Brad Dexter


Actor
Brad Dexter

About

Also Known As
Barry Mitchell, Boris Milanovich
Birth Place
Goldfield, Nevada, USA
Born
April 09, 1917
Died
December 11, 2002
Cause of Death
Pneumonia Complications

Biography

A burly, handsome supporting player and occasional lead, Brad Dexter was often cast as villainous or menacing types in a variety of films starting with 1950's "The Asphalt Jungle." Of Serbian heritage, he was born Boris Milanovich in Nevada. Raised in poverty, Dexter began working as early as age seven in order to help support his parents. After stints as a shoeshine boy, meatpacker and ...

Family & Companions

Peggy Lee
Wife
Singer, songwriter, actor.

Notes

Some sources list Mr. Dexter's birthdate as May 13.

Not to be confused with the Canadian hockey player of the same name.

Biography

A burly, handsome supporting player and occasional lead, Brad Dexter was often cast as villainous or menacing types in a variety of films starting with 1950's "The Asphalt Jungle." Of Serbian heritage, he was born Boris Milanovich in Nevada. Raised in poverty, Dexter began working as early as age seven in order to help support his parents. After stints as a shoeshine boy, meatpacker and amateur boxer, he studied acting at the famed Pasadena Playhouse. While serving in the military during WWII, he was cast in Moss Hart's stage show "Winged Victory," appearing under the stage name Barry Mitchell. Following other stage and radio roles, director John Huston spotted the hulking performer and cast him in "The Asphalt Jungle," for which he was newly christened Brad Dexter.

The actor cut an imposing screen figure and not unlike the equally husky Raymond Burr was frequently cast as ne'er-do-wells as in 1952's "Macao." Not that he couldn't play the good guy, as he more or less did in "House of Bamboo" (1955). Although he remained a busy character player for much of the 1950s, Dexter seemed on the brink of breaking through when he kicked off the 60s with a starring role as one of the titular "The Magnificent Seven" (1960). But while that film solidified or raised the profiles of his co-stars like Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, Dexter remained a relatively unknown quantity. He shone in the supporting role of gangster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel in the uninspired biopic "The George Raft Story" (1961) and a reteaming with Brynner in "Taras Bulba" (1962) but he was to become better known for his off screen associations than for his film work.

Dexter was a confidante of Marilyn Monroe and he reportedly attempted to intercede when the sex siren separated from baseball great Joe DiMaggio. He was also a pal of singer-actor Frank Sinatra but their relationship was complicated by the fact that in 1964 Dexter saved the singer from drowning. At the time, they were filming "None But the Brave" (1965) and later that same year, they appeared together in "Von Ryan's Express." Sinatra later hired Dexter to work at Artanis, the singer-actor's production company. The two parted company during the filming of "The Naked Runner" (1967). According to Dexter, the strain in their friendship began when Sinatra announced his intention to marry Mia Farrow and Dexter told him it wouldn't work. While shooting the film (which Dexter was producing), Sinatra proved temperamental and expressed his desire to leave the London location. Dexter held firm and when the star bolted, worked around his absence and completed the movie. Returning to L.A., he was informed he was fired from Sinatra's company.

Dexter continued to work as a producer (1970's "The Lawyer" which was the basis of the short-lived NBC's series "Petrocelli") and returned to acting in 1972's "Jory." Once again, though, the roles were hardly taxing, although he seemed to be having fun as a senator in "Shampoo" (1975) and as Alvin Karples in "The Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover" (1977). By the 80s, he curtailed much of his activities, making only rare forays in the business such as producing the Karl Malden TV-movie "Skag" (NBC, 1980) and one last screen appearance in "Secret Ingredient" (1990).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Secret Ingredient (1989)
Valentine (1979)
Winter Kills (1979)
1st Captain Heller
House Calls (1978)
Quinn
The Private Files Of J. Edgar Hoover (1977)
Alvin Karpas
Law and Order (1976)
Vigilante Force (1976)
Mayor
Shampoo (1975)
Senator East
Jory (1972)
Jack
Blindfold (1966)
Harrigan
None but the Brave (1965)
Sergeant Bleeker
Bus Riley's Back in Town (1965)
Slocum
Von Ryan's Express (1965)
Sergeant Bostick
Invitation to a Gunfighter (1964)
Kenarsie
Kings of the Sun (1963)
Ah Haleb
Johnny Cool (1963)
Lennart Crandall
Taras Bulba (1962)
Shilo
Twenty Plus Two (1961)
Leroy Dane
X-15 (1961)
Maj. Anthony Rinaldi
The George Raft Story (1961)
Benny Siegel
Vice Raid (1960)
Vince Malone
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Harry Luck
13 Fighting Men (1960)
Maj. Simon Boyd
Last Train from Gun Hill (1959)
Beero
Run Silent Run Deep (1958)
Lt. j.g. Gerald Cartwright
The Oklahoman (1957)
[Cass] Dobie
The Bottom of the Bottle (1956)
Stanley Miller
Between Heaven and Hell (1956)
Lt. Joe Johnson
Untamed (1955)
Christian
House of Bamboo (1955)
Capt. Hanson
Violent Saturday (1955)
Gil Clayton
99 River Street (1953)
Victor Rawlins
Macao (1952)
Vincent Halloran
The Las Vegas Story (1952)
Thomas Hubler
Fourteen Hours (1951)
Reporter
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
Bob Brannom

