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|Born||John George Agar, Jr.
January 31, 1921
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||April 7, 2002
Burbank, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Riverside National Cemetery|
|Spouse(s)||Shirley Temple (m. 1945–1950; divorced); 1 daughter
Loretta Combs (m. 1951–2000; her death); 2 sons
|Children||Linda Susan Agar (Susan Black)
John G. Agar III
John George Agar, Jr. (January 31, 1921 – April 7, 2002) was an American actor. He is best known for starring alongside John Wayne in the films Sands of Iwo Jima, Fort Apache, and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. In his later career he was the star of B movies, such as Tarantula, The Mole People, The Brain from Planet Arous, Revenge of the Creature, Flesh and the Spur, and Hand of Death. He was the first husband of Shirley Temple.
Agar was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Lillian (née Rogers) and John Agar, Sr., a meat packer. He was educated at the Harvard School for Boys in Chicago and Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Illinois. He graduated from Trinity-Pawling Preparatory School in Pawling, New York, but did not attend college. He and his family moved from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1942, after his father’s death.
During World War II he served in the United States Army Air Corps, mostly at the March Field in Riverside, California, serving as a physical fitness instructor. He was a sergeant at the time he left the AAF in 1946.
Agar's sister was a schoolmate of Shirley Temple. In 1944 Agar escorted Temple to a party held by her boss at the time, David O. Selznick. The two fell in love and were married in 1945. Selznick signed Agar to a five-year acting contract starting at $150 a week, including acting lessons.
Agar and Temple worked together in Fort Apache and Adventure in Baltimore. The first of these, where they supported John Wayne, was particularly successful. Agar later reunited with Wayne in two more hits, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and The Sands of Iwo Jima.
Agar and Temple had a daughter together, Linda Susan Agar, b. 1948, (who was later known as Susan Black, taking the surname of her stepfather Charles Alden Black). However, the marriage foundered, in part because of Agar's drinking (he had been arrested for drunk driving) and in part because of pressures of their high public profile. Temple sued for divorce on the grounds of mental cruelty in 1949.
B Movie Star
Agar's career suffered in the wake of his divorce, but he developed a niche playing leading men in low-budget science fiction, Western, and horror movies in the 1950s and 1960s. John Wayne gave him several supporting roles in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In later years he worked extensively in television.
"I don't resent being identified with B science fiction movies at all," Agar later said. "Why should I? Even though they were not considered top of the line, for those people that like sci-fi, I guess they were fun. My whole feeling about working as an actor is, if I give anybody any enjoyment, I'm doing my job, and that's what counts."
After his divorce from Temple, Agar remarried in 1951 to model Loretta Barnett Combs (1922–2000). They remained married for 49 years until her death in 2000. They had two sons, Martin Agar and John G. Agar, III.
Agar died on April 7, 2002 at Burbank, California of complications from emphysema. He was buried beside his wife at Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California. He was survived by his three children.
- Agar made six movies with John Wayne: Fort Apache, Sands of Iwo Jima, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, The Undefeated, Chisum, and Big Jake.
- The Seattle band The Young Fresh Fellows recorded the song "The New John Agar" on the Topsy Turvy album in 1985.
