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Turhan Bey

Turhan Bey

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Also Known As: Turhan Gilbert Selahettin Schultavey Died: September 30, 2012
Born: March 30, 1922 Cause of Death: Parkinson's Disease
Birth Place: Vienna, , AT Profession: Cast ... actor photographer director producer
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BIOGRAPHY

As was true of Indian actor Sabu and Dominican leading lady Maria Montez, the ethnic otherness of Turhan Bey allowed moviegoers in the Golden Age of Hollywood to project upon his inscrutable features their most resplendent fantasies and darkest fears. With his true lineage a Turkish-Czechoslovakian split, Bey was often cast as Chinese, Japanese, Arabian, Mexican, Egyptian, Indian and Slavic characters, with their occupations never ranging far beyond the circle of career criminals, Nazi henchmen and bogus psychics. Never an A-list actor, Bey was paired occasionally with leading ladies of higher star wattage, such as Katherine Hepburn in "Dragon Seed" (1944) and Merle Oberon in "Night in Paradise" (1946). The height of his popularity came with appearances in a run of Universal Studio's Arabian Nights-style films, including "White Savage" (1942) and "Arthur Lubin's "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" (1944). His highly-publicized affair with Lana Turner at the peak of their respective sex symbol powers also kept him a Photoplay regular. A regime change at Universal after World War II sent Bey packing to the independent studio Eagle-Lion, for whom he appeared in a handful of films before fleeing for his Austrian homeland. A late-life comeback proved the septuagenarian had lost none of his native charm, as a guest star on such popular TV series as "Murder, She Wrote" (CBS, 1984-1996) and "Babylon Five" (The WB, 1994-1998), and capped an eclectic career as one of Hollywood's most unforgettable men of mystery.

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