Lex Barker with his fiancée Karen Kondazian on May 1, 1973, 10 days before his death
Alexander Crichlow Barker, Jr.
May 8, 1919
Rye, New York, U.S.
|Died||May 11, 1973 54) (aged|
New York City, U.S.
Constance Rhodes Thurlow(m. 1942–1950)
Arlene Dahl (m. 1951–1952)
Lana Turner (m. 1953–1957)
Irene Labhart(m. 1959–1962)
Tita Cervera (m. 1965–1972)
|Partner(s)||Karen Kondazian (1972–1973)|
Alexander Crichlow "Lex" Barker Jr. (May 8, 1919 – May 11, 1973) was an American actor best known for playing Tarzan of the Apes and leading characters from Karl May's novels.
Tarzan is a fictional character, an archetypal feral child raised in the African jungle by the Mangani great apes; he later experiences civilization only to reject it and return to the wild as a heroic adventurer. Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan first appeared in the novel Tarzan of the Apes, and subsequently in 25 sequels, several authorized books by other authors, and innumerable works in other media, both authorized and unauthorized. The film version of Tarzan as the noble savage, as acted by Johnny Weissmuller, does not reflect the original character in the novels, who is gracious and highly sophisticated.
Karl Friedrich May was a German writer best known for his adventure novels set in the American Old West. His main protagonists are Winnetou and Old Shatterhand. May set similar books in the Orient and Middle East, Latin America and Germany. May also wrote poetry, a play, and composed music; he was a proficient player of several musical instruments. Many of his works were adapted for film, stage, audio dramas and comics. Later in his career, May turned to philosophical and spiritual genres. He is one of the best-selling German writers of all time with about 200 million copies worldwide.
Alexander Crichlow Barker, Jr. was born on May 8, 1919 in Rye, New York. He was the second child of Alexander Crichlow Barker, Sr., a wealthy Canadian-born building contractor,and his American wife, the former Marion Thornton Beals.
Rye is a city in Westchester County, New York, United States. It is separate from the town of Rye, which has more land area than the city. Rye city, formerly the village of Rye, was part of the town until it received its charter as a city in 1942. The population was 15,720 at the 2010 census. Rye is the youngest city in New York state. No other city has been chartered anywhere in New York state since 1942.
His father later worked as a stockbroker. Barker had an elder sister, Frederica Amelia "Freddie" Barlow (1917–1980). Raised in New York City and Port Chester, New York, Lex Barker attended the Fessenden School and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy. He played football as well as the oboe. He attended Princeton University, but dropped out to join a theatrical stock company, much to the chagrin of his family.
A stockbroker or share broker is a regulated professional individual, usually associated with a brokerage firm or broker-dealer, who buys and sells stocks and other securities for both retail and institutional clients through a stock exchange or over the counter in return for a fee or commission. Stockbrokers are known by numerous professional designations, depending on the license they hold, the type of securities they sell, or the services they provide. In the United States, a stockbroker must pass both the Series 7 and either the Series 63 or the Series 66 exams in order to be properly licensed.
Port Chester is a village in Westchester County, New York, United States. The village is part of the town of Rye. As of the 2010 census, Port Chester had a population of 28,967. Port Chester borders on the State of Connecticut to the east. The village's name is pronounced with the same stress pattern as the county's, i.e., "PORT ches-ter", not "Port CHES-ter".
The Fessenden School is an independent day and boarding school for boys, founded in 1903 by Frederick J. Fessenden, and located at 250 Waltham Street, West Newton, Massachusetts, United States, on a 41-acre (0.17 km2) campus.
Barker made it to Broadway once, in a small role in a short run of Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor in 1938.He also had a small role in Orson Welles's disastrous Five Kings, which met with so many problems in Boston and Philadelphia that it never made it into New York City.
Broadway theatre, commonly known as Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres, each with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. Along with London's West End theatre, Broadway theatre is widely considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English-speaking world.
