Mark Stevens

Active - 1944 - 1983  |   Born - Dec 13, 1916   |   Died - Sep 15, 1994   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Western, War, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

After studying to become a painter, Mark Stevens became active in Canadian theatrical work. He then launched a radio career as an announcer at a small station in Akron, Ohio. In 1944, Stevens was brought to Hollywood by Warner Bros., where he was billed as Stephen Richards. He graduated to top billing in RKO's From This Day Forward (1945), playing a returning war hero making an uneasy adjustment to civilian life. Critics panned the film but praised Stevens, who was then snatched up by 20th Century-Fox for a series of plum starring roles, including songwriter Joe E. Howard in the 1947 musical biopic I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now? and the husband of mental patient Olivia De Havilland in The Snake Pit (1949). When it seemed as though his film career had ground to a halt, Stevens moved to television, where in 1953 he became the fourth actor to essay the role of detective Martin Kane. The following year, he succeeded Pat McVey in the part of crusading journalist Steve Wilson on the weekly TVer Big Town. During both of his TV-series stints, Stevens publicly derided the quality of the material he'd been handed, demanding full script control and the opportunity to direct. Upon returning to the Big Screen, Stevens produced and directed a brace of serviceable programmers: Cry Vengeance (1954) and Timetable (1956). After closing out his Hollywood career in 1964, Mark Stevens repaired to Europe, where he directed his last film to date, the German-Spanish co-production Sunscorched (1966).

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