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Brandon deWilde
Andre Brandon deWilde (April 9, 1942 – July 6, 1972) was an American theater, film, and television actor.[1] Born into a theatrical family in Brooklyn, he debuted on Broadway at the age of seven and became a national phenomenon by the time he completed his 492 performances for The Member of the Wedding.[2][3] He won a Donaldson Award for his performance, becoming the youngest actor to win one, and starred in the subsequent film adaptation for which he won a Golden Globe Award.
Brandon deWilde

In the television program Jamie.
BornAndre Brandon deWilde
April 9, 1942
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
DiedJuly 6, 1972 (aged 30)
Denver, Colorado, U.S.
Resting placePinelawn Memorial Park
GPS: 40.451264 - 73.232000
OccupationActor
Years active1950–1972
Notable workThe Member of the Wedding, Shane, Blue Denim, Hud, In Harm's Way
Spouse(s)Susan M. Maw(m. 1963; div. 1969)
Janice Gero (m. 1972)
Children1
DeWilde is best known for his performance as Joey Starrett in the film Shane (1953) for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He also starred in his own sitcom Jamie on ABC and became a household name making numerous radio and TV appearances before being featured on the cover of Life magazine on March 10, 1952, for his second Broadway outing, Mrs. McThing.[2][3]
He continued acting in stage, film and television roles into adulthood before his death at age 30 in a car crash in Colorado on July 6, 1972.[3]
Early life
Andre Brandon deWilde was the son of Frederic A. "Fritz" deWilde and Eugenia (née Wilson) deWilde.[3] Fritz deWilde was the only son of Dutch immigrants who changed their surname from Neitzel-de Wilde to "deWilde" when they emigrated to the United States. He was a descendant of the Dutch merchant and seigneurAndries de Wilde, who was married to Cornelia Henrica Neitzel. Fritz deWilde became an actor and Broadway production stage manager. Eugenia was a part-time stage actress.[3]
After deWilde's birth, the family moved from Brooklyn to Baldwin, Long Island.
Career
Acting
DeWilde made his much-acclaimed Broadway debut at the age of seven in The Member of the Wedding. He was the first child actor to win the Donaldson Award, and his talent was praised by John Gielgud the following year. He also starred in the 1952 film version of the play, which was directed by Fred Zinnemann.[4]
In 1952 deWilde acted in the film Shane as Joey Starrett and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance, becoming the youngest nominee for the time in a competitive category. He had the lead role in his own television series, Jamie which aired in 1953 and 1954. Although the series was popular, it was canceled due to a contract dispute.[3] In 1956 he was featured with Walter Brennan, Phil Harris, and Sidney Poitier in the coming-of-age Batjac movie production of Good-bye, My Lady, adapted from James Street's book. This film showcased the then-rare dog breed Basenji, the African barkless dog, to American audiences.
DeWilde's soft-spoken manner of speech in his early roles was more akin to a Southern drawl. In 1956 (at age 14) deWilde narrated classical music works Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev and The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra by Benjamin Britten. He also recorded a reading of Huckleberry Finn on the album The Stories of Mark Twain, along with his Good-bye, My Lady co-star, Walter Brennan.
DeWilde shared an onscreen camaraderie with both James Stewart and Audie Murphy in the 1957 western Night Passage. In 1958 deWilde continued his career, starring in The Missouri Traveler sharing lead billing with Lee Marvin in another coming-of-age film, this one set in the early 1900s. He made a mark on screen at age 17 as an adolescent father in the 1959 drama Blue Denim, co-starring Carol Lynley, with the then-mature theme of abortion, even though the word is never used in the film. He guest-starred on many TV series, including Alcoa Theatre and the popular Western, Wagon Train.[5] In the 1959 Wagon Train episode, "The Danny Benedict Story", deWilde starred in the title role as the estranged, musically-inclined son of a stern Army colonel.