William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 39 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
The Merry Wives of Windsor is a comedy by William Shakespeare first published in 1602, though believed to have been written in or before 1597. The Windsor of the play's title is a reference to the town of Windsor, also the location of Windsor Castle, in Berkshire, England. Though nominally set in the reign of Henry IV, the play makes no pretense to exist outside contemporary Elizabethan era English middle class life. It features the character Sir John Falstaff, the fat knight who had previously been featured in Henry IV, Part 1 and Part 2. It has been adapted for the opera on several occasions. The play is one of Shakespeare's lesser-regarded works among literary critics.
In February 1941, ten months before the attack on Pearl Harbor, Barker left his fledgling acting career and enlisted in the US Army. He rose to the rank of major during the war.He was wounded in action (in the head and leg) fighting in Sicily.
Pearl Harbor is a lagoon harbor on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, west of Honolulu. It has been long visited by the Naval fleet of the United States, before it was acquired from the Hawaiian Kingdom by the U.S. with the signing of the Reciprocity Treaty of 1875. Much of the harbor and surrounding lands is now a United States Navy deep-water naval base. It is also the headquarters of the United States Pacific Fleet. The U.S. government first obtained exclusive use of the inlet and the right to maintain a repair and coaling station for ships here in 1887. The attack on Pearl Harbor by the Empire of Japan on December 7, 1941, was the immediate cause of the United States' entry into World War II.
The United States Army (USA) is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, and is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution. As the oldest and most senior branch of the U.S. military in order of precedence, the modern U.S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, which was formed to fight the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783)—before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army. The United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, and dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775.
Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.
Back in the US, he recuperated at an Arkansas military hospital, then upon his discharge from service, traveled to Los Angeles. Within a short time, he landed a small role in his first film, Doll Face (1945).
Arkansas is a state in the southern region of the United States, home to over 3 million people as of 2017. Its name is of Siouan derivation from the language of the Osage denoting their related kin, the Quapaw Indians. The state's diverse geography ranges from the mountainous regions of the Ozark and the Ouachita Mountains, which make up the U.S. Interior Highlands, to the densely forested land in the south known as the Arkansas Timberlands, to the eastern lowlands along the Mississippi River and the Arkansas Delta.
Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California and the second most populous city in the United States, after New York. With an estimated population of four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. Nicknamed the "City of Angels" partly because of its name's Spanish meaning, Los Angeles is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, and the entertainment industry, and sprawling metropolis.
Doll Face is a 1945 American film released by 20th Century Fox and directed by Lewis Seiler starring Vivian Blaine as "Doll Face" Carroll. It also stars actor Dennis O'Keefe and singers Carmen Miranda and Perry Como.
A string of small roles followed, in films such as Two Guys from Milwaukee (1945) and Cloak and Dagger (1946).
Barker signed a contract at RKO. He had small roles in The Farmer's Daughter (1947), Crossfire (1947), and Under the Tonto Rim (1947).
Barker went to Paramount for Unconquered (1947). Back at RKO he was in Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome (1947), Berlin Express (1948), Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), The Velvet Touch (1948), and Return of the Bad Men (1948), playing Emmett Dalton.
In Tarzan's Magic Fountain (1949), Barker became the tenth official Tarzan of the movies. His blond, handsome, and intelligent appearance, as well as his athletic, now 6'4" frame, helped make him popular in the role Johnny Weissmuller had made his own for sixteen years. His Jane was Brenda Joyce who had been in Weissmuller's last three films.
Barker's second Tarzan was Tarzan and the Slave Girl (1950), where Jane was played by Vanessa Brown. In Tarzan's Peril (1951), Barker's Jane was Virginia Huston, with African location footage. Dorothy Hart was Jane in Tarzan's Savage Fury (1952), directed by Cy Endfield.
Barker got the chance to play a non-Tarzan role in Battles of Chief Pontiac (1952), a Western.He returned to the role one last time in Tarzan and the She-Devil (1953).
