Jeff Chandler

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Jeff Chandler
Chandler in 1958
Ira Grossel

(1918-12-15)December 15, 1918
New York City, U.S.
DiedJune 17, 1961(1961-06-17) (aged 42)
Resting placeHillside Memorial Park Cemetery, Culver City
Occupation(s)Actor, producer, singer
Years active1945–1961
(m. 1946; div. 1959)

Jeff Chandler (born Ira Grossel; Yiddish: יראַ גראָססעל; December 15, 1918 – June 17, 1961) was an American actor. He was best known for his portrayal of Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950), for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He was one of Universal Pictures' more popular male stars of the 1950s. His other credits include Sword in the Desert (1948), Deported (1950), Female on the Beach (1955), and Away All Boats (1956). In addition to his acting in film, he was known for his role in the radio program Our Miss Brooks, as Phillip Boynton, her fellow teacher and clueless object of affection, and for his musical recordings.

Early life[edit]

Chandler was born Ira Grossel to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, the only child of Anna (née Herman) and Phillip Grossel.[2] He was raised by his mother after his parents separated when he was a child.

He attended Erasmus Hall High School, the alma mater of many stage and film personalities, where he acted in school plays; his schoolmates included Susan Hayward. Chandler's father was connected with the restaurant business and got his son a job as a restaurant cashier. Chandler said he always wanted to act, but courses for commercial art were cheaper, so he studied art for a year and worked as a layout artist for a mail-order catalogue at $18 a week.[3][4]

Eventually, he saved up enough money to take a drama course at the Feagin School of Dramatic Art in New York. He worked briefly in radio, then got a job in a stock company on Long Island as an actor and stage manager. He worked for two years in stock companies, including a performance of The Trojan Horse opposite famous singers and actors Gordon MacRae and his wife Sheila MacRae, who became his good friends.[5][6]

Chandler formed his own company, the Shady Lane Playhouse, in Illinois in the summer of 1941. The company toured the Midwest with some success, presenting such plays as The Bad Man, Seventh Heaven, The New Minister, and Pigs.[7] When America entered World War II, Chandler enlisted in the army.[4] He served for four years, mostly in the Aleutians, finishing with the rank of lieutenant.[8]


After being discharged from the army, Chandler moved to Los Angeles in December 1945 with $3,000 he had saved. Shortly after his arrival, he was involved in a serious car accident on the way to a screen test, which resulted in a large scar on his forehead.[9]

Chandler initially struggled to find work in Hollywood, and had spent all his savings when he got his first job as a radio actor in May 1946.[10] He went on to appear in episodes of anthology drama series such as Escape and Academy Award Theater, and became well known for playing the lead in Michael Shayne. Chandler was the first actor to portray Chad Remington in Frontier Town.

Early film roles[edit]

Chandler had appeared on air in Rogue's Gallery with Dick Powell, who was impressed by the actor, and put pressure on Columbia to give Chandler his first film role, a small part as a gangster in Johnny O'Clock (1947).[11][12] He tested for Columbia's The Loves of Carmen[13] but did not get the part. He went on to play small roles as gangsters in Roses are Red and The Invisible Wall, and a policeman in Mr Belvedere Goes to College. Chandler received more attention playing Eve Arden's love interest on radio in Our Miss Brooks, which debuted in July 1948 and became a massive hit.[14]

Sword in the Desert[edit]

Chandler's performance in Our Miss Brooks brought him to the attention of executives at Universal, who were looking for someone to play an Israeli leader in Sword in the Desert (1949). He was cast in February 1949.[15] Chandler impressed studio executives so much with his work that shortly into filming, Universal signed him to a seven-year contract. His first film under the arrangement was a supporting role in Abandoned (1949).[16]

Jeff Chandler at Capernaum during a visit to Israel in 1959

Broken Arrow and stardom[edit]

In February 1953, I was making a second picture with Jeff Chandler, one called War Arrow. Jeff was a real sweetheart, but acting with him was like acting with a broomstick

- Maureen O'Hara on acting with Chandler in War Arrow (2004)

Writer-director Delmer Daves was looking for an actor to play Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950) at 20th Century Fox. The part was proving tricky to cast; in Chandler's words, "Fox was looking for a guy big enough physically to play the role and unfamiliar enough to moviegoers to lend authenticity."[6] Chandler's performance as a similar resistance leader-type in Sword of the Desert brought him to the studio's attention, and he was borrowed from Universal for the role in May 1949.[17] As part of the arrangement, Chandler signed a deal with Fox to make a film a year with them for six years. He also had to be written out of his radio shows Michael Shayne and Our Miss Brooks for several weeks.[12][18]

Broken Arrow turned out to be a considerable hit, earning Chandler an Oscar nomination and establishing him as a star. He was the first actor nominated for an Academy Award for portraying an American Indian.

Even before Broken Arrow was released, Chandler was upped to leading-man status back at Universal. He was meant to make Death on a Sidestreet[19] and The Lady Count[20] but neither ended up being made. Instead, he took over a role originally meant for Dana Andrews, a Lucky Luciano-style gangster in Deported, for producer Robert Buckner, who cast him in Sword in the Desert. "I don't know why I got it," Chandler joked at the time, "maybe it's because I'm saving them money."[21] The movie was shot on location in Italy, although Chandler's radio commitments meant some of it had to be filmed in Hollywood.

