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Troy Donahue

Biography

Delivered Merle Johnson, Jr., he became a teenager idol in the 1959 film, A Summertime Place, and performed a job in The Godfather II. He also performed jobs in Deadly Victim, Nudity Required, Noises of Silence, as well as the Platinum Triangle. He was a journalism main at Columbia College or university. After he acted in my own Blood Runs Cool, Warner Bros. finished his agreement, which led him down a self-destructive route until he made an appearance in The Godfather II. Ahead of his loss of life, he was involved to mezzo-soprano vocalist Zheng Cao. His agent also examined the pseudonym Troy on Rory Calhoun.

Quick Facts


Full Name Troy Donahue
Date Of Birth January 27, 1936
Place Of Birth New York City, NY
Height 1.91 m
Profession Movie Actor
Education Columbia University
Nationality American
Spouse Vicky Taylor, Alma Sharpe, Valerie Allen, Suzanne Pleshette
Children Janine Donahue, Sean Donahue
Parents Merle Johnson Sr, Edith Johnson
Partner Zheng Cao
Awards Golden Globe Award for Best New Star of the Year – Actor
Movies A Summer Place, Rome Adventure, Parrish, Palm Springs Weekend, Susan Slade, The Godfather Part II, A Distant Trumpet, My Blood Runs Cold, Cry-Baby, Imitation of Life, Monster on the Campus, Deadly Prey, The Tarnished Angels, Come Spy with Me, Sweet Savior, The Crowded Sky, Grandview, U.S.A., Cockfighter, Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon, Double Trouble, The Perfect Furlough, This Happy Feeling, Shock 'Em Dead, Merchants of Venus, Assault of the Party Nerds, Summer Love, Voice in the Mirror, The Legend of Frank Woods, Omega Cop, The Chilling, Wild Heritage, Tin Man, Hollywood Cop, Hot Times at Montclair High, American Rampage, Dr. Alien, Live Fast, Die Young, The Phantom Gunslinger, Flood Tide, Deadly Spygames, Bimbo Movie Bash, The Lonely Profession, Click: The Calendar Girl Killer, Malibu, Seizure, The Boys Behind the Desk, Katy Caterpillar, Cyclone, Terminal Force, Legion, Showdown
TV Shows Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story, Hawaiian Eye, Surfside 6
Star Sign Aquarius

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1The January 5, 1972, issue of Variety lists a movie titled Without Last Rights, director Michael Meola, with cast Troy Donahue, Manchester Brooks, Caren Kaye, and others that started filming Nov. 12, 1971, in Paterson, NJ. No evidence the movie was ever finished or released.
2The December 1, 1971, issue of Variety, in the Hollywood Production Pulse section, reports the film Without Last Rights (or Rites) starring Troy Donahue, directed by Michael Meola, began filming Nov 12, 1971, in Paterson, NJ. No evidence the film was completed or released.
3As a recurring guest on Ruth Lyons' The 50/50 Club (1949), which broadcast at noon from the powerful WLW-T in Cincinnati, in the late '40s through the '50s and '60s, Troy had a huge fan in Ruth's teenage daughter Candy Laird Newman, and gave her, as a surprise, a walk-on part in Palm Springs Weekend (1963). It was announced on Ruth's show by Candy, and everyone was very excited for her. She was only on for a few seconds, but it was a very big deal for Candy, who died of cancer in the early 1960s at age 20.
4Talks about his early days at Universal, and the sci-fi movie Monster on the Campus (1958), in the book, "A Sci-Fi Swarm and Horror Horde" (McFarland, 2010), by Tom Weaver.
5Suffered from arthritis and was taking the arthritis painkiller Vioxx at the time he died of a heart attack.
6Having migrated to Hollywood after dropping out of Columbia University, the sun-bleached blond was discovered and offered a Universal screen test by director William Asher while munching on a cheeseburger at a beachside diner.
7Underwent successful angioplasty surgery upon his arrival in hospital, but then suffered a second heart attack and was given a heart bypass.
8His name was used in the lyrics for the song, "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" in the musical, Grease. ("As for you Troy Donahue...").
91/23/05: Ranked #10 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols".
10Died just eleven days before his A Summer Place (1959) costar, Dorothy McGuire.
11During the early 1980s, his personal and professional fortunes had sunk so low that he was literally living on a bench in New York's Central Park.
12Along with Doug McClure, was the inspiration for The Simpsons (1989) character "Troy McClure".
13After his father's death, at age 14 Troy was sent to military school. As a cadet, he became friends with a classmate, Francis Ford Coppola. This led to his being cast in The Godfather: Part II (1974).
14His admittedly limited talent was slightly chided in the smash Broadway musical "A Chorus Line." The lyric went: "If Troy Donahue could be a movie star, then I could be a movie star!"
15Son of Edith (Frederickson), a stage actress, and Merle Johnson Sr., a vice-president at General Motors. His mother was born in New York, to Swedish parents. His father was born in Illinois. Troy's paternal grandfather was English.
16Former co-star and long-time friend Connie Stevens visited Donahue the day before he died.
178/30/01: Suffered a heart attack. He never recovered and died at St. John's Hospital and Medical Center in Santa Monica, CA, 9/2/01.
18He toured in a producton of "Bye Bye Birdie" toward the end of his life.
19Received his movie name of "Troy Donahue" from the same person who named Rock Hudson: Hollywood press agent Henry Willson.
20Starting drinking alcohol in seventh grade (age 13). After being dropped by Warner Brothers in 1966 (age 30) he became an alcoholic. Admitted that he was addicted to pain killers, amphetamines, & cocaine, and used marijuana daily. Joined AA in 1982 (age 46) and turned his life around with his sobriety.
21Survived by daughter Janine & 3 grandchildren, as well as a son, Sean (born 1970).
22At the time of his death he lived with his fiancée, the mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao.
23Taught acting classes on Holland America cruise ships.
24Used his real name, Merle Johnson, for his character in The Godfather: Part II (1974).