Barker supported Randolph Scott in a Western at Warner Bros, Thunder Over the Plains (1953).
At Universal he starred in the Western The Yellow Mountain (1954) and The Man from Bitter Ridge (1955). He went to Columbia to make Duel on the Mississippi (1955).
Barker had a rare non-Western role in The Price of Fear (1956), a film noir with Merle Oberon. He was in the war movie Away All Boats (1956)and a thriller with Zsa Zsa Gabor, The Girl in the Kremlin (1957).
Barker made two films for Howard W. Koch: a Western for United Artists, War Drums (1957),playing Mangas Coloradas; and Jungle Heat (1957), an adventure film. He went to 20th Century Fox for The Deerslayer (1957), then did another for Koch, The Girl in Black Stockings (1957).
In 1957, as he found it harder to find work in American films, Barker moved to Europe (he spoke French, Italian, Spanish, and some German),where he found popularity and starred in over 40 European films, including two movies based on the novels by Italian author Emilio Salgari (1862–1911).
He started his European career with a British thriller The Strange Awakening (1958). He went to Italy to star in some swashbucklers, Captain Falcon (1959), Son of the Red Corsair (1959), The Pirate and the Slave Girl (1959), and Terror of the Red Mask (1960).
Barker had a short but compelling role as Anita Ekberg's fiancé in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960).
He went back to swashbucklers: Knight of 100 Faces (1960), Pirates of the Coast (1960), Robin Hood and the Pirates (1960), and The Secret of the Black Falcon (1961).
In Germany, he had his greatest success. There he starred in movies based on the "Doctor Mabuse" stories (formerly filmed by Fritz Lang), in the movies The Return of Doctor Mabuse (1961).He was in Doctor Sibelius (1962).
Barker then played Old Shatterhand in an adaptation of the novel by German author Karl May (1842–1912), Treasure of the Silver Lake (1962).It was a huge hit, 11 movies adapting stories by Karl May were following until 1968. Barker did a comedy, Breakfast in Bed (1962), then an adventure movie Storm Over Ceylon (1963). He returned to Italy for The Executioner of Venice (1963) and Kali Yug: Goddess of Vengeance (1963).
Barker reprised his role as Old Shatterhand in Apache Gold (1964), Old Shatterhand (1964) and Last of the Renegades (1965).He went to Britain for Victim Five (1964), then returned to Germany for other adaptations of May books: Der Schatz der Azteken (1965), Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes (1965). 24 Hours to Kill (1965) was a British movie. The Hell of Manitoba (1965) and The Desperado Trail (1966) were Westerns.
In 1966, Barker was awarded the "Bambi Award" as "Best Foreign Actor" in Germany, where he was a major, very popular, star.He even recorded two songs in German: "Ich bin morgen auf dem Weg zu dir" ("I'll be on the way to you tomorrow", composed by Martin Böttcher, the composer of some of the soundtracks of the Karl May movies) and "Mädchen in Samt und Seide" ("Girl in Silk and Velvet", composed by Werner Scharfenberger).
Later films included Killer's Carnival (1966), and Winnetou and the Crossbreed (1967). He was in Woman Times Seven (1967).He returned to the United States occasionally and made a handful of guest appearances on American television episodes, but Europe, and especially Germany, was his professional home for the remainder of his life.
Barker was married five times:
Barker died three days after his 54th birthday, on May 11, 1973, of a heart attack while walking down a street in New York City on his way to meet his fiancée, actress Karen Kondazian.The funeral was in New York. He was cremated and the ashes were taken by his wife Tita to Spain.
