Mel Ferrer dropped out of Princeton University in his sophomore year to become an actor in summer stock; meanwhile he worked as an editor for a small Vermont newspaper and wrote a children's book. He debuted on Broadway in 1938 as a chorus dancer; two years later, he made his debut as an actor. A bout with polio interrupted his career and lead him to work in radio, first as a small-station disc jockey and later as a writer, producer, and director of radio shows for NBC. Having not acted in any films, Ferrer directed his first movie, The Girl of the Limberlost, in 1945; the year in which he also returned to Broadway. After assisting John Ford on the film The Fugitive (1947), he debuted onscreen in Lost Boundaries (1949). Ferrer went on to appear in numerous movies, where he was usually cast as a sensitive, quiet, somewhat stiff leading man; his best-known role was as the lame puppeteer in Lili (1953). He continued to direct films, most of which were unexceptional, then began producing in the late '60s. Since 1960 he has worked primarily in Europe, appearing infrequently in American film and TV productions. His third wife was actress Audrey Hepburn, whom he directed in Green Mansions (1959). He later produced her film Wait Until Dark (1967).
photo credit: Warner Brothers
by Rovi biography