He went back to Fox for his second film for them, as an embittered Union cavalryman in Two Flags West for director Robert Wise. Chandler replaced Lee J. Cobb, and it was one of his least-typical roles, a character part rather than a leading man. Once again, location work required him to regularly commute back and forth to Hollywood throughout the shoot.[22]

Returning to Universal, Chandler played an adventurer in Smuggler's Island, a role he liked because he said it was close to his real personality.[10] Hollywood tended to cast him, though, in different nationalities. According to one profile, "he has unusual face, with taut, bony features, which seem to fit neatly into any sort of role".[23]

He was reunited with Fox and Delmer Daves to play a Polynesian chief in Bird of Paradise (1951), which Chandler admitted was a variation of his performance as Cochise.[10][12] It was the last film he made outside Universal for a number of years.

Back at Universal, he played a boxer in Iron Man (1951), a remake of an old Lew Ayres movie. He was announced for another film with Buckner, The Wild Bunch,[24] which was not made; instead, he played an Arab chief in Flame of Araby (1951), opposite Maureen O'Hara.

Around this time, Chandler expressed his dissatisfaction with acting in film as opposed to radio:

[Radio actors] have to make their roles come alive, and they only have their voices with which to do it, but in pictures, the technique is quite different. The actor is only a small part of the performance. He lends his intelligence and personality to the role, but the greatest part of the performance belongs to the producer, who puts him in a certain type of part; the director, who tells him how to play it; and the cutter, who edits what's done. That's why I find being a movie actor not particularly gratifying. I want to eventually branch off into writing and directing.[10]

Chandler reprised his role as Cochise in another Western, The Battle at Apache Pass, for Universal. He then went on to make a war film, Red Ball Express, and a swashbuckler, Yankee Buccaneer. He made a cameo in Meet Danny Wilson[25] and had a change of pace when he supported Loretta Young in Because of You – which a few years later he called his favorite role.[26] Young later said Chandler "was more of a personality than an actor... a charming man."[27]

In 1952, exhibitors voted Chandler the 22nd-most popular star in the US.[28] 20th Century-Fox was keen to use Chandler again and offered him roles in The Day the Earth Stood Still, Lydia Bailey, Les Misérables, and The Secret of Convict Lake.[3] Universal refused to lend him, though, as he was now one of their biggest stars.

Our Miss Brooks transferred to television, but Chandler was not permitted to do TV under his contract; his part was taken by Robert Rockwell.[29] On Peggy Lee's radio show, he had demonstrated a talent for singing, and he pursued this through the decade.[30]

New contract[edit]

In July 1952, Chandler signed a fresh contract with Universal that doubled his salary.[31][32] His first movie under this was a Western, The Great Sioux Uprising. It was followed by more adventure fare: East of Sumatra and War Arrow with Maureen O'Hara.

This meant Chandler missed the part of Demetrius in The Robe (1953) at Fox, for which he had been considered and which eventually went to Victor Mature.[33] He also missed out on the lead in the remake of Magnificent Obsession, for which he had been mooted; the part was taken by Rock Hudson, who had supported Chandler in Iron Man.[34] Both The Robe and Magnificent Obsession became big hits. Chandler played Cochise for the third time, a cameo in Taza, Son of Cochise, starring Hudson, who soon overtook Chandler as Universal's biggest male star.[3]

Universal announced him for Chief Crazy Horse,[35] but the role ended up being played by Victor Mature. Instead, he appeared in Yankee Pasha, and started singing in nightclubs.[36] He left the radio show Our Miss Brooks after five years "to get a rest," he said, "Although it didn't take long to do the show, it tied up all my Sundays."[37]

Chandler appeared in an expensive (for Universal) epic, playing the Emperor Marcian in Sign of the Pagan and co-starred with Jane Russell in Foxfire (1955), which he enjoyed because, "I don't have to be so darned monosyllabic in this one."[38] He then made Female on the Beach with Joan Crawford and began releasing records.

Conflicts with Universal[edit]

In 1954, Chandler was starting to recognize how heavy his workload was:

You just can't call your time your own. When you're trekking the country – as I am now for my Decca records "I Should Care" and "More Than Anyone" and for Universal International, my home studio – every hour of the day, from the morning disc jockeys to the midnight program is filled. And in Hollywood, if you're not working on a picture or getting ready for one, you have to keep studying. I make a point of answering all my mail, and when anyone asks me for an autograph, I'm not just flattered. I see that as the least I can do for the people who have given me the fruits of this world.[3]

In May, Chandler refused to play the lead in Six Bridges to Cross and Universal put him on suspension.[39] He was replaced in the role by George Nader. Chandler spoke of making Young Moses and a Western with friends Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, but neither film was made.[40] He said that "being a movie star isn't worth it":

I can't go anywhere as an ordinary individual. There was a time I could walk around Times Square in New York (my home town) and look into shop windows or go into a cafe and eat in peace. But no more. I can't go anywhere unnoticed. Movie fans seem to think that actors belong to them, but we like to feel we belong to ourselves. Don't get me wrong – I wanted fame and money when I decided to take up acting. I like being recognized – it's flattering. But there's always one character who spoils anything... I walk into a restaurant and get a ringside table- but you remember I also have to leave the biggest tip. If I don't, I'm labeled the tightest guy in town. And let's face it, acting is the easiest way I know to make a buck. But I think I'm a fairly bright boy – I figure I could have made as much in some other business... Anyone in the world with imagination and initiative can become a success. Me? I like to push buttons. I was born to be an executive – an idea man. An executive is a guy who thinks things up and has other people execute them. I'd quit work immediately if I had the money, and travel for a while. I'd like to do some writing. I marked two radio scripts and have finished synopses and five movie stories.[26]

Chandler made up with Universal,[41] which cast him in Lady Godiva of Coventry. Chandler refused the role and was replaced again by George Nader, but this time, the dispute was not over money, but due to Chandler's overwork.[42]

