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|Born||Richard Hanley Jaeckel
October 10, 1926
Long Beach, Long Island
New York, USA
|Died||June 14, 1997
Los Angeles, California
|Cause of death||Melanoma|
|Spouse(s)||Antoinette Marches Jaeckel (married 1947-1997, his death)|
|Children||2 children, including Barry Jaeckel|
Life and career
Jaeckel was born in Long Beach, New York. A short, tough guy, he played a variety of characters during his fifty years in movies and television and became one of the best known character actors in Hollywood. Jaeckel got his start in the business at the age of seventeen while he was employed as a mailboy at 20th Century Fox studios in Hollywood. A casting director auditioned him for a key role in the 1943 film Guadalcanal Diary, Jaeckel won the role and settled into a lengthy career in supporting parts.
He served in the United States Merchant Marine from 1944 to 1949, then starred in two of the most remembered war films of 1949: Battleground and Sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne. One of Jaeckel's shortest film roles was in The Gunfighter, in which his character is killed by Gregory Peck's character in the opening scene. He played the role of Turk, the roomer's boyfriend, in the Academy Award-winning 1952 film Come Back, Little Sheba, with Shirley Booth, Burt Lancaster, and Terry Moore. In 1960, he appeared as Angus Pierce in the western, Flaming Star, starring Elvis Presley. He played Lee Marvin's able second-in-command in The Dirty Dozen for director Robert Aldrich. Jaeckel appeared in several other Aldrich films, including Attack, Ulzana's Raid, and Twilight's Last Gleaming.
Jaeckel also guest-starred on many television programs. He was cast as a boxer in a 1954 episode of Reed Hadley's CBS legal drama, The Public Defender. In 1954, Jaeckel portrayed Billy the Kid in an episode of the syndicated western anthology series, Stories of the Century, with Jim Davis as the fictitious Southwest Railroad detective Matt Clark.
Seven years later, on January 21, 1961, Jaeckel played the character Denver in "The Grudge Fight" of the NBC western series The Tall Man, opposite Barry Sullivan as Pat Garrett and Clu Gulager as Billy the Kid, a fictionalized account of the friendship between Garrett and the Kid. In the storyline, Denver and Billy are thrown out of Lincoln, New Mexico, for persistent brawling and decide to settle their dispute in a shootout in a remote mountainous area. Garrett vows to see the survivor of the match hanged if the other dies. During their journey, the two decide they have much in common, as Billy nurses Denver back to health after Denver breaks a leg.
In 1957, he appeared as Mort Claffey in two episodes, "Paratroop Padre" and "The Light," of the syndicated religion anthology series, Crossroads. That same year, he portrayed Lieutenant Bradshaw in "War of the Whale Boats" of the military drama, Navy Log. In 1956 and 1957, he appeared in three episodes of another military drama, The West Point Story.
In 1955 and 1958, Jaeckel appeared in different roles on two episodes of CBS's fantasy drama, The Millionaire. In 1958, Jaeckel guest starred as Webb Martin in the episode "The Bloodline" of NBC's western series Cimarron City. That same year, he appeared in the syndicated drama of the American Civil War, Gray Ghost in the episode entitled "The Hero". In 1959, Jaeckel was cast as Clint Gleason in "The Man Behind the Star" of CBS's The Texan western series, starring Rory Calhoun.
In 1963, Jaeckel played Willie the murderer in "The Case of the Lover's Leap" on CBS's Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr. That same year he was among the guest stars on the short-lived ABC/Warner Brothers western series, The Dakotas. Jaeckel made a second guest appearance on Perry Mason as Mike Woods in the 1966 episode, "The Case of the Bogus Buccaneers."
In 1977, Jaeckel appeared with Donna Mills, Bill Bixby, and William Shatner in the last episode, entitled "The Scarlet Ribbon", of NBC's western series The Oregon Trail, starring Rod Taylor and Andrew Stevens.
In his later years, Jaeckel was known to television audiences as Lt. Ben Edwards on the NBC series Baywatch. He also co-starred on Robert Urich's ABC series Spenser: For Hire in the role of Lieutenant Martin Quirk.
- Guadalcanal Diary (1943)
- Wing and a Prayer (1944)
- Battleground (1949)
- Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
- The Gunfighter (1950)
- Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
- Hoodlum Empire (1952)
- The Violent Men (1955)
- Apache Ambush (1955)
- Attack! (1956)
- 3:10 to Yuma (1957)
- Cowboy (1958)
- When Hell Broke Loose (1958)
- The Gallant Hours (1960)
- Flaming Star (1960)
- Town Without Pity (1961)
- The Young and The Brave (1963)
- Nightmare in the Sun (1965)
- Once Before I Die (1965)
- The Dirty Dozen (1967)
- The Green Slime (1968)
- The Devil's Brigade (1968)
- Latitude Zero (1969)
- Chisum (1970)
- Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)
- Ulzana's Raid (1972)
- Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973)
- The Outfit (1973)
- The Drowning Pool (1975)
- Walking Tall Part 2 (1975)
- Grizzly (1976)
- Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976)
- Day of the Animals (1977)
- Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977)
- Herbie Goes Bananas (1980)
- ...All the Marbles (1981)
- Blood Song (1982)
- Airplane II: The Sequel (1982)
- Cold River (1982)
- Goma-2 (1984)
- The Fix (1984)
- Starman (1984)
- Black Moon Rising (1986)
- Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection (1990)
- The King of the Kickboxers (1991)
- Martial Outlaw (1993)
- Blumenthal, Ralph (June 17, 1997). "Richard Jaeckel Is Dead at 70; A Durable Movie Tough Guy". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- Vallance, Tom (June 18, 1997). "Obituary: Richard Jaeckel". London: Independent. Retrieved 2010-09-13.
- ""The Grudge Fight", The Tall Man, January 21, 1961". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- "Richard Jaeckel". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
- "Cimarron City". ctva.biz. Retrieved September 9, 2012.