How much did you really know about the guy?

We’re talking of Sterling Hayden, of course, seen above with the inimitable Vera Ralston in the 1955 Republic Pictures’ western adventure, Timberjack, which boasted a fine cast. On hand, among others, were Adolphe Menjou, Chill Wills, Elisha Cook Jr., and one of our favorite bad guys, David Brian.

This was one of Hayden’s lesser known popular titles.  Today, he is remembered for his roles in some of the best movies ever made: as the deranged colonel in Stanley Kubrick’s 1963 black comedy Dr. Strangelove; as the horse-loving heavy in John Huston’s 1950 noir, The Asphalt Jungle; as the efficient thug in Kubrick’s 1956 thriller The Killer; as a corrupt cop in Francis Coppola’s 1972 classic The Godfather; and as a peasant patriarch in Bernardo Bertolucci’s majestic Italian costume drama 1900.

The strapping six-foot-five Hayden was an actor whose best acting performances were unearthed later in his career which began in 1941 and lasted until 1982, four years before his death in 1986. His offscreen life is interesting, weighing his love for sailing with his rocky negotiation of Hollywood’s infamous blacklist period.

Ok, let’s get to the answers to our Sterling Hayden Quiz.  As usual, to review the questions just scroll down to the blog below.  Here we go:

1) Answer: We admit, this is a trick question.  Sorry.  Hayden worked will ALL these directors (see above).

2) Answer:  d) English actress Madeleine Carroll appeared with Hayden in his debut feature, 1941’s Virginia, in which he and Fred MacMurray compete for the hand of Carroll as a New York chorus girl. Whatever, she really did fall for Hayden, marrying him in 1942 (it lasted a little more than two years).

3) Answer: c) Hayden couldn’t accept the role of “Quint” in Jaws because he was living offshore at the time to duck various tax problems.  He feared an arrest had he returned to the Cape Cod location of the picture. In our view, he was perfect for the part played in the film by Robert Shaw.

4) Answer:  a) True.  Hayden was a genuine leatherneck in World War II, the real deal.

5) Answer:  Hayden always loved sailing, and had a strong urge to take to the sea.  He did that for most of the 1960’s, the result of which was an interesting autobiography, The Wanderer.  He did, however, make his chief screen appearance count as the mad colonel in Dr. Strangelove.

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