Universal cast Chandler in an expensive remake of The Spoilers, then was given the lead in one of the studio's most prestigious films of the year, Away All Boats.[43]

In May, Chandler performed at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. The Los Angeles Times wrote that Chandler "is proving remarkable in performing singing duty, even though he is not exactly a singing type". [44]

He made a Western, Pillars of the Sky, then had a change of pace with the comedy The Toy Tiger, the fourth movie he made that year. Louella Parsons called Chandler "the busiest actor in town... Jeff is so happy in his private life these days that he's doing everything the studio wants."[45]

Towards the end of the year, Chandler formed his own production company, Earlmar, with his agent Meyer Mishkin. This was to take effect from August 1956 onwards, when Chandler's exclusive contract with Universal expired. However, Chandler intended to continue to make films for Universal under a multipicture contract.[46] He was voted the seventh-most popular star with British cinema goers.[47]

Producer and new contract with Universal[edit]

In 1956, Universal gave Chandler a leave of absence from his contract with them "for a period of several months" to enable him to make his own movie for Earlmar. In exchange for this, Chandler was to make two more films for Universal under his original contract with them, then enter into a new arrangement under which he would appear in two films a year over three years.[48]

Earlmar signed a six-picture deal with United Artists, under which Chandler was to appear in at least three of the films.[49] He acted in and produced the first Earlmar production, a Western, Drango. "It's no Indian story," said Chandler, "let Cochise rest in peace."[50][51] Chandler bought the rights to a novel, Lincoln McEever, but it was never made; Drango turned out to be Earlmar's sole production.

After Drango, Chandler made the final two films owed under his original contract with Universal: The Tattered Dress, playing a lawyer in a melodrama, and Man in the Shadow, co-starring opposite Orson Welles. He had commitments to make two films per year at Universal until 1959.[52]

Freelance star[edit]

Chandler moved to Columbia and acted with Kim Novak in Jeanne Eagels.

He followed this with two films for Universal, The Lady Takes a Flyer with Lana Turner, and Raw Wind in Eden with Esther Williams.[53] A Motion Picture Exhibitor Poll listed him as the tenth-most popular male star in the US in 1957.[54]

Chandler made another for Universal, A Stranger in My Arms with June Allyson. He was to star opposite Tony Curtis in Operation Petticoat (1959), but fell ill and had to withdraw.[9][55]

Chandler's next two movies were made for a brand new company, Seven Arts: Ten Seconds to Hell, a drama with Jack Palance for director Robert Aldrich, and Thunder in the Sun, a Western with Susan Hayward.

The last of those was distributed by Paramount, which released Chandler's next film, another Western, The Jayhawkers![56] In Ten Seconds to Hell and The Jayhawkers! Chandler played villains. He later reflected "I've tried heavies – but audiences didn't seem to take to that."[57]

Chandler formed another production company, August, for which he made The Plunderers, a Western, distributed by Allied Artists.[58] Allied was so pleased with the film, they requested three more movies from August, but Chandler never got to make them.[57]

His next film, The Story of David, was filmed for American TV, his first work in that medium, but was shown theatrically in other countries.[59] It was shot in London and Israel. Chandler stated:

I don't want to make pictures in other countries; I want to stay home. But suddenly there are not enough pictures being made here. All other countries are giving inducements to companies and to players; even a little country like Israel is trying to formulate a plan for subsidies. Our government still taxes the hell out of people; somebody ought to wake 'em up.[57]

Chandler appeared in Return to Peyton Place for Fox. He then went over to Warner Bros. to make Merrill's Marauders, which was his last film.

Personal life[edit]

Chandler married actress Marjorie Hoshelle in 1946. The couple had two daughters, Jamie Tucker (born 1947) and Dana Grossel (born 1949). They separated in 1951,[60] again in 1954,[61] and filed for divorce in 1954. His wife complained that Chandler was "chronically fatigued so that he would fall asleep wherever we were."[62] They reconciled in March 1955.[63]

In 1957, he had an affair with Esther Williams while they made a movie together, and his wife filed for divorce at the end of the year.[64]

In his 1958 divorce proceedings, Chandler was revealed to be paying his wife an allowance of $1,500 per month. He said he was under contract to Universal to make two films a year at $60,000 per film for 1957 and $75,000 per film for 1958. He said he earned $250,000 in 1957 from his acting and singing, but had a lot of expenses, with his personal manager, business manager, and agent taking 25% of his income.[65] The court ordered Chandler to continue paying $1,500 per month.[66] Their divorce was granted in June 1959, with Chandler giving his wife $100,000 and over $2,166 per month in alimony plus $500 per month in child support. "He became so absorbed by his career that he spent all time when not actually working on a picture in his business office", said his wife. "I developed an ulcer."[67]

Chandler was involved in a will dispute concerning his stepfather in 1960.[68]

Chandler was a cousin of actor David Roya, who played the young villain Bernard Posner in Billy Jack.

When his friend Sammy Davis Jr. lost an eye in an accident and was in danger of losing the other, Chandler offered to give Davis one of his own eyes.[69] Chandler had nearly lost an eye and had been visibly scarred in an auto accident years earlier.