Brandon deWilde, 1963
In 1961 deWilde appeared in the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode "The Sorcerer's Apprentice". He portrayed Hugo, a mentally impaired youth who could not separate fact from fantasy. After seeing a magician saw a woman in half at a carnival, Hugo emulates the trick and kills a woman by sawing her in half. The episode never aired on NBC because the finale was deemed "too gruesome" by 1960s television standards. The episode was included in Alfred Hitchcock Presents syndication and was released in public-domain VHS, DVD and video on demand releases.[6]
The following year, deWilde appeared in All Fall Down, opposite Warren Beatty and Eva Marie Saint, and in Martin Ritt's Hud (1963) co-starring with Paul Newman, Patricia Neal and Melvyn Douglas. Although the only lead actor not to be Oscar-nominated for Hud, deWilde accepted the Best Supporting Actor trophy on behalf of co-star Melvyn Douglas (who was in Spain at the time).[7] That same year, he appeared on Jack Palance's ABC circus drama, The Greatest Show on Earth.
DeWilde signed a two-picture deal with Disney in 1964. He first starred in The Tenderfoot, a three-part comedy Western for Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color TV show with Brian Keith. The following year he and Keith did Those Calloways for theatrical release, reuniting deWilde with his Good-bye, My Lady star Walter Brennan. Also in 1965, deWilde played a young PT boat officer, Esn. Jere Torry, the estranged son serving under his US Navy Admiral father played by John Wayne in the Pacific theater WWII drama, In Harm's Way (1965).
DeWilde with Arthur Kennedy in "The Confession" on 'ABC Stage 67' in 1966
After 1965, many of his roles were limited to television guest appearances. "Being small for his age and a bit too pretty ... in his favour as a child ... worked against him as an adult", wrote author Linda Ashcroft after talking with deWilde at a party. "He spoke of giving up movies until he could come back as a forty-year-old character actor".[8] DeWilde's final western role was in Dino De Laurentiis' 1971 Spaghetti Western The Deserter, one year before his death.[9] He played adjutant Lieutenant Ferguson who meets with an untimely end. He made his last screen appearance in Wild In The Sky (1972).
Music
DeWilde had hoped to embark on a music career. He asked his friend Gram Parsons (later of the Byrds and founder of the seminal country rock band the Flying Burrito Brothers) and his International Submarine Band to back him in a recording session. ISB guitarist John Nuese claimed that deWilde sang harmony with Parsons better than anyone except Emmylou Harris. Bassist Ian Dunlop wrote, "The lure of getting a record out was tugging hard at Brandon."[10]
Parsons and Harris later co-wrote a song titled "In My Hour of Darkness", the first verse of which refers to the car crash that killed deWilde.[11]
Personal life
DeWilde was married twice and had one son. His first marriage was to writer Susan M. Maw, whom he married in 1963. The couple had a son, Jesse, before divorcing in 1969.[12] He married Janice Gero in April 1972, three months before his death.[13]
On July 6, 1972, deWilde was in Denver, Colorado, for a stage production of Butterflies Are Free.[14] He was killed in a traffic accident in the Denver suburb of Lakewood.[15][16] DeWilde was driving a camper van that went off the roadway, struck a guardrail and then a parked truck. DeWilde was alone in his vehicle and not wearing a seatbelt. His camper rolled onto its side and pinned him in the wreckage. He was taken to St. Anthony Hospital, where he died at 7:20 p.m. of multiple injuries that included a broken back, neck, and leg. He was thirty years old.[13]
He was originally buried in Hollywood, but his parents later moved his remains to Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, New York, to be closer to their home on Long Island.
