biographyBorn Robert Moseley on January 19, 1922, in Bakersfield, California, Guy Madison never planned to be an actor; the handsome star fell into it quite by accident. Madison had been a telephone lineman, but with the onset of World War II, he went into the Coast Guard. During a weekend leave in 1943, one of David O. Selznick's talent scouts spotted Madison, who was attending a broadcast of a popular radio program. The result of this was a small role in the wartime drama Since You Went Away (1944; with Claudette Colbert and Joseph Cotten); Madison completed his scene during a 48-hour pass, and then went back on duty. Following the release of Since You Went Away, Selznick's studio was overwhelmed with fan mail for the handsome 22-year-old. Madison finished his tour of duty in 1946 and immediately went back to Hollywood to capitalize on his newfound fame. RKO Studios signed him to a contract upon his return. Throughout the late 1940s, Madison honed his craft mostly by acting in smaller theater productions, making few movies during that time. He was the subject of numerous beefcake photographs while building a film persona.
Various photos of Guy Madison; the first two include Guy's brother Wayne Moseley. You'll find more photos like these in the Guy Madison Gallery
Bill Williams), which explored the problems returning World War II veterans had in readjusting to civilian life. Madison carries the weight of the film and does a very good job. Afterward, his film career hit a rough patch, making few movies during this period. He did quite a bit of stage work to build his acting skills in the late 1940s. Finally, Madison found fame on TV and radio on The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Produced from 1951 through 1956, the show made Guy Madison a household name and earned him a new crop of fans, especially among children. Soon, Madison's visage began appearing on cereal boxes, toys, and other promotional items. A total of 17 Wild Bill Hickok films were released to theaters between 1952 and 1955, which were merely edited episodes of the TV program. In reality, Madison made few films during his stint on the show, and upon cancellation of Wild Bill Hickok in 1956, Madison found he had been typecast as the western hero and as a TV actor. He made a dozen or so films in America between 1956 and 1959 but without a great deal of box office success. In 1959, Madison left Hollywood for a lucrative film career in Europe, where he starred in a number of war films and spaghetti westerns.
the films of guy madison
Till the End of Time (1946)
From RKO's Til the End of Time. LEFT and CENTER A: With Robert Mitchum. CENTER B: With Jean Porter. CENTER C: With Tom Tully as Madison's father. RIGHT: With love interest Dorothy McGuire
From the United Artists comedy Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven, directed by William Castle
The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (1951-1956 TV Series)
Madison as U.S. Marshal James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok, the role that made him famous. Andy Devine portrayed Jingles, Wild Bill's sidekick
From the Columbia film noir release 5 Against the House. LEFT: With Kim Novak. RIGHT: With Brian Keith, Kim Novak, Alvy Moore, and Kerwin Mathews
The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956)
On the Threshold of Space (1956)
From the 20th Century Fox release On the Threshold of Space. LEFT: As Captain Jim Hollenbeck. CENTER: With Warren Stevens, Barry Coe, Ken Clark, and Martin Milner. RIGHT: With Virginia Leith
From the Allied Artists western Bullwhip with Rhonda Fleming
Gunmen of the Rio Grande (1965)
Payment in Blood (1968)
With Edd Byrnes in the spaghetti western Payment in Blood
later yearsThe 1960s saw Madison renewing his film career in Europe, where he enjoyed a ten-year run as a popular actor in German and Italian films; he made a surprising number of popular spaghetti westerns in the mid to late 1960s, including This Man Can't Die (1967; with Rik Battaglia) and Payment in Blood (1968; with Edd Byrnes). He left Italy in 1970 and temporarily settled in Texas, later returning to Los Angeles. He stayed mostly retired, making few films and taking on a few roles on such popular TV programs as Fantasy Island and The Smith Family. His last film appearance was in the 1988 western Red River (with James Arness and Ty Hardin). Later that year, Madison was in a serious auto accident that damaged his lungs. Afterward, a variety of health problems limited his activity. Sadly, he passed away at age 74 on February 6, 1996, from complications arising from emphysema. He was survived by three daughters and a son.
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Texas, Brooklyn And Heaven [DVD](1948) DVD
Before he turned out such suspense gems as "The Tingler" and "House on Haunted Hill," William Castle directed this screwball comedy about a Texas couple who come to New York in search of fame and fortune and find it when they buy a riding academy. Guy Madison, Diana Lynn, Lionel Stander and Margaret Hamilton star. Standard; Soundtrack: English. Plays All Regions.
