biographyBorn Merle Johnson in New York on January 27, 1936, Troy Donahue was a journalism major at Columbia University when he decided to try his hand at acting. In 1957, his boy-next-door good looks helped him score a few small parts in such films as The Monolith Monsters (with Grant Williams) and Man Afraid (with George Nader). The following year, Donahue was cast larger roles in eight films, including Monster on the Campus, Summer Love, and Live Fast, Die Young. When Tab Hunter grew discontented with his Warner Bros. contract and bought it back from the studio, Warners signed Troy Donahue to replace him.
LEFT and CENTER: Beefcake photos and portraits of Troy Donahue. RIGHT: With fellow Warner Bros. contract player Connie Stevens
the films of troy donahue
Scene from A Summer Place with Dorothy McGuire, Constance Ford, Arthur Kennedy, Sandra Dee, and Richard Egan
Surfside 6 (TV series, 1960-1962)
From Donahue's ABC TV series Surfside 6. LEFT and CENTER A: Donahue as Sandy Winfield. CENTER B: With co-stars Lee Patterson and Van Williams. CENTER C: With Constance Ford in a 1961 episode titled Little Star Lost. RIGHT: With series regulars Margarita Sierra, Lee Patterson, Diane McBain, and Van Williams
LEFT: With Dean Jagger and Claudette Colbert in the love story Parrish. This film marked Claudette Colbert's last big screen appearance. RIGHT: Donahue gets the best of Hampton Fancher
From Palm Springs Weekend. LEFT: With Jerry Van Dyke and Stefanie Powers. CENTER A: With Stefanie Powers at the record shop. CENTER B: Connie Stevens has just taken off with Robert Conrad, leaving Troy Donahue behind. RIGHT: With Stefanie Powers
With fellow Warner Bros. contract player Diane McBain in the western A Distant Trumpet
With Joey Heatherton in the dramatic thriller My Blood Runs Cold, Donahue's last film for Warner Bros.
Come Spy With Me (1967)
The Love Thrill Murders (1971)
Donahue provides a strong performance as the violence-loving svengali Moon in The Love Thrill Murders
later yearsIn 1974, Troy Donahue landed a small part in The Godfather Part II as the character Merle Johnson (Donahue's real name), but this role did not provide the comeback he'd hoped for, although he did act in four films that year. But between 1975 and 1983, roles for Troy Donahue were practically nonexistent---he acted in only one film and had a few guest spots on several TV shows. In addition, drug and alcohol problems proved to be an obstacle for his career. But by the early 1980s, Donahue put an end to his substance abuse and began rebuilding his career, appearing in numerous films. In the 1990s, he took a job with Holland-America Cruise Lines, teaching acting on cruise ships. Sadly, Donahue suffered a severe heart attack in late August 2001 and passed away on September 2, 2001, at the age of 65. He is survived by a son and daughter.
troy donahue films available from movies unlimited
Ironside: Season 2 [DVD](1968) DVD
All 26 episodes from the series's second season--including "Split Second to an Epitaph," "Shell Game," "Desperate Encounter," "Slide Pocket," "A World of Jackals," and "Not with a Whimper, But a Bang"--have been collected in a seven-disc set. 21 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English.
The Tarnished Angels -- Exclusive! [DVD](1957) DVD
William Faulkner's novel "Pylon" was the basis for this glossy and atmospheric Douglas Sirk drama starring Robert Stack and Dorothy Malone as barnstorming airplane daredevils in the 1930s South and Rock Hudson as a cynical reporter who becomes their ally. With Jack Carson, Robert Middleton. 91 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; photo gallery; poster gallery; more.
Douglas Sirk Filmmaker Collection -- Exclusive! [DVD] DVD
Four-disc set includes "Thunder on the Hill," "Taza, Son of Cochise," "Captain Lightfoot," and "The Tarnished Angels."
Man Of A Thousand Faces [DVD](1957) DVD
The career and stormy private life of silent film legend Lon Chaney is effectively (if not always accurately) brought to the screen in this biodrama. James Cagney stars as the son of deaf-mute parents who thrilled audiences with his make-up and portrayals of the Phantom of the Opera, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and other grotesqueries. With Jane Greer, Dorothy Malone, Jim Backus, Roger Smith. 122 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), French.
