Mineo in 1973
Salvatore Mineo, Jr.
January 10, 1939
|Died||February 12, 1976 37) (aged|
|Cause of death||Murder by stabbing|
|Resting place||Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York, U.S.|
|Other names||The Switchblade Kid|
Salvatore Mineo, Jr. (January 10, 1939 –February 12, 1976), was an American film and theatre actor who is known for his performance as John "Plato" Crawford opposite James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause (1955). Mineo was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his roles in Rebel Without a Cause and Exodus (1960).
A film, also called a movie, motion picture, moving picture, or photoplay, is a series of still images that, when shown on a screen, create the illusion of moving images.
Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers, typically actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music, and dance. Elements of art, such as painted scenery and stagecraft such as lighting are used to enhance the physicality, presence and immediacy of the experience. The specific place of the performance is also named by the word "theatre" as derived from the Ancient Greek θέατρον, itself from θεάομαι.
An actor is a person who portrays a character in a performance. The actor performs "in the flesh" in the traditional medium of the theatre or in modern media such as film, radio, and television. The analogous Greek term is ὑποκριτής (hupokritḗs), literally "one who answers". The actor's interpretation of their role—the art of acting—pertains to the role played, whether based on a real person or fictional character. Interpretation occurs even when the actor is "playing themselves", as in some forms of experimental performance art.
Mineo was born in the Bronx, the son of coffin makers Josephine (née Alvisi) and Salvatore Mineo, Sr.
He was of Sicilian descent; his father was born in Italy and his mother, of Italian origin, was born in the United States. His mother enrolled him in dancing and acting school at an early age.He had his first stage appearance in Tennessee Williams' play The Rose Tattoo (1951). He also played the young prince opposite Yul Brynner in the stage musical The King and I . Brynner took the opportunity to help Mineo better himself as an actor.
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.
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a country in Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and has a largely temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 18 megadiverse countries.
On May 8, 1954, Mineo portrayed the Page (lip-synching to the voice of mezzo-soprano Carol Jones) in the NBC Opera Theatre's production of Richard Strauss's Salome (in English translation), set to Oscar Wilde's play. Elaine Malbin performed the title role, and Peter Herman Adler conducted Kirk Browning's production.
A mezzo-soprano or mezzo (, ; Italian: [ˈmɛddzo soˈpraːno] meaning "half soprano") is a type of classical female singing voice whose vocal range lies between the soprano and the contralto voice types. The mezzo-soprano's vocal range usually extends from the A below middle C to the A two octaves above (i.e. A3–A5 in scientific pitch notation, where middle C = C4; 220–880 Hz). In the lower and upper extremes, some mezzo-sopranos may extend down to the F below middle C (F3, 175 Hz) and as high as "high C" (C6, 1047 Hz). The mezzo-soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, lyric, and dramatic mezzo-soprano.
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome; his Lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; his tone poems, including Don Juan, Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach Zarathustra, Ein Heldenleben, Symphonia Domestica, and An Alpine Symphony; and other instrumental works such as Metamorphosen and his Oboe Concerto. Strauss was also a prominent conductor in Western Europe and the Americas, enjoying quasi-celebrity status as his compositions became standards of orchestral and operatic repertoire.
As a teenager, Mineo appeared on ABC's musical quiz program Jukebox Jury , which aired in the 1953-1954 season. Mineo made several television appearances before making his screen debut in the Joseph Pevney film Six Bridges to Cross (1955). He beat out Clint Eastwood for the role.Mineo also successfully auditioned for a part in The Private War of Major Benson (1955), as a cadet colonel opposite Charlton Heston.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Disney–ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered on Columbus Avenue and West 66th Street in Manhattan, New York City. There are additional major offices and production facilities elsewhere in New York City, as well as in Los Angeles and Burbank, California.
Jukebox Jury was an hour-long television series hosted by disc jockey Peter Potter which aired in the 1953-1954 season on ABC, and was syndicated in 1959.
Joseph Pevney was an American film and television director.
Mineo's breakthrough as an actor came in Rebel Without a Cause (1955),in which he played John "Plato" Crawford, the sensitive teenager smitten with Jim Stark (played by James Dean). His performance resulted in an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and his popularity quickly developed. Mineo's biographer, Paul Jeffers, recounted that Mineo received thousands of letters from young female fans, was mobbed by them at public appearances, and further wrote: "He dated the most beautiful women in Hollywood and New York City."
