Darryl Hickman


Actor
Darryl Hickman

About

Also Known As
Darryl Gerard Hickman
Birth Place
Hollywood, California, USA
Born
July 28, 1931

Biography

While his younger brother Dwayne found fame on television, Darryl Hickman first displayed his credentials on the big screen in classic fare like "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), "The Human Comedy" (1943), and "Leave Her to Heaven" (1945). Hickman was seen steadily on motion picture screens throughout the 1940s and '50s and his work was consistently competent, but he did not become a major s...

Biography

While his younger brother Dwayne found fame on television, Darryl Hickman first displayed his credentials on the big screen in classic fare like "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), "The Human Comedy" (1943), and "Leave Her to Heaven" (1945). Hickman was seen steadily on motion picture screens throughout the 1940s and '50s and his work was consistently competent, but he did not become a major star in that medium. However, unlike many performers, Hickman proved remarkably resilient, earning additional credits on radio and television, while also furthering his education and serving in the military. When his TV series "The Americans" (NBC, 1961) failed to find an audience, Hickman turned to stage work and appeared for over a year on Broadway in the smash hit "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" (1961-65). Additionally, he revealed his proficiency as a mover and shaker behind the scenes via a successful term as a CBS programming executive. A stint as an acting instructor in the 1970s proved inspirational for Hickman and he found yet another outlet for his talents, establishing himself as one of the most enduring and respected professionals in that field. Ultimately, his brother became more of a household name and nostalgia favorite, but the multi-talented Darryl Hickman eclipsed him by way of his incredible ambition which helped him become one of the entertainment industry's true renaissance men.

Darryl Gerard Hickman was born in Hollywood on July 28, 1931. Although he would not be remembered as a child star, Hickman was on movie screens before he had even reached the double digits, including an uncredited appearance in the period adventure "If I Were King" (1938) and a small, but important turn in the Bing Crosby vehicle "The Star Maker" (1939). Impressed by Hickman's song and dance skills, Crosby had his talent agent brother represent the boy, who went on to win a notable part in John Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) as a member of the beleaguered Joad Family. Hickman supplemented his skills as one of the Meglin Kiddies, a respected training ground for young entertainers that counted such luminaries as Judy Garland amongst its alumni. Put under a seven-year contract by MGM, Hickman's early credits for that studio and others included "Men of Boys Town" (1941), "Keeper of the Flame" (1942), "The Human Comedy" (1943), the classic Gene Tierney drama "Leave Her to Heaven" (1945), and "Captain Eddie" (1945), which also featured his younger brother.

As he matured, Hickman alternated between supporting assignments in major studio items like "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" (1946) and more prominent parts in smaller pictures, like the early juvenile delinquent drama "The Devil on Wheels" (1947) from poverty row studio PRC. In addition to all of his regular film work, the young actor could also be heard on several radio series, including a recurring role on the long-running program "Meet Corliss Archer" (CBS/NBC/ABC, 1943-1956). In the early 1950s, Hickman became unsure of what he wanted to do with his life and left show business to become a monk. He eventually came to the conclusion that performing was where his heart was and returned to the profession with a vengeance. His most prominent features that decade were William Wellman's plane crash thriller "Island in the Sky" (1953) and Vincente Minnelli's "Tea and Sympathy" (1956), but Hickman also simultaneously made guest appearances on television, attended classes at Loyola University (where he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in English) and served a two-year stint in the armed services. At the close of the decade, he appeared in William Castle's amusing cult horror thriller "The Tingler" (1959) and married his co-star, Pamela Lincoln, a few months after the film's release.

"The Tingler" turned out to be Hickman's last motion picture for a number of years, but he kept busy on the small screen, guest starring on a number of programs, including his sibling's hit series "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis" (CBS, 1959-1963), and penned teleplays for several programs. Hickman was granted a program of his own, the war drama "The Americans" (NBC, 1961), but it proved to be short-lived. Interested in further expanding his scope with live theatre, he demonstrated his talents on Broadway as J. Pierrepoint Finch in the musical comedy blockbuster "How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying" (1961-65), replacing original star Robert Morse during the play's lengthy run.

At the dawn of the 1970s, Hickman was a member of the Actor's Studio in New York, where he directed plays, and provided instruction in musical theater at the Herbert Berghof Studio. Feeling that he was ready to impart some of the knowledge he had gained over several decades, Hickman left the Studio and began to stage his own independent instructional workshops. He also spent much of that era as the director of daytime drama for CBS, an occupation Dwayne also later took up. After an absence on movie screens of more than a decade, Hickman played a small role in Sidney Lumet's acclaimed broadcast news satire "Network" (1976) and produced a pair of programs for Norman Lear's company.

