Jeffrey Hunter Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (3)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (32)  | Personal Quotes (1)  | Salary (1)

Overview (5)

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA  (stroke)
Birth NameHenry Herman McKinnies Jr.
Nickname Hank
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jeffrey Hunter was born Henry Herman McKinnies Jr. on November 25, 1926 in New Orleans, Louisiana, an only child. His parents met at the University of Arkansas, and when he was almost four his family moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In his teens, he acted in productions of the North Shore Children's Theater and, from 1942 to 1944, performed in summer stock with the local Port Players, along with Eileen Heckart, Charlotte Rae and Morton DaCosta. Hunter was also a radio actor at WTMJ, getting his first professional paycheck in 1945 for the wartime series "Those Who Serve." After graduation from Whitefish Bay High School, where he was co-captain of the football team, he enlisted in the United States Navy and underwent training at Great Lakes Naval Station, Illinois, in 1945-1946, but on the eve of his shipping out for active duty in Japan he took ill and received a medical discharge from the service.

Hunter attended and graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in 1949, where he acquired more stage experience in Sheridan's "The Rivals" and Ruth Gordon's "Years Ago". He also did summer stock with Northwestern students at Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania in 1948, worked on two Northwestern Radio Playshop broadcasts, was president of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and was active in the campus film society with David Bradley, later acting in director David Bradley's production of Julius Caesar (1950) in 1949. He then attended graduate school at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he studied radio and drama. He was in the cast of a UCLA production of Arthur Miller's "All My Sons" in May, 1950; on opening night, the good-looking Hunter drew the attention of talent scouts from Paramount and 20th Century-Fox Studios.

Hunter made a screen test with Ed Begley in a scene from "All My Sons" at Paramount (where he met Barbara Rush, his future wife), but after an executive shake-up at that studio derailed his hiring, he was signed by 20th Century Fox (where he remained under contract until 1959) and within a month was sent on location in New York for Fourteen Hours (1951). Hunter was kept fairly busy in pictures, working his way from featured roles to starring roles to first-billing within two years in Sailor of the King (1953). His big break came with John Ford's classic, The Searchers (1956), where he played the young cowboy who accompanies John Wayne on his epic search for a child kidnapped by Comanches. Hunter got excellent reviews for his performance in this film and justifiably so, as he held his own well with the veteran Wayne.

Starring roles in two more John Ford movies followed, and in 1960, Hunter had one of his best roles in Hell to Eternity (1960), the true story of World War II hero Guy Gabaldon. That same year, Hunter landed the role for which he is probably best known (although it's far from his best work), when he played Jesus in producer Samuel Bronston's King of Kings (1961), which due to Hunter's still youthful looks at 33, was dubbed by irreverent Hollywood wags "I Was a Teenage Jesus." After the cancellation of his Western series Temple Houston (1963), and his decision not to continue in the lead role of the current series Star Trek (1966), his career took a downturn, and Hunter eventually wound up in Europe working on cheap Westerns, at the time a sure sign of a career in trouble. In 1969, Hunter suffered a stroke (after just recovering from an earlier stroke), took a bad fall and underwent emergency surgery, but died from complications of both the fall and the surgery.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Family (3)

Spouse Emily McLaughlin (4 February 1969 - 27 May 1969)  (his death)
Joan Bartlett (7 July 1957 - 28 February 1967)  (divorced)  (2 children)
Barbara Rush (1 December 1950 - 29 March 1955)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Christopher Hunter
Todd Hunter
Scott Hunter
Parents Burgess, Edith Lois
McKinnies, Henry Herman

Trade Mark (2)

Absolute good looks.
Piercing blue eyes

Trivia (32)

He desperately lobbied to be cast as Mike Brady for the situation comedy The Brady Bunch (1969). Producer Sherwood Schwartz would not consider him, as he thought Hunter was "too good-looking to be an architect". Hunter died just months before the series premiered in 1969.
Had two sons with Joan Bartlett: Todd Hunter and Scott Hunter. Hunter adopted her son, Steele Hunter, from a previous marriage.
Cast as Christopher Pike, captain of the USS Enterprise, in the original Star Trek (1966) pilot in 1964. However, when an undecided NBC requested a second pilot in early 1965, Hunter declined, having decided to concentrate on his movie career, instead. After hearing the news, producer Gene Roddenberry wrote to Hunter, "I am told you have decided not to go ahead with 'Star Trek'. This has to be your own decision, of course, and I must respect it", and then asked Hunter if he would come back for "one day or two of shooting an additional action opening which can result in a fast, tightly cut, exciting film release". Hunter, who had a six-month exclusive contract for the series lead, also declined that request. Footage from the first pilot was later incorporated into a two-part episode titled "The Menagerie" in Star Trek's first season (Roddenberry later tried to give the impression that it was he who decided not to rehire Hunter for the second pilot. However, as executive producer Herbert F. Solow pointed out, major casting decisions for the series were made by Desilu and NBC executives, not the producer). This wasn't until 1988 that it was screened intact as a filler episode entitled "The Cage" on Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987) due to a writer's strike.
Had starred in the unsold, unshown NBC series pilot "Journey Into Fear" (1966). Based on the same Eric Ambler novel as the 1942 movie with Orson Welles.
While playing Jesus Christ in King of Kings (1961), his armpits were shaved for the crucifixion scenes.
While in Spain to film the Chicago Mafia story Mafia Mob (1969), he was injured in an on-set explosion, suffering facial lacerations from broken glass and powder burns. Later an old friend, a former British commando, accidentally hit him on the chin with a karate chop when Hunter, who knew judo, failed to defend himself in time, banging the back of his head against a door. Then, while on the plane with his wife returning to the United States, Hunter's right arm suddenly became semi-paralyzed and he lost the power of speech, two signs of a stroke. He was taken directly off the plane upon landing, to a hospital in Los Angeles. He recovered and was released after a couple of weeks. Shortly after signing to co-star with Vince Edwards in The Desperados (1969), Hunter suffered another cerebral hemorrhage while on a short flight of steps in his living room, and collapsed, injuring his head in the fall. This was not known how long he had been unconscious when he was finally found. He died, without regaining consciousness, the following day after surgery to repair the skull fracture, at age 42.
Had one son with Barbara Rush: Christopher Hunter (born August 29, 1952).
On June 1, 1950, 20th Century-Fox head Darryl F. Zanuck signed him to a contract and changed his name to Jeffrey Hunter.
Attended and graduated from Northwestern University in Evanton, Illinois on August 26, 1949. He majored in speech and radio and minored in psychology and English.
Was working toward his Master's degree in radio at UCLA when he was discovered.
According to studio publicity, Hunter claimed to be a descendant of Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States, although he was not a direct descendant; may in fact have been what's known as a collateral descendant, through his father's maternal grandmother, from the Taylors of Virginia.
Following in the footsteps of fellow heartthrob turned hit crooner Tab Hunter, he recorded a never-released album of love songs for Parade Records in 1957, some of which he wrote, including "Dusty", dedicated to his new wife.
Served in the United States Navy, under the service number 960-39-80, from May 28, 1945 to May 25, 1946. Received a medical discharge as a Seaman First Class and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal.
Under contract to Warner Bros. Pictures, 1963-1965.
Proposed marriage to Mai Tai Sing (1966), Sally Ann Howes (1967), ex-wife Joan Bartlett (1968), and Emily McLaughlin (1969).
Attended and graduated from Whitefish Bay High School in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, where he was co-captain of the football team.
In a radio interview in Palm Springs, California on November 7, 2005, Laurel Goodwin, his co-star in the original Star Trek (1966) pilot, revealed that his wife at the time, Joan Bartlett, demanded that he get more money to continue performing in the lead role when the pilot was picked up as a regular series. After long negotiations the producers, feeling great pressure, decided to simply recast Hunter for a new actor and character, Captain James T. Kirk, played by William Shatner. The crew was also recast to bring different ethnic backgrounds to the cast to show how they co-existed peacefully in the future.
While at Northwestern University, he studied under Alvina Krauss, who also taught such Hollywood luminaries as Charlton Heston, Tony Randall, Cloris Leachman, Claude Akins, Jerry Orbach, Ann-Margret and Warren Beatty. Many years after he graduated, Ms. Krauss stated that Hank McKinnies--as she knew him at the time--was the most talented student she ever had.
He worked as a model for several Chicago commercial photographers while a student at Northwestern University.
Was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity while at Northwestern University.
He was the first friend actor Roger Moore made in Hollywood. In his autobiography, Moore says he named his son Geoffrey Moore in his honor.
During his marriage to Emily McLaughlin in 1969, he expressed an interest in appearing on her daytime soap opera, General Hospital (1963). The series' producer didn't believe him, but his interest was sincere.
Friends and business partners with William Hayes.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6918 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
Owned Apollo Productions, which produced his Western series Temple Houston (1963).
Following his untimely death, he was interred at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar, California. His funeral was held at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Van Nuys, California on May 31, 1969.
Appeared in six films with Robert Wagner: The Frogmen (1951), White Feather (1955), A Kiss Before Dying (1956), The True Story of Jesse James (1957), In Love and War (1958) and The Longest Day (1962).
Appears in No Down Payment (1957) with ex-wife Barbara Rush, both portraying married characters, but not to each other.
In 1960, MGM toyed with the idea of doing an all-male remake of The Women (1939) which would've been entitled "Gentlemen's Club." Like the original female version, it would have concerned a man (Jeffrey Hunter) who discovers that his wife is having an affair with another man, (Earl Holliman). After going to Reno to file for divorce so he can begin a new life, he decides to derail the relationship between his by-now ex-wife and her lover upon discovering that the man is courting her only for the alimony being paid her. Little by little, he finds himself falling in love again with his ex. Although the film was never made, the following ensemble was considered by MGM: Jeffrey Hunter (Martin Heal), Earl Holliman (Christopher Allen), Tab Hunter (Simon Fowler), Lew Ayres (Count Vancott), Robert Wagner (Mitchell Aarons), James Garner (Peter Day), Jerry Mathers (Little Martin), James Stewart (Mr. Heal), Ronald Reagan (Larry), Troy Donahue (Norman Blake), and Stuart Whitman (Oliver, the bartender who spills the beans about the illicit affair).
He was a Republican.
Star Trek: Turnabout Intruder (1969)(#3.24) was the only episode to air after his death.
Space Mountain at Disneyland opened on the 8 year anniversary of his death.

Personal Quotes (1)

I was told I had arrived when, during the shooting of The Searchers (1956), they gave me almost as much ammunition as they gave John Wayne.

Salary (1)

Temple Houston (1963) $5,000 /episode

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