Rebel Without a Cause is a 1955 American drama film about emotionally confused suburban, middle-class teenagers. Filmed in the recently introduced CinemaScope format and directed by Nicholas Ray, it offered both social commentary and an alternative to previous films depicting delinquents in urban slum environments. The film stars James Dean, Sal Mineo, and Natalie Wood.
James Byron Dean was an American actor from Indiana. He is remembered as a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955) and surly ranch hand Jett Rink in Giant (1956).
Hollywood is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California, notable as the home of the U.S. film industry including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a shorthand reference for the industry and the people associated with it.
In Giant (1956), Mineo played Angel Obregon II, a Mexican boy killed in World War II. Many of his subsequent roles were variations of his role in Rebel Without a Cause, and he was typecast as a troubled teen.In the Disney adventure Tonka (1958), for instance, Mineo starred as a young Sioux named White Bull who traps and domesticates a clear-eyed, spirited wild horse named Tonka that becomes the famous Comanche, the lone survivor of Custer's Last Stand.
By the late 1950s, the actor was a major celebrity, sometimes referred to as the "Switchblade Kid"—a nickname he earned from his role as a criminal in the movie Crime in the Streets (1956).In 1957, Mineo made a brief foray into pop music by recording a handful of songs and an album. Two of his singles reached the Top 40 in the United States' Billboard Hot 100. The more popular of the two, "Start Movin' (In My Direction)", reached #9 on Billboard's pop chart. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. He starred as drummer Gene Krupa in the movie The Gene Krupa Story (1959), directed by Don Weis with Susan Kohner, James Darren, and Susan Oliver. He appeared as the celebrity guest challenger on the June 30, 1957, episode of What's My Line?.
Mineo made an effort to break his typecasting. His acting ability and exotic good looks earned him roles as the Native American boy in the above-mentioned film Tonka (1956), a Mexican boy in the above-mentioned film Giant (1956), and as a Jewish emigrant in Otto Preminger's Exodus (1960), for which he won a Golden Globe Award and received another Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor.
By the early 1960s, Mineo was becoming too old to play the type of role that had made him famous, and his rumoured homosexuality led to his being considered inappropriate for leading roles. For example, he auditioned for David Lean's film Lawrence of Arabia (1962) but was not hired.He also appeared in The Longest Day (1962), wherein he played a private who is killed by a German after the landing in Sainte-Mère-Église. Mineo was baffled by his sudden loss of popularity, later saying, "One minute it seemed I had more movie offers than I could handle; the next, no one wanted me." The high point of this period was his portrayal of Uriah in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965). Mineo also appeared on the Season 2 episode of The Patty Duke Show : "Patty Meets a Celebrity" (1964). There are stories he attempted to revive his career by camping out on the front lawn of Francis Ford Coppola's home, for a chance to win the role of Fredo Corleone in The Godfather (1972), but the role went to John Cazale. Mineo guest-starred in an episode of ABC's TV series Combat! in 1966, playing the role of a GI wanted for murder. He did two more appearances on the same show, including appearing in an installment with Fernando Lamas.
Mineo's role as a stalker in Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965), which co-starred Juliet Prowse, did not seem to help his career. Although his performance was praised by critics, he found himself typecast again--this time as a deranged criminal. Mineo never entirely escaped this characterization. One of his last roles was a guest spot on the TV series S.W.A.T. (1975), in which he portrayed a cult leader similar to Charles Manson.
In 1969, Mineo returned to the stage to direct a Los Angeles production of the LGBT-themed play Fortune and Men's Eyes (1967), featuring then unknown Don Johnson as Smitty and himself as Rocky. The production received positive reviews, although its expanded prison rape scene was criticized as excessive and gratuitous.
In 1970, Mineo was crowned King of the Beaux Arts Ball. Presiding with him as his Queen was Madeleine Le Roux.
Mineo's last motion picture role was a small part in the film Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971); he played the chimpanzee Dr. Milo.
Mineo stage-directed a Gian Carlo Menotti opera entitled The Medium in December 1972 in Detroit.Muriel Costa-Greenspon portrayed the title character, Madame Flora, and Mineo played the mute Toby.
In 1975, Mineo appeared as Rachman Habib, the assistant to a murderous consular head of a Middle Eastern country, in the Columbo episode "A Case of Immunity," on NBC-TV. Mineo also appeared in two episodes of Hawaii Five-O , in 1968 and 1975.
By 1976, Mineo's career had begun to turn around.While playing the role of a bisexual burglar in a series of stage performances of the comedy P.S. Your Cat Is Dead in San Francisco, Mineo received substantial publicity from many positive reviews; he moved to Los Angeles along with the play.
Mineo was the model for Harold Stevenson's painting The New Adam (1963). The painting currently is part of the Guggenheim Museum's permanent collection,and is considered "one of the great American nudes."
Mineo met actress Jill Haworth on the set of the film Exodus , in which they portrayed young lovers. Mineo and Haworth were together on-and-off for many years. They were engaged to be married at one point, though she canceled the engagement when she became aware of an affair Sal was having with singer Bobby Sherman.The two did remain very close friends until Mineo's death. Mineo expressed disapproval of Haworth's brief relationship with the much older television producer Aaron Spelling. One night, when Mineo found Haworth and Spelling at a private Beverly Hills nightclub, he punched Spelling in the face, yelling, "Do you know how old she is? What are you doing with her at your age?" While some have described Haworth as being nothing but a close friend and a "beard" to Mineo to conceal his same-sex partners, Mineo biographer Michael G. Michaud denies this claim; Michaud describes Mineo and Haworth's relationship as a normal heterosexual relationship, avers that Mineo fell in love with Haworth, and states that Mineo regarded her as one of the most important people in his life.
In a 1972 interview with Boze Hadleigh, Mineo discussed his bisexuality.At the time of his death, he was in a six-year relationship with male actor Courtney Burr III.
Michael G. Michaud wrote a biography of Mineo, with the majority of this information coming from Haworth and Burr. In Sal Mineo: A Biography, Michaud claimed that Mineo had sexual relations with then-teen idol Bobby Sherman. He claimed Mineo never had any sexual relations with either James Dean or Don Johnson. Mineo was also close friends with David Cassidy, another teen idol.
Mineo was arriving home after a rehearsal on February 12, 1976, when he was stabbed to death in the alley behind his apartment building near the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California.Mineo was stabbed just once, but the knife blade struck his heart.
He was buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.
In March 1979, pizza deliveryman Lionel Ray Williams was sentenced to 57 years in prison for killing Mineo and for ten robberies in the same area.Although considerable confusion existed as to what witnesses had seen in the darkness the night Mineo was murdered, Williams claimed to have had no idea who Mineo was. Corrections officers later said they had overheard Williams admitting to the stabbing. Williams was defended by jazz bassist and lawyer Mort Herbert.
|1955||Six Bridges to Cross||Jerry (boy)||Screen début|
|1955||The Private War of Major Benson||Cadet Col. Sylvester Dusik|
|1955||Rebel Without a Cause||John "Plato" Crawford||Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1956||Crime in the Streets||Angelo "Baby" Gioia, a.k.a. Bambino|
|1956||Somebody Up There Likes Me||Romolo|
|1956||Giant||Angel Obregón II|
|1956||Rock, Pretty Baby||Angelo Barrato|
|1957||The Young Don't Cry||Leslie "Les" Henderson|
|1959||A Private's Affair||Luigi Maresi|
|1959||The Gene Krupa Story||Gene Krupa|
|1960||Exodus||Dov Landau|| Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture |
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
