Jeffrey Hunter

The Film, Television, Radio and Stage Performances

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About the Book

Jeffrey Hunter is best remembered today for his roles as half-breed Martin Pawley in John Ford’s classic western The Searchers (1956), as Jesus Christ in Nicholas Ray’s King of Kings (1961) and as Christopher Pike, the first captain of the U.S.S. Enterprise, in the original Star Trek pilot. This work chronicles Hunter’s entire film and television career from his beginnings as a 20th Century–Fox contract player to his untimely death in 1969 at the age of 42.
Fellow 20th Century–Fox contract player Robert Wagner provides the Foreword and contributes his memories of working with Hunter. Former vice president and head of Desilu Studios Herbert F. Solow discusses Hunter’s role in the original Star Trek pilot and Lloyd J. Schwartz shares his memories of being present at Hunter’s audition for the role of Mike Brady in The Brady Bunch (1969). Hunter’s “lost” film Strange Portrait (1966) is also discussed in detail and his radio and theatre career highlighted.

About the Author(s)

Paul Green has worked as an artist in the UK for Marvel, DC and World Distributors, among others, on titles such as Doctor Who, Rambo, Action Man, Wonder Woman and Star Trek. The author of many books about television and film history, he lives in Rustburg, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Paul Green
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 24 photos, filmography, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7868-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1441-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments v

Foreword by Robert Wagner 1

Preface 3

Introduction 5

 1. Julius Caesar—Call Me Mister—Fourteen Hours 11

 2. Take Care of My Little Girl—The Frogmen—Red Skies of Montana 18

 3. Belles on Their Toes—Lure of the Wilderness 25

 4. Dreamboat—Sailor of the King 29

 5. Three Young Texans—Princess of the Nile 36

 6. White Feather—Seven Angry Men 40

 7. Seven Cities of Gold—A Kiss Before Dying 44

 8. The Searchers 51

 9. The Great Locomotive Chase—The Proud Ones 59

10. Gun for a Coward—The True Story of Jesse James 65

11. The Way to the Gold—No Down Payment 70

12. Count Five and Die—The Last Hurrah 74

13. In Love and War—Sergeant Rutledge 79

14. Key Witness—Hell to Eternity 86

15. King of Kings 92

16. Man-­Trap—The Longest Day 101

17. No Man Is an Island—Gold for the Caesars 106

18. The Man from Galveston—Murieta—Brainstorm 111

19. Strange Portrait—Dimension 5 118

20. A Witch Without a Broom—The Christmas Kid 122

21. Custer of the West—The Private Navy of Sgt. O’Farrell 125

22. Super Colt 38—Find a Place to Die 130

23. Sexy Susan Sins Again—Viva America! 133

24. Jeffrey Hunter on Stage 139

25. Jeffrey Hunter on Radio 145

26. Jeffrey Hunter on Television 150

27. Temple Houston 160

28. Star Trek: “The Cage”—“The Menagerie” 167

29. The Brady Bunch 173

30. Legacy 179

Filmography 185

Appendix: Jeffrey Hunter Credits and Memorabilia 205

Chapter Notes 213

Bibliography 221

Index 223

Book Reviews & Awards

“When Green talks about the controversy in casting Hunter as Jesus in King of Kings and why he didn’t join the cast of Star Trek after filming the initial pilot, he is in peak form as a writer and an astute critical commentator. This well written volume is a must for Hunter’s fans”—Classic Images; “The coverage is detailed and the writing style informal and entertaining”—ARBA.