|1945||Doll Face||Jack, Coast Guardsman||Uncredited|
|1946||Do You Love Me||Party Guest||Uncredited|
|1946||Two Guys from Milwaukee||Fred, the Usher||Uncredited|
|1946||Cloak and Dagger||Man Rescued at End||Uncredited|
|1947||The Farmer's Daughter||Olaf Holstrom|
|1947||Under the Tonto Rim||Joe, Deputy in Tonto|
|1947||Unconquered||Royal American Officer||Uncredited|
|1947||Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome||Ambulance Driver||Uncredited|
|1948||Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House||Carpenter Foreman|
|1948||The Velvet Touch||Paul Banton|
|1948||Return of the Badmen||Emmett Dalton|
|1949||Tarzan's Magic Fountain||Tarzan|
|1950||Tarzan and the Slave Girl||Tarzan|
|1952||Tarzan's Savage Fury||Tarzan|
|1952||Battles of Chief Pontiac||Lt. Kent McIntire|
|1953||Tarzan and the She-Devil||Tarzan|
|1953||Thunder Over the Plains||Captain Bill Hodges|
|1954||The Mystery of The Black Jungle||Tremal Naik||Original (Italian) title: I misteri della giungla nera|
|1954||Black Devils of Kali||Tramal Naik||Original (Italian) title: La vendetta dei Tughs|
|1954||The Yellow Mountain||Andy Martin|
|1955||The Man from Bitter Ridge||Jeff Carr|
|1955||Duel on the Mississippi||André Tulane|
|1956||The Price of Fear||Dave Barrett|
|1956||Away All Boats||Commander Quigley|
|1957||War Drums||Mangas Coloradas|
|1957||The Girl in the Kremlin||Steve Anderson|
|1957||Jungle Heat||Dr. Jim Ransom|
|1957||The Girl in Black Stockings||David Hewson|
|1958||The Strange Awakening||Peter Chance|
|1958||Captain Falcon||Pietro||Original (Italian) title: Capitan Fuoco|
|1959||Son of the Red Corsair||Enrico di Ventimiglia||Original (Italian) title: Il figlio del corsaro rosso|
|1959||The Pirate and the Slave Girl||Dragon Drakut||Original (Italian) title: La scimitarra del Saraceno|
|1959||Mission in Morocco||Bruce Reynolds|
|1960||Terror of the Red Mask||Marco||Original (Italian) title: Terrore della maschera rossa|
|1960||La Dolce Vita||Robert||Italian film|
|1960||Knight of 100 Faces||Riccardo D'Arce||Original (Italian) title: Il cavaliere dai cento volti|
|1960||Pirates of the Coast||Captain Luis Monterey||Original (Italian) title: I pirati della costa|
|1960||Robin Hood and the Pirates||Robin Hood||Original (Italian) title: Robin Hood e i pirati|
|1961||The Secret of the Black Falcon||Captain Don Carlos de Herrera||Original (Italian) title: Il segreto dello sparviero nero|
|1961||Le Trésor des hommes bleus||Fred||Spanish/French film|
|1961||The Return of Dr. Mabuse||FBI-Agent Joe Como||Original (German) title: Im Stahlnetz des Dr. Mabuse|
|1962||The Invisible Dr. Mabuse||FBI-Agent Joe Como||Original (German) title: Die unsichtbaren Krallen des Dr. Mabuse|
|1962||Doctor Sibelius||Dr. Georg Sibelius||Original (German) title: Frauenarzt Dr. Sibelius|
|1962||Treasure of the Silver Lake||Old Shatterhand||Original (German) title: Der Schatz im Silbersee|
|1963||Breakfast in Bed||Victor H. Armstrong||Original (German) title: Frühstück im Doppelbett|
|1963||Storm Over Ceylon||Larry Stone||Original (German) title: Das Todesauge von Ceylon|
|1963||The Executioner of Venice||Sandrigo Bembo||Original (Italian) title: Il boia di Venezia|
|1963||Kali Yug: Goddess of Vengeance||Major Ford||Original (Italian) title: Kali Yug, la dea della vendetta|
|1963||Il mistero del tempio indiano||Major Ford||Italian film|
|1963||Apache Gold||Old Shatterhand||Original (German) title: Winnetou I|
|1964||Apaches' Last Battle||Old Shatterhand||Original (German) title: Old Shatterhand|
