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John Derek

John Derek

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Also Known As: Derek Delevan Harris, Dare Harris Died: May 22, 1998
Born: August 12, 1926 Cause of Death: heart failure
Birth Place: Hollywood, California, USA Profession: actor, producer, screenwriter, director, director of photography, photographer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A minor young lead in Hollywood films of the late 1940s and early 1950s, John Derek achieved greater fame as a photographer and director of cheesecake and softcore films featuring his famous wives, who included actresses Ursula Andress, Linda Evans and Bo Derek. His darkly handsome features earned him a contract with Columbia, but after substantial roles in "Knock On Any Door" (1948) and "All the King's Men" (1950), he faded into costume adventures. He shifted to still photography and direction in the late 1960s, helming salacious efforts with Andress and Evans before striking pay dirt with the younger, less experienced Derek. He directed her in a string of softcore films, including "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1981) and "Bolero" (1984), most of which were hits, despite being savaged by critics. After his death in 1998, Derek's penchant for exploiting the physical charms of his wives overshadowed his photography and early performances.

A minor young lead in Hollywood films of the late 1940s and early 1950s, John Derek achieved greater fame as a photographer and director of cheesecake and softcore films featuring his famous wives, who included actresses Ursula Andress, Linda Evans and Bo Derek. His darkly handsome features earned him a contract with Columbia, but after substantial roles in "Knock On Any Door" (1948) and "All the King's Men" (1950), he faded into costume adventures. He shifted to still photography and direction in the late 1960s, helming salacious efforts with Andress and Evans before striking pay dirt with the younger, less experienced Derek. He directed her in a string of softcore films, including "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1981) and "Bolero" (1984), most of which were hits, despite being savaged by critics. After his death in 1998, Derek's penchant for exploiting the physical charms of his wives overshadowed his photography and early performances.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Ghosts Can't Do It (1990) Director
2.
  Bolero (1984) Director
3.
  Tarzan, The Ape Man (1981) Director
4.
  Fantasies (1973) Director
5.
  Childish Things (1969) Director
6.
  A Boy ... A Girl (1969) Director
7.
  Once Before I Die (1966) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Once Before I Die (1966) Major Bailey
2.
 Nightmare in the Sun (1964) The Hitchhiker
3.
 Exodus (1960) Taha
5.
 High Hell (1958) Craig [Rhodes]
6.
 Omar Khayyam (1957) Prince Malik
7.
 Fury at Showdown (1957) Brock Mitchell
8.
 The Ten Commandments (1956) Joshua
9.
 The Leather Saint (1956) Father Gil Allen, also known as "Kid Sunday"
10.
 Prince of Players (1955) John Wilkes Booth
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1944:
First screen appearance (as extra), "Since You Went Away"
1945:
Screen acting debut in "I'll Be Seeing You"
1949:
First major acting role in "Knock on Any Door"
1956:
Appeared in "The Ten Commandments"
1960:
Co-starred in "Exodux"
1965:
First film as producer, "Nightmare in the Sun"
1965:
Feature directing debut, "Once Before I Die"; also acted and produced
1966:
First film as director of photography and director "Childish Things/Tale of the Cock" (released in 1969, re-released in 1972 as "Confessions of Tom Harris")
1969:
Screenwriting debut, "A Boy... A Girl"; also directed and served as cinematographer
1973:
First directed Bo Derek, "Fantasies"
1984:
Directed wife in "Bolero"
1990:
Final film, "Ghosts Can't Do It"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Pati Behrs. Actor. French; married in 1948; divorced.
wife:
Ursula Andress. Actor. Married in 1957; divorced in 1966; starred with Derek in his first feature as a director "Once Before I Die" (1965).
wife:
Linda Evans. Actor. Separated in 1973; divorced in 1975.
wife:
Bo Derek. Actor. Born on November 20, 1956; met while Derek was filming "Once Upon a Time" (1973) in Greece; married in 1974; appeared in several films he directed; survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Lawson Harris. Screenwriter, director.
mother:
Dolores Johnson. Actor.
son:
Russell Andre Derek. Born in April 1950; mother, Pati Behrs; survived him.
daughter:
Sean Catherine Derek. Born in October 1953; mother, Pati Behrs; survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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