Filmography
YearTitleRoleNotes
1951-1952The Philco Television Playhouse2 episodes
1952The Member of the WeddingJohn Henry
1953ShaneJoey StarrettNominated: Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1953-1954JamieJamie McHummer22 episodes
1955-1956Climax!Robbie Eunson
Tip Malone
2 episodes
1956Good-bye, My LadySkeeter Jackson
1956Screen Director's PlayhouseTerry JohnsonEpisode: "Partners"
1957Night PassageJoey Adams
1957The United States Steel HourDavidEpisode: "The Locked Door"
1958The Missouri TravelerBiarn Turner
1959Alcoa TheatreGeorge AdamsEpisode: "Man of His House"
1959Blue DenimArthur BartleyAlternative title: Blue Jeans
1959-1961Wagon TrainDanny Benedict
Mark Miner
2 episodes
1961ThrillerTim BrannerEpisode: "Pigeons from Hell"
1961Alfred Hitchcock PresentsHugoEpisode: "The Sorcerer's Apprentice"
1962All Fall DownClinton Willart
1962-1970The VirginianRem Garvey / Walt Bradbury / James 'Mike Flynn' Cafferty3 episodes
1963HudLon "Lonnie" Bannon
1963A Gathering of EaglesBill Fowler JrUncredited
1963The NursesPaul MarkerEpisode: "Ordeal"
1964The Greatest Show on EarthVic HawkinsEpisode: "Love the Giver"
1964The Wonderful World of DisneyJim Tevis3 episodes: The Tenderfoot
196412 O'Clock HighCpl. Ross LawrenceEpisode: Here's to Courageous Cowards"
1965Those CallowaysBucky Calloway
1965The DefendersRoger Bailey, Jr.Episode: "The Objector"
1965In Harm's WayEns. Jeremiah "Jere" Torrey
1966Combat!WilderEpisode: "A Sudden Terror"
1966ABC Stage 67Carl BoyerEpisode: "The Confession"
1967The TripExtraUncredited
1969The Name of the GameBobby CurrierEpisode: "The Bobby Currier Story"
1969Journey to the UnknownAlec WorthingEpisode: "One on an Island"
1969Hawaii Five-OArnold PotterEpisode: "King Kamehameha Blues"
1969Love, American StyleJimmy DevlinSegment: "Love and the Bachelor"
1970InsightWeissbergEpisode: "Confrontation"
1970The Young RebelsYoung Nathan HaleEpisode: "To Hang a Hero"
1971The DeserterLieutenant FergusonAlternative titles: The Devil's Backbone
Ride to Glory
1971Night GalleryJohnsonEpisode: "Death in the Family/The Merciful/Class of '99/Witches' Feast"
1971IronsideGeorge WhittakerEpisode: "In the Line of Duty"
1972Wild in the SkyJoshAlternative titles: Black Jack
God Bless the Bomb, (final film role)
Awards
YearOrganizationResultCategoryProduction
1949-50Donaldson AwardsWonBest Male DebutThe Member of the Wedding (play)
1953Academy AwardsNominatedBest Supporting ActorShane
1953Golden Globe AwardsWonJuvenile PerformanceThe Member of the Wedding (film)
See also
Biography portal
References
  1. ^ Obituary Variety, July 12, 1972.
  2. ^ a b "Brandon deWilde, 30, Is Killed In Traffic Accident in Colorado". The New York Times. July 7, 1972.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Aylesworth, Thomas G., Hollywood Kids c. 1987, E. P. Dutton, New York, NY, ISBN 0-525-24562-6 (pp. 233–235)
  4. ^ Lillian and Helen Ross, The Player: A Profile of an Art, c. 1961, New York, NY. "Brandon deWilde," p. 43 First Limelight Edition, 1984
  5. ^ Brandon deWilde Acting Credits at IMDb
  6. ^ Grams, Martin and Patrik Winstrom, The Alfred Hitchcock Presents Companion c. 2001, OTR Publishing, Churchville, MD, ISBN 0-9703310-1-0 (pp. 385–388)
  7. ^ Parker, Vernon. "On This Day in History, April 9: Gifted Young Brooklynite". brooklyneagle.com.
  8. ^ Ashcroft, Linda, Wild Child: Life With Jim Morrison c. 1997, Thunder's Mouth Press, New York, NY, Da Capo Press, c. 1999, ISBN 1-56025-249-9
  9. ^ "Wildest Westerns Magazine". Archived from the original on 2001-02-22. Retrieved 2010-06-12.
  10. ^ Remembering Brandon.net/Jamming With Brandon
  11. ^ Hoskyns, Barney (2009). Waiting for the Sun: A Rock 'n' Roll History of Los Angeles. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-879-30943-5.
  12. ^ "deWilde Sued". The Tuscaloosa News. March 23, 1969. p. 36.
  13. ^ a b "deWilde Known for 'Shane'". The Denver Post. July 7, 1972. p. 37.
  14. ^ "Lakewood Wreck Claims Actor". The Denver Post. July 7, 1972. p. 3.
  15. ^ "Brandon deWilde Dies in Accident". The Times-News. July 7, 1972. p. 3.
  16. ^ "Accident claims film, stage actor Brandon deWilde". The Bulletin. July 7, 1972. p. 7.
Further reading
External links
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Last edited on 25 July 2021, at 19:09
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