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
DiedFebruary 4, 2002(2002-02-04) (aged 80)
OccupationActor
Years active1950–1974
Notable work
Robot Monster (film)
The Man and the Challenge (TV)
Jerry Cotton series (film)
Chrome (novel)
Partner(s)Mark Miller
AwardsGolden 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 Sins of Jezebel (1953), 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). In the 1960s he made several films in Germany, playing FBI agent Jerry Cotton. He is remembered for his first starring role, in the low-budget 3-D sci-fi film Robot Monster (1953), known as "one of the worst films ever made".[1]

Discreetly gay during his acting career, he and his life partner Mark Miller were among Rock Hudson's closest friends. After retiring from acting, he wrote Chrome (1978), a science-fiction novel dealing positively with a same-sex relationship.[2]

Early life[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 and of Lebanese heritage.[3][4] He earned his Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts at Occidental College.

During World War II he served in the US Navy as a communications officer in the Pacific Theatre of Operations from 1943 to 1946.[5]

Early career[edit]

Nader began his acting career in 1950. He appeared in several productions at the Pasadena Playhouse over four years, which led to a number of bit parts in films.[6] He was in Rustlers on Horseback (1950) for Republic Pictures[7] while also appearing on stage in Summer and Smoke at the Pasadena Playhouse.[8]

He had small parts in You're in the Navy Now (1951), The Prowler (1951), Take Care of My Little Girl (1951), The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951), and Two Tickets to Broadway (1951). He had a bigger part in a Tim Holt Western, Overland Telegraph (1951), and a drama, Monsoon (1952). He was going to star in a film called GI Smith, but production was cancelled.[9] He had unbilled bit roles in the studio films Phone Call from a Stranger (1951) and Down Among the Sheltering Palms (1952).

Leading man[edit]

Nader's 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 as "one of the worst films ever made",[1] it was financially successful[10] and led to more prominent roles for Nader in other films. He supported Paulette Goddard in Sins of Jezebel (1953) and had a supporting role in Carnival Story (1954). He was the male love interest for Miss Robin Crusoe (1954) at Fox.

Meanwhile, Nader appeared regularly on TV shows such as Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, Hallmark Hall of Fame, Letter to Loretta, Cavalcade of America, Lux Video Theatre, and The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse.

Universal Pictures[edit]

His rugged good looks won him a contract with Universal Studios, for which he made a number of films, although he often found himself in the shadow of more famous leading men such as Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and Jeff Chandler.[citation needed] His first film for Universal was a Western, Four Guns to the Border (1954), wherein he was billed beneath Rory Calhoun and Colleen Miller. He followed it with Six Bridges to Cross (1955), supporting Tony Curtis and Julie Adams in a role that Chandler had turned down.

Nader was promoted to lead in The Second Greatest Sex (1955) opposite Jeanne Crain and in Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955) opposite Maureen O'Hara, stepping in for Chandler again. In 1955, he won a Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer."[11]

He starred opposite Virginia Mayo in Congo Crossing (1956) and was second-billed to Chandler in Universal's expensive war epic Away All Boats (1956).[12] He was Esther Williams's leading man in The Unguarded Moment (1956), which starred a young John Saxon. He had top billing in Four Girls in Town (1957) and Man Afraid (1957). Nader supported Audie Murphy in Joe Butterfly (1957), a military comedy.[13] He had the lead in Appointment with a Shadow (1958) and Flood Tide (1958). He was Hedy Lamarr's love interest in The Female Animal (1958), replacing John Gavin.[14] He had the starring role in Nowhere to Go, a 1958 British crime drama featuring the screen debut of Maggie Smith.

Television[edit]

Nader moved into regular television roles in the late 1950s, appearing in several short-lived series, including The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen (1959) and The Man and the Challenge (1959–60). In the 1961–62 season, he appeared as insurance investigator Joe Shannon in the syndicated crime drama Shannon, co-starring with Regis Toomey.[15]

Nader appeared frequently on The Loretta Young Show, a dramatic anthology series on NBC.[citation needed]

He produced and directed Walk by the Sea (1963).[16]

International[edit]

Nader had the title role in a European swashbuckler, The Secret Mark of D'Artagnan (1963). He made Zigzag (1963) in the Philippines and The Great Space Adventure (1964) for Albert Zugsmith. He starred in The Human Duplicators (1965) and regularly guest-starred on TV shows. Nader went to Germany to star as FBI agent Jerry Cotton in the German film Tread Softly (1965). It was a hit and led to a series of films: Manhattan Night of Murder (1965), Tip Not Included (1966), The Trap Snaps Shut at Midnight (1966), Murderers Club of Brooklyn (1967), Death in the Red Jaguar (1968), Death and Diamonds (1968), and Dead Body on Broadway (1969).