Massacre River [DVD](1949) DVD
An army post on the edge of Indian territory is the setting for frontier action and romantic drama in this oater starring Rory Calhoun and Guy Madison as officers who compete for the hand of Cathy Downs, daughter of the fort's commander. With Johnny Sands, Carole Mathews, Iron Eyes Cody. 78 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Drums In The Deep South [DVD](1951) DVD
The Civil War is the battleground for emotions and loyalties when a group of West Point comrades find themselves fighting on opposite sides. Guy Madison, Barbara Payton, Craig Stevens star; directed by William Cameron Menzies. 87 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English mono.
The Command [DVD](1954) DVD
The first Warner Brothers film shot in CinemaScope, this classic oater concerns an Army medical officer who is forced to take command of a cavalry troop when the major in charge is killed in action. Leading his men through dangerous territory, he quickly discovers the grim realities of war while a tough sergeant helps guide his decisions. Guy Madison, Joan Weldon, James Whitmore star. 88 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital Surround stereo.
The Film Noir Collection, Vol. 1 [DVD] DVD
A San Francisco detective traces a series of seemingly random killings to a sharp-eyed loner who uses his rifle as a means to exact deadly revenge on the women who have rejected him, in "The Sniper" (1952). Adolphe Menjou, Arthur Franz, Gerald Mohr star. Four college pals plot to rob a casino in Reno just to prove it can be done, in "5 Against the House" (1955), but their plan to return the money is threatened when one of them intends to keep it for himself. Brian Keith, Guy Madison, Alvy Moore, Kim Novak star. Then, when a mother and her young daughter unknowingly destroy a stash of heroin, a pair of hit men must keep them alive long enough to explain it to their boss, in "The Lineup" (1958). With Eli Wallach, Robert Keith. Finally, "Murder by Contract" (1958) is a gritty, atmospheric drama starring Vince Edwards as a professional hit man hired to kill a woman who is about to turn in evidence against the seedy mobster he works for. Caprice Toriel, Phillip Pine, and Herschel Bernardi co-star. Also includes "The Big Heat" (1953).
5 Against The House [DVD](1955) DVD
A quartet of G.I. Bill collegians (Guy Madison, Brian Keith, Kerwin Mathews, Alvy Moore) decides, as a lark, to knock over a supposedly theft-proof Reno casino, just to prove it can be done. The idea was to return the cash...but what happens when one of them has no intention of giving it back? Phil Karlson's tight thriller co-stars Kim Novak, William Conrad, Jean Willes. 83 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
The Last Frontier [DVD](1955) DVD
After having his furs stolen by the Indians, a fur trapper (Victor Mature) joins his two partners as a scout at a cavalry fort overseen by a demented colonel (Robert Preston). After the colonel plans to send his troops on a mission against hostile Indians, the trapper attempts to stop him. With Guy Madison, Anne Bancroft; Anthony Mann directs. AKA: "Savage Wilderness." 98 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English, Japanese.
Women Of Devil's Island [DVD](1962) DVD
Devil's Island is no paradise for the French prostitutes and political prisoners sentenced to live there. Along with deplorable living conditions and crocodiles, residents are regularly whipped. When pirates attack the island, prisoners must decide whom to side with: the sadistic island officials or the buccaneers. Guy Madison, Michele Mercier star. 84 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
The Executioner Of Venice (Il Boia Di Venezia) [DVD](1963) DVD
Set in medieval Italy, this sensational swashbuckler stars Lex Barker as a courageous executioner attempting to prove that the Grand Inquisitor is working with murderous pirates. Enlisting the help of his godson, he tries to bring justice to Venice. With Guy Madison, Alessandra Panaro. AKA: "Blood of the Executioner." Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English.
Gentlemen Of The Night [DVD](1964) DVD
The city of Venice is terrorized by a megalomaniacal tyrant and his hooded aides, the Lords of the Night. At the same time, young freedom-fighting aristocrats try to overthrow the government as well. Enter hero Guy Madison, just back from war, who wants to get to the bottom of the political turmoil--and does, sword in hand. With Lisa Gastoni, Guy Madison, and Dina De Santis. Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English.
Apaches' Last Battle [DVD](1964) DVD
Offbeat and interesting German-made Western, third in the "Winnetou" series based on Karl May's novels. Lex Barker stars as grizzled ex-railroader Shatterhand, who, along with Indian blood brother Winnetou (Pierre Brice) tries to stop power-hungry Cavalry officer Guy Madison from fermenting war between the Apache and Comanche. Sultry Daliah Lavi also stars. AKA: "Old Surehand," "Shatterhand." 98 min. Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English.
Sandokan Fights Back [DVD](1964) DVD
Ray Danton plays the dashing Sandokan, a feared pirate who attempts to claim his rightful throne from an evil European who killed his family and now sits as ruler. Sandokan saves his enemy's niece from a tiger, but when Sandokan's identity is revealed, trouble ensues. With Franco Bettoia. Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed).
