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George Chakiris

George Chakiris



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Also Known As: George Kerris Died:
Born: September 16, 1934 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Norwood, Ohio, USA Profession: Cast ... actor dancer choirboy singer


A talented stage and screen dancer, actor George Chakiris rose from the chorus to the role of Bernardo, leader of the Sharks, in the celebrated film version of "West Side Story" (1961). His fiery turn won him an Academy Award, but did not translate into lasting fame. After a sporadic career in Hollywood as heroic young men of various nationalities in "Diamond Head" (1963) and "Kings of the Sun" (1963), he made a handful of fine if little-seen European films, including the charming French musical "Young Girls of Rochefort" (1967), before settling into character turns as heels or middle-aged Lotharios on American primetime and daytime television. If Chakiris felt any disappointment over his stalled time in the spotlight, he remained remarkably diplomatic at numerous tributes to "West Side Story," frequently citing it as his proudest accomplishment. It was undoubtedly the finest showcase for his dancing skills and magnetic screen presence, which went untouched in the half-century since the film's release.

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