Mark Stevens (actor)

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Mark Stevens
Mark Stevens the dark corner.JPG
in The Dark Corner (1946)
Born Richard William Stevens
(1916-12-13)December 13, 1916
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Died September 15, 1994(1994-09-15) (aged 77)
Majores, Spain
Other names Stephen Richards
Years active 1943–1987
Spouse(s) Annelle Hayes (m. 1945–1962) (divorced) 2 children

Mark Stevens (born Richard William Stevens, December 13, 1916 – September 15, 1994) was an American actor, one of four who played the lead role in the television series, Martin Kane, Private Eye, which aired on NBC from 1949 to 1954.

Career[edit]

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Stevens first studied to become a painter before becoming active in theater work. He then launched a radio career as an announcer in Akron, Ohio.

Warner Bros - as Stephen Richards[edit]

Moving to Hollywood, he became a Warner Brothers contract actor at $100 a week in 1943. The studio darkened and straightened his curly red hair and covered his freckles. At first he was billed as Stephen Richards. They gave him small parts, often uncredited, in films like Destination Tokyo (1943), Passage to Marseille (1944), The Doughgirls (1944), Hollywood Canteen (1944), Objective, Burma! (1945), God Is My Co-Pilot (1945), The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945), Rhapsody in Blue (1945) and Pride of the Marines (1945). He usually played soldiers. Eventually the studio let him go.

20th Century Fox[edit]

He was then signed to 20th Century Fox who changed his name to Mark Stevens at the suggestion of Darryl Zanuck.

His first movie for the studio was Within These Walls (1945), fourth-billed, playing the romantic male lead. Stevens was borrowed by RKO to play the lead role in From This Day Forward (1946) with Joan Fontaine.

Back at Fox Stevens was in The Dark Corner (1946) with Lucille Ball and Clifton Webb, a film noir that attempted to repeat the success of Laura (1944). In 1946 exhibitors voted him the fifth-most promising "star of tomorrow".[1]

Fox put him in a musical with June Haver, I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now (1947), playing Joseph E. Howard. It was a big hit. So too was The Street With No Name (1948), where Stevens played an FBI man going undercover to arrest a gangster played by Richard Widmark, and The Snake Pit (1948), where he played Olivia de Havilland's loyal husband.

Stevens was in a Western, Sand (1949) and another musical biopic with Haver, Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1949), playing Fred Fisher.[2] He supported William Powell in Dancing in the Dark (1949).

Stevens was borrowed by MGM to play Matthew Kinston, one of Deborah Kerr's three suitors in Please Believe Me (1950). For Columbia he starred in the film-noir Between Midnight and Dawn (1950).

Universal[edit]

Stevens then signed a contract at Universal: Target Unknown (1951), a war film; Katie Did It (1951), a romantic comedy; Little Egypt (1951) with Rhonda Fleming; Reunion in Reno (1951).

In 1951, he starred in the DuMont series News Gal which was later syndicated on ABC in 1957.

Stevens made Mutiny (1952) for the King Brothers and went to England for The Lost Hours (1952).

He was in Torpedo Alley (1953). Stevens took over the lead role in Martin Kane, Private Eye from 1953-54.

From 1954–56 he played a newspaper managing editor in the CBS Television series Big Town, having replaced Patrick McVey, who starred in the role from 1950-54. Reruns of Big Town began airing on DuMont under the title City Assignment while new episodes of the series were still appearing on CBS.

Director[edit]

In the 1950s he directed several features: Cry Vengeance (1954); Time Table (1956); Gun Fever (1958); Man on a Raft (1958); The Man in the Water (1963) and Sunscorched (1966).

As an actor only he was in Gunsight Ridge (1956), September Storm (1960) and Fate is the Hunter (1964).

Later career[edit]

He later worked in semi-retirement in the 1960s in Europe.[3] His credits include Spain Again (1969) and The Fury of the Wolfman (1972).

In the 80's he appeared in television shows Magnum, P.I. and Murder, She Wrote.

Death[edit]

On September 15, 1994, Stevens died of cancer in Majores, Spain, at the age of 77.[4]

For his contribution to the television industry, Mark Stevens has a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, located at 6637 Hollywood Blvd.

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1943 Destination Tokyo Admiral's aide Uncredited
1944 Passage to Marseille Lieutenant Hastings Uncredited
Roaring Guns Lance Ferris as Stephen Richards
The Doughgirls Lt. Harry Kerry Uncredited
Hollywood Canteen Soldier on deck Uncredited
1945 Objective, Burma! Lt. Barker as Stephen Richards
God Is My Co-Pilot Sgt. Baldridge as Stephen Richards
The Horn Blows at Midnight Angel Uncredited
Rhapsody in Blue Steve Uncredited
Within These Walls Steve Purcell
Pride of the Marines Ainslee as Stephen Richards
1946 From This Day Forward Bill Cummings
The Dark Corner Bradford Galt
1947 I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now Joe Howard
1948 The Street with No Name Gene Cordell/George Manly
The Snake Pit Robert Cunningham
1949 Sand Jeff Keane
Oh, You Beautiful Doll Larry Kelly
Dancing in the Dark Bill Davis
1950 Please Believe Me Matthew Kinston
Between Midnight and Dawn Officer Rocky Barnes
1951 Target Unknown Capt. Jerome 'Steve' Stevens
Katie Did It Peter Van Arden
Little Egypt Wayne Cravat
Reunion in Reno Norman Drake
1952 Mutiny Capt. James Marshall
The Lost Hours Paul Smith
Torpedo Alley Lt. Bob Bingham
1953 Jack Slade Joseph A. 'Jack' Slade
1954 Cry Vengeance Vic Barron Also director
1956 Time Table Charlie Norman Also director
1957 Gunsight Ridge Velvet Clark
1958 Gun Fever Luke Ram Also director
Gunsmoke in Tucson Jedediah (Chip) Coburn
1960 September Storm Joe Balfour
1963 Escape from Hell Island Capt. James Also director
1964 Fate Is the Hunter Mickey Doolan
Frozen Alive Dr. Frank Overton Original title: Der Fall X701
1965 Jessy Does Not Forgive... He Kills! Sheriff Jeff Kinsley Original title: Tierra de fuego
1966 Go with God, Gringo Smith Original title: Vaya con dios gringo
1969 Cry for Poor Wally Gaylord Blue – Radio DJ
Spain Again Dr. David Foster Original title: España otra vez
1972 The Fury of the Wolfman Bill Williams Uncredited
Original title: La furia del Hombre Lobo

Television[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
1957 Wagon Train Nels Stack
1962 Rawhide John Shepard Episode: Incident of the Hunter
1978 The Eddie Capra Mysteries Ballinger Episode: "How Do I Kill Thee?"

Radio[edit]

Year Program Role Notes
1947 Suspense Jimmy Dawson Episode: "Tree of Life"[5]
1947 Suspense Bill Cummings Episode: From This Day Forward[6]
1952 Cavalcade of America Thaddeus Fairbanks Episode: "The Yankee and the Scales"[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "The Stars of To-morrow". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 10 September 1946. p. 11 Supplement: The Sydney Morning Herald Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2012. 
  2. ^ All Movie biography Archived 2006-04-26 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Mark Stevens on IMDb
  4. ^ TCM Biography
  5. ^ http://www.escape-suspense.com/2009/06/suspense-tree-of-life.html open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "LRT Guest". Harrisburg Telegraph. October 26, 1946. p. 21. Retrieved September 29, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ Kirby, Walter (April 20, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved May 9, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  open access publication – free to read

External links[edit]