George Nader

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George Nader
George Nader November 1956.jpg
George Nader, November 1956
Born (1921-10-19)October 19, 1921
Pasadena, California, United States
Died February 4, 2002(2002-02-04) (aged 80)
Woodland Hills, California, United States
Other names George Nadar
Partner(s) Mark Miller

George Nader (October 19, 1921 – February 4, 2002) was an American film and television actor. He appeared in a variety of films from 1950 through 1974, including Phone Call from a Stranger (1952), Congo Crossing (1956), and The Female Animal (1957). During this period, he also did episodic television and starred in several series, including the unique NBC adventure offering, The Man and the Challenge (1959–60). However, his best-remembered role may have been as "Roy", the hero who saves the world from the clutches of "Ro-man" in the low-budget 3-D sci-fi film Robot Monster (1953).

Stage, film and television work[edit]

Nader was born in Pasadena, California, the son of Alice (née Scott), who was from Kansas, and George G. Nader, who was from Illinois.[1][2][3] During World War II he served in the US Navy as a communications officer in the Pacific Theatre of Operations[4]

He began his film career in 1950, after having earned his Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts at Occidental College. Nader appeared in several productions at the Pasadena Playhouse. That work led to a number of bit parts in 1951 and '52. His big break was his first starring role, which came in Robot Monster (1953), a 3-D feature film directed by Phil Tucker. This role and his rugged good looks won him a Universal Studios contract in the 1950s, and he made a number of films for Universal. In 1955, he won a Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer."[5]

Despite this accolade, Nader often found himself struggling in the shadow of more famous leading men, such as Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and Jeff Chandler. His films of that period included 1954's Carnival Story and Sins of Jezebel and 1956's Away All Boats. He also was Esther Williams' leading man in her first straight dramatic film, The Unguarded Moment which also starred a young John Saxon, released by Universal in 1956. He moved into television in the late 1950s, appearing in several short-lived series including The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen and The Man and the Challenge. In the 1961-1962 season, he appeared as insurance investigator Joe Shannon in the syndicated crime drama Shannon; his co-star was Regis Toomey. Nader also appeared frequently on The Loretta Young Show, a dramatic anthology series on NBC.

Personal life[edit]

In the mid-1950s, rumors about Nader's homosexuality began to surface. Nader's life partner was Mark Miller, who later worked as Rock Hudson's personal secretary for 13 years.[5][6] When Nader's career in Hollywood ended, he and Miller moved to Europe, where he found steady work in films. His most notable role during this period was as FBI agent "Jerry Cotton" in a German film series where he became the number two most popular film star in Germany behind Lex Barker.

In the mid-1970s, Nader suffered an eye injury which made him particularly sensitive to the bright lights of movie sets. According to an interview with the German fanzine Splatting Image his eye injury was the result of an accident during the production of the never released movie Zigzag, when a blank pistol round exploded too early next to his eyes. Filming took place in the Philippines, and no adequate treatment was taken in time, resulting in the partial loss of his eyesight.[5]

He inherited the interest from Rock Hudson's estate after Hudson's death from AIDS complications in 1985.[6] Hudson biographer Sara Davidson, described Nader, Miller, and another person as "Rock's family for most of his adult life".[7] Nader publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation shortly afterward.[6]

Writing career[edit]

After damage to his eye made it difficult to endure an acting career, Nader began a career as a writer of science fiction, including his 1978 novel Chrome, which centered around a love affair between two men.[7]

According to Variety Magazine's Army Archerd, Nader had completed a book called The Perils of Paul, about the gay community in Hollywood, which he did not want published until after his death.[6]

In 2002, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[8]

Later life[edit]

Nader and Miller eventually returned to the U.S. and settled in Palm Springs. Stricken by multiple medical problems, Nader entered the hospital in September 2001. He died at Woodland Hills, California of cardiac-pulmonary failure, pneumonia, and multiple cerebral infarctions. Nader was survived by Miller (with whom he had spent 55 years[6]), his cousins Sally Kubly and Roberta Cavell, and his nephew, actor Michael Nader.[6]