Expanding on his initial offerings, he also established himself as a respected acting teacher. In contrast to the principles of Method Acting, Hickman utilized the beliefs of Constantin Stanislavsky, which emphasized the spiritual and intuitive side of performing, and worked in that capacity for the next three decades, while taking occasional parts in films like "Looker" (1981) and "Sharky's Machine" (1981). His marriage to Lincoln ended in the early 1980s and the couple suffered the loss of their son, Justin, who committed suicide in 1985. Voicework for animated productions made up the balk of Hickman's latter day schedule, including everything from the racing series "Pole Position" (CBS, 1984-86) and various updated versions of "Scooby Doo" to a series of Bible stories. In 2007, he published The Unconscious Actor: Out of Control, In Full Command, in which Hickman discussed his career and the craft of acting, emphasizing such components as spontaneity and living in the moment as essential to success in the field. In yet another creative path, he also wrote the book and lyrics for a proposed musical about the life of famous New York City restaurateurs Vincent & Eugenia Sardi.

By John Charles

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007)
Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)
Himself
Shirley Temple: America's Little Darling (1992)
Aftermath: A Test of Love (1991)
Dr Hayes
Gobots: Battle of the Rock Lords (1986)
Voice
Looker (1981)
Sharky's Machine (1981)
Network (1976)
The Tingler (1959)
David Morris
The Iron Sheriff (1957)
Benjie [Galt]
The Persuader (1957)
Toby Bonham
Tea and Sympathy (1956)
Al [Thompson]
Many Rivers to Cross (1955)
Miles Henderson
Southwest Passage (1954)
Jeb
Prisoner of War (1954)
Merton Tollivar
Sea of Lost Ships (1954)
Pete Bennett
Ricochet Romance (1954)
Dave King
Destination Gobi (1953)
Wilbur "Coney" Cohen
Island in the Sky (1953)
Swanson
Criminal Lawyer (1951)
Bill Webber
Submarine Command (1951)
Ensign Wheelwright
Lightning Strikes Twice (1951)
String
The Happy Years (1950)
Tough McCarty
The Set-Up (1949)
Shanley
Alias Nick Beal (1949)
Larry Price
Any Number Can Play (1949)
Paul Enley Kyng
A Kiss for Corliss (1949)
Dexter [Franklin]
The Sainted Sisters (1948)
Judd Tewilliger
Dangerous Years (1948)
Leo Emerson
Fighting Father Dunne (1948)
Matt Davis
Big Town Scandal (1948)
Harold "Skinny" Peters
Black Gold (1947)
Schoolboy
The Devil on Wheels (1947)
Mickey Clark
Two Years Before the Mast (1946)
Sam Hooper
Leave Her to Heaven (1946)
Danny Harland
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
Sam, as a child
Boys' Ranch (1946)
Hank
Kiss and Tell (1945)
Raymond Pringle
Captain Eddie (1945)
Eddie as a boy
Salty O'Rourke (1945)
Sneezer
Rhapsody in Blue (1945)
Ira Gershwin, as a boy
And Now Tomorrow (1944)
Joe
Song of Russia (1944)
Peter [Bulganov]
Henry Aldrich, Boy Scout (1944)
Peter Kent
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Johnny Tevis
Assignment in Brittany (1943)
Etienne
Northwest Rangers (1943)
"Blackie," as a boy
The Human Comedy (1943)
Lionel
Keeper of the Flame (1942)
Jeb Rickards
Young America (1942)
David Engstrom
Joe Smith, American (1942)
Johnny Smith
Jackass Mail (1942)
Tommy Gargan
Mob Town (1941)
[Butch] Shrimp [Malone]
Sign of the Wolf (1941)
Billy [Freeman]
Glamour Boy (1941)
Billy Doran
Men of Boys Town (1941)
Flip [Brier]
The Way of All Flesh (1940)
Victor
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Winfield
Untamed (1940)
Mickey Moriarty
Young People (1940)
Tommy
Mystery Sea Raider (1940)
Benny
The Farmer's Daughter (1940)
Billy Bingham
Emergency Squad (1940)
Bob
The Star Maker (1939)
Boots

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)
Other

Cast (Special)

Elizabeth Taylor (1993)
When We Were Young... Growing Up on the Silver Screen (1989)
Alan King's Final Warning (1977)
Heave Ho Harrigan (1961)
Ensign Smithers

Producer (Special)

Side By Side (1976)
Producer

Cast (Short)

Going to Press (1942)
Coffins on Wheels (1941)

Life Events

Photo Collections

Tea and Sympathy - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Tea and Sympathy (1956). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.