|1964||Victim Five||Steve Martin||UK film, US title: Code 7, Victim 5|
|1964||Yellow Devil||Kara Ben Nemsi||Original (German) title: Der Schut|
|1964||Last of the Renegades||Old Shatterhand||Original (German) title: Winnetou II|
|1965||The Treasure of the Aztecs||Dr. Karl Sternau||Original (German) title: Der Schatz der Azteken|
|1965||Pyramid of the Sun God||Dr. Karl Sternau||Original (German) title: Die Pyramide des Sonnengottes|
|1965||Twenty-Four Hours to Kill||Captain Jamie Faulkner||UK film|
|1965||The Hell of Manitoba a.k.a.A Place Called Glory||Clint Brenner||Original (German) title: Die Hölle von Manitoba|
|1965||The Wild Men of Kurdistan||Kara Ben Nemsi||Original (German) title: Durchs wilde Kurdistan|
|1965||The Desperado Trail||Old Shatterhand||Original (German) title: Winnetou III|
|1965||Fury of the Sabers||Kara Ben Nemsi||Original (German) title: Im Reiche des silbernen Löwen|
|1966||Who Killed Johnny R.?||Sam Dobie||Original (German) title: Wer kennt Johnny R.?|
|1966||Killer's Carnival||Glenn Cassidy||Original (French) title: Le carnaval des barbouzes, (Rio segment)|
|1966||Winnetou and the Crossbreed||Old Shatterhand||Original (German) title: Winnetou und das Halbblut Apanatschi|
|1967||Woman Times Seven||Rik||(segment "Super Simone")|
|1967||Spy Today, Die Tomorrow||Bob Urban||Original (German) title: Mister Dynamit – Morgen küßt Euch der Tod|
|1967||The Blood Demon||Roger Mont Elise||Original (German) title: Die Schlangengrube und das Pendel|
Also released as: The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism
|1968||The Valley of Death||Old Shatterhand||Original (German) title: Winnetou und Shatterhand im Tal der Toten|
|1970||When You're With Me||Kapitän Hannes Schneider||Original (German) title: Wenn du bei mir bist|
|1952||Tales of Tomorrow||Kurt||Episode: "Red Dust"|
|1956||Lux Video Theatre||Stephen Dexter||Episode: "Hired Wife"|
|1956–1957||Studio 57||Brad / Robin Ridour||2 episodes|
|1960||Tales of the Vikings||König Gordar||Episode: "The Shield"|
|1969||It Takes a Thief||Kurt 'Matt' Matson||Episode: "The King of Thieves"|
|1971||The Name of the Game||Will Cheyenne||Episode: "The Man Who Killed a Ghost"|
|1971||The F.B.I.||Owen Stuart||Episode: "Three-Way Split"|
|1972||Night Gallery||Charlie McKinley||Segment: "The Waiting Room"|
Johnny Weissmuller was an Austro-Hungarian-born American competition swimmer and actor, best known for playing Edgar Rice Burroughs' ape man Tarzan in films of the 1930s and 1940s and for having one of the best competitive swimming records of the 20th century.
Nancy Kelly was an American actress. A child actress and model, she was a repertory cast member of CBS Radio's The March of Time and became a movie leading lady in the late 1930s, while still in her teens. She made 36 movies between 1926 and 1977, including portraying Tyrone Power's love interest in the classic Jesse James (1939), which also featured Henry Fonda, and playing opposite Spencer Tracy in Stanley and Livingstone later that same year. She had her greatest success in a character role, the distraught mother in The Bad Seed, receiving a Tony Award for the 1955 stage production and an Academy Award nomination for the 1956 film adaptation.
Cheeta is a chimpanzee character that appeared in numerous Hollywood Tarzan movies of the 1930s–1960s, as well as the 1966–1968 television series, as the ape sidekick of the title character, Tarzan. Cheeta has usually been characterized as male, but sometimes as female, and has been portrayed by chimpanzees of both sexes.
