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 Lionel Stander

Lionel Stander

Birth
Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Death 30 Nov 1994 (aged 86)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Garden of Honor, crypt 7246
Memorial ID 4085 · View Source
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Actor. He is remembered in a number of roles of gruff, harsh voiced tough hoodlums, or lovable gruff guys who act tough but have a heart of gold in movies and television shows. He is, perhaps, best remembered for his role of Max, in television's detective show "Hart to Hart" (1979-1984), playing the housekeeper-bodyguard to Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. Born in the Bronx borough of New York City, he initially attended the University of North Carolina, but after making his stage debut there, he left after one year to make a career in acting. He began on the stage, but his gravelly voice made him a natural for radio plays. He made his movie debut in "Salt Water Daffy" (1933) with Jack Haley. He would go on to make a number of two reel comedy films with Vitaphone Studio in New York City, before moving to Hollywood in 1935. He was married six times, the last to Stephanie Van Hennick and his longest marriage, which lasted twenty-three years until his death. He had six children, usually one child with each wife. During the early 1950s amid the Red Scare, he was blacklisted for ten years when the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) discovered that he was a member of the American Communist Party. He would claim that he joined the Communist Party to make himself more attractive to women, but in testimony from others before the HUAC hearings, he was reported as trying to recruit other liberal minded actors to join the Party. John H. Lawson, a Hollywood screenwriter who also served as the Communist Party's Hollywood commissar identified Stander as a model of a committed communist who helped the Party in the class struggle. In the movie, "No Time to Marry" (1938), Stander even whistled a few bars of the "Internationale" (Communist theme song) in a scene. During the late 1930s, he was also active in the Popular Front, a group of left wing organizations dedicated to fighting fascism overseas, but was also widely supported by the Russian Communist Party. Stander was in strong support of the Russian version of Marxism and was known for spending many evenings with friends discussing the merits of Stalin's form of Communism. In 1940, he was identified by the Congressional Dies Commission (headed by Texas congressman Martin Dies) as a communist, and following his testimony, he was fired from Republic Studios. Despite being fired, he continued to work in films, including "Hangmen also Die" (1943), and other anti-Nazi war films made during and after World War II. After being blacklisted in the 1950s, Standers worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street, yet continued to act on the stage. He obtained a new start in films beginning with "Promise Her Anything" (1965) and "Cul-de-Sac" (1966). He would later reprise his role of Max from the television series "Hart to Hart" in a series of made for television "Hart to Hart" movies in the early 1990s, shortly before his death. Stander died of lung cancer in Los Angeles, California at the age of 86.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 29 Nov 1998
  • Find A Grave Memorial 4085
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Lionel Stander (11 Jan 1908–30 Nov 1994), Find A Grave Memorial no. 4085, citing Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Glendale, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .