Rory Calhoun

Rory Calhoun

76 (passed away Apr. 28th, 1999)
Aug. 8th, 1922
Born in
Los Angeles, California, USA
6' 3"

Rory Calhoun's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Hec Ramsey TV Show
Hec Ramsey
December Bride TV Show
December Bride
The Celebrity Game TV Show
The Celebrity Game

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Born Francis Timothy McCown in Los Angeles, Rory Calhoun starred in over 80 films and 1,000 television episodes. Before becoming an actor he worked as a boxer, a lumberjack, a truck driver and a cowpuncher. Tall and handsome, he benefited from a screen test at 20th Century-Fox, arranged for him by Sue Carol (I), a Hollywood agent and the wife of actor Alan Ladd (I), who is said to have spotted Calhoun while he was riding a horse in a Los Angeles park. He debuted on screen in Something for the Boys (1944), with Carmen Miranda, billed as "Frank McCown". David O. Selznick changed his name to Rory Calhoun, and after playing small parts for a while, he graduated to starring in western films, including River of No Return (1954) with Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum. Calhoun's better-known pictures include How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Lauren Bacall, Monroe and Betty Grable, and With a Song in My Heart (1952) with Susan Hayward (I).

From 1959 to 1960 he starred in the CBS television series "The Texan" (1958). More than two decades later he returned to CBS for five years as Judge Judson Tyler on the daytime serial "Capitol" (1982). His final appearance, 70 years old but handsome as ever, was as Ernest Tucker in Pure Country (1992). Calhoun has two stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame: one for motion pictures, and one for television.

  • Calhoun's second cousin is popular Canadian sportscaster and talk show host Bob McCown (host of Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590 Radio and nation wide on Rogers Sportsnet).
  • In 1943, while horseback riding in the Hollywood Hills, he accidentally met actor 'Alan Ladd (I)' (qv), whose wife, 'Sue Carol (I)' (qv) was an agent. She landed him a one-line role in the Laurel and Hardy comedy short _The Bullfighters (1945)_ (qv) under his name of "Frank McCown".
  • 'Guy Madison' (qv) was one of his closest friends. The two men often went on fishing and hunting trips. Guy and his (second) wife 'Sheila Connolly' (qv) named him godfather to their first born Bridget.
  • His young criminal career was rather extensive. A high school dropout, he stole a revolver at age 13 which landed him in the California Youth Authority, Preston School of Industry reformatory at Ione, California. He escaped while in the adjustment center (jail within the jail). After robbing several jewelry stores, he stole a car and drove it across state lines. This offense sent him to the federal penitentiary in Springfield, Missouri for three years. When he finished his sentence, he was incarcerated in San Quentin on other charges and remained there until he was paroled just before his twenty-first birthday.
  • In 1955, his agent, 'Henry Willson' (qv), disclosed information about Calhoun's years in prison to Confidential magazine in exchange for the tabloid not printing an exposÚ about the secret homosexual life of 'Rock Hudson' (qv), another Willson client. The disclosure had no negative effect on Calhoun's career and only served to solidify his bad boy image.
  • When he was nine months old, his father died. After his mother remarried, he occasionally used the last name of his stepfather, Durgin.
  • 'Henry Willson' (qv), an agent known for a stable of young, attractive, marginally talented actors with unusual names ('Rock Hudson' (qv), 'Tab Hunter (I)' (qv)) signed Rory to a contract and initially christened him "Troy Donahue", then changed it to "Rory Calhoun". He used the 'Troy Donahue' (qv) name later on another up-and-coming actor, with excellent results.
  • When 'Lita Baron' (qv) sued for divorce, she named 79 women with whom he had allegedly committed adultery. Calhoun responded, "Heck, she didn't even include half of them".

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