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Power, Tyrone

POWER, Tyrone

Nationality: American. Born: Tyrone Edmund Power in Cincinnati, Ohio, 5 May 1913; son of the actor Tyrone Power Sr. Education: Attended Sisters of Mercy Academy and St. Xavier Academy, both in Cincinnati; Preparatory School of the University of Dayton, 1928–29; Purcell High School, 1929–31. Family: Married 1) the actress Annabella, 1939 (divorced 1948); 2) the actress Linda Christian, 1949 (divorced 1955), daughters: the actresses: Romina and Taryn; 3) Deborah Ann Minardos, 1958, son: Tyrone Jr. Career: 1931—short season in minor roles with Shakespearean repertory company in Chicago; then worked at Santa Barbara Community Theatre for two years, at the Circuit Theatre in Chicago, and in summer stock in West Falmouth, Massachusetts; 1932—film debut in Tom Brown of Culver; 1936—contract with 20th Century-Fox; 1942–46—served in the U.S. Marine Corps as pilot: discharged as First Lieutenant; 1953—toured with Charles Laughton's group in John Brown's Body; later toured the United Kingdom in the stage play The Devil's Disciple. Died: 15 November 1958.

Films as Actor:


Tom Brown of Culver (Wyler) (as John)


Flirtation Walk (Borzage) (as cadet)


Girl's Dormitory (Cummings) (as Count Vallais); Ladies in Love (Edward Griffith) (as Karl Lanyi); Lloyd's of London(King) (as Jonathan Blake)


Love Is News (Garnett) (as Steve Layton); Café Metropole(Edward Griffith) (as Alexis Penayev/Alexander Brown);Thin Ice (Lanfield) (as Prince Rudolph); Second Honeymoon (Walter Lang) (as Raoul)


In Old Chicago (King) (as Dion O'Leary); Alexander's Rag-time Band (King) (as Alexander/Rofer Grant); Marie Antoinette (Van Dyke) (as Count Axel de Fersen); Suez (Dwan)(as Ferdinand de Lesseps)


Jesse James (King) (title role); Rose of Washington Square(Ratoff) (as Bart Clinton); Second Fiddle (Lanfield) (as Jimmy Sutton); The Rains Came (Brown) (as Major Rama Safti); Daytime Wife (Ratoff) (as Ken Norton)


Johnny Apollo (Hathaway) (as Bob Cain); Brigham Young—Frontiersman (Hathaway) (as Jonathan Kent); The Mark of Zorro (Mamoulian) (as Don Diego Vega/Zorro)


Blood and Sand (Mamoulian) (as Juan Gallardo); A Yank in the R.A.F. (King) (as Tim Baker)


Son of Fury (Cromwell) (as Benjamin Blake); This above All(Litvak) (as Clive Briggs); The Black Swan (King) (as Jamie Waring)


Crash Dive (Mayo) (as Lt. Ward Stewart)


The Razor's Edge (Goulding) (as Larry Darrell)


Nightmare Alley (Goulding) (as Stan Carlisle); Captain from Castile (King) (as Pedro de Vargas)


The Luck of the Irish (Koster) (as Stephen Fitzgerald); That Wonderful Urge (Sinclair) (as Thomas Jefferson Tyler)


Prince of Foxes (King) (as Andrea Orsini)


The Black Rose (Hathaway) (as Walter of Gurnie); American Guerilla in the Philippines (Guerillas) (Fritz Lang) (as Ensign Chuck Palmer)


Rawhide (Hathaway) (as Tom Owens); I'll Never Forget You(Baker) (as Peter Standish)


Diplomatic Encounter (Hathaway) (as Mike Kells); Pony Soldier (Newman) (as Duncan MacDonald)


The Mississippi Gambler (Maté) (as Mark Fallon)


The Long Gray Line (Ford) (as Marty Mahar); Untamed(King) (as Paul Van Riebeck)


The Eddie Duchin Story (Sidney) (title role)


Abandon Ship (Sale) (as Alec Holmes); The Sun Also Rises(King) (as Jake Barnes)


Witness for the Prosecution (Wilder) (as Leonard Vole)


On POWER: books—

Cameron, Ian, Adventure in the Cinema, London, 1973.

Thomas, Tony, Cads and Cavaliers, New York, 1973.

Richards, Jeffrey, Swordsmen of the Screen: From Douglas Fairbanks to Michael York, London, 1977.

Arce, Hector, The Secret Life of Tyrone Power, New York, 1979.

Guiles, Fred, Tyrone Power: The Last Idol, New York, 1979.

Belafonte, Dennis, and Alvin Marill, The Films of Tyrone Power, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1981.

On POWER: articles—

Current Biography 1950, New York, 1950.

Connor, Edward, "The Genealogy of Zorro," in Films in Review (New York), August-September 1957.

Obituary in New York Times, 16 November 1958.

Roman, R., "Tyrone Power," in Films in Review (New York), January 1959, also see letters in March 1959 issue.

Behlmer, Rudy, "Swordplay on the Screen," in Films in Review (New York), June-July 1965.

Aronson, Steven M.L., "Tyrone Power: The Razor's Edge Star at His Brentwood Mansion," in Architectural Digest (Los Angeles), April 1994.

* * *

Descended from a long line of actors, and the namesake of a distinguished stage father, Tyrone Power learned his craft on Broadway. Blessed with sweet-faced good looks and an insouciant manner, he was signed by Twentieth Century-Fox as an answer to MGM's Robert Taylor. Along with his close friend and frequent co-star Don Ameche, he became the mainstay of Darryl Zanuck's star roster.

Most often cast as the romantic lead in period pictures such as Lloyds of London, Marie Antoinette, Suez, and In Old Chicago, Power also proved adept at light comedy, especially in the much underrated farce Love Is News. Frequently directed by Henry King or Henry Hathaway, and usually appearing opposite Loretta Young or Alice Faye, he became one of Hollywood's reigning heartthrobs.

Power enjoyed his best parts during the period from 1939 to 1941. He enlisted in the Marines during World War II and emerged from combat a harder, tougher man, his baby-face countenance gone forever. Even though he succeeded in highly dramatic roles such as The Razor's Edge and Nightmare Alley, Zanuck insisted on bringing back the Tyrone Power audiences loved before the war. He appeared in a number of comedies, including a remake of Love Is News entitled That Wonderful Urge, and a series of lavish costume epics: Captain from Castile, The Black Rose, King of the Khyber Rifles, and Rawhide. Unlike many stars, he continued to get good parts as he grew older. Tyrone Power died an untimely death at the age of 45 while filming King Vidor's Solomon and Sheba in Madrid.

—John A. Gallagher

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