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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:||Cast ... producer actor|
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.
After working with director Eddie Romero on "Brides of Blood" (1968) and "Beast of Blood" (1970), Romero and Ashley began to co-produce such modest films as "Beyond Atlantis," "Twilight People" (both 1973) and "Savage Sisters" (1974), most of which starred Ashley and were directed by Romero. As representatives of Hemisphere distributors, the duo also had a hand in the production of Francis Ford Coppola's decidedly more ambitious "Apocalypse Now" (1979). More recently, Ashley has teamed with Frank Lupo as executive producer of TV movies and adventure series, achieving their greatest success with "The A-Team," a program typical of the straightforward genre entertainment which has characterized Ashley's career.
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