Cinematography (Feature Film)

Total Exposure (1991)
Camera Assistant (Underwater Unit)

Producer (Feature Film)

Skag (1980)
Producer
Little Fauss and Big Halsy (1970)
Executive Producer
The Lawyer (1970)
Producer
The Naked Runner (1967)
Producer

Life Events

1950

Feature film debut, "The Asphalt Jungle", directed by John Huston; first credit as Brad Dexter

1955

Co-starred with Robert Ryan and Robert Stack in "House of Bamboo"

1958

Supported Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable in "Run Silent, Run Deep"

1960

Portrayed Yul Brynner's pal in "The Magnificent Seven"

1961

Cast as gangster Bugsy Siegel in "The George Raft Story"

1964

Saved Frank Sinatra from drowning in Hawaii during the filming of "None But the Brave"

1965

Co-starred with Sinatra in "None But the Brave" and "Von Ryan's Express"

1967

Produced "The Naked Runner", starring Sinatra

1970

Served as producer of "The Lawyer"

1972

Returned to film acting in "Jory"

1975

Appeared as a senator in "Shampoo"

1976

TV-movie debut "Law and Order" (NBC)

1977

Cast as Alvin Karples in "The Secret Files of J Edgar Hoover"

1978

Acted in "House Calls"

1979

Appeared in "Winter Kills"; last film for more than 10 years

1980

Produced the TV-movie "Skag", starring Karl Malden

1990

Last film (to date) "Secret Ingredient"

Photo Collections

None but the Brave - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for None but the Brave (1965), starring Frank Sinatra. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.

Videos

Movie Clip

Trailer

Fourteen Hours - (Original Trailer) Richard Basehart threatens to jump off the ledge of his fourteenth floor hotel room in Fourteen Hours (1951).
Macao -- (Original Trailer) The original theatrical trailer for Macao, 1952, in which Josef von Sternberg, the director of The Blue Angel (1930), tried his hand at a film noir mystery, with Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell.
None But The Brave - (Original Trailer) Frank Sinatra's only movie as director was None But The Brave (1965) about Japanese and American troops forced to call a truce during World War II.
Run Silent, Run Deep - (Original Trailer) Officers on a WWII submarine clash during a perilous Pacific tour in Run Silent, Run Deep (1958) starring Clark Gable & Burt Lancaster.
Shampoo -- (Original Trailer) Warren Beatty plays a Hollywood hairdresser who does clients as well as hairdos during the late 1960's in Shampoo, 1975, with Julie Christie and Lee Grant in an Academy Award-winning role.
Asphalt Jungle, The - (Original Trailer) A gang of small-time crooks plots an elaborate jewel heist in The Asphalt Jungle (1950), directed by John Huston.
Magnificent Seven, The - (Original Trailer) Seven American gunmen hire themselves out to protect a Mexican village from bandits in The Magnificent Seven (1960) starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, and Charles Bronson.
Las Vegas Story, The -- (Original Trailer) Casablanca comes to Nevada with Victor Mature as a gambler who encounters newly married former love Jane Russell in The Las Vegas Story (1952).
Last Train from Gun Hill - (Original Trailer) Kirk Douglas sets out to find who raped and murdered his wife in John Sturges' Last Train from Gun Hill (1959).

Companions

Peggy Lee
Wife
Singer, songwriter, actor.

Bibliography

Notes

Some sources list Mr. Dexter's birthdate as May 13.

Not to be confused with the Canadian hockey player of the same name.