Jon Hall (actor)

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Jon Hall
Jon Hall 1956.jpg
Hall in 1956
Born Charles Felix Locher
February 23, 1915
Fresno, California
Died December 13, 1979(1979-12-13) (aged 64)
North Hollywood, California
Occupation Actor
Years active 1935–1965
Spouse(s) Frances Langford (1934–1955) (divorced)
Raquel Torres (1959–?) (divorced)
Raquel Torres (?-?) (remarried/divorced)

Jon Hall (February 23, 1915 – December 13, 1979) was an American film actor known for playing a variety of adventurous roles, as in 1937's The Hurricane, and later when contracted to Universal Pictures, including Invisible Agent and The Invisible Man's Revenge. He was also known to 1950s fans as the creator and star of the Ramar of the Jungle television series which ran from 1952 to 1954. Hall directed and starred in two 1960's sci-fi films in his later years, The Beach Girls and the Monster (1965) and The Navy vs. the Night Monsters (1966).

Biography[edit]

Born Charles Felix Locher[1] in Fresno, California, and raised in Tahiti by his father, the Swiss-born actor Felix Locher, he was a nephew of writer James Norman Hall, the author, along with Charles Nordhoff, of the novel Mutiny on the Bounty. Hall began acting in films in 1935 in minor roles, one of which was Charlie Chan in Shanghai.

Though rejected for the lead of the Flash Gordon serial [2] he achieved notable success in 1937, when cast opposite another relative newcomer, Dorothy Lamour, in The Hurricane, based on a novel by Nordhoff and Hall. His double in The Hurricane was the stuntman and actor Paul Stader. After two and a half years inactive, he made three films in quick succession.[3]

Hall was under contract to Sam Goldwyn and earning a good salary, although it took him a while to find his next project. Goldwyn refused to lend him out for Thief of Bagdad.[4]

Eventually contracted to Universal, Hall maintained his popularity until the end of the 1940s, usually playing leads in adventure films. In 1940, he portrayed Kit Carson in a biographical film of the frontiersman's life, Kit Carson. He made six popular Technicolor adventure films with Maria Montez: Arabian Nights (1942), White Savage (1943), Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944), Cobra Woman (1944), Gypsy Wildcat (1944), and Sudan (1945).

He became known to the Universal Monsters fan base for playing two different Invisible Men in Invisible Agent and The Invisible Man's Revenge. He is the only actor to have portrayed an Invisible Man more than once in the original Universal series.

Jon Hall is perhaps best remembered by later audiences as the star of the television series Ramar of the Jungle, which ran from 1952 to 1954. Hall directed and starred in the 1965 cult horror film The Beach Girls and the Monster. He made his final two television appearances on Perry Mason; in 1963, he played Max Randall in "The Case of the Festive Felon," and in 1965, he played Lt. Kia in "The Case of the Feather Cloak."

Personal life[edit]

Hall was married to singer Frances Langford from 1934 until 1955, and also later twice married and divorced actress Raquel Torres.

Jon was an inventor and highly skilled aviator. He held patents on an underwater camera, optivision lenses and the design of the hulls of PT boats for the US Navy.[5]

Death[edit]

By February 1979, Hall was living at his sister's house on Atoll Ave. in North Hollywood, California, while undergoing painful chemotherapy treatments for incurable bladder cancer. Hall's health declined to a point that he found unbearable, and after telling friends that the pain of his illness was overwhelming, he committed suicide December 13, 1979, by gunshot to his head in his bedroom of the home. He was discovered by his brother-in-law, Edward Bayman. Hall was 64. He is buried next to his father in Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills). His bronze marker reads Charles F. Locher / "Jon Hall" / Beloved Son and Brother / 1915–1979.[6]

Hollywood Walk of Fame[edit]

Hall has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for Motion Pictures at 1724 Vine Street and for television at 6933 Hollywood Boulevard.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Astro Data Bank – Hall, Jon
  2. ^ p.35 Buster Crabbe interview quoted in Kinnard, Roy, Crnkovich, Tony & Vitone R. J. The Flash Gordon Serials, 1936-1940: A Heavily Illustrated Guide McFarland, 14/04/2008
  3. ^ "Looking at Hollywood: Jon Hall, a Forgotten Hero" Chicago Daily Tribune 7 July 1940: d3.
  4. ^ "A FORGOTTEN MAN.". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 23 November 1939. p. 25. Retrieved 29 May 2013. 
  5. ^ p. 12 New Lens Brings Cinemascope to Home Movies and Slides The Dispatch – Jan 28, 1976
  6. ^ "Jon Hall". Find a Grave. Retrieved October 16, 2010. 

External links[edit]