Chandler had a relationship with Gloria DeHaven that was exposed in Confidential magazine. At a trial, Fred Otash said the detectives had followed them to get the story.[70]

Esther Williams wrote in her 1999 autobiography that she broke off their relationship and that Chandler was a cross dresser. According to the Los Angeles Times, many friends and colleagues of Chandler rejected her claims. Jane Russell commented, "I've never heard of such a thing. Cross-dressing is the last thing I would expect of Jeff. He was a sweet guy, definitely all man."[71]

He was also linked with Ann Sheridan.[72]

Chandler's public support for Israel's 1956 attack on Egypt during the Suez Crisis prompted the United Arab Republic to campaign for his films to be banned in Arab countries in 1960.[4] Chandler was an active Democrat.[73]

He represented the Screen Actors Guild during talks throughout the 1960 actors' strike.[74]


While working on Merrill's Marauders in the Philippines, on April 15, 1961, Chandler injured his back playing baseball with U.S. Army Special Forces soldiers who served as extras in the film. He had injections to deaden the pain and enable him to finish the production.[75]

On May 13, 1961, he entered a hospital in Culver City, California, and had surgery for a spinal disc herniation. Severe complications arose; an artery was damaged, and Chandler hemorrhaged. On May 17, in a seven-and-a-half-hour emergency operation following the original surgery, he was given 55 pints of blood. A third operation followed on May 27, in which he received an additional 20 pints of blood.[76] He died on June 17, 1961. The cause was a blood infection complicated by pneumonia.[77]

At the time of his death, Chandler was involved with British actress Barbara Shelley. Tony Curtis and Gerald Mohr were among the pallbearers at Chandler's funeral, attended by more than 1,500 people.[78] He was buried at Hillside Memorial Park Cemetery in Culver City.[79]

An investigation into Chandler's death[80] determined it resulted from medical malpractice, and his children sued the hospital for $1.5 million.[11][81][82]

Chandler's estate was worth $600,000, which he left to his daughters.[80][83] His ex-wife sued his estate for $80,000 for money owed under their divorce settlement.[84]

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Chandler has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 1770 Vine Street.

Critical appraisal[edit]

Film historian David Shipman wrote this analysis of Chandler's image:

Jeff Chandler looked as though he had been dreamed up by one of those artists who specialise in male physique studies, or a mite further up the artistic scale, he might have been plucked bodily from some modern mural on a biblical subject. For that he had the requisite Jewishness (of which he was very proud) – and he was not quite real. Above all, he was impossibly handsome. He would never have been lost in a crowd, with that big, square, sculpted 20th century face and his prematurely grey wavy hair. If the movies had not found him the advertising agencies would have done – and in fact, whenever you saw a still of him you looked at his wrist-watch or pipe before realising that he wasn't promoting something. In the coloured stills and on posters his studio always showed his hair as blue, heightening the unreality. His real name was Ira Grossel and his film-name was exactly right.[8]

An obituary of Chandler said:

Known for his careful attention to detail in making pictures, Chandler was often described as introverted. But colleagues who worked with him closely said he had an easy, light-hearted approach on the set that helped ease some of the strain of production.[4]

In a 1960 interview Chandler said his favorite films were Broken Arrow, Battle of Apache Pass, Two Flags West, Because of You ("my first real love story"), Sign of the Pagan, The Toy Tiger ("a change for me"), Drango, Raw Wind in Eden ("beautiful locale"), and The Lady Takes a Flyer ("I had Lana Turner with me").[85]


The famed animated action-adventure series Jonny Quest's handsome, white-haired, veteran special agent bodyguard Race Bannon's design was modeled after Jeff Chandler by show creator Doug Wildey.


Year Title Role Notes
1945 Thrill of a Romance Singer Uncredited
1947 Johnny O'Clock Turk Film debut; uncredited
1947 The Invisible Wall Al Conway, henchman
1947 Roses Are Red Knuckles
1949 Mr. Belvedere Goes to College Pratt Uncredited
1949 Sword in the Desert Asvan Kurta Led to Chandler signing a long-term contract with Universal
1949 Abandoned Chief MacRae Alternative title: Abandoned Woman
1950 Broken Arrow Cochise Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor
1950 Deported Vic Smith
1950 The Desert Hawk Opening Off-Screen Narrator Uncredited
1950 Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion Narrator Voice; uncredited
1950 Two Flags West Major Henry Kenniston
1951 Double Crossbones Narrator Voice; uncredited
1951 Bird of Paradise Tenga
1951 Smuggler's Island Steve Kent
1951 Iron Man Coke Mason
1951 Meet Danny Wilson Jeff Chandler – Nightclub Patron Cameo; uncredited
1951 Flame of Araby Tamerlane Alternative title: Flame of the Desert
1952 The Battle at Apache Pass Cochise
1952 Red Ball Express Lt. Chick Campbell
1952 Son of Ali Baba Opening Narrator Voice; uncredited
1952 Yankee Buccaneer Cmdr. David Porter
1952 Because of You Steve Kimberly
1953 Girls in the Night Off-Screen Narrator at Finish Voice; uncredited. Alternative title: Life After Dark
1953 The Great Sioux Uprising Jonathan Westgate
1953 East of Sumatra Duke Mullane
1953 War Arrow Major Howell Brady
1953 Southern Cross Narrator Documentary about missions in the South[86]
1954 Taza, Son of Cochise Cochise Uncredited
1954 Yankee Pasha Jason Starbuck
1954 Sign of the Pagan Marcian
1955 Foxfire Jonathan Dartland
1955 Female on the Beach Drummond Hall
1955 The Spoilers Roy Glennister
1955 The Nat King Cole Musical Story Narrator Short
1956 The Toy Tiger Rick Todd
1956 Away All Boats Captain Jebediah S. Hawks
1956 Pillars of the Sky First Sergeant Emmett Bell Alternative title: The Tomahawk and the Cross
1957 Drango Major Clint Drango Also produced
1957 The Tattered Dress James Gordon Blane
1957 Man in the Shadow Ben Sadler Alternative titles: Pay the Devil, Seeds of Wrath
1957 Jeanne Eagels Sal Satori Alternative title: The Jeanne Eagels Story
1958 The Lady Takes a Flyer Mike Dandridge Alternative titles: A Game Called Love, Lion in the Sky, Wild and Wonderful
1958 Raw Wind in Eden Mark Moore / Scott Moorehouse
1959 A Stranger in My Arms Major Pike Yarnell Alternative title: And Ride a Tiger
1959 Thunder in the Sun Lon Bennett
1959 Ten Seconds to Hell Karl Wirtz Alternative title: The Phoenix
1959 The Jayhawkers! Luke Darcy
1960 The Plunderers Sam Christy Also producer
1960 A Story of David King David Alternative title: A Story of David: The Hunted
1961 Return to Peyton Place Lewis Jackman
1962 Merrill's Marauders Brig. Gen. Frank D. Merrill (final film role)