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Voice in the Mirror1958Paul Cunningham
Wild Heritage1958Jesse Bascomb
This Happy Feeling1958Tony Manza
Man Without a Gun1958TV SeriesJan
Live Fast, Die Young1958Artie Sanders / Artie Smith
Summer Love1957Sax Lewis
The Monolith Monsters1957Hank Jackson (uncredited)
Flood Tide1957Teenager at Beach (uncredited)
The Tarnished Angels1957Frank Burnham
Man of a Thousand Faces1957Assistant Director in Bullpen (uncredited)
Man Afraid1957Reporter (uncredited)
The Secret Storm1954TV SeriesR.B. Keefer (1970)
The Boys Behind the Desk2000
Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story1999TV MovieRob Kamen
The Bixby Clown Project1999ShortMike
Legion1998TV MovieFlemming
Merchants of Venus1998FBI Agent
Showdown1993/IIPolice Captain
The Pamela Principle1992VideoTroy
Double Trouble1992/ILeonard
Deadly Diamonds1991VideoMatt Plimpton
Shock 'Em Dead1991Record Exec
Sexpot1990Phillip
Nudity Required1990Jack
Omega Cop1990Slim
Cry-Baby1990Hatchet's Father
Monsters1990TV SeriesDr. Thomas Becker
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer1990Alan
The Platinum Triangle1990Harold Farber
Deadly Spygames1989Python
The Chilling1989Dr. Miller
Blood Nasty1989Barry Hefna
Hot Times at Montclair High1989Mr. Nichols
Bad Blood1989Jack Barnes
Sounds of Silence1989Larry Haughton
Terminal Force1989Slim
Dr. Alien1989Dr. Ackerman
American Rampage1989Police Psychiatrist
Assault of the Party Nerds1989VideoSid Witherspoon
Hard Rock Nightmare1988Uncle Gary
Hawkeye1988Mayor
Deadly Prey1987Don Michaelson
Hollywood Cop1987Lt Maxwell
Hyôryu kyôshitsu1987Taggart
Cyclone1987Bob Jenkins
Fight to Win1987Rosenberg
Low Blow1986John Templeton
Grandview, U.S.A.1984Donny Vinton
Katy Caterpillar1984Walla (English version, voice)
Tin Man1983Lester
Malibu1983TV MovieClint Redman
Matt Houston1982TV SeriesWilliam 'Willie' Hoyt
Fantasy Island1978-1981TV SeriesWallis Jaeger / Jack Terry
The Love Boat1980TV SeriesMr. Clark
The Eddie Capra Mysteries1978TV Series
Vega$1978TV SeriesTeddy Howard
CHiPs1978TV SeriesBob Niles
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries1978TV SeriesAlan Summerville
The Godfather: A Novel for Television1977TV Mini-SeriesMerle Johnson
Ultraje1977Daniel
The Legend of Frank Woods1977Sheriff John Baxom
Ellery Queen1976TV SeriesGilbert Mallory
The Godfather: Part II1974Merle Johnson
South Seas1974Steve
Cockfighter1974Randall Mansfield
Seizure1974Mark Frost
The Last Stop1972Sheriff
Sweet Savior1971Moon
The Phantom Gunslinger1970Bill
The Lonely Profession1969TV MovieJulian Thatcher
The Virginian1969TV SeriesBracken
The Name of the Game1968TV SeriesNorman Hoak
Ironside1968TV SeriesFather Dugan
Those Fantastic Flying Fools1967Gaylord
Come Spy with Me1967Pete Barker
The Patty Duke Show1965TV SeriesDr. Morgan
My Blood Runs Cold1965Ben Gunther
A Distant Trumpet19642nd Lt. Matthew 'Matt' Hazard
Palm Springs Weekend1963Jim Munroe
Hawaiian Eye1959-1963TV SeriesPhilip Barton / Jim McLaren / Pete
Surfside 61960-1962TV SeriesSandy Winfield II Sandy Winfield
Rome Adventure1962Don Porter
Susan Slade1961Hoyt Brecker
77 Sunset Strip1960-1961TV SeriesSandy Winfield II / Star Bright
Parrish1961Parrish McLean
The Crowded Sky1960McVey
Lawman1960TV SeriesDavid Manning
The Alaskans1960TV SeriesTed Andrews
The Bob Hope Show1960TV Series
Bronco1959TV SeriesBart Donner / Roy Parrott
Colt .451959TV SeriesJames 'Jim' Gibson
A Summer Place1959Johnny Hunter
Sugarfoot1959TV SeriesKen Savage
Maverick1959TV SeriesDan Jamison
Imitation of Life1959Frankie
Tales of Wells Fargo1959TV SeriesSmith
Wagon Train1959TV SeriesTed Garner
Rawhide1959TV SeriesBuzz Travis
Monster on the Campus1958Jimmy Flanders
The Californians1958TV Series
The Perfect Furlough1958Sgt. Nickles

