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|Born||John George Agar, Jr.
January 31, 1921
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||April 7, 2002
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Riverside National Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||Shirley Temple (m. 1945–1950; divorced); 1 daughter
Loretta Combs (m. 1951–2000; her death); 2 sons
|Children||Linda Susan Agar (Susan Black)
John G. Agar III
John George Agar, Jr. (January 31, 1921 – April 7, 2002) was an American actor. He is best known for starring alongside John Wayne in the films Sands of Iwo Jima, Fort Apache and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. In his later career he was the star of B movies, such as Tarantula, The Mole People, The Brain from Planet Arous, Revenge of the Creature, Flesh and the Spur, and Hand of Death. He was the first husband of Shirley Temple.
Agar was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Lillian (née Rogers) and John Agar, Sr., a meat packer. He was educated at the Harvard School for Boys in Chicago and Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois and graduated from Trinity-Pawling Preparatory School in Pawling, New York, but did not attend college. He and his family moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1942, following his father’s death.
During World War II he served in the Army Air Forces, mostly at the March Field in Riverside, California, serving as a physical fitness instructor. He was a sergeant at the time he left the AAF in 1946.
Agar's sister was a schoolmate of Shirley Temple. In 1944 Agar escorted Temple to a party held by her then-boss David O. Selznick. The two fell in love and were married in 1945. Selznick signed Agar to a five year acting contract starting at $150 a week, including acting lessons.
Agar and Temple worked together in Fort Apache and Adventure in Baltimore. The first of these, where they supported John Wayne, was particularly successful. Agar was reunited with Wayne in two more hits, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and The Sands of Iwo Jima.
Agar and Temple had a daughter together, Linda Susan Agar (who was later known as Susan Black, taking the surname of her stepfather Charles Alden Black). However the marriage foundered, in part because of Agar's drinking (he had been arrested for drunk driving) and in part because of pressures of their high profile. Temple sued for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty in 1949.
B Movie Star
Agar's career suffered in the wake of his divorce, however he developed a niche playing the leads in low budget science fiction, Western, and horror movies in the 1950s and 1960s. John Wayne gave him several support parts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. During later years he worked extensively in television.
"I don't resent being identified with B science fiction movies at all," said Agar later. "Why should I? Even though they were not considered top of the line, for those people that like sci-fi, I guess they were fun. My whole feeling about working as an actor is, if I give anybody any enjoyment, I'm doing my job, and that's what counts."
Following his divorce from Temple, Agar remarried in 1951 to model Loretta Barnett Combs (1922–2000). They remained married until her death in 2000. The couple had two sons, Martin Agar and John G. Agar, III.
Agar died on April 7, 2002 at Burbank, California of complications from emphysema. He was buried beside his wife at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California. He was survived by his three children.
- Agar made six movies with John Wayne: Fort Apache, Sands of Iwo Jima, Big Jake, Chisum, The Undefeated and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon.
- The Seattle band The Young Fresh Fellows recorded the song "The New John Agar" on the Topsy Turvy album in 1985.
- The Naked Monster (2005)
- The Pandora Directive (1996) "Thomas Malloy"
- Body Bags (1993) (TV) "Dr. Lang"
- Invasion of Privacy (1992) (TV) Old Convict
- The Perfect Bride (1991) (TV) Gramps
- Nightbreed (1990) Special Appearance
- Fear (1990) (TV) "Leonard Scott Levy"
- Miracle Mile (1989) "Ivan Peters"
- Attack of the B-Movie Monster (1985) "Dr.Ferguson"
- Mr. No Legs (1982)
- King Kong (1976) "City Official"
- Big Jake (1971) "Bert Ryan"
- Chisum (1970) "Amos Patton"
- The Undefeated (1969) "Christian"
- Hell Raiders (1968)
- St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967) "Dion O'Banion"
- Night Fright (1967) "Sheriff Clint Crawford"
- Johnny Reno (1966) "Ed Tomkins"
- Waco (1966)
- Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966) "Barry Rogers"
- Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966) "Dr. Farrell"
- Zontar, The Thing from Venus (1966) "Dr. Curt Taylor"
- Young Fury (1965) "Dawson"
- Stage to Thunder Rock (1964) "Dan Carrouthers"
- Law of the Lawless (1964) "Pete Stone"
- The Young and The Brave (1963) Intelligence officer
- Cavalry Command/PHL: "The Day of the Trumpet" (1963) "Sergeant Norcutt"
- Of Love and Desire (1963) "Gus Cole"
- Lawman episode "The Witness" (1962) "Jim"
- Hand of Death (1962) "Alex Marsh"
- Journey to the Seventh Planet (1962) "Capt. Don Graham"
- Fall Girl (1961) "Joe McElroy"
- Raymie (1960) "Ike"
- Invisible Invaders (1959) "Major Bruce Jay"
- Frontier Gun (1958) "Jim Crayle"
- Attack of the Puppet People (1958) "Bob Westley"
- Jet Attack (1958) "Capt. Tom Arnett"
- The Brain from Planet Arous (1957) "Steve March"
- Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957) "George Hastings"
- Flesh and the Spur (1957) "'Luke' Random/Matt Random"
- Joe Butterfly (1957) "Sergeant Dick Mason"
- Ride a Violent Mile (1957) "Jeff Dunning"
- The Mole People (1956) "Dr. Roger Bentley"
- Star in the Dust (1956) "Sheriff Bill Jorden"
- Revenge of the Creature (1955) "Professor Clete Ferguson"
- The Lonesome Trail (1955) "Johnny Rush"
- Hold Back Tomorrow (1955) "Joe Cardos"
- Tarantula (1955) "Doctor Matt Hastings"
- Bait (1954) "Ray"
- The Golden Mistress (1954) "Bill Buchanan"
- The Rocket Man (1954) "Tom Baxter"
- Shield for Murder (1954) "Mark Brewster"
- Man of Conflict (1953) "Ray Compton"
- Woman of the North Country (1952)
- Along the Great Divide (1951) "Billy Shear"
- The Magic Carpet (1951) "Ramoth"
- Breakthrough (1950) "Lieutenant Joe Mallory"
- Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) "PFC Peter Conway"
- She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) "Lieutenant Flint Cohill"
- Adventure in Baltimore (1949) "Tom Wade"
- I Married a Communist (1949) "Don Lowry "
- Fort Apache (1948) "Lieutenant Michael O'Rourke"
- John Agar profile, filmreference.com; accessed February 18, 2014
- John Agar Biography at Monster Shack accessed January 19, 2014
- John Agar obituary in The Guardian 13 April 2002 accessed 19 January 2014
- Kristin McMurran, "Shirley Temple Black Taps Out a Telling Memoir of Child Stardom", People Magazine 28 November 1988 accessed 19 January 2014
- Los Angeles Times obituary, April 9, 2002; accessed January 19, 2014
- The Official John Agar Website
- John Agar at the Internet Movie Database
- John Agar at AllMovie
- Sgt John Agar at Find a Grave
- Interview with John Agar III at Scar Monsters Magazine