Adventurer Of Tortuga (Cold Steel For Tortuga) [DVD](1965) DVD
Exciting pirate yarn with Rick Battaglia as a Spanish pirate who finds himself in hot water when he falls for beautiful Indian princess Ingeborg Schoner. Taking his interest personally is treacherous governor Guy Madison, who wants the princess for himself. Nadia Gray, Mino Doro also star. 95 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed).
Superargo [DVD](1967) DVD
After donning a bulletproof leotard and getting a lesson in levitation from his lama, a wrestler-turned-superhero is ready to wrangle with a mad scientist and his mummified goons. Ken Wood and Guy Madison star in this entry from the hit Italian beefcake series. AKA: "Superargo and the Faceless Giants." 95 min. Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English.
The Spaghetti Western Collection [DVD] DVD
Five-disc set includes "Minnesota Clay," "White Comanche," "The Hellbenders," "Johnny Yuma," "This Man Can't Die," "Any Gun Can Play," "Between God, The Devil and a Winchester," "Find a Place to Die," "Boot Hill," "It Can Be Done Amigo," "Cutthroats 9," "Savage Guns," and "The Fighting Fists of Shanghai Joe," with Klaus Kinski.
This Man Can't Die (1967)/Desperate Mission (1971) [DVD] DVD
When undercover lawman Guy Madison, investigating a gunrunning ring, learns that the outlaws have murdered his parents and assaulted his sister, his quest for justice turns deadly. The Italian-made western "This Man Can't Die" also stars Steve Merrick, Rik Battaglia. Then, rancher-turned-mercenary Ricardo Montalban undertakes a "Desperate Mission," escorting a rich man's wife and a hidden treasure across hostile frontier territory. Ina Balin, Slim Pickens, Earl Holliman co-star. 185 min. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English. Plays All Regions.
Hell In Normandy (Testa Di Sbarco Per Otto Implacabili) [DVD](1968) DVD
Action-heavy Italian/French co-production follows a commando leader (Guy Madison) and his elite squad as they parachute into occupied Normandy to complete an act of sabotage to help the Allies. Can they trust the German spy (Peter Lee Lawrence) helping them? Do they have any choice? Erika Blanc, Philippe Hersent co-star. Standard; Soundtrack: English (dubbed). Dubbed in English.
Reverend Colt [DVD](1971) DVD
Bounty hunter Guy Madison turns away from violence to become a holy man, but a trip to Tucson finds him reconsidering the life of the gun when he is wrongly accused of robbery. Now, the only crusade that interests him is the one that ends when his name is cleared and the guilty are made to pay! Thrilling spaghetti western co-stars Richard Harrison, Ennio Girolami. AKA: "Reverend's Colt." Widescreen; Soundtrack: English (dubbed).
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guy madison out-of-print vhs available from amazon.comPlease note: At this writing, these rare titles are not available on DVD:
guy madison posters and photos available
Red River (1988) with Ty Hardin, Robert Horton, John Lupton, Gregory Harrison, and James Arness
The Adventures of William Tell (1986) with Johnny Crawford and Guy Rolfe
Where's Willie? (1978) with Robert Clarke
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
The Pacific Connection (1975) with Gilbert Roland and Nancy Kwan
Il Baco da seta (1974)
Comando al infierno (1970)
The Reverend's Colt (1970) with Richard Harrison
War Devils (1969) with John Ireland
Bang, Bang (1968) with Tom Bosley
The Battle of the Last Panzer (1968)
A Place in Hell (1968) with Helene Chanel
Payment in Blood (1968) with Edd Byrnes
Superargo (1967) with Ken Wood
The Devil's Man (1967)
The Return of Django (1967) with Daniele Vargas
This Man Can't Die (1967) with Sara Bay and Rik Battaglia
Hell in Normandy (1967) with Erika Blanc
The Five Giants From Texas (1966)
Viva Gringo (1966) with Rik Battaglia, Fernando Rey, and Raf Baldassarre
Adventurer of Tortuga (1965) with Rik Battaglia
Duel at Rio Bravo (1965)
The Mystery of Thug Island (1964) with Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Sandokan Fights Back (1964) with Ray Danton and Raf Baldassarre
Sandokan Against the Leopard of Sarawak (1964) with Ray Danton
Gentlemen of the Night (1964)
The Executioner of Venice (1963) with Lex Barker and Raf Baldassarre
Apaches Last Battle (1963) with Lex Barker, Daliah Lavi, Pierre Brice, and Rik Battaglia
Sword of the Conqueror (1962) with Jack Palance
Women of Devil's Island (1961)