Unmade films[edit]

Select radio credits[edit]

Regular role[edit]

Guest appearances[edit]

  • "Young Mr. Lincoln" – Academy Award Theatre (July 10, 1946)
  • "Photo Finish" – Suspense (July 1946)
  • "With Cradle and Clock" – Cavalcade of America (February 2, 1946)
  • "Gregory Hood, Suspect" – The Casebook of Gregory Hood (September 30, 1946)
  • "Blood On Sun" – Academy Award Theatre (October 16, 1946)
  • "The Black Curtain" – Suspense (January 3, 1948)
  • "Snake Doctor" – Escape (February 8, 1948)
  • "Blond Mink", "Leopard's Spots", "Social Error", "Palm Beach Santa Claus" – Damon Runyon Theatre (1949)
  • "All My Sons" – Screen Directors Playhouse (Dec 1949) – with Edward G. Robinson
  • "Lifeboat" – Screen Directors Playhouse (November 16, 1950) – with Tallulah Bankhead
  • "Hired Wife" – Screen Directors Playhouse (1951) – with Rosalind Russell
  • "Only Yesterday" – Screen Directors Playhouse (July 1951) – with Mercedes McCambridge[95]
  • "Steel River Prison Break" – Suspense (September 3, 1951)
  • "The Joyful Hour" (December 1951)[96]
  • "Ben Hur" – Hallmark Playhouse (April 10, 1952)[97]
  • "The Woodsman" – The Woodsman (July 20, 1952)
  • "The Web" – Broadway Playhouse (July 1, 1953)[98]
  • "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair" – Suspense (October 19, 1953)[99]
  • "The Thief" – Suspense (1957)[100]
  • "A Good Neighbor" – Suspense (March 31, 1957)


Chandler had a concurrent career as a singer and recording artist, releasing several albums and playing nightclubs. In 1955 he became only the second star to play at the Riviera, after Liberace was the featured headliner. In her autobiography Hold the Roses (2002), Rose Marie wrote that "Jeff Chandler was a great guy, but he was no singer. He put together an act and we opened at the Riviera. He came with a conductor, piano player, light man, press agent, and manager. None of it helped, and everybody raved about Jeff's singing, but let's face it: He really didn't sing very well. He definitely had guts to open in Vegas". He left to work on a movie after three and a half weeks.

A May 1955 review of a Chandler live performance in Variety said "it is in the realm of pure song" that Chandler "falters and shows weakness."[101]

Album discography[edit]

Year Album Label Format Catalogue No.
1957 Jeff Chandler Sings To You Liberty Records LP LRP 3067
1958 Warm And Easy Liberty Records LP LRP 3074
1966 Sincerely Yours Sunset Records LP SUS-1527

Singles discography[edit]

Year Title Label Format Catalogue No.
1954 I Should Care/More Than Anyone Decca Records 45 r.p.m. 9-29004
Lamplight/That's All She's Waiting To Hear 9-29175
Always/Everything Happens To Me[102] 9-29345
1955 My Prayer/When Spring Comes Along 9-29405
Foxfire/Shaner Maidel 9-29532
Only The Very Young/A Little Love Can Go A Long, Long Way 9-29600/9-29532
1957 Half Of My Heart/Hold Me Liberty Records F-55092

Award nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Title of work Result
1951 Academy Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Broken Arrow Nominated
1958 Laurel Awards Top Male Star
14th Place
15th Place


  • The Trojan Horse – Oct 1940 – Long Island
  • Meet the World by Peg Fenwick – March 30, 1950 – a UNESCO-sponsored play about the United Nations at UCLA[103]
  • Newsbeat 1950 by Joseph Roos – March 1950 – one-off performance for Federation of Jewish Welfare Organisations[104]
  • Pageant of Stars – October 11, 1950[105]

Box office rankings[edit]

For a number of years, film exhibitors voted Chandler among the top stars at the box office.

  • 1952 – 22nd (US)[106]
  • 1953 – 18th (US)
  • 1954 – 16th (US)
  • 1955 – 20th (US), 7th (UK)[107]
  • 1956 – 18th (US), 5th (UK)
  • 1957 – 22nd (US), 6th (UK)

Further reading[edit]

  • Hoffmann, Henryk. "A" Western Filmmakers. McFarland & Co., 2000.
  • Kirk, Marilyn. Jeff Chandler. 1st Books Library/AuthorHouse, 2003.
  • Marie, Rose. Hold the Roses. University Press of Kentucky, 2002.
  • Wells, Jeff. Jeff Chandler: Film, Record, Radio, Television and Theater Performances. McFarland & Co., 2005.
  • Williams, Esther. The Million Dollar Mermaid. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000.


