Saturday, December 15, 2012
December 15: Happy Birthday, Jeff Chandler!
Jeff Chandler, born Ira Grossel, in 1918 could play any range of character’s and was most remembered for his portrayal of Apache Indian Chieftain Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950).
His swarthy good looks made him an early sensation in Hollywood and a popular contract player for any studio that could get him onboard. Born into a Jewish family, Chandler gained a love for acting early on in his youth. Before becoming big on the stage and cinema, Chandler had for a time spent working in radio. In fact, in Rogue’s Gallery, Chandler performed with the notable Dick Powell on the air. his movie history included playing the parts of a gangster, Israeli soldier and an Arab chieftain, before his Academy Award nomination for his casting as the Apache leader. This had been the first time an actor had received such high accolades for portraying an Indian. During the late 50’s and before his death in 1961, Chandler’s hair began to turn gray prematurely, which simply added to his leading man charm with the ladies. Jeff tried a brief stint in Las Vegas as a crooner and even had a record contract. However, it was his acting that would be his mainstay and what held true in the minds of millions of fans. Due to medical incompetence, Jeff Chandler’s life ended too soon after a botched medical procedure. Who knows where his life might have gone if not ended so soon.