers in the place known as 'Hollywoodland' . . . yet it seems to have affected his health more than others who indulged in habits far worse than his. 

 

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Can't find anything as to what caused his heart attack.  Could be heart health issues were genetic.  And to augment MR. GORMAN'S statements;

I knew of people that NEVER drank and/or smoked and too, were never obese who died of  heart failure or other heart related issues but were "genetically predisposed" to poor heart health.

Anyway....  calling for a "tribute" for an actor that died 44 years ago might be putting it wrong.  I'd put it that Stephen Boyd was long overdue for a SOTM or  SUTS  designation.  ;) 

Sepiatone

 

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9 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

Let's just hope the programmers don't get his films mixed up with those of JEREMY SLATE.  ;) 

I always though him and Boyd had a close resemblance.

Sepiatone

There is a slight resemblance, but I think there's enough of a difference to tell who is who.

 

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Agree that Boyd (his actual name was Billy Miller, so naturally when he got to Hollywood that had to change !) was a fine actor deserving of a tribute on TCM.  Here he is on What's My Line (1960), with none other than Otto Preminger on the panel !!   Also included below is a trailer for a documentary about him - unfortunately, I can't find the documentary on You Tube now (it may have been taken down) but I did see it in its entirety and it's well worth watching !

 

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all I know is that poor underrated imo Stephen Boyd died long before his time...

he never got to do a sequel to the oscar where Frankie experiences a reformation and tries to make amends to kay, kappy and hymie.

they refuse his new found humanity and they come out looking like the villains at the end.

"ahhh, you're all too stupid to appreciate my new humanity.

 I'll let all of you do the hating, I'm me!"

THE OSCAR 1966 | Worst movies, Stephen boyd, Actors & actresses

The Oscar: Dvd, 1966, Stephen Boyd, Elke Sommer, Tony Bennett, Jill St.  John, All-Star Cast | pressplayhouseDVDs

 

The Oscar (1966) - IMDb

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