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Palm Springs Weekend1963performer: "Live Young"
Surfside 61962TV Series performer - 1 episode

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
1998 Primetime Creative Arts Emmys1998TV MovieHimself (credit only)
The Daily Show1997TV SeriesHimself
All-Star Party for 'Dutch' Reagan1985TV SpecialHimself
Our Time1985TV SeriesHimself
Match Game/Hollywood Squares Hour1984TV SeriesHimself
Family Feud1983TV SeriesHimself - Panelist / Himself
Laverne & Shirley1980TV SeriesHimself
Good Morning America1979TV SeriesHimself
Everyday1979TV SeriesHimself
Sha Na Na1979TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1971TV SeriesHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1970-1971TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1969TV SeriesHimself
The Pat Boone Show1968TV SeriesHimself
Dream Girl of '671966TV SeriesHimself - Bachelor Judge
The 22th Annual Golden Globes Awards1965TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama
I've Got a Secret1963TV SeriesHimself - Celebrity Guest
The 34th Annual Academy Awards1962TV SpecialHimself - Audience Member
Here's Hollywood1961-1962TV SeriesHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1962TV SeriesHimself - Stage Bow
The 13th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1961TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
New American Bandstand 19651961TV SeriesHimself
Play Your Hunch1961TV SeriesHimself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Svengoolie2014TV SeriesHank Jackson
Bimbo Movie Bash1997Dr. Ackerman
The Godfather Trilogy: 1901-19801992VideoMerle Johnson
Horrible Horror1986VideoJimmy Flanders, In clips from 'Monster on the Campus'
Bob Hope's World of Comedy1976TV MovieHimself
Split Second to an Epitaph1968TV MovieFather Dugan
Mondo Hollywood1967DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1962Most Popular Male StarPhotoplay Awards
1960Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USAMost Promising Newcomer - MaleA Summer Place (1959)

3rd place awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1960Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male New Personality

TitleSalary
Hawaiian Eye (1959)$3,000 /week

#Quote
1[Discussing his role in A Summer Place (1959), with Sandra Dee] What I did basically was knock up Gidget, and you just don't do that!


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