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May 26, 2021

35 Handsome Portrait Photos of John Derek in the 1940s and ’50s

Born 1926 as Derek Delevan Harris in Hollywood, California, American actor had small roles in the Selznick pictures Since You Went Away (1944) and I'll Be Seeing You (1944). He was drafted in 1944 into the United States Army, and saw service in the Philippines during the last days of World War II.

After the war, Derek had a small role in A Double Life (1947) when he was approached by Humphrey Bogart, who renamed him John Derek and cast him as Nick (Pretty Boy) Romano, an unrepentant killer, in Knock on Any Door (1949).

Derek was recognized as a talented newcomer, “plainly an idol for the girls” - The New York Times. The Los Angeles Times called him “a handsome hot-eyed newcomer who makes the case for this product of the city’s slums — ‘live fast, die young and have a good looking corpse’ — all too fascinating for everybody’s comfort.”

Derek suffered a heart attack in 1986, but completely recovered. His last film as director was Ghosts Can’t Do It (1990). He died in 1998 from cardiovascular disease in Santa Maria, California, at the age of 71.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see portrait of a young and handsome John Derek in the 1940s and 1950s.


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