The Classic Sci-Fi Ultimate Collection, Vols. 1 & 2 [DVD] DVD
"Dr. Cyclops" (1940) stars Albert Dekker as a mad scientist who shrinks five people to miniature size and holds them prisoner. A group of American G.I.s stumbles on the secret rituals of the snake-worshipping "Cult of the Cobra" (1955). Faith Domergue, David Janssen star. A lab experiment unleashes a rapidly growing "Tarantula" (1955). John Agar, Leo G. Carroll star. Archeologists Agar and Hugh Beaumont discover a clawed, bug-eyed race called "The Mole People" (1956). Grant Williams is "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (1957) who begins to diminish in size after exposure to radiation. Meteorite fragments absorb water from everything around them (including people), creating "The Monolith Monsters" (1957). An expedition to Antarctica finds a prehistoric world, in "The Land Unknown" (1957). Earthquakes release a giant prehistoric insect from suspended animation, in "The Deadly Mantis" (1957). A college biology instructor is transformed into a Neanderthal man, in "Monster on the Campus" (1958). A native African ritual turn s a scientist's wife into "The Leech Woman" (1960). 13 hrs. total on six discs. Standard/Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English (SDH), French; theatrical trailers.
Imitation Of Life [DVD](1959) DVD
Producer Ross Hunter's lush remake of the 1934 melodrama stars Lana Turner as an actress who puts her career ahead of daughter Sandra Dee. Juanita Moore plays Turner's black housekeeper, whose light-skinned daughter (Susan Kohner) leaves home to try and pass herself off as white. John Gavin, Robert Alda also star; Douglas Sirk directs. 125 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: French, Spanish.
Imitation Of Life: Two-Movie Special Edition [DVD] DVD
Keep the hankies handy for this pair of classic tearjerkers based on Fannie Hurst's novel. First, widow Claudette Colbert opens a pancake restaurant with maid and friend Louise Beavers, but the pair's business success is matched by problems years later from their grown daughters. 1934's "Imitation of Life" co-stars Rochelle Hudson, Fredi Washington. Next, director Douglas Sirk's lush 1959 remake stars Lana Turner as a stage actress who puts her career ahead of daughter Sandra Dee. Meanwhile, Turner's housekeeper (Juanita Moore) has trouble with her light-skinned daughter (Susan Kohner), who wants to pass for white. With John Gavin, Robert Alda. 4 hrs. total on two discs. Standard/Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH) French, Spanish; audio commentary; featurette; theatrical trailers.
A Summer Place [DVD](1959) DVD
Classic soap opera set in a scenic New England town where teenagers and adults discover love and its many entanglements. Richard Egan and Dorothy McGuire are the former lovers who carry on an affair behind their spouses' backs, while Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue play their respective children, engaged in their own romance. With Arthur Kennedy, Constance Ford, and that ever-hummable theme song. 130 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English; theatrical trailer.
The Crowded Sky [DVD](1960) DVD
A decade before "Airport," this high-flying drama chronicled the lives of the passengers and crews of a commercial aircraft and a Navy jet that are on a collision course. As a diverse array of characters relate their troubles through flashbacks, they are all thrust into the most dangerous situation of their lives. Dana Andrews, Rhonda Fleming, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Anne Francis star. 105 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Susan Slade [DVD](1961) DVD
Connie Stevens shines in the title role of this beloved coming-of-age drama, portraying a naive teen who falls for a mountain climber during an Alaskan vacation. When Susan's affair results in the birth of a child, she and her family are faced with painful choices to make and certain heartbreak ahead no matter what decisions are made about the fate of the baby. With Troy Donahue, Dorothy McGuire, and Grant Williams. 116 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH). NOTE: This Title is Out Of Print; Limit One Per Customer.
Rome Adventure [DVD](1962) DVD
Romance and lush locales highlight this story of love set against the picturesque splendor of Rome. Suzanne Pleshette plays the American librarian who travels to the Eternal City to find romance and, after a relationship with distinguished native Rossano Brazzi, falls for American art student Troy Donahue. With Angie Dickinson, Constance Ford, and Al Hirt. 118 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, Portuguese Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), Portuguese, French; theatrical trailer. NOTE: This Title is Out Of Print; Limit One Per Customer.
Palm Springs Weekend [DVD](1963) DVD
Easter week brings together college jocks and pretty young women in this lively teenage tale. Romance, brawls and jealousy set the stage for trouble and torrid love affairs with Troy Donahue, Connie Stevens, Ty Hardin, Stefanie Powers, and Robert Conrad. 100 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), French; theatrical trailer. NOTE: This Title is Out Of Print; Limit One Per Customer.