Johnny Sheffield was an American child actor.
Winnetou is a fictional Native American hero of several novels written in German by Karl May (1842–1912), one of the best-selling German writers of all time with about 200 million copies worldwide, including the Winnetou-trilogy. The character made its debut in the novel Old Firehand (1875).
Old Shatterhand is a fictional character in Western novels by German writer Karl May (1842–1912). He is the German friend and blood brother of Winnetou, the fictional chief of the Mescalero tribe of the Apache. He is the main character in the Eurowestern by the same name from 1964, starring Lex Barker.
Karl May film adaptations are films based on stories and characters by German author Karl May (1842–1912). The characters Old Shatterhand, Winnetou, and Kara Ben Nemsi are very famous in Central Europe.
Brenda Joyce was an American film actress.
Jane Porter is a major fictional character in Edgar Rice Burroughs's series of Tarzan novels and in adaptations of the saga to other media, particularly film.
Jock Mahoney was an American actor and stuntman. He starred in two western television series, The Range Rider and Yancy Derringer. He played Tarzan in two feature films and was associated in various capacities with several other Tarzan productions. He was sometimes credited as Jack O'Mahoney or Jock O'Mahoney.
Tarzan, a fictional character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in twenty-three sequels. The character proved immensely popular and quickly made the jump to other media, first and most notably to comics and film. This article concerns Tarzan's appearance in film and other non-print media.
Tarzan's Magic Fountain is a 1949 Tarzan film directed by Lee Sholem and starring Lex Barker as Tarzan and Brenda Joyce as his companion Jane. The film also features Albert Dekker and Evelyn Ankers. It was co-written by Curt Siodmak.
Tarzan and the Slave Girl is a 1950 film directed by Lee Sholem and starring Lex Barker as Tarzan, Vanessa Brown as Jane, and Robert Alda as big game hunter Neil. The plot involves a lost civilization in Africa, a strange illness, and an evil counselor manipulating a prince into kidnapping large numbers of local women.
Tarzan and the She-Devil is a 1953 American film directed by Kurt Neumann and starring Lex Barker as Tarzan and Joyce MacKenzie as Jane. It also features Raymond Burr, Tom Conway and Monique van Vooren, who plays the "She-Devil."
Tarzan the Fearless is a 12 chapter American Pre-Code film serial starring Buster Crabbe in his only appearance as Tarzan. It was also released as a 61-minute feature film which consisted of the first four chapters edited together, and which was intended to be followed on a weekly basis by the last eight chapters in individual episode format, but which was often exhibited instead as a stand-alone feature film. Actress Jacqueline Wells co-starred; she later changed her name to Julie Bishop. The serial was produced by Sol Lesser, written by Basil Dickey, George Plympton and Walter Anthony, and directed by Robert F. Hill. The film was released in both formats on August 11, 1933.
Last of the Renegades is a 1964 German Western film directed by Harald Reinl and starring Lex Barker.
The Desperado Trail is a 1965 West German film directed by Harald Reinl.
Winnetou and the Crossbreed is a 1966 West German Western film directed by Harald Philipp and starring Lex Barker, Pierre Brice, Götz George and Uschi Glas. It is part of the series of Karl May adaptations produced by Rialto Film during the decade. It was co-produced with Italy and Yugoslavia. The budget was an estimated three and a half million Deutschmarks.
The Valley of Death or Winnetou and Shatterhand in the Valley of Death is a 1968 western film directed by Harald Reinl and starring Lex Barker, Pierre Brice and Rik Battaglia. It was the last in a series of films based on Karl May novels. These had previously enjoyed major commercial success, although this film's box office returns were disappointing. It was effectively a remake of an earlier film in the series Treasure of the Silver Lake.
The Hell of Manitoba is a 1965 West-German-Spanish western film directed by Sheldon Reynolds and starring Lex Barker, Pierre Brice and Gérard Tichy. In the United States it was released under the alternative title of A Place Called Glory.
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