An art major at Yale University, Tom Tryon attended the Art Student's League in New York, then studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse. Working both on-stage and backstage with several stock companies, Tryon began picking up TV work in the 1950s. His first burst of fame was the result of his starring stint in the Texas John Slaughter episodes of TV's Walt Disney Presents. In 1962, he was signed to a contract by producer/director Otto Preminger, who cast Tryon in the lead of the 1963 big-budgeter The Cardinal. Tryon later quit acting to become a successful novelist, specializing in gothic horror. Tom Tryon's best-selling novels include The Other, Harvest Home, and Crowned Heads, all of which were adapted to film.