Friday, May 5, 2017

Born Today May 5: Tyrone Power


Tyrone Edmund Power III was born on this date in Cincinnati, Ohio.  His father Tyrone Power Sr. was himself a silent movie actor who got his start on the stage.  The family acting tradition went all the way back to Power the Third's great-great grandfather.  His parents moved with him to California when he was an infant, so his father could begin acting in films.  His younger sister was born there.  However, his parents quickly divorced and their mother moved them back to Cincinnati, where he would attend various Catholic schools and graduated in 1931.  Still this did not stop him from following in the family acting tradition.  While still a teenager, he was given a bit part in the silent film School For Wives, a 1925 film made in what was left of the old film making digs in the New York area.  It was the only silent film that he appeared in.  His film acting career didn't actually get started for real until 1931, when after high school graduation, he travelled straight to Hollywood to join his father (who died in December of that year) there.  He landed a role, as Tyrone Power Jr., in Tom Brown Of Culver in 1932--he never looked back.  What he is most remembered for are his swashbuckling roles.  He served in the US Marine Corp. during World War II.  He was considered to old to serve in active combat; but he was a pilot, and managed to get around this by flying missions to and from active combat zones.  He was decorated for his service in the Pacific Theater.  He made his television debut in the series Armchair Theatre in the episode Miss Julie; it appears to be his only television appearance. His last completed film was Witness For The Prosecution; a Billy Wilder film.  His last film appearance proved deadly for him, while filming Solomon and Sheba, a film that he had already appeared in  half of (and he was producing), he collapsed during dueling scene and died of a sudden and massive heart attack some time later in a hospital.  He was found to have been suffering from an undiagnosed aortic angina. He was just 44 years old; the date was November 15, 1958.  He was replaced by Yul Brynner; though Power is visible in long shots in the film--which was released in 1959.  The film was being shot in Madrid, Spain; his body was sent back to Los Angeles for burial.  He is interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  

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