John Hoyt

Active - 1946 - 2013  |   Born - Oct 5, 1905 in Bronxville, New York  |   Died - Sep 15, 1991   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction, Crime, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Yale grad John Hoyt had been a history instructor, acting teacher and nightclub comedian before linking up with Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre in 1937. He remained with Welles until he joined the Army in 1945. After the war, the grey-haired, deadly-eyed Hoyt built up a screen reputation as one of most hissable "heavies" around, notably as the notorious political weathervane Talleyrand in Desiree (1954). He was a bit kinder onscreen as the Prophet Elijah in Sins of Jezebel. Nearly always associated with mainstream films, Hoyt surprised many of his professional friends when he agreed to co-star in the softcore porn spoof Flesh Gordon; those closest to him, however, knew that Hoyt had been a bit of a Bohemian all his life, especially during his frequent nudist colony vacations. TV fans of the '80s generation will remember John Hoyt as Grandpa Stanley Kanisky on the TV sitcom Gimme a Break; those with longer memories might recall that Hoyt played the doctor who told Ben Gazzara that he had only two years to live on the pilot for the 1960s TV series Run For Your Life. Hoyt also holds a footnote in Star Trek history playing the doctor in the first pilot episode, "The Cage."

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