Here’s Donald Gordon — that handsome lad to the left and creator of our Donald Gordon Collection of marvelous informal photos of Forties Hollywood personalities — with another of his star pals.
(By the way: Can anyone identify the make and model of that marvelous vintage auto parked curbside on the right?)
Back to today’s business; who is that man pictured to Donald’s left?
Some big hints:
— His best film: The Informer.
— He died at 69 in 1970, and was one those virile-looking actors most often was seen onscreen in various authoritarian roles, cops, military types, priests, etc.
— He was never a huge star, but he certainly was a solid, performer in movies and on tv, most often getting top or near-the-top billing.
— He broke into the movies in 1930 in the musical comedy, Heads Up, starring Charles “Buddy” Rogers (now there is a name from the past). Two years later, he appeared with Paul Mini in director Mervyn LeRoy’s hard-edged drama, I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang. In the early Forties, he costarred with Lloyd Nolan and William Bendix in the war drama Guadalcanal Diary.
— Among the many television series he graced were Gunslinger and Outlaws plus 77 Sunset Strip” (remember, Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb!) in the Sixties.
— He started his show biz career on the stage as a musical personality. Throughout his movie and tv stints, he remained a composer, song writer and guitarist. He toured with his wife and daughter in a musical act.
— He was a Coast Guard officer in World War II, and played a captain on a mid-Fifties syndicated tv series. Foster held the honorary rank of Commodore in the U.S. Coast Guard. In reel life, he portrayed Capt. John Herrick in the Waterfront series.
— He was married for the second time in 1946 to the late Sheila Darcy, a starlet at Paramount in 1937. After she married the actor, she quit the business. The couple stayed together until Foster’s death.
— In 1963, he joined the cast of “Going My Way,” a tv spinoff of director Leo McCarey’s original feature for Paramount in 1944, costarring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald. Gene Kelly played the Crosby part.
— After his retirement, he returned to his stage roots in a small playhouse in California. Foster became executive director of a Southern California live theater operation, and he wrote, directed and acted in plays.
Who is our Donald’s mystery guest? (Answer tomorrow.)