Warner Bros. Romance Classics Collection [DVD] DVD
First, "Parrish" (1961) stars Troy Donahue as a young man frustrated with his attempts to fit in with New England's rich tobacco growers. When his mother marries one of them, his attempts to climb the social ladder are thwarted by his stepdad. With Claudette Colbert, Karl Malden. Next, Connie Stevens shines as "Susan Slade" (1961), a naive teen who falls for a mountain climber during an Alaskan vacation. But when the ensuing affair results in the birth of a child, tragedy soon follows. With Donahue, Dorothy McGuire, Grant Williams. Then, in "Rome Adventure" (1962), Suzanne Pleshette plays an American librarian who travels to the Eternal City to find romance. After a relationship with a native, she falls for an art student from the United States. Donahue, Rossano Brazzi, Angie Dickinson co-star. AKA: "Lovers Must Learn." Lastly, in "Palm Springs Weekend" (1963), college jocks and pretty young gals experience plenty of romance, jealousy, and fights at the California resort. Donahue, Stevens, Stefanie Powers, Ty Hardin star. 7 3/4 hrs. total. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English (SDH), French; theatrical trailers. Four-disc set.
A Distant Trumpet [DVD](1964) DVD
Looking for some romance on the range? Then check out this western that focuses on the enthusiastic new commander of a cavalry outpost in Arizona. As he gets thrust into a battle with local Indians, he finds himself falling for two different women. But will his relationships distract him from his job? Troy Donahue, Suzanne Pleshette, Diane McBain star. 117 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
My Blood Runs Cold [DVD](1965) DVD
Joey Heatherton stars as a young woman who almost hits a man with her car. Upon meeting, the man believes Heatherton to be the reincarnation of an ancestor from a previous life. Against her father's wishes, Heatherton eventually falls in love with the mysterious man and runs off with him. However, he may not be exactly what he seems. Tense thriller co-stars Troy Donahue, Barry Sullivan, and Jeanette Nolan. 104 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Jules Verne's Rocket To The Moon [DVD](1967) DVD
Madcap British sci-fi comedy blends elements from the works of Jules Verne with the real-life legend of P.T. Barnum. Burl Ives is master showman Barnum, who, while travelling through Europe, puts his backing behind a plan to launch a man to the moon with a rocket cannon. Troy Donahue, Gert Frobe and Terry-Thomas also star. AKA: "Blast Off," "Those Fantastic Flying Fools." 101 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English.
Seizure [DVD](1974) DVD
Oliver Stone made his directorial debut with this haunting chiller which he also co-scripted. Jonathan Frid ("Dark Shadows") stars as a horror writer who hosts a weekend party at his remote estate, only to discover that characters from his imagination are coming to life and killing his guests. With Martine Beswick, Troy Donahue, Mary Woronov, and Herve Villechaize. 91 min. Soundtrack: English.
Cockfighter [DVD](1974) DVD
Warren Oates turns in a riveting performance in a moody and powerful study of a loner who trains roosters to compete in brutal, illegal fights in the Deep South. Monte Hellman directed this beguiling Roger Corman production. With Harry Dean Stanton, Millie Perkins. AKA: "Born to Kill." 84 min. Soundtrack: English.
Cockfighter (1974)/Mad Dog Morgan [DVD](1976) DVD
First, in "Cockfighter," Warren Oates turns in a powerful performance as a loner who trains roosters to compete in vicious fights in the Deep South. Produced by Roger Corman, this moody action drama co-stars Richard B. Shull, Harry Dean Stanton, Ed Begley, Jr., and Troy Donahue. AKA: "Born to Kill," "Gamblin' Man," "Wild Drifter." Then, in "Mad Dog Morgan," Dennis Hopper stars as real-life Irish outlaw Daniel Morgan in a striking actioner that details his exploits in Australia during the 1850s. Features Jack Thompson, David Gulpilil. 3 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English. Plays All Regions.
The Godfather Collection (The Coppola Restoration) [Blu-ray]
Four-disc boxed set includes "The Godfather," "The Godfather, Part II" and "The Godfather, Part III," and a disc of special features.
The Godfather, Part II (The Coppola Restoration) [DVD](1974) DVD
The story of the Corleone clan continues, as new boss Al Pacino launches a violent campaign to extend his family's power, while flashbacks with Robert De Niro as the young Vito Corleone show his rise to Mafia prominence, in the superb second "Godfather" film that earned six Oscars, including Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actor. With Robert Duvall, Michael V. Gazzo, Diane Keaton, Lee Strasberg; directed by Francis Ford Coppola. 3 1/3 hrs. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital 5.1; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; audio commentary.
