Sterling Hayden (1916-86) was a fine actor who never really wanted to act. His first love was the sea, and in fact, the desire to buy a boat prompted him to begin modeling which led, in 1940, to a contract with Paramount. With no previous acting experience, he starred in several films that made him a star. But his career stalled while he served overseas in World War II. Back home after five years, he continued acting with BLAZE OF NOON, but apart from a brief appearance later that year in VARIETY GIRL, no other offers were forthcoming. In 1949, Hayden resurfaced in a John Wayne Western, EL PASO, and his first film noir, MANHANDLED. Then he starred in John Huston's classic noir THE ASPHALT JUNGLE in a hard-boiled role that pretty much defined the remainder of his career. He spent the majority of the early ‘50s in a variety of other genre outings, many of them Westerns. He played a tough sheriff in the Sinatra noir SUDDENLY and headlined the oft-imitated and widely acclaimed crime story THE KILLING, similar in many ways to THE ASPHALT JUNGLE. Saddled with a series of lackluster films, he again left acting in 1958 to return to the sea, and spent the rest of his life zigzagging between retirement and acting.

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