Steve Cochran

Active - 1945 - 1994  |   Born - May 25, 1917   |   Died - Jun 16, 1965   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Romance, Western

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The son of a California lumberman, actor Steve Cohran spent his youth in Laramie, Wyoming, where he graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1939. After learning his craft at the Barter Theatre and the Carmel (California) Shakespeare Festival, he went on to work at Detroit's Federal Theatre, and was co-starred in the touring companies of Without Love and My Sister Eileen before his Broadway debut in the eight-performance flop Hickory Stick. During the war, Cochran directed Army camp shows. From 1945 through 1948, he was under contract to Sam Goldwyn, mostly playing secondary roles as gangsters. He left Hollywood to co-star with Mae West in Catherine Was Great and Diamond Lil; perhaps as a reward for not being acted off the stage by the formidable West, Cochran was signed by Warner Bros., where from 1949 through 1952 he was seen in rugged leading roles. In 1953, Cochran formed his own production company, Robert Alexander Productions, but he would not be seen in another film until 1956's Come Next Spring, which he produced for Republic Studios. He then headed for Europe, where he was given a starring assignment in Michelangelo Antonioni's The Outcry. In 1965, after several years of unimpressive movie and TV appearances, Cochran revived his production company and headed for Central and South America to scout locations. He hired three women, ages 14 through 25, to work as assistants, then headed for Costa Rica aboard his forty-foot yacht. On June 25, 1965, the yacht drifted into Port Champerico, Guatemala; on board were the three very distraught women--and the body of Steve Cochran, who had died some ten days earlier of a lung affection. Steve Cochran's last film project, Tell Me in the Sunlight (which he had produced, directed, written, scored and starred in back in 1964), was reedited and released posthumously.

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