Grandview, U.S.A. [DVD](1984) DVD
The small town of Grandview, Illinois is the setting for this seriocomedy about the love triangle that develops between a high school senior (C. Thomas Howell) who dreams of studying oceanography in Florida, a sexy mechanic (Jamie Lee Curtis), and a demolition derby driver (Patrick Swayze) whose wife is having an affair. With Jennifer Jason Leigh, Troy Donahue, M. Emmet Walsh, Joan Cusack, John Cusack. 97 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English (SDH).
The Chilling [DVD](1989) DVD
As the temperature drops the terror rises in this shocking story of cryogenically frozen corpses that are accidentally brought back to "life" as ravenous zombies thanks to a lightning storm. Linda Blair, Dan Haggerty and Troy Donahue star. 105 min.Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; behind-the-scenes footage; outtakes; theatrical trailers.
Party Nerds Toga Bash: Assault Of The Party Nerds (1989)/The Heavy Petting Detective [DVD](1995) DVD
First, "Assault of the Party Nerds" follows a group of dorky frat guys as they throw a bash to prove what studs they are and change their uncool reputations. But when jocks raid the festivities, will the geeks be able to salvage their celebration? Richard Gabai, Troy Donahue and scream queen Linnea Quigley star. Then, when one of the Poindexters becomes "The Heavy Petting Detective," he must face off against a rival determined to steal his wife and family business. Arte Johnson, Burt Ward, Rhonda Shear, Linnea Quigley, and Michelle Bauer star. AKA: "Assault of the Party Nerds II." 3 1/3 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; audio commentary; behind-the-scenes footage; bloopers; interviews; music videos; theatrical trailers; more.
Cry-Baby [DVD](1990) DVD
There's music, laughs and loads of juvenile delinquent fun in John Waters' salute to `50s teen hoods. Johnny Depp stars as misunderstood rebel "Cry-Baby" Walker, whose love for a "good girl" lands him in trouble with the law; with a supporting cast that includes Ricki Lake, Iggy Pop, Susan Tyrrell, Traci Lords, Amy Locane, Patty Hearst, Polly Bergen, and Kim McGuire as "Hatchet-Face." Director's cut; 92 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: French, Spanish; audio commentary by Waters; deleted scenes; featurette.
Terminal Force (1990)/Ring Around The World (1965) [DVD] DVD
When a mob kingpin on trial has the star witness's daughter abducted, one man steps in to rescue her and bring the crime boss to justice...the kind found at the end of a .357 Magnum...in the Fred Olen Ray actioner "Terminal Force," starring Richard Harrison, Dawn Wildsmith and Troy Donahue. Next, Harrison is undercover operative Fred Lester, battling a mysterious killer whose high-tech air pistol shoots lethal chemical bullets, in the '60s-flavored spy thriller "Ring Around the World," with Sheryll Morgan and Bernard Blier. 180 min. total. Widescreen/Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; audio commentary by Harrison, Ray; bonus footage.
The Heavy Petting Detective [DVD](1994) DVD
The party nerds continue their outrageous, sexy antics in this sequel to "Assault of the Party Nerds." Now, one of the nerds is "The Heavy Petting Detective," and when he learns that a nemesis is out to steal the family business and his wife, he goes into action. Richard Gabai, Arte Johnson, Burt Ward, Rhonda Shear, Linnea Quigley, and Michelle Bauer star. 125 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1.
A Dirty Little Business [DVD](1998) DVD
Cheeky fish-out-of-water comedy stars Michael York as a naive Russian immigrant who moves to Los Angeles. After taking a job in a factory that manufactures sex toys, he finds himself falling for a beautiful former porn star and tangling with the Russian Mafia and the FBI. Beverly D'Angelo, Brian Cox, Michael J. Pollard, Troy Donahue, Prunella Gee, and Erasure singer Andy Bell also star. AKA: "Merchants of Venus." 87 min.