  1. ^ "Jeff Chandler".
  2. ^ Wells, Jeff (2005). Jeff Chandler: film, record, radio, television and theater performances. McFarland & Co. p. 5. ISBN 0-7864-2001-4.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Fame Has Its Fee For Jeff Chandler" by Richard L. Coe. The Washington Post and Times-Herald, March 31, 1954: 22.
  4. ^ a b c d "Jeff Chandler Is Dead; Blame Blood Poison: JEFF CHANDLER" Los Angeles Times June 18, 1961: f1.
  5. ^ "Troy on Long Island" New York Times October 31, 1940: 28.
  6. ^ a b "Big Chief!: As an Indian, Jeff Chandler caused countless feminine hearts to flutter; now, in straight dramatic roles, he's a box office smash". Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune November 9, 1952: i9.
  7. ^ "TOWER TICKER" Leonard, William. Chicago Daily Tribune August 8, 1951: a6.
  8. ^ a b Shipman, David, The Great Movie Stars: The International Years, London: Macdonald, 1989, p.97
  9. ^ a b "Overview for Jeff Chandler". Turner Classic Movies.
  10. ^ a b c d "Jeff Chandler Man of Many Faces: He Can Play Any Kind of Character Role, and Is a Glamor Guy, Too Hedda Hopper Writes of Jeff Chandler", Hopper, Hedda, Chicago Daily Tribune, May 6, 1951: c8.
  11. ^ a b Jeff Wells. Jeff Chandler: Film, Record, Radio, Television and Theater Performances. McFarland, 2005.
  12. ^ a b c "Jeff Chandler Finally Gets to 'Act His Age': Rising Young (31) Screens Player Considers Himself 'a Lucky Kid'" SCHEUER, PHILIP K. Los Angeles Times October 29, 1950: D3.
  13. ^ "Looking at Hollywood", Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune November 29, 1947: 16.
  14. ^ "The News of Radio: John Kieran Will Perform for Television in Series of Films on Natural History", The New York Times, July 12, 1948: 32.
  16. ^ "THEDA BARA MOVIE GOES TO COLUMBIA: De Sylva's 'The Great Vampire' Will Be Distributed by Studio – 'Champion' Suit Ruling" by Thomas F. Brady, The New York Times, May 7, 1949: 10.
  17. ^ "Steigers Act Out Breakup of a Marriage: Breakup Acted Out by Steigers Loynd, Ray". Los Angeles Times June 27, 1969: d1.
  18. ^ "Big Chief Cochise Set; Sidney to Direct 'Keys;' Trevor 'Package' Looms" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times May 18, 1949: A7.
  19. ^ a b "BETTE DAVIS SEEKS TO LEAVE WARNERS: Negotiations Are Under Way to Cancel Contract, Making Actress a Free Agent" by THOMAS F. BRADY New York Times July 26, 1949: 31.
  20. ^ "LANCASTER, HECHT BUY MAILER NOVEL: Actor to Play Lieut. Hearn Role in 'The Naked and the Dead' for Norma Productions" by THOMAS F. BRADY New York Times August 17, 1949: 18.
  21. ^ "BY WAY OF REPORT" by A. H. WEILER. New York Times August 21, 1949: X3.
  22. ^ "Drama: Hayward Slates Picture; 20th Casts Chandler; 'Chaplains' Activated" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times March 1, 1950: A7
  23. ^ "Jeff Chandler Among Movie Visitors Here" Tinee, Mae. Chicago Daily Tribune August 19, 1951: f3.
  24. ^ "Foy, 'Breen Shape 'Tanks Are Coming' for Screen; Bushman Acts King Saul" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times November 27, 1950: C9.
  25. ^ "LADD, PARAMOUNT DISCUSS CONTRACT: Actor Seeks Picture-a-Year Deal on Long-Term Basis After Current Pact Ends Youngster Gets Role" By THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times September 14, 1951: 22.
  26. ^ a b Hopper, Hedda (December 26, 1954). "FAME ISN'T ENOUGH!: Outspoken Star Would Like to Forsake the Films and Become an Executive". Chicago Daily Tribune. p. e11.
  27. ^ Funk, Edward (2015). Eavesdropping: Loretta Young Talks about her Movie Years. Bear Manor Media. p. 339.
  28. ^ "Martin And Lewis Top U.S. Film Poll". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. December 27, 1952. p. 3. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  29. ^ "Drama: Cyd Charisse Costar in 'Strategy of Love'" Los Angeles Times June 26, 1952: A6.
  30. ^ "Looking at Hollywood: Jean Simmons, Vic Mature Will Co-Star in 'Breakup'", Hedda Hopper's Staff, Chicago Daily Tribune, July 11, 1952: a6.
  31. ^ "Film Unit Opposes Foreign Ventures: A.F.L. Council Opens Campaign to Halt Cheaper Production Abroad by U. S. Studios", The New York Times, July 10, 1952: 27.
  32. ^ "FILM UNIT OPPOSES FOREIGN VENTURES: A.F.L. Council Opens Campaign to Halt Cheaper Production Abroad by U. S. Studios", The New York Times, July 10, 1952: 27.
  33. ^ "Jeff Chandler Likely for Demetrius; 'Highest Mountain' New Purchase", Schallert, Edwin, Los Angeles Times, August 1, 1952: B7.
  34. ^ "Looking at Hollywood: Movie Studio Plans Remake of 'The Magnificent Obsession'" Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune February 3, 1953: a2.
