Brett Halsey

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Brett Halsey
Halsey in March 2011
Born Charles Oliver Hand
(1933-06-20) June 20, 1933 (age 81)
Santa Ana, California, USA
Other names Montgomery Ford
Occupation Actor
Years active 1953-present
Spouse(s) Renate Hoy (1954–1959) 2 children
Luciana Paluzzi (1960-1962) 1 child
Heidi Brühl (1964-1976) 2 children
Victoria Korda (? - present)

Brett Halsey (born Charles Oliver Hand on June 20, 1933, in Santa Ana, California), is an American film actor, sometimes credited as Montgomery Ford. He had a prolific career in B pictures and in European-made feature films. He created the role of John Abbott on the soap opera The Young and the Restless, a role he filled only from May 1980 to March 1981, when he was replaced by Jerry Douglas.[1]

Halsey is a great-nephew of the United States Navy Admiral William F. "Bull" Halsey; Universal Pictures selected his acting name from the admiral.[2]


Interested in acting since he was a child, young Brett was employed as a page at CBS Television studios, where he met Jack Benny and Benny's wife, Mary Livingstone. They introduced him to the head of Universal Pictures, who placed him in a school with other aspiring actors for the studio.[3]

Halsey appeared as Swift Otter, a Cheyenne Indian in the 1956 episodes "The Spirit of Hidden Valley" and "The Gentle Warrior" of the CBS western series, Brave Eagle, starring Keith Larsen as a young Indian chief.[4]

In 1958, Halsey guest-starred several times as Lieutenant Summers in Richard Carlson's syndicated western series, Mackenzie's Raiders, a fictional account of cavalry Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie, set at Fort Clark, Texas. That same year, Halsey had the lead role of a life-saving sailor in an episode of another syndicated series, Highway Patrol, starring Broderick Crawford. Halsey also appeared in Wendell Corey's Harbor Command, a military drama about the United States Coast Guard. He appeared as Robert Finchley in the 1958 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Cautious Coquette." In 1959 he had a co-starring role in the science-fiction film The Atomic Submarine with Arthur Franz and Dick Foran. Halsey appeared in the episode "Thin Ice" in 1959 of NBC espionage series, Five Fingers, starring David Hedison and Halsey's second wife, Luciana Paluzzi.

From 1961–1962, Halsey starred with Barry Coe, Gary Lockwood, and Gigi Perreau in the ABC adventure television series Follow the Sun, a story of two free-lance magazine writers living in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In 1961 Halsey won the Golden Globe Award for "New Star of the Year". His Follow the Sun co-star, Barry Coe, had won the same honor in 1960. The award was discontinued in 1983.

Halsey played supporting and co-starring roles in Hollywood, having appeared in such films as Return of the Fly (1959) and Twice-Told Tales (film), both starring Vincent Price. By the early 1960s, he relocated to Italy where he found himself in demand in adventurous films such as Seven Swords for the King or The Avenger of Venice, being often cast a swashbuckling hero. He also appeared in a few Spaghetti Westerns and Eurospy films.

He returned to the United States in the early 1970s and worked in film and television. He appeared in the soap operas General Hospital and Love Is a Many Splendored Thing. He had supporting roles in higher-profile films such as The Godfather Part III. He appeared as the captain of a luxury space liner in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Cruise Ship to the Stars".

Halsey worked with Italian horror director Lucio Fulci on Touch of Death,[5] A Cat in the Brain and Demonia.

Personal life[edit]

In 1954, Halsey married Renate Hoy, an actress who had won the Miss Germany contest that year, and who appeared in such films as The Sea Chase with John Wayne. They had two children, son Charles Oliver Hand, Jr. (a.k.a. Rock Halsey or Rock Bottom of the notorious Los Angeles punk rock band, Rock Bottom and the Spys) and daughter, Tracy Leigh. Halsey and Hoy divorced in 1959.

From 1960 to 1962, Halsey was married to Italian actress Luciana Paluzzi. They had one son, Christian. In 1961, the two co-starred as a newlywed couple in the film, Return to Peyton Place. In 1964, Halsey married the popular German actress and singer Heidi Brühl. They had two children, son Clayton Alexander Siegfried and daughter Nicole. They were divorced in 1976.

Toward the end of the 1990s, Halsey moved to San José, Costa Rica, to teach film acting. Currently Halsey resides in Laguna Hills, California, with his fourth wife, the former Victoria Korda, the granddaughter of Alexander Korda. He writes and makes occasional film appearances.

Family tragedy[edit]

On August 10, 2005, Rock Halsey, Halsey's son from his first marriage, was murdered at the age of forty-nine by two fellow inmates while serving more than half of a 24-year sentence for a drug conviction at the U.S. penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.[6] In 2007, the inmates, Timothy R. McCalliser and Jerimy C. Sneed, both then in their early thirties, pleaded guilty to murdering Halsey and received life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. McCallister cut Rock Halsey's throat with a prison-made knife as Sneed held down the victim. The killing was witnessed by a corrections officer and partly videotaped.[7]


  1. ^ New York Times
  2. ^ Weaver, Tom Brett Halsey Interview Eye on Science Fiction: 20 Interviews with Classic SF and Horror Filmmakers McFarland, 2007
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Brett Halsey". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  5. ^ New York Times
  6. ^ "Rest in Peace, Rock Halsey". Retrieved December 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Men who killed inmate sentenced to life in prison. May 31, 2007". Retrieved December 11, 2012. 

External links[edit]