Richard Jaeckel

Active - 1943 - 1993  |   Born - Oct 10, 1926   |   Died - Jun 14, 1997   |   Genres - Drama, Action, Western, Crime, War

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Born R. Hanley Jaeckel (the "R" stood for nothing), young Richard Jaeckel arrived in Hollywood with his family in the early 1940s. Columnist Louella Parsons, a friend of Jaeckel's mother, got the boy a job as a mailman at the 20th Century-Fox studios. When the producers of Fox's Guadalcanal Diary found themselves in need of a baby-faced youth to play a callow marine private, Jaeckel was given a screen test. Despite his initial reluctance to play-act, Jaeckel accepted the Guadalcanal Diary assignment and remained in films for the next five decades, appearing in almost 50 movies and playing everything from wavy-haired romantic leads to crag-faced villains. Between 1944 and 1948, Jaeckel served in the U.S. Navy. Upon his discharge, he co-starred in Sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne and Forrest Tucker. In 1971, Jaeckel was nominated for a "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar on the strength of his performance in Sometimes a Great Notion. Richard Jaeckel has also been a regular in several TV series, usually appearing in dependable, authoritative roles: he was cowboy scout Tony Gentry in Frontier Circus (1962), Lt. Pete McNeil in Banyon (1972), firefighter Hank Myers in Firehouse (1974), federal agent Hank Klinger in Salvage 1 (1979), Major Hawkins in At Ease (1983) (a rare -- and expertly played -- comedy role), and Master Chief Sam Rivers in Supercarrier (1988). From 1991-92, Jaeckel played Lieutenant Ben Edwards on the internationally popular series Baywatch. Jaeckel passed away at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital of an undisclosed illness at the age of 70.

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