Actor. Best remembered for his roles in such films as "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955), "Giant" (1956), "Exodus" (1960), and "The Longest Day" (1962). He received two Oscar nominations for his roles in "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Exodus.” Born Salvatore Mineo Jr., in the Bronx part of New York City to Italian immigrants who had come from Sicily, he was thrown out of school at age 8, and quickly became a member of a street gang. After an arrest for robbery at age 10, the judge gave him an option of juvenile confinement or enrollment in a professional acting school. He chose the latter, with his first appearance in "The Rose Tattoo" (1951) on Broadway. He soon began appearing in supporting roles in films such as "Six Bridges to Cross" (1955), reaching his peak of fame with his role as Plato in "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955). In 1957, he attempted to start a singing career, releasing two singles: "Start Movin' in my direction" and "Lasting Love," both of which made it to the top 40 in the charts. He obtained steady work, returning to do a number of films and television appearances. In 1976, while rehearsing a new play in Los Angeles, he was returning to his West Hollywood apartment one evening, when Lionel Ray Williams stabbed him to death in a robbery attempt. Williams was convicted and sentence to life in prison for the murder.
Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson
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