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John Derek
Original name: Derek Delevan Harris
Birth: Aug. 12, 1926
Santa Maria (Los Angeles County)
Los Angeles County
California, USA
Death: May 22, 1998
Santa Monica
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Actor, Director, Screenwriter, and Photographer. A strikingly handsome man, he is remembered for his marriages to glamorous starlets and for launching the career of his last wife, Bo Derek. Born Derek Delevan Harris in Hollywood, California, he was the son of actor/director Lawson Harris and actress Dolores Johnson. In 1944 he began his film career, with minor roles in "Since You Went Away" and "I'll Be Seeing You" before being drafted into the US Army and serving in the Philippines during the last days of World War II. After the war, he got his big break as the unregenerate killer 'Nick (Pretty Boy) Romano' in "Knock on Any Door" (1949, with Humphrey Bogart), followed by a supporting role as the son of Broderick Crawford in "All the King's Men" (1949), which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the role of 'Robin Hood' in "Rogues of Sherwood Forest" (1950, with Alan Hale). In 1951 he married his first wife, Russian prima ballerina Pati Behrs, a grandniece of Leo Tolstoy. He also appeared as 'Joshua' in "The Ten Commandments" (1956) and as 'Taha' in "Exodus" (1960). But when he found himself featured increasingly as a hero or villain in a string of unimpressive B-movies, he decided to become a film director. He directed his second wife Ursula Andress in two films, "Nightmare in the Sun" (1965) and "Once Before I Die' (1966), both of which he also starred, and third wife Linda Evans in "Childish Things" (1969). He also worked as a director of four films with fourth wife, Bo Derek, in "Fantasies" (1981, which he also wrote), "Tarzan the Ape Man" (1981), "Bolero" (1984, which he also wrote), and "Ghosts Can't Do It" (1990, which he also wrote), the latter being his last movie. An accomplished photographer, he photographed the last three of his four wives (at different times) for nude spreads in Playboy magazine. He died of a heart attack due to cardiovascular disease in Santa Monica, California at the age of 71. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Family links: 
 Parents:
  William Lawson Harris (1897 - 1948)
 
 Spouse:
  Pati Behrs Eristoff Lindley (1922 - 2004)*
 
*Calculated relationship

Cause of death: Heart Failure
 
Burial:
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Ron Moody
Record added: Oct 19, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 5860416
John Derek
Added by: Anonymous
 
John Derek
Added by: Cinnamonntoast4
 
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- Pamela Howlett
 Added: Sep. 20, 2014
Thank you for your contributions to films. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Aug. 22, 2014

- Stacey
 Added: Aug. 19, 2014
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How famous was this person?
Current ranking for this person: (4.2 after 130 votes)
 

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