|1962||Escape from Zahrain||Ahmed|
|1962||The Longest Day||Pvt. Martini|
|1964||Cheyenne Autumn||Red Shirt|
|1965||The Greatest Story Ever Told||Uriah|
|1965||Who Killed Teddy Bear?||Lawrence Sherman|
|1967||Stranger on the Run||George Blaylock|
|1969||Krakatoa, East of Java||Leoncavallo Borghese|
|1969||80 Steps to Jonah||Jerry Taggart|
|1971||Escape from the Planet of the Apes||Dr. Milo|
|1952||The Vision of Father Flanagan||Les||TV Movie|
|1952||A Woman For The Ages||Charles||TV Movie|
|1953||Omnibus||Paco||"The Capitol of the World"|
|1954||Janet Dean, Registered Nurse||Tommy Angelo||"The Magic Horn"|
|1955||Big Town||"Juvenile Gangs"|
|1955||Omnibus||"The Bad Men"|
|1955||The Philco Television Playhouse||"The Trees"|
|1955||Frontiers of Faith||"The Man on the 6:02"|
|1956||Look Up and Live||"Nothing to Do"|
|1956||The Alcoa Hour||Paco||"The Capitol of the World", "The Magic Horn"|
|1956||Westinghouse Studio One||"Dino"|
|1956||Look Up and Live||"Nothing to Do"|
|1956||Lux Video Theatre||"Tabloid"|
|1956||Screen Directors Playhouse||"The Dream"|
|1956||Climax!||Miguel||"Island in the City"|
|1957||The Ed Sullivan Show||Himself||Episodes 10.42, 10.48|
|1957||Kraft Suspense Theatre||Tony Russo||"Barefoot Soldier", "Drummer Man"|
|1957||Kraft Music Hall||Himself||Episode 10.8|
|1958||The DuPont Show of the Month||Aladdin||"Cole Porter's Aladdin"|
|1958||Pursuit||Jose Garcia||"The Garcia Story"|
|1959||The Ann Sothern Show||Nicky Silvero||"The Sal Mineo Story"|
|1962||The DuPont Show of the Week||Coke||"A Sound of Hunting"|
|1963||The Greatest Show on Earth||Billy Archer||"The Loser"|
|1964||Kraft Suspense Theatre||Ernie||"The World I Want"|
|1964||Dr. Kildare||Carlos Mendoza||"Tomorrow is a Fickle Girl"|
|1964||Combat!||Private Kogan||"The Hard Way Back"|
|1965||The Patty Duke Show||Himself||"Patty Meets a Celebrity"|
|1965||Burke's Law||Lew Dixon||"Who Killed the Rabbit's Husband?"|
|1966||Combat!||Vinnick||"Nothing to Lose"|
|1966||Combat!||Marcel Paulon||"The Brothers"|
|1966||Mona McCluskey||"The General Swings at Dawn"|
|1966||Run for Your Life||Tonio||"Sequestro!: Parts 1 and 2"|
|1966||Court Martial||Lt. Tony Bianchi||"The House Where He Lived"|
|1966||The Dangerous Days of Kiowa Jones||Bobby Jack Wilkes||TV Movie|
|1967||Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre||Doctoroff||"A Song Called Revenge"|
|1967||Stranger on the Run||George Blaylock||TV Movie|
|1968||Hawaii Five-O||Bobby George||"Tiger By The Tail"|
|1969||The Name of the Game||Sheldon||"A Hard Case Of The Blues"|
|1970||Mission Impossible||Mel Bracken||Flip Side|
|1970||The Challengers||Angel de Angelo||TV Movie|
|1970||The Name of the Game||Wade Hillary||"So Long, Baby, and Amen"|
|1971||My Three Sons||Jim Bell||"The Liberty Bell"|
|1971||Dan August||Mort Downes||"The Worst Crime"|
|1971||In Search of America||Nick||TV Movie|
|1971||How to Steal an Airplane||Luis Ortega||TV Movie|
|1972||The Family Rico||Nick Rico||TV Movie|
|1973||Griff||President Gamal Zaki||"Marked for Murder"|
|1973||Harry O||Walter Scheerer||"Such Dust as Dreams Are Made On"|
|1974||Tenafly||Jerry Farmer||"Man Running"|
|1974||Police Story||Stippy||"The Hunters"|
|1975||Columbo||Rachman Habib||"A Case of Immunity"|
|1975||Hawaii Five-O||Eddie||"Hit Gun for Sale"|
|1975||Harry O||Broker||"Elegy for a Cop"|
|1975||SWAT||Roy||"Deadly Tide: Parts 1 and 2"|
|1975||SWAT'||Joey Hopper||"A Coven of Killers"|
|1975||Police Story||Fobbes||"Test of Brotherhood"|
|1976||Ellery Queen||James Danello||"The Adventure of the Wary Witness"|
|1976||Joe Forrester||Parma||"The Answer", (final appearance)|
Dustin Neil Diamond is an American actor, musician, director, and stand-up comedian widely known for his role as Samuel "Screech" Powers in the television shows Saved by the Bell; Good Morning, Miss Bliss; Saved by the Bell: The College Years; and Saved by the Bell: The New Class.