In Europe he also appeared in The Million Eyes of Sumuru (1967) and The House of 1,000 Dolls (1967). One of his last films was Beyond Atlantis (1973), made in the Philippines.

Writing[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).[17][18]

According to Variety's Army Archerd, Nader had completed a book called The Perils of Paul (the title being a play on the melodrama serial The Perils of Pauline) about the gay community in Hollywood, which he did not want published until after his death.[19]

Personal life[edit]

with Joan Crawford (1954)

Although Nader was not openly gay during his film career, he generally did not feign relationships with women to conceal it,[1] instead deflecting questions by saying that he had not met "the right one".[3]

Nader lived with his life partner, Mark Miller (November 22, 1926 – June 9, 2015), whom he met in 1947 while they were acting in a play together.[18][20]

Miller worked as Rock Hudson's personal secretary from 1972 until the star's death,[11][19] and the couple inherited the interest from Hudson's $27 million estate after his death from AIDS complications in 1985.[19] Hudson biographer Sara Davidson described Nader, Miller, and another person as "Rock's family for most of his adult life."[17] Nader publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation shortly afterward.[19]

Nader and Miller eventually settled in Palm Springs.

Stricken by multiple medical problems, Nader entered the hospital in September 2001. He died on February 4, 2002 in Woodland Hills, California, of cardiopulmonary failure, pneumonia, and multiple cerebral infarctions. He was survived by Miller (with whom he had spent 55 years), his cousins Sally Kubly and Roberta Cavell, and his nephew, actor Michael Nader.[19] His ashes were scattered at sea; a cenotaph in his honor, together with Mark Miller and Rock Hudson, exists in Cathedral City's Forest Lawn Cemetery.[21] In 2002, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[22]

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 The Trap Snaps Shut at Midnight 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, (final film role)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 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. ^ The Life Story of GEORGE NADER Picture Show; London64.1657 (Jan 1, 1955): 12.
  7. ^ "FILM NEWS". Western Star (87). Queensland, Australia. 13 March 1951. p. 4. Retrieved 13 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Hollywood Notes". The Cessnock Eagle And South Maitland Recorder. 40, (4002). New South Wales, Australia. 23 January 1951. p. 6. Retrieved 13 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ Drama: 'G.I. Smith' Will Star George Nader; Reinhardt to Direct Pier Angeli Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]02 Nov 1951: B9.
  10. ^ WOO, ELAINE (2002-02-06). "George Nader, 80; Star of '50s Movies". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
  11. ^ a b "George Nader". London: The Independent. 2002-02-05. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  12. ^ Louella Parsons: George, Jeff Land in Same Boat The Washington Post and Times Herald (1954-1959) [Washington, D.C] 24 Mar 1955: 66.
  13. ^ Bachelor George Nader Bored by Going Out 'Just to Be Seen' Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]23 June 1957: E3.
  14. ^ UNIVERSAL CASTS TWO IN NEW FILM: Jane Powell, George Nader to Appear in 'Female Animal' --Actor Replaces Gavin By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]17 May 1957: 19.
  15. ^ "DID YOU KNOW?". The Australian Women's Weekly. 30, (4). Australia, Australia. 27 June 1962. p. 9 (Teenagers' Weekly). Retrieved 13 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ Obituaries: George Nader Galloway, Doug. Variety; Los Angeles385.12 (Feb 11-Feb 17, 2002): 70.
  17. ^ a b "George Nader, 80, Actor and Sci-Fi Writer". New York Times. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  18. ^ a b Mitchell Smyth, T. S. (1992, May 10). Rock left actor millions. Toronto Star Retrieved from https://search-proquest-com.ezproxy.sl.nsw.gov.au/docview/436637312?accountid=13902
  19. ^ a b c d e Archerd, Army (2002-02-04). "Nader's death another sad finale to a glamorous H'w'd life". Variety. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  20. ^ "George Nader at Brian's Drive-In Theater". www.briansdriveintheater.com. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
  21. ^ Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 34104-34105). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition
  22. ^ "Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2013-03-27.

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