Hayden Rorke

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Hayden Rorke
Hayden Rorke I Dream of Jeannie 1968.JPG
Born William Henry Rorke
(1910-10-23)October 23, 1910
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died August 19, 1987(1987-08-19) (aged 76)
Toluca Lake, California, U.S.
Resting place
Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City
Years active 1943-85

William Henry Rorke (October 23, 1910 – August 19, 1987) was an American actor best known for playing Col. Dr. Alfred E. Bellows on the hit 1960s American sitcom I Dream of Jeannie.

Biography[edit]

Rorke was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1910. He was the son of screen and stage actress Margaret Rorke (née Hayden), and he took his stage forename from her maiden name.[1]

He attended Brooklyn Preparatory School. At school he was president of the Dramatics Society and the Student Government and a member of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity. He continued his education at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and began his stage career in the 1930s with the Hampden Theatrical Company. During World War II, he enlisted in the army, where he made his film debut in the musical This is the Army starring Ronald W. Reagan, for which he was uncredited as the stage manager and as a soldier in the background.

Following the war, he left the army and worked in small parts on Broadway, finally returning to Hollywood for the 1949 film Lust for Gold, again uncredited. However, it was an opening, and in later films, beginning with Rope of Sand, he is listed in the credits, although he again shows up uncredited in the 1950 films Kim and The Magnificent Yankee, as well as a couple of later films such as the Academy Award-winning An American in Paris (in those days, small bit parts were often uncredited). He appeared in episode 125 entitled "The Perfect Crime" of the TV Series The Lone Range in 1953. He continued to make movies, taking on supporting roles, in such films as:

In 1957, Rorke played Steve, the film agent, in the CBS television series Mr. Adams and Eve, starring Howard Duff and Ida Lupino (then married in real life) as a fictitious acting couple residing in Beverly Hills, California.

He played several guest roles on television, winning the role of Colonel Farnsworth in the short-lived 1964 ABC sitcom No Time for Sergeants, based on the Andy Griffith film of the same name but starring Sammy Jackson. He also guest-starred on three episodes of CBS's Perry Mason between 1960-1963. In his first role he played the title character, Jay Holbrook, in "The Case of the Flighty Father." Rorke also appeared in television programs such as I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, Peter Gunn, The Andy Griffith Show, Barnaby Jones, Wonder Woman, and The Love Boat.

Rorke was best known for his role as Dr. Bellows, the NASA medical officer in the television sitcom, I Dream of Jeannie. Bellows was constantly trying to figure out why Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman), an astronaut under Bellows' supervision, often behaves strangely, and to decipher the madcap antics, but he never figures out what is actually going on. Bellows usually winds up making himself look like a fool in front of his own superiors. Rorke's last film was reprising his role in the television reunion movie, I Dream of Jeannie... Fifteen Years Later (1985).

Death[edit]

Hayden Rorke died of multiple myeloma in 1987 at age 76.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Rorke was "unashamedly gay", as Jeannie co-star Barbara Eden stated in her 2011 biography Jeannie Out of the Bottle. She commented that Rorke "and his partner, Justus Addiss, lived together for many years in Studio City, along with their menagerie of dogs." He and Addiss would often invite the cast over for parties.[1]

Eden described Hayden as a "prince" who was a good friend of all and always managed to keep up the spirits of the I Dream of Jeannie cast, often in difficult circumstances.[1]

References[edit]

External links[edit]