- Fort Apache - Lieutenant Michael O'Rourke (1948)
- Sands of Iwo Jima - PFC Peter Conway (1949)
- She Wore a Yellow Ribbon - Lieutenant Flint Cohill (1949)
- Adventure in Baltimore - Tom Wade (1949)
- I Married a Communist - Don Lowry (1949)
- Breakthrough - Lieutenant Joe Mallory (1950)
- The Magic Carpet - Ramoth (1951)
- Along the Great Divide - Billy Shear (1951)
- Woman of the North Country (1952)
- Man of Conflict - Ray Compton (1953)
- Bait - Ray (1954)
- The Golden Mistress - Bill Buchanan (1954)
- The Rocket Man - Tom Baxter (1954)
- Shield for Murder - Mark Brewster (1954)
- Revenge of the Creature - Professor Clete Ferguson (1955)
- The Lonesome Trail - Johnny Rush (1955)
- Hold Back Tomorrow - Joe Cardos (1955)
- Tarantula (1955) "Doctor Matt Hastings (1955)
- The Mole People - Dr. Roger Bentley (1956)
- Star in the Dust - Sheriff Bill Jorden (1956)
- The Brain from Planet Arous - Steve March (1957)
- Daughter of Dr. Jekyll - George Hastings (1957)
- Flesh and the Spur - 'Luke' Random/Matt Random (1957)
- Joe Butterfly - Sergeant Dick Mason (1957)
- Ride a Violent Mile - Jeff Dunning (1957)
- Frontier Gun - Jim Crayle (1958)
- Attack of the Puppet People - Bob Westley (1958)
- Jet Attack - Capt. Tom Arnett (1958)
- Invisible Invaders - Major Bruce Jay (1959)
- Raymie - Ike (1960)
- Fall Girl - Joe McElroy (1961)
- Hand of Death - Alex Marsh (1962)
- Journey to the Seventh Planet - Capt. Don Graham (1962)
- The Young and The Brave - Intelligence officer (1963)
- Cavalry Command/PHL: "The Day of the Trumpet" - Sergeant Norcutt (1963)
- Of Love and Desire - Gus Cole (1963)
- Law of the Lawless - Pete Stone (1964)
- Stage to Thunder Rock - Dan Carrouthers (1964)
- Young Fury - Dawson (1965)
- Combat Captain Thorpe (episode The Mockingbird 1966)
- Johnny Reno - Ed Tomkins (1966)
- Women of the Prehistoric Planet - Dr. Farrell (1966)
- Waco (1966)
- Curse of the Swamp Creature - TV movie - Barry Rogers (1966)
- Women of the Prehistoric Planet - Dr. Farrell (1966)
- Zontar, The Thing from Venus - Dr. Curt Taylor (1966)
- St. Valentine's Day Massacre - Dion O'Banion (1967)
- Night Fright - Sheriff Clint Crawford (1967)
- Hell Raiders (1968)
- The Undefeated - Christian (1969)
- Chisum (1970) - Amos Patton (1970)
- Big Jake - Bert Ryan (1971)
- King Kong - City Official (1976)
- Mr. No Legs (1982)
- Attack of the B-Movie Monster - Dr. Ferguson (1985)
- Miracle Mile - Ivan Peters (1989)
- Nightbreed (1990) Special Appearance
- Fear - TV movie - Leonard Scott Levy (1990)
- The Perfect Bride TV movie (1991)
- Invasion of Privacy - TV movie - Old Convict (1992)
- Body Bags - TV movie - Dr. Lang (1993)
- The Pandora Directive - Thomas Malloy (1996)
- The Naked Monster (2005)
- Perry Mason - episode - The Case of the Caretaker's Cat - Kenneth Baxter (1959)
- Rawhide - episode - Incident at the Buffalo Smokehouse - Lon Grant (1959)
- Rawhide - episode - Incident of the Slavemaster - Mike Anderson (1960)
- Bat Masterson - episode - Farmer with a Badge - Sam Phelps (1961)
- Ripcord - episode - Chuting Stars - Warren Officer Frank Pierson (1961)
- Lawman - episode - The Witness - Jim Martin (1962)
- Death Valley Days - episode - Pioneer Doctor - Dr. Edwards (1963)
- The Virginian - episode - Another's Footsteps - Tom Anders (1964)
- Branded - episode - $10,000 for Durango - The Sheriff (1965)
- Family Affair - episode - What Did You Do in the West, Uncle? - Gabe (1967)
- Hondo - episode - Hondo and the Judas - Frank James (1967)
- The Virginian - episode - The Mustangers - Joe Williams (1968)
- Charlie's Angels - episode - Target: Angels - Col. Blaylock (1976)
- Highway to Heaven - episode - The Return of the Masked Rider - Morton Clay (1984)
- The Making of 'Sands of Iwo Jima' - Video Documentary Short - Himself (1993)
- John Agar profile, filmreference.com; accessed February 18, 2014
- John Agar Biography at Monster Shack accessed January 19, 2014
- John Agar obituary in The Guardian 13 April 2002 accessed 19 January 2014
- Kristin McMurran, "Shirley Temple Black Taps Out a Telling Memoir of Child Stardom", People Magazine 28 November 1988 accessed 19 January 2014
- Los Angeles Times obituary, April 9, 2002; accessed January 19, 2014
- John Agar at Find a Grave
- The Official John Agar Website
- John Agar at the Internet Movie Database
- John Agar at AllMovie
- Findagrave.com: John Agar
- Interview with John Agar III at Scar Monsters Magazine