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Alan Ladd

Alan Ladd

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Also Known As: Alan Walbridge Ladd Jr. Died: January 29, 1964
Born: September 3, 1913 Cause of Death: cerebral edema caused by chemical depressants (alcohol and various drugs)
Birth Place: Hot Springs, Arkansas, USA Profession: actor, grip, hot dog vendor, lifeguard, gas station attendant

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A stoic, masculine icon despite his diminutive frame, Alan Ladd became an overnight star by playing Raven, a sensitive hit man, in "This Gun for Hire" (1942). His soft-spoken strength set him apart from his less subtle peers, instantly endearing him to audiences who admired his new brand of onscreen masculinity. During the 1940s, Ladd one of the era's top box office draws for many years. Frequently cast opposite Veronica Lake, he scored with the noir smashes "The Glass Key" (1942) and "The Blue Dahlia" (1946), in the adventure "Two Years before the Mast" (1946), and in the adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" (1949). His most iconic role came as the mysterious former gunslinger "Shane" (1953), considered to be one of the all-time greatest Westerns of all time. Ladd continued his streak of playing tough guys with films like "Hell below Zero" (1954) and "All the Young Men" (1960) opposite Sidney Poitier, and ended his career with a supporting turn in "The Carpetbaggers" (1964). After a lifetime of struggling with personal demons and a tumultuous childhood, the actor attempted suicide in 1962; on Jan. 29, 1964, he was found dead of an accidental drug overdose. His children, most notably film executive Alan...

A stoic, masculine icon despite his diminutive frame, Alan Ladd became an overnight star by playing Raven, a sensitive hit man, in "This Gun for Hire" (1942). His soft-spoken strength set him apart from his less subtle peers, instantly endearing him to audiences who admired his new brand of onscreen masculinity. During the 1940s, Ladd one of the era's top box office draws for many years. Frequently cast opposite Veronica Lake, he scored with the noir smashes "The Glass Key" (1942) and "The Blue Dahlia" (1946), in the adventure "Two Years before the Mast" (1946), and in the adaptation of "The Great Gatsby" (1949). His most iconic role came as the mysterious former gunslinger "Shane" (1953), considered to be one of the all-time greatest Westerns of all time. Ladd continued his streak of playing tough guys with films like "Hell below Zero" (1954) and "All the Young Men" (1960) opposite Sidney Poitier, and ended his career with a supporting turn in "The Carpetbaggers" (1964). After a lifetime of struggling with personal demons and a tumultuous childhood, the actor attempted suicide in 1962; on Jan. 29, 1964, he was found dead of an accidental drug overdose. His children, most notably film executive Alan Ladd, Jr., continued the family business. Although he rarely received the critical acclaim of many of his noir-era peers, Alan Ladd became one of the most popular movie stars of all time - a magnetic, unique performer who left a lasting mark on Hollywood in more ways than one.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 The Carpetbaggers (1964) Nevada Smith
2.
 Duel of Champions (1964) Horatio
3.
 13 West Street (1962) Walt Sherill
4.
 Guns of the Timberland (1960) Jim Hadley
5.
 All the Young Men (1960) [Sgt.] Kincaid
6.
 One Foot in Hell (1960) Mitch Barrett
7.
 The Man in the Net (1959) John Hamilton
8.
 The Deep Six (1958) Alexander "Alec" Austen
9.
 The Proud Rebel (1958) John Chandler
10.
 The Badlanders (1958) Peter Van Hoek
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Moved with family to North Hollywood at age seven
:
After working as lifeguard, gas station attendant and hotdog vendor, became bit player in films, radio and local theatrical productions
:
Joined a small group of actors that Universal planned to turn into movie stars; group disbanded after two weeks
:
Briefly worked for the "San Fernanado Valley Sun-Record"
:
Worked as a grip at Warner Bros. For two years
1932:
Made film debut in a bit part, "Once in a Lifetime"
1939:
Signed by film actress turned agent Sue Carol
1942:
Worked exclusively for Paramount under long term contract
1942:
Achieved star status in "This Gun for Hire"; first teaming with Veronica Lake
1944:
Received medical discharge from the Air Corps
1948:
Last of four co-starring vehicles opposite Veronica Lake, "Saigon"
1953:
Played most memorable film role in "Shane"
1953:
Association with Paramount ended (date approximate)
1953:
Made annual exhibitors poll of top ten boxoffice stars two years in a row, placing fourth and sixth
1954:
Formed production concern, Alan Ladd Enterprises; first feature credit starring Ladd, "Drum Beat", co-produced with Jaguar Productions and Warner Brothers
1964:
Last film, "The Carpetbaggers"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

North Hollywood High School: Hollywood , California -
Bard Dramatic School: -

Notes

"Once Ladd had acquired an unsmiling hardness, he was transformed from an extra to a phenomenon. Ladd's calm slender ferocity make it clear that he was the first American actor to show the killer as a cold angel." --David Thomson ("A Biographical Dictionary of Film," 1975)

"That the old fashioned motion picture gangster with his ugly face, gaudy cars and flashy clothes was replaced by a smoother, better looking and better dressed bad man was largely the work of Mr. Ladd." --From The New York Times obituary (January 30, 1964)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Marjorie Jane Harrold. Married in October 1936; mother of Alan Ladd Jr.; divorced.
wife:
Sue Carol. Agent, former actor. Born on October 30, 1903; was Ladd's agent before she became his second wife; married from March 15, 1942 to his death.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Ina Ladd. Emigrated from England to the USA; committed suicide c. 1938.
father:
Alan Walbridge Ladd. Accountant. Died c. 1918.
step-father:
James Beavers.
son:
Alan Ladd Jr. Producer, studio executive. Born on October 22, 1937; mother, Marjorie Jane Ladd; married to Patricia Beazley.
daughter:
Alana Sue Ladd Jackson. Actor. Born April 21, 1943; mother, Sue Carol.
son:
David Alan Ladd. Actor. Born 1947; mother Sue Carol; divorced from Cheryl Jean Stopplemoor Ladd of "Charlie's Angels" fame.
daughter:
Carol Lee Ladd Veitch.
granddaughter:
Jordan Ladd. Actor. Daughter of David Ladd and Cheryl Ladd.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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