In television, film, and theatre, typecasting is the process by which a particular actor becomes strongly identified with a specific character; one or more particular roles; or, characters having the same traits or coming from the same social or ethnic groups. There have been instances in which an actor has been so strongly identified with a role as to make it difficult for them to find work playing other characters.
Joy Page was an American actress best known for her role as the Bulgarian refugee Annina Brandel in Casablanca (1942).
Gregg Lee Henry is an American character actor and rock, blues and country musician.
Boze Hadleigh is the author of several books that cover LGBT culture, popular culture, and show business. His 22 books have been translated into 14 languages.
John "Jonathan" Gilmore was an American author and gonzo journalist known for iconoclastic Hollywood memoirs, true crime literature and hard-boiled fiction. A motion picture, television and stage actor in Los Angeles and New York in the 1950s, his friends including James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, Gilmore has also written about his encounter with Elizabeth Short a.k.a. "The Black Dahlia" during his youth. Gilmore emerged as a writer from the Beat Generation in the '60s, influenced by Jack Kerouac and befriended by author William S. Burroughs. The publication of his true crime book "Severed: The True Story of the Black Dahlia," ushered in a cult following for the author. His manuscripts and original writings are housed in the special collections department of the Research Library of the University of California at Los Angeles.
Carlos Ferro is an American actor, voice actor, writer, director, and producer.
Fortune and Men's Eyes is a 1967 play and 1971 film written by John Herbert about a young man's experience in prison, exploring themes of homosexuality and sexual slavery.
H. M. Wynant, is an American film and television actor.
Valerie Jill Haworth was an English actress. She appeared in films throughout the 1960s, and started making guest appearances on television in 1963. She originated the role of Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret on Broadway in 1966.
Something About a Soldier, subtitled "A Comedy-drama in Three Acts", was a play written by Emmy-winning writer Ernest Kinoy. It premiered on Broadway at the Ambassador Theatre in New York on January 4, 1962, after a preview the night before. In all, the show ran for 12 performances, closing on January 13, 1962.
Crime in the Streets is a 1956 film about juvenile delinquency, directed by Don Siegel and based on a television play written by Reginald Rose. The play first appeared on the Elgin Hour and was directed by Sidney Lumet.
John War Eagle was a British-born Yankton Sioux film and television actor. He grew up on the Yankton Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Tonka, also known as A Horse Named Comanche, is a 1958 Walt Disney Western adventure film directed by Lewis R. Foster and starring Sal Mineo as a Sioux who survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn. It was filmed in Bend, Oregon, and distributed by Buena Vista Distribution.
Six Bridges to Cross or 6 Bridges to Cross is a 1955 American film noir crime film directed by Joseph Pevney starring Tony Curtis, George Nader, Julie Adams and featuring Sal Mineo's screen debut. Six Bridges to Cross is based upon the famous 1950 Great Brink's Robbery of Boston, Massachusetts in which the thieves made off with roughly $2.5 million.
Sal is a 2011 biographical film depicting the last few hours of the life of Sal Mineo, one of the first major film actors in Hollywood to publicly acknowledge their own bisexuality or homosexuality. Mineo was murdered on February 12, 1976. The film, directed by James Franco, stars Val Lauren in the title role, and is based in part on Michael Gregg Michaud's book Sal Mineo: A Biography. The film also stars Jim Parrack, James Franco and Vince Jolivette in supporting roles.
Who Killed Teddy Bear is a 1965 American crime drama/psychological thriller film and cult classic starring Sal Mineo, Juliet Prowse and Elaine Stritch. The film was directed by Joseph Cates and written by Arnold Drake and Leon Tokatyan.
Michael Greer was an American actor, comedian and cabaret performer. He is best known for his appearances in the films The Gay Deceivers and Fortune and Men's Eyes, and for being one of the first openly gay actors to appear in major Hollywood films.
Mort Herbert was an American jazz bassist and lawyer.
The autopsy revealed that Sal died of a single stab wound to the heart.
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