His ashes were scattered at sea, but his cenotaph exists in Cathedral City's Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Other notes
1950 Rustlers on Horseback Jack Reynolds Credited as George Nadar
1950–1953 Fireside Theater Web Martin/George TV, 2 episodes
1951 You're in the Navy Now Crew member Uncredited
The Prowler Photographer Uncredited
Take Care of My Little Girl Jack Gruber Uncredited
The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel Commando Uncredited, alternative titles: Rommel, Desert Fox & The Desert Fox
Two Tickets to Broadway Crosby's Sound Technician Uncredited
Overland Telegraph Paul Manning
1952 Phone Call from a Stranger Pilot Uncredited
Gruen Guild Playhouse TV, 1 episode
Monsoon Burton
Big Town TV, 1 episode
1953 Down Among the Sheltering Palms Lt. Homer Briggs Uncredited
Your Jeweler's Showcase TV, 1 episode
Robot Monster Roy Alternative titles: Monster from Mars & Monsters from the Moon
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars TV, 1 episode
Your Play Time TV, 1 episode
Sins of Jezebel Jehu
Hallmark Hall of Fame TV, 1 episode
1953–1961 The Loretta Young Show Various roles TV, 8 episodes
1954 Miss Robin Crusoe Jonathan
The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse TV, 2 episodes
Carnival Story Bill Vines
Cavalcade of America Eliphalet Remington II TV, 2 episodes
Four Guns to the Border Bronco Alternative title: Shadow Valley
1954–1957 Lux Video Theatre TV, 3 episodes
1955 Six Bridges to Cross Edward Gallagher
The Second Greatest Sex Matt Davis
Lady Godiva of Coventry Lord Leofric
1956 Congo Crossing David Carr
Away All Boats Lieutenant Dave MacDougall
The Unguarded Moment Lieutenant Harry Graham Alternative title: The Gentle Web
1957 Four Girls in Town Mike Snowden
Man Afraid Rev. David Collins
Joe Butterfly Sgt. Ed Kennedy
Climax! Harry Parker TV, 1 episode
1958 The Female Animal Chris Farley
Flood Tide Steve Martin Alternative title: Above All Things
Nowhere to Go Paul Gregory
1959 The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen Ellery Queen TV, 25 episodes
The Man and the Challenge Dr. Glenn Barton TV, 36 episodes
1960 Laramie Wells Clark TV, 1 episode
1961 The Andy Griffith Show Dr. Robert Benson TV, 1 episode
Shannon Joe Shannon TV, 36 episodes
1963 Zigzag
1965 The Human Duplicators Glenn Martin Alternative titles: Space Agent K1 & Jaws of the Alien
Burke's Law Chris Maitland TV, 1 episode
Manhattan Night of Murder Jerry Cotton
Schüsse aus dem Geigengasten Jerry Cotton
1966 Die Rechnung - eiskalt serviert Jerry Cotton
Um Null Uhr schnappt die Falle zu Jerry Cotton
1967 The Million Eyes of Sumuru Agent Nick West
Der Mörderclub von Brooklyn Jerry Cotton
1968 Tod im Roten Jaguar Jerry Cotton
Dynamit in grüner Seide Jerry Cotton
1969 Todesschüsse am Broadway Jerry Cotton
1972 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law TV, 1 episode
The F.B.I. TV, 1 episode
1973 Beyond Atlantis Alternative title: Sea Creatures
1974 Nakia McMasters Television movie

References[edit]

  1. ^ Graham, Sheilah (August 5, 1956). "George Nader of Movies Not Single by Choice". Daily Boston Globe. 
  2. ^ "Other 5 -- No Title". Daily Boston Globe. March 12, 1957. 
  3. ^ http://www.google.ca/search?q=Alice+Scott+George+Nader&hl=en&gbv=1&prmdo=1&prmd=ivnsob&source=lnms&tbm=bks&ei=T5mXT66_G9G9gAf_yaSHBw&sa=X&oi=mode_link&ct=mode&cd=5&ved=0CAoQ_AUoBA
  4. ^ Obituary, Los Angeles Times
  5. ^ a b c "George Nader". London: The Independent. 2002-02-05. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Archerd, Army (2002-02-04). "Nader's death another sad finale to a glamorous H'w'd life". Variety. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  7. ^ a b "George Nader, 80, Actor and Sci-Fi Writer". New York Times. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  8. ^ "Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-27. 

External links[edit]