Videos

Movie Clip

Tab Hunter Confidential (2015) - Take The Pretty Boys Tab Hunter, with commentary from friends and fellow actors Darryl Hickman, Don Murray and Robert Wagner, on how he met his first agent, Henry Wilson, got his screen name, and his first starring role, in the acclaimed documentary Tab Hunter Confidential, 2015.
Grapes Of Wrath, The (1940) - Two For A Penny Reaching a filling station in New Mexico, Tom (Henry Fonda) getting gas while Pa (Russell Simpson) negotiates with a waitress (Kitty McHugh) for a loaf of bread, young Winfield and Ruth (Darryl Hickman, Shirley Mills) benefiting, in John Ford's The Grapes Of Wrath, 1940.
Sun Comes Up, The (1949) - Come On, Lassie! In MGM’s opening we learn that Jeanette MacDonald is widowed opera singer Helen, devoted to her son Hank (Darryl Hickman), who has a terrific collie, and Lewis Stone is Arthur, her conscientious manager, in the fifth picture in the Lassie series, The Sun Comes Up, 1949.
Tingler, The (1959) - Open, Physical Reactions Producer-director William Castle digs into his shameless groove introducing The Tingler, 1959, starring Vincent Price, in which tiny vibrators were planted in the seats of lucky patrons.
Fighting Father Dunne (1948) - Do I Have To Do Somethin' Worse? Newsboys Monk and Lefty (Eric Roberts, Gene Collins), minding the pony donated to their charity home after they tried to steal it, receive buddy Matt (Darryl Hickman), who doesn't realize they want to stay there, under the care of Pat O'Brien (title character), in Fighting Father Dunne, 1948.
Kiss For Corliss, A (1949) - Take Off The Dark Glasses Opening with Corliss (Shirley Temple reprising her role from Kiss And Tell, 1945), girlfriend Mildred (Virginia Welles), her attorney father (Tom Tully) suave defendant Marquis (David Niven), and Dexter (Darryl Hickman), in A Kiss For Corliss, (a.k.a. Almost A Bride). 1949.
Lightning Strikes Twice (1951) - A Woman Who Held Out Liza (Mercedes McCambridge) and brother String (Darryl Hickman) are cagey, receiving vacationing actress Shelley (Ruth Roman), who's already met their notorious neighbors, at their officially closed dude ranch, in Lightning Strikes Twice, 1951.

Trailer

Tingler, The - (Original Trailer) SCREAM! Scream for your lives! It's The Tingler (1959) starring Vincent Price.
Grapes of Wrath, The - (Original Trailer) Henry Fonda stars in John Ford's movie version of the John Steinbeck novel about Depression-era migrants, The Grapes of Wrath (1940).
Criminal Lawyer - (Original Trailer) An alcoholic lawyer (Pat O'Brien) sobers up to defend his friend in a murder case in Criminal Lawyer (1951).
Boys' Ranch - (Original Trailer) A ball player (James Craig) creates a ranch for troubled kids from the city in Boys' Ranch (1946).
Keeper of the Flame - (Original Trailer) A reporter digs into the secret life of a recently deceased political hero in Keeper of the Flame (1942) with Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy.
Prisoner of War - (Original Trailer) Ronald Reagan is a spy who infiltrates a North Korean POW camp in Prisoner of War (1954).
Northwest Rangers - (Original Trailer) A Mountie (William Lundigan) tracks a childhood friend gone bad in Northwest Rangers (1943).
Assignment in Brittany - (Original Trailer) Jean-Pierre Aumont (Day For Night) made his U.S. movie debut playing a French Resistance fighter who's a dead ringer for a Nazi official in Assignment in Brittany (1943).
Joe Smith, American - (Original Trailer) When he is kidnapped by Nazi agents, a munitions worker (Robert Young) learns what it will take to remain Joe Smith, American (1942).
Happy Years, The - (Original Trailer) Unruly young Dean Stockwell is sent to prep school to straighten him out in this adaptation of Owen Johnson's The Lawrenceville School Stories.
Network - (Re-issue Trailer) Television programmers turn a deranged news anchor into "the mad prophet of the airwaves" in Network (1976) starring Peter Finch.
Island in the Sky -- (Original Trailer) it's a saga of survival as a WWII transport plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness in William Wellman's Island in the Sky (1953).

Family

Dwayne Hickman
Brother
Actor. TV's "Dobie Gillis".

Bibliography