troy donahue dvds available from amazon.com
out-of-print troy donahue vhs available from amazon.comPlease note: As of this writing, these titles are not available on DVD:
The Boys Behind the Desk (2000)
A Dirty Little Business (1998) with Beverly D'Angelo
Legion (1998) with Corey Feldman, Parker Stevenson, and Rick Springfield
Bimbo Movie Bash (1997) with Adrienne Barbeau, Joe Estevez, Morgan Fairchild, Bill Maher, Linnea Quigley, and Shannon Tweed
Showdown (1993) with Richard Lynch
Double Trouble (1992) with David and Peter Paul
The Pamela Principle (1991)
Shock 'Em Dead (1991) with Traci Lords and Aldo Ray
Click: The Calendar Girl Killer (1990) with Ross Hagen
Cry-Baby (1990) with Johnny Depp, Traci Lords, and Mink Stole; directed by John Waters
Omega Cop (1990) with Stuart Whitman and Adam West
Terminal Force (1990) with Richard Harrison
American Rampage (1989)
Assault of the Party Nerds (1989)
Bad Blood (1989) with Georgina Spelvin and Linda Blair
Blood Nasty (1989) with Linnea Quigley
The Chilling (1989) with Linda Blair
Deadly Spygames (1989) with Tippi Hedren
Hot Times at Montclair High (1989)
The Platinum Triangle (1989)
Sounds of Silence (1989)
Dr. Alien (1988) with Judy Landers
Hard Rock Nightmare (1988)
Hollywood Cop (1988) with Cameron Mitchell and Aldo Ray
Nudity Required (1988) with Julie Newmar and Edy Williams
Cyclone (1987) with Martine Beswick and Huntz Hall
Deadly Prey (1987) with Cameron Mitchell
Fight to Win (1987)
The Drifting Classroom (1987)
Low Blow (1986)
Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) with Jamie Lee Curtis
Tin Man (1983) with John Phillip Law and Timothy Bottoms
Malibu (1983) with William Atherton
The Legend of Frank Woods (1977)
Cockfighter (1974) with Warren Oates and Ed Begley Jr.
Seizure (1974) with Jonathan Frid, Martine Beswick, and Mary Woronov
South Seas (1974)
The Godfather: Part II (1974) with Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, and Fay Spain
Ultimo violar (1972)
The Love Thrill Murders (1971)
The Lonely Profession (1969) with Joseph Cotten
Split Second to an Epitaph (1968) with Raymond Burr and Joseph Cotten
Come Spy with Me (1967) with Louis Edmonds and Albert Dekker
Those Fantastic Flying Fools (1967) with Burl Ives, Terry-Thomas, Daliah Lavi, and Gert Frobe
My Blood Runs Cold (1965) with Joey Heatherton, Barry Sullivan, and Nicholas Coster
A Distant Trumpet (1964) with Suzanne Pleshette, Diane McBain, and Russell Johnson
Palm Springs Weekend (1963) with Robert Conrad, Ty Hardin, Connie Stevens, and Stefanie Powers
Rome Adventure (1962) with Suzanne Pleshette, Angie Dickinson, and Constance Ford
Susan Slade (1961) with Connie Stevens, Grant Williams, and Bert Convy
Parrish (1961) with Claudette Colbert, Diane McBain, and Connie Stevens
The Crowded Sky (1960) with Dana Andrews, Anne Francis, Rhonda Fleming, and Patsy Kelly
A Summer Place (1959) with Sandra Dee, Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, and Constance Ford
Imitation of Life (1959) with Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, and Juanita Moore
Live Fast, Die Young (1958) with Mike Connors
Monster on the Campus (1958) with Whit Bissell and Joanna Moore
The Perfect Furlough (1958) with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh
This Happy Feeling (1958) with Debbie Reynolds and John Saxon
Wild Heritage (1958) with Maureen O'Sullivan and Rod McKuen
Summer Love (1958) With John Saxon, Fay Wray, Edward Platt, Rod McKuen, and Jill St. John
Voice in the Mirror (1958) with Richard Egan and Julie London
Flood Tide (1958) with George Nader and Joanna Moore
The Monolith Monsters (1957) with Grant Williams and Lola Albright
The Tarnished Angels (1957) with Rock Hudson and Robert Stack
Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) with James Cagney and Dorothy Malone
Man Afraid (1957) with George Nader and Phyllis Thaxter
The Secret Storm, 1954-1974 CBS daytime drama. Donahue portrayed 'R.B. Keefer' during the 1970 season
Hawaiian Eye, 1959-1963 ABC TV series. Donahue portrayed 'Philip Barton' during the 1962-63 season. Also starring on Hawaiian Eye were Robert Conrad, Anthony Eisley, Connie Stevens, and Grant Williams
Surfside 6, 1960-1962 ABC TV series. Donahue portrayed Sandy Winfield. Also starring on Surfside Six were Van Williams, Diane McBain, and Lee Patterson
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This page premiered September 6, 2001.
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