  35. ^ "Chief Crazyhorse' Held Right for Jeff Chandler; Slate Signs Term Deal" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times March 21, 1953: 11.
  36. ^ "Drama: Dietrich's Las Vegas Fee $30,000 Weekly". Los Angeles Times. September 21, 1953. p. B8.
  37. ^ "Tony Curtis Trains for Role in Musical" Los Angeles Times October 24, 1953: 10.
  38. ^ 'Indian' Chandler Changes Pace; He's Now Half Indian" Los Angeles Times June 27, 1955: 23.
  39. ^ "Jeff Chandler Suspended at U-I" Los Angeles Times May 21, 1954: A6.
  40. ^ a b Hopper, Hedda, "Jeff Chandler Aims to Do 'Young Moses'", Los Angeles Times, July 13, 1954: B6.
  41. ^ "ALLIED ARTISTS SIGNS PRODUCER: John Huston to Make 3 Films – Wyler and Wilder Also Completing Similar Deals" by THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times May 26, 1954: 35.
  42. ^ "NADER TO REPLACE CHANDLER 2D TIME: Actor Will Be Co-Star With Maureen O'Hara in 'Lady Godiva' Film at U.-I." by THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times August 26, 1954: 24
  43. ^ "ACTOR TO RELIVE INCIDENT OF WAR: Philip Carey Again Will Be Aboard Carrier 'Bombed' for 'Battle Stations'" by THOMAS M. PRYOR . New York Times February 21, 1955: 17.
  44. ^ "Pine-Thomas Tradition Lives On; Jeff Chandler Makes Debut in Vegas" Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times May 13, 1955: B7.
  45. ^ Louella Parsons: "Jeff Chandler? He's The Busiest, Now" The Washington Post and Times-Herald [Washington, D.C.], November 1, 1955: 35.
  46. ^ "Drama: Indie Setups Announced by Cummings, Chandler; Hello, Barry Fitzgerald" Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times November 21, 1955: 41.
  47. ^ "Dirk Bogarde favourite film actor" A Cinema Correspondent. The Irish Times [Dublin, Ireland] December 29, 1955: 9.
  48. ^ "NEW MOVIE DEAL FOR BILLY WILDER: Signed to Direct 'Witness for the Prosecution' After Completing 2 Other Films R.K.O. Buys Rose TV Play" by THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times April 27, 1956: 22.
  49. ^ "R.K.O. TO MAKE SPACE-TEST FILM: Feature to Depict Efforts of U.S. Scientists to Launch an Earth Satellite" by THOMAS M. PRYOR New York Times April 23, 1956: 23.
  50. ^ Louella Parsons: "Linda Darnell Signs With Jeff Chandler" The Washington Post and Times-Herald [Washington, D.C.], May 16, 1956: 37.
  51. ^ "Tuesday Proclaimed as L.A. Free Enterprise Day" Los Angeles Times April 26, 1956: 23.
  52. ^ "SYMBOLIC DRAMA WILL BE A MOVIE: 'A Passenger to Bali,' Which Ran Here in 1940, Bought by Security Pictures" by THOMAS M. PRYOR The New York Times September 24, 1956: 23.
  53. ^ "Looking at Hollywood: Orson Welles Will Star in and Direct 'Badge of Evil'", Hopper, Hedda, Chicago Daily Tribune, January 11, 1957: a6.
  54. ^ "Rock Hudson, Doris Day Top New Poll; U-I Gives Boost to Joanna Moore", Scheuer, Philip K., Los Angeles Times, August 28, 1957: 27.
  55. ^ "Briefs from the Lots". Variety. October 1, 1959. p. 7.
  56. ^ "GOLDWYN NAMED FOR MOVIE HONOR: Producers Guild to Give Him Milestone Award – Jeff Chandler Gets Role" by THOMAS M. PRYOR The New York Times October 21, 1958: 38.
  57. ^ a b c "Renewal at Allied for Jeff Chandler: 'Plunderers' Pleases Studio; Star Urges Subsidy for Films" Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times October 4, 1960: A9.
  58. ^ "Marsha Hunt Signs for 'Plunderers': 'Threepenny Opera' Due Here; 'Untouchables' Will Expand" Scheuer, Philip K. Los Angeles Times May 3, 1960: A13
  59. ^ "CHANDLER SIGNED FOR BIBLE DRAMAS: Actor to Play David in Two Specials on A.B.C.-TV – Baseball Schedule Set" By RICHARD F. SHEPARD. The New York Times March 7, 1960: 50.
  60. ^ "Jeff Chandler Among Movie Visitors Here", Tinee, Mae, Chicago Daily Tribune, August 19, 1951: f3
  61. ^ "Jeff Chandler". The Australian Women's Weekly. National Library of Australia. July 21, 1954. p. 35. Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  62. ^ "Wife Divorces Jeff Chandler, Screen Actor", Los Angeles Times, April 16, 1954: 2
  63. ^ Divorce Planned but Called Off, Says Jeff Chandler Los Angeles Times March 17, 1955: 25.
  64. ^ "Chandler Sued for Divorce", The New York Times, December 7, 1957: 19.
  65. ^ "Jeff Chandler, Wife Refuse Reconciliation: Actor Offers to Continue $1500-a-Month Allowance; She Asks Total of $6500", Los Angeles Times, January 11, 1958: B1.
  66. ^ "Jeff Chandler Must Pay Wife $1500 Monthly", Los Angeles Times, January 16, 1958: A12.
  67. ^ "Jeff Chandler's Wife Gets Divorce, $100,000: She Says She Developed Ulcer Because He Was Too Absorbed in His Film Work", Los Angeles Times, June 30, 1959: 5
  68. ^ "Jeff Chandler Ordered to Produce Will", Los Angeles Times, February 11, 1960: 5.
  69. ^ Davis, Sammy Jr.: Yes I Can, The Story of Sammy Davis, Jr., New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1965) ISBN 0-374-52268-5
