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John Ashley

John Ashley

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Also Known As: John Atchley Died: October 3, 1997
Born: December 25, 1934 Cause of Death: Heart attack
Birth Place: Kansas City, Missouri, USA Profession: producer, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

An American actor who, after a long apprenticeship in schlock cinema, effectively switched to a second career in primetime TV series production, Ashley began his acting career in the late 1950s when he essayed roles in such less-than-memorable films (mostly for American International Pictures) as "Hot Rod Gang" (1958), "Suicide Battalion", "Frankenstein's Daughter" and "How to Make a Monster" (all 1958). Continuing with AIP into the 60s he played second leads in several of the studio's "beach party" movies, including "Muscle Beach Party", "Bikini Beach" (both 1964) and "Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965), which co-starred his wife at that time, Deborah Walley.

An American actor who, after a long apprenticeship in schlock cinema, effectively switched to a second career in primetime TV series production, Ashley began his acting career in the late 1950s when he essayed roles in such less-than-memorable films (mostly for American International Pictures) as "Hot Rod Gang" (1958), "Suicide Battalion", "Frankenstein's Daughter" and "How to Make a Monster" (all 1958). Continuing with AIP into the 60s he played second leads in several of the studio's "beach party" movies, including "Muscle Beach Party", "Bikini Beach" (both 1964) and "Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965), which co-starred his wife at that time, Deborah Walley.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Adulterous Affair (1966) Assistant Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Invisible Mom (1996) Mr Pringle
2.
 Woman Hunt, The (1975)
3.
4.
 Savage Sisters (1974)
5.
 Beyond Atlantis (1973) Logan
6.
 The Twilight People (1972) Matt Farrell
7.
 The Beast of the Yellow Night (1971) Joseph Langdon
8.
 Beast of Blood (1970) Bill Foster
9.
 Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1969) Bill Foster
10.
 Deserter USA (1969) Alan Miller
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Missouri
1956:
Acting career began with work at the Tulsa Little Theatre
:
Moved to Los Angeles after finishing college, planning to continue studies at UCLA
1956:
Met John Wayne through fraternity brother on the set of "The Conqueror"; led to interview with producer at Ziv Television
1956:
Appeared on several segments of Ziv-produced television series, "Men of Annapolis"
1957:
Made screen debut in "Dragstrip Girl" for American International Pictures (AIP)
1957:
Drafted into the US Army; served for six months
1957:
Played first lead, in "Motorcycle Gang"
1961:
Starred as Clipper Hamilton, one of the co-owners of a racing car garage, in ABC adventure series, "Straightaway"
1963:
Played the supporting role of Hermy in what is probably his most notable screen credit, "Hud"
:
Had recurring role on TV sitcom, "The Beverly Hillbillies", as on of the suitors of Ellie May Clampett (Donna Douglas)
:
Moved back to Oklahoma in the 1970s to oversee chain of theaters he had bought; also spent much time in The Philippines producing low-budget features
1972:
First credit as producer (with Eddie Romero), "Black Mama, White Mama", directed by Romero
1979:
Served as representative (with Eddie Romero) for Hemisphere distributors on Francis Ford Coppola's acclaimed Vietnam war epic, "Apocalypse Now"
1979:
Moved with second wife and their son from Oklahoma back to California; settled in San Fernando Valley
1982:
Produced short-lived ABC adventure series, "The Quest"
:
Acted as producer and executive producer (with Frank Lupo) of popular NBC action series, "The A-Team"
:
Executive produced (with Frank Lupo) Fox TV's thriller series, "Werewolf"
1988:
Executive produced (with Frank Lupo) short-lived NBC science-fiction series, "Something Is Out There"
:
Executive produced (with Frank Lupo) NBC police drama, "Hardball"
:
Was executive producer of the latenight CBS series "Raven"
:
For one season, co-executive produced "Walker, Texas Ranger", starring Chuck Norris
1995:
Produced the short-lived UPN series "Marker"
1997:
Was producer on "Lawless" (Fox); show cancelled after initial airing
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Oklahoma State University: Stillwater , Oklahoma - 1955

Notes

During the 1980s Ashley has also collaborated with Robert and Joan Conrad as producer of several made-for-TV movies, including "Coach of the Year" (1980), "Will, G. Gordon Liddy" (1982), and "Gladiator School" (1988).

Although Ashley once, at the urgings of its cast, played a small part on "The A-Team", he explains his recent resistance to acting thusly: "Even as a little boy I loved movies, but acting was something I fell into. I never worked at it or had a burning desire to be a star. I much prefer the other side of the camera." (Quoted in Richard Lamparski, "Whatever Became of...?", vol. 10)

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Deborah Walley. Actor. Born August 12, 1943; married 1962; divorced 1966; best known for playing title role in "Gidget" (1959); acted together in "Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965).

Family close complete family listing

son:
Anthony Ashley. Mother Deborah Walley; lived with Ashley from age 8; survived him.

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