No, I’m not launching a quiz; this is just a one-off question. Can you identify this very famous Hollywood actor?
And since that is probably too little to go on, here are some clues to help you out. This man was known for his almost flawless looks—looks which prompted him to once say, bitterly, that he sometimes wished he’d have some sort of accident that would ruin those looks forever, so that producers would give him roles that emphasised his acting rather than his looks.
A famous and very beautiful actress referred to this actor as her “ideal man”, and the grande dame of romance novels gave him the ultimate tribute: of being, in a way, her inspiration.
So: who is he? Nominations and completely mad guesses accepted till Monday, May 3, about 10 AM IST (which is when I’ll speak up and say whom I mean).
Thank you to everyone who showed an interest in this by hazarding guesses! And well done, bollyviewer, Yves and memsaab. Yes, that’s Tyrone Power (the screen cap with him standing in the dark is from This Above All).
Born on May 5, 1914, Tyrone ‘Ty’ was the son of an actor (Tyrone Power, Sr) through whom he was distantly related to Laurence Olivier. Ty’s first major film was Lloyds of London, and by the 40’s, he was all over Hollywood—mainly doing swashbuckling roles (in films like The Mark of Zorro, Captain from Castile, The Black Swan, Prince of Foxes, etc), but also dabbling in everything from noir (Nightmare Alley), war (Crashdive), western (Jesse James, Rawhide) romantic comedy (The Luck of the Irish, That Wonderful Urge) and one of Hollywood’s best courtroom dramas, the superb Witness for the Prosecution. As Yves rightly points out, Power died while filming Solomon and Sheba, and was subsequently replaced by Yul Brynner—though the Solomon you see in some of the long shots is Power.
Oh, and those women who gushed about Tyrone? Sophia Loren was the one who called him her ideal man, besides referring to him as “the god of my adolescence.” And Barbara Cartland, on being asked how she could write such sensual romance novels while still a virgin, famously said: “We didn’t need sex. We had Tyrone Power.”
And so, to celebrate the birth anniversary of Tyrone Power, this is Tyrone Power week on Dustedoff. If you like the actor, stick around—there’ll be reviews, a list (my favourite Tyrone Power films), and—obviously—an eye candy post. If you’ve always thought of Power as just another pretty face, do stop by anyway; you just might find you were mistaken, because he did put in some fine performances during his career.