Friday, March 20, 2020

Fond Farewell: Another Whitman Sampler

We paid tribute in depth to Mr. Stuart Whitman back in 2012, but with his recent passing (the day before Lyle Waggoner), we felt it appropriate to share a few more archival photos of the man whose screen work gave us so much pleasure. Whitman was ninety-two when he died on March 16th, 2020 of skin cancer. This is not one of our typical retrospectives because he and his career were already gone over here in detail These are just some pictures that help further highlight his appeal.
Stu had already been acting in movies for close to a decade when he costarred with newcomer Fabian in Hound Dog Man (1959.)
We've yet to see The Fiercest Heart (1961), but from the looks of things we need to. Soon!
Whitman gets cozy with Maria Schell in 1961's The Mark.
The sport jacket with no shirt look didn't catch on as a trend, but we're sure he rocked it! LOL
Whitman was Oscar-nominated for his role in The Mark as a man convicted of attempted child molestation who serves his time and is then suspected again. He stepped into the role when Richard Burton opted out. In an ironic twist, Whitman lost the Oscar to Maximilian Schell for Judgement at Nuremberg - Max was Whitman's costar Maria Schell's brother!
One thing that was nearly always present for the hirsute Whitman was that incredibly thick mane of hair, swooped over his left brow.
He had that burly, brawny quality that many found appealing (but which so many of today's fans, women in particular it seems, find appalling...)
Whitman was married three times and was the father of five.
He could have done nothing else is his long, varied career and I would still love him for Sands of the Kalahari (1965), a most unusual survival drama.
When a private plane crashes in the desert, the passengers are faced with brutal elements, hunger and other struggles. Whitman initially takes to the environment the best...
...but ultimately devolves into an animal not unlike the surrounding baboons.
If you like the Geico cavemen... Ha ha!
In any case, it's a gorgeously shot color film and he's yummy in it. (This would be considered "fat" by today's action star standards, but I'll still take it.)

As Whitman aged, he kept that unreal head of hair, almost to the end. (I'm less enthusiastic about the eyebrows, which managed to reach epic proportions over the years!)
Now we enter the area of When World's Collide which, oddly enough, was the very first movie Whitman appeared in in 1951. We have Whitman, Fabian and Stephen Boyd gathered together and all looking adorable. (Each man has been featured here.) But why were they together?!
A look at the door behind them tells me all I need to know... Hound-Dog Man, with Whitman and Fabian, was released in 1959. At the same studio, 20th Century Fox, Boyd was filming The Best of Everything, all about the world of secretaries at a publishing house. The name of the company? Fabian Publishing! Hence the photo op with two Fabians...
The chiseled, dimpled jaw and trademark hairstyle of Mr. Stuart Whitman. Rest in Peace.


Dan said...

In that first pic, he looks like a cross between Sterling Hayden and Robert Ryan.

Can't say I recall that many movies of his but, like you, I just love that beefy, brawny type. said...

My Mom LOVED Stuart Whitman on 'Cimarron Strip,' especially when he'd address the female lead, "Dulcy" in his raspy voice!
If fact my sister quoted that when she told me of Whitman's passing!

These Hollywood passings are keeping you busy, Poseidon!


joel65913 said...

I was sorry to read of his passing, a real journeyman actor. He's someone I liked without being able to say I was a big fan of in that I never watched something strictly because he was in it. However I was always glad to see his name in the credits.

I often get him confused with Harry Guardino although he survived Harry by a good 20 years. They both had that raspy cigarette voice, a good head of hair and became quite weathered once they passed their 30's (surely from the clouds of cigarette smoke that seemed ever present when they were on screen!)

Gingerguy said...

He was so handsome, the day he died his obituary was next to Lyle Waggoners. Sad passings for such handsome guys. I was looking up photos on the internet and there was one where he looked like Clint Walker. This blog is a great read while I am locked in the house watching Day Of The Triffids!

edwardr42000 said...

Love this blog. I've discovered so many great things! "Sands..." is the latest. Thanks and keep up the good work!

Poseidon3 said...

Dan, Stuart didn't really ever get that signature role that would make him indelibly famous, but he worked frequently and long enough that many people did know who he was. I recall the first time I really saw him. It was in "The Decks Ran Red" with Dorothy Dandridge. He was in the TIGHTEST pants, not that he was really bulging out of them. But they were snug. Another one of his good parts was in the hooty thriller "Shock Treatment" with Roddy McDowall and Lauren Bacall, among others. Thanks!

Rick, I enjoyed "Cimarron Strip" the few times I've seen it (it was rarely rebroadcast because of its awkward 90-minute runtime), but the visual quality of the episodes was so rough. I hate when they don't find/use the masters for rebroadcasting (not to mention DVDs!) I like to see the shows in their original glory and not edited down either. Sadly, yes, I have a lot of farewell tributes lately! :-(

Yes, Joel, that certain breed of actor whose voice becomes almost dominated by a smoky quality. I used to think it was sexy back when I was a smoker 23 years ago, but now not so much...! I watched - not too long ago - a cheapo adventure flick with Whitman and Rod Taylor together! That was interesting.

Gingerguy, I don't know that I've ever seen "Triffids." And I am among the worst at getting all my "War of the Worlds" and "When Worlds Collide" et al confused...! Unless there's something really distinct like "Them!" with giant ants (!) they sort of run together for me.

edward, thanks!! I'm glad you like it here and that you discovered "Sands."

**ALL - I noted in the comments of the Lyle Waggoner post, too. -- I am working from home and have FAR more to do than usual. One department of 12 people was whittled down to FOUR plus me during this virus issue. So I don't know when or how or how much I will be posting here for the time being! Bear with me...**

rigs-in-gear said...

Thanks for the memories. Whitman was one of Hollywood's "real men". He also starred in one of my favorite biblical epics, The Story of Ruth as Boaz. His IMDB page (with a pic of his amazing hair) lists nearly 200 acting credits as well as this quote, "Thanks to good financial investing, he had amassed a personal fortune of $100 million as of 1998." I should think he left his five children quite well-off.

Poseidon3 said...

rigs, that's interesting. He must have liked to act whether he had to or not. Just today, flipping channels during a break, he was looking back at me from an ep of "Walker: Texas Ranger!" I've seen "The Story of Ruth," which also had the handsome Tom Tryon in it (as well as Mother Abbess! LOL)