Sterling Hayden

  • Born: March 26, 1916 in Montclair, NJ
  • Died: May 23, 1986 in Sausalito, CA
  • Notable Works: 
    • The Killing (1956)
    • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
    • The Godfather (1972)
  • Personal Favorite: The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Not your typical movie star… Hayden despised acting and the Hollywood culture that came with it. He got his start as a print model, but his real passion was for sailing. This was a passion that was quite useful during WWII, where he joined the Marines and eventually became an undercover OSS agent and earned the Silver Star. Shortly after the war, he quickly established himself in the western and noir pictures of the 1940s and 1950s. Many of his noir films have become classics of the genre, including: Manhandled, The Asphalt Jungle, Crime Wave, Naked Alibi, Suddenly, The Come On, The Killing, 5 Steps to Danger, Crime of Passion, and The Long Goodbye. Hayden’s feelings toward his success in film is best summed up by this excerpt from his autobiography, Wanderer:

“Hayden’s wild,” they said. “He’s kind of nuts—but you’ve got to hand it to him. He doesn’t give a damn about the loot or the stardom or things like that—something to do with his seafaring, or maybe what he went through in the war . . .”


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