Slave of Rome (1960) with Rossana Podesta, Raf Baldassarre, and Giacomo Rossi-Stuart
Jet Over the Atlantic (1959) with George Raft, Virginia Mayo, Brett Halsey, and Anna Lee
Bullwhip (1958) with Rhonda Fleming and Burt Nelson
The Hard Man (1957) with Lorne Greene and Myron Healey
On the Threshold of Space (1956) with Virginia Leith, Ken Clark, John Hodiak, Barry Coe, and Martin Milner
The Beast of Hollow Mountain (1956) with Patricia Medina
Hilda Crane (1956) with Jean Simmons and Jean-Pierre Aumont
Reprisal! (1956) with Felicia Farr; Madison also served as producer
The Last Frontier (1955) with Victor Mature and Anne Bancroft
Five Against the House (1955) with Kim Novak, Kerwin Mathews, Brian Keith, Alvy Moore, and William Conrad
The Matchmaking Marshal* (1955) with Andy Devine and Lyle Talbot
Phantom Trails* (1955) with Andy Devine and Steve Brodie
Timber Country Trouble* (1955) with Andy Devine and Kenne Duncan
The Titled Tenderfoot* (1955) with Andy Devine, Clayton Moore, and Jeanne Cagney
The Command (1954) with Joan Weldon and Harvey Lembeck
Marshals In Disguise* (1954) with Andy Devine and Bud Osborne
Outlaw's Son* (1954) with Andy Devine and Sally Fraser
Trouble on the Trail* (1954) with Andy Devine, Martha Hyer, and Robert Blake
The Two Gun Teacher* (1954) with Andy Devine
Border City Rustlers* (1953) with Andy Devine and Gloria Talbott
The Charge at Feather River (1953) with Vera Miles, Steve Brodie, and Neville Brand; originally shot in 3-D
Secret of Outlaw Flats* (1953) with Andy Devine
Six Gun Decision* (1953) with Andy Devine and Lyle Talbot
Two-Gun Marshal* (1953) with Andy Devine and Minerva Urecal
The Ghost of Crossbones Canyon* (1953) with Andy Devine and Marjorie Bennett
Behind Southern Lines* (1952) with Andy Devine
Red Snow (1952) with Carole Mathews
Trail of the Arrow* (1952) with Andy Devine and Monte Blue
The Yellow Haired Kid* (1952) with Andy Devine
Drums in the Deep South (1951) with Barbara Payton and Craig Stevens
Massacre River (1949) with Rory Calhoun, Carole Mathews, and Cathy Downs
Texas, Brooklyn and Heaven (1948) with Margaret Hamilton and Irene Ryan; directed by William Castle
Honeymoon (1947) with Shirley Temple and Franchot Tone
Till the End of Time (1946) with Dorothy McGuire, Robert Mitchum, and Bill Williams
Since You Went Away (1944) with Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, and Alla Nazimova
PLEASE NOTE: Film titles with an asterisk * denote films that are actually episodes of The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, edited into full-length features.
The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Madison starred as Hickok, with Andy Devine as his sidekick, Jingles. This syndicated series produced 113 episodes from 1951 to 1956. Madison and Devine also did a radio version of the show from 1951-1956 on the Mutual Network. The TV series also ran on CBS daytime from 1955-1958 and on ABC daytime from 1957-1958.
TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
Fantasy Island, episode Yesterday's Love/Fountain of Youth, originally aired March 17, 1979
The Smith Family, episode Winner Take All, originally aired April 19, 1972
Zane Grey Theater, episode Jericho, originally aired May 18, 1961
Death Valley Days, episode Extra Guns, originally aired November 20, 1960
The Red Skelton Show, episode San Fernando's Treasure Hunt, originally aired November 3, 1959
The Ann Sothern Show, episode Katy and the Cowboy, originally aired October 12, 1959
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, episode You Can't Win 'Em All, originally aired January 16, 1959
General Electric Theater, episode Bold Loser, originally aired May 11, 1958
Wagon Train, episode The Riley Gratton Story, originally aired December 4, 1957
Climax!, episode The Man Who Stole the Bible, originally aired June 13, 1957
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Sometimes It Happens, November 7, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Passage to Yesterday, originally aired November 24, 1955
Climax!, episode A Farewell to Arms, originally aired May 26, 1955
guy madison linksGuy Madison Official Website
Run by Madison's daughter, Bridget, the Guy Madison Official website contains many personal photos of Madison and his family.
guy madison film now showingWatch Guy Madison's 1967 Italian western This Man Can't Die
Click on the logo to go back to Brian's Drive-In Theater
This page premiered June 2, 1999.
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