George Nader

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George Nader
George Nader 1959-60 NBC.jpg
George Nader, circa 1959–60
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
Occupation Actor
Years active 1950–1974
Notable work Robot Monster (film)
The Man and the Challenge (TV)
Jerry Cotton series (film)
Chrome (novel)
Partner(s) Mark Miller
Awards Golden Globe, Most Promising Newcomer – Male (1955)

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 (1958). During this period, he also did episodic television and starred in several series, including NBC's The Man and the Challenge (1959–60). He is remembered for his starring role in "one of the worst films ever made",[1] low-budget 3-D sci-fi film Robot Monster (1953). Discretely gay during his film career, he and his life partner were among Rock Hudson's closest friends. He later wrote Chrome (1978), a science-fiction novel dealing openly and positively with a same-sex relationship.[2]

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.[3][4] During World War II he served in the US Navy as a communications officer in the Pacific Theatre of Operations[5]

He began his film career in 1950, after earning his Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts at Occidental College. He appeared in several productions at the Pasadena Playhouse, which led to a number of bit parts in 1951 and 1952. His first starring role was in Robot Monster (1953), a 3-D feature film directed by Phil Tucker. Although the film is remembered primarily for its "camp" attributes it was financially successful,[6] this role and his rugged good looks won him a Universal Studios contract, for whom he made a number of films. In 1955, he won a Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer."[7]

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.

He moved to Europe, where he found steady work in films. His most notable recurring role during this period was as FBI agent Jerry Cotton in a German film series, becoming the second-most popular film star in Germany, behind Lex Barker.

Writing career[edit]

In the 1970s, Nader suffered an eye injury in an automobile accident, which made him particularly sensitive to the bright lights of movie sets, and forced him to retire from acting.[2] He began writing, including his 1978 science fiction novel Chrome, which dealt with a forbidden romance between a man and an android (also male).[8]

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.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Although Nader was not openly gay during his film career, he generally didn't feign relationships with women to conceal it,[1] instead deflecting that he hadn't met "the right one".[3] He lived with his life partner Mark Miller, whom he met in 1947 while acting in a play together.[10] Miller worked as Rock Hudson's personal secretary from 1972 until the star's death,[7][9] and the couple inherited the interest from Hudson's estate after his death from AIDS complications in 1985.[9] Nader publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation shortly afterward.[9] Hudson biographer Sara Davidson described Nader, Miller, and another person as "Rock's family for most of his adult life".[8]

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 cardio-pulmonary failure, pneumonia, and multiple cerebral infarctions. Nader was survived by Miller (with whom he had spent 55 years),[9] his cousins Sally Kubly and Roberta Cavell, and his nephew, actor Michael Nader.[9]

His ashes were scattered at sea; a cenotaph in his honor exists in Cathedral City's Forest Lawn Cemetery.[11] In 2002, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[12]

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 Charlie, Crosby's Sound Technician Uncredited
Overland Telegraph Paul Manning
1952 Phone Call from a Stranger Pilot Uncredited
Gruen Guild Playhouse TV, 1 episode
Big Town TV, 1 episode
Monsoon Burton
Han glömde henne aldrig Chris Kingsley (English version, voice)
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 Richard 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 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
Miss Robin Crusoe Jonathan
1954–1957 Lux Video Theatre Dr. Frank Matson / Don / Jeremy 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
Appointment with a Shadow Paul Baxter
Flood Tide Steve Martin Alternative title: Above All Things
1958 The Female Animal Chris Farley
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
1962 The Secret Mark of D'Artagnan d'Artagnan
1963 Zigzag The Hunter
The Great Space Adventure
A Walk by the Sea
1965 The Human Duplicators Glenn Martin Alternative titles: Space Agent K1 & Jaws of the Alien
Burke's Law Chris Maitland TV, 1 episode
Schüsse aus dem Geigengasten Jerry Cotton
Espionage in Lisbon Drunk entering hotel-room Uncredited
Manhattan Night of Murder Jerry Cotton
1966 Um Null Uhr schnappt die Falle zu Jerry Cotton
Die Rechnung – eiskalt serviert Jerry Cotton
1967 Der Mörderclub von Brooklyn Jerry Cotton
The Million Eyes of Sumuru Agent Nick West
The House of 1,000 Dolls Stephen Armstrong
1968 Dynamit in grüner Seide Jerry Cotton
Radhapura – Endstation der Verdammten (de) Steve Weston
Tod im Roten Jaguar 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 Nereus Alternative title: Sea Creatures
1974 Nakia McMasters Television movie, (Last appearance)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bergan, Ronald (2002-02-07). "George Nader". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-07. 
  2. ^ a b "George Nader". The Independent. 2002-02-08. Retrieved 2016-12-07. 
  3. ^ a b Graham, Sheilah (August 5, 1956). "George Nader of Movies Not Single by Choice". Daily Boston Globe. 
  4. ^ "Other 5 – No Title". Daily Boston Globe. March 12, 1957. 
  5. ^ Obituary, Los Angeles Times
  6. ^ WOO, ELAINE (2002-02-06). "George Nader, 80; Star of '50s Movies". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-12-07. 
  7. ^ a b "George Nader". London: The Independent. 2002-02-05. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  8. ^ a b "George Nader, 80, Actor and Sci-Fi Writer". New York Times. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2008-07-06. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ "George Nader at Brian's Drive-In Theater". www.briansdriveintheater.com. Retrieved 2016-12-07. 
  11. ^ Jimmy Short (February 11, 2002). "George Nader". Actor. Find a Grave. 
  12. ^ "Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-03-27. 

External links[edit]