  70. ^ "'Spying' on Anita Told by Detective: Pejury Action Possible" Los Angeles Times March 1, 1957: 1.
  71. ^ Lovell, Glenn (October 27, 1999). "Esther Williams Is All Wet, Say Friends of the Late Jeff Chandler". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  72. ^ a b "Ann Sheridan, Jeff Chandler to Co-Star in 'Steel Town': Looking at Hollywood", Hopper, Hedda, Chicago Daily Tribune, July 26, 1951: a2.
  73. ^ May, Stephen J. (November 27, 2012). Michener: A Writer's Journey. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 9780806182148 – via Google Books.
  74. ^ "FILM CHIEFS MEET UNION OFFICIALS: Studio Heads and Actors Guild Aides Bargain Over Strike Issues" by MURRAY SCHUMACH The New York Times January 19, 1960: 40.
  75. ^ "Jeff Chandler Has Spine Injury", The New York Times, April 17, 1961: 35.
  76. ^ "Jeff Chandler Still Critical But Better", Los Angeles Times, May 29, 1961: 2.
  77. ^ "Blood Infection Caused Death of Jeff Chandler", Los Angeles Times, June 19, 1961: B1.
  78. ^ "1,500 Attend Funeral of Actor Jeff Chandler: Hundreds of Movie Fans and Many of His Friends in Baseball Present at Rites", Los Angeles Times, June 20, 1961: 2.
  79. ^ Blum, Daniel (May 24, 1962). Screen World 1962. Biblo & Tannen Publishers. ISBN 9780819603036 – via Google Books.
  80. ^ a b "State Will Investigate Jeff Chandler's Death: Bureau to Look Into Hospital Procedure in Actor's Case Due to Public Interest", Los Angeles Times, June 29, 1961: B1.
  81. ^ "$1.5 Million Suit Filed in Jeff Chandler Death: Damages from Hospital and Physicians Asked on Behalf of Children and Estate"
  82. ^ "Jeff Chandler Heirs Settle for $233,358", Los Angeles Times, February 21, 1962: A1.
  83. ^ "Jeff Chandler Wills $600,000 to Daughters", Los Angeles Times, June 23, 1961: 20.
  84. ^ "Jeff Chandler Estate Sued", Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1962: 9
  85. ^ Taylor, Norman (November 1960). "Jeff Chandler". Films in Review. p. 9.
  86. ^ "Tribune GO-TO-MOVIE GUIDE: Tony Martin Gives Views on Career" Tinee, Mae. Chicago Daily Tribune November 29, 1953: e3.
  87. ^ "Jeff Chandler Sought for 'Angry River;' Wanger Plans Mounties Movie", Schallert, Edwin, Los Angeles Times, July 15, 1952: A7.
  88. ^ "Looking at Hollywood: Ann Sheridan, Jeff Chandler to Star in 'Vermilion O'Toole'", Hedda Hopper's Staff, Chicago Daily Tribune, March 17, 1952: b3.
  89. ^ "Jeff Chandler Will Star in 'Holy Grail'", Hopper, Hedda, Los Angeles Times, May 29, 1953: 10.
  90. ^ "Jeff Chandler Wanted as Star for Movie on Huk Warfare", Hopper, Hedda, Chicago Daily Tribune, December 15, 1954: b14.
  91. ^ "'Chief Crazyhorse' Held Right for Jeff Chandler; Slate Signs Term Deal", Schallert, Edwin, Los Angeles Times, March 21, 1953: 11.
  92. ^ "R.K.O. to Make Space-Test Film: Feature to Depict Efforts of U.S. Scientists to Launch an Earth Satellite" by Thomas M. Pryor, The New York Times, April 23, 1956: 23
  93. ^ "Drama: Henry Fonda to Have Lee Cobb as Costar", Los Angeles Times, May 15, 1956: 34.
  94. ^ "Jolson to appear on C. B. S. radio, TV: Network Secures Entertainer's Services for 3-Year Period - Randolph in New Show", The New York Times, November 1, 1949: 52
  95. ^ "MBS Stations Book Russell For Interview: The Radio Dialer and TV Guide" The Christian Science Monitor July 3, 1951: 4.
  96. ^ "VIDEO AND RADIO TO REACH HIGH POINT AT YULE: Programs Are Listed for Holiday" REMENIH, ANTON. Chicago Daily Tribune December 23, 1951: n7.
  97. ^ Kirby, Walter (April 6, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 52. Retrieved May 16, 2015 – via Open access icon
  98. ^ Kirby, Walter (June 28, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved July 1, 2015 – via Open access icon
  99. ^ Kirby, Walter (October 18, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved July 6, 2015 – via Open access icon
  100. ^ "Radio Roundup" Ames, Walter. Los Angeles Times March 31, 1957: G18.
  101. ^ May 1955 review at Variety
  102. ^ Review of this single at Variety
  103. ^ "'Meet the World' Proves Impressive Stage Event" Los Angeles Times March 31, 1950: 22.
  104. ^ "Red Cross Saved Life of Baby, Mother Says: Complete Transfusion Soon After Birth Provided From Supply of Whole Blood" Los Angeles Times March 19, 1950: E26.
  105. ^ "STAR SHOW DAZZLES 30,000 AT COLISEUM: STAR PAGEANT" Los Angeles Times October 12, 1950: 1.
  106. ^ "Martin And Lewis Top U.S. Film Poll". The Sydney Morning Herald. December 27, 1952. p. 3. Retrieved April 27, 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  107. ^ 'Dirk Bogarde's favourite film actor', The Irish Times December 29, 1955: 9.

External links[edit]