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.)

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