Born Vincent Edward Zoino in Brooklyn, New York, in July 9, 1928, actor Vince Edwards was initially pegged as an athlete rather than a thespian. A terrific swimmer, Edwards won a scholarship to Ohio State in the 1940s, but a serious illness sidetracked his ambition. He then returned to New York to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Edwards' natural acting ability and impressive physique got him noticed quickly by Broadway producers, and soon Hollywood talent scouts signed him for films. His first was the low-budget United Artists comedy Mr. Universe (1951; with Jack Carson and Bert Lahr), with Edwards portraying Tommy Tomkins, an honest wrestler who runs afoul of gangsters. His next starring role came in Monogram's release Hiawatha (1952; with Keith Larsen) as the title character. By the mid 1950s, Edwards swapped his 'pretty boy' image for that of a shady character in such film noir thrillers as The Night Holds Terror (1955; with Jack Kelly), The Killing (1956; with Sterling Hayden and Coleen Gray), and Hit and Run (1957; with Cleo Moore). In 1961, Edwards again shed his image, leaving behind the bad-boy roles in favor of heroes, by taking the title role in ABC's Ben Casey. He also proved himself to be a good singer, releasing several albums and making nightclub appearances.

Vince EdwardsVince Edwards

LEFT: Late 1950s beefcake photo of Vince Edwards. RIGHT: Physique photo from the late 1940s or early 1950s

Vince Edwards married actress Kathy Kersh in June 1965, but the couple split soon after the wedding. Their daughter was born following the divorce, and Kersh later married actor Burt Ward, 'Robin' on the ABC TV series Batman. Edwards married his second wife, actress Linda Foster, in 1967, and the couple had two daughters before parting ways in 1972.

the films of vince edwards

Mister Universe (1951)

Bert Lahr, Vince Edwards, Jack Carson, Janis Paige, and Slapsie Maxie RosenbloomVince EdwardsSlapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, Bert Lahr, Vince Edwards, and Jack Carson

LEFT: From the low-budget Eagle-Lion comedy Mister Universe with Bert Lahr, Jack Carson, Janis Paige, and Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom. CENTER: Edwards as the title character. RIGHT: Lobby card featuring Edwards along with Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, Bert Lahr, and Jack Carson

Hiawatha (1952)

Vince EdwardsVince EdwardsVince Edwards and Yvette Dugay

Vince Edwards had his second starring role in the Monogram adventure flick Hiawatha. The right photo includes Yvette Dugay

Rogue Cop (1954)

Robert Taylor and Vince Edwards

Edwards wrestles detective Robert Taylor in the MGM noir Rogue Cop

The Night Holds Terror (1955)

Vince Edwards and John CassavetesVince Edwards and Hildy Parks

From Columbia's film noir thriller The Night Holds Terror. LEFT: With John Cassavetes. RIGHT: With Hildy Parks

Hit and Run (1957)

Vince Edwards, Cleo Moore, and Hugo HaasVince Edwards and Cleo MooreCleo Moore

From Hugo Haas' low-budget film noir thriller Hit and Run with Cleo Moore and Hugo Haas. In this film, Haas attempts to win his wife (Cleo Moore) back from her boyfriend (Edwards) while they plot to kill Haas for his money

Island Women (1958)

Vince Edwards, Marilee Earle, and Marie Windsor

Marie Windsor has designs on Vince Edwards, who is dating her niece, Marilee Earle, in the low-budget drama Island Women

Murder by Contract (1959)

Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi, and Vince Edwards

From the Columbia release Murder by Contract, a late film noir entry. Also pictured are Phillip Pine and Herschel Bernardi

City of Fear (1959)

Vince EdwardsSherwood Price and Vince Edwards

LEFT: Edwards portrays escaped convict Vince Ryker who has unwittingly stolen a cannister filled with a highly toxic radioactive substance in Columbia's thrilling noir City of Fear. RIGHT: With Sherwood Price

Ben Casey (1961-1966 ABC TV Series)

Vince Edwards

Edwards is best remembered for the title role on the series Ben Casey

The Victors (1963)

George Hamilton, Vince Edwards, James Mitchum, and George PeppardRosanna Schiaffino and Vince Edwards

LEFT: From the Columbia war drama The Victors with George Hamilton, James Mitchum, and George Peppard. RIGHT: With Rosanna Schiaffino

Hammerhead (1968)

Vince EdwardsVince Edwards

Scenes from the Columbia thriller Hammerhead

The Desperados (1969)

George Maharis and Vince Edwards

From the Columbia western The Desperados with George Maharis

The Seduction (1982)

Vince Edwards

From the Morgan Fairchild thriller The Seduction

Space Raiders (1983)

Vince Edwards and David Mendenhall

With David Mendenhall in the low-budget sci-fi adventure Space Raiders

later years

In the 1970s, Edwards mostly abandoned films for television, starring in the series Matt Lincoln (1970-1971), making numerous made-for-television films, and even lending his vocal talents in the animated series The Centurions. In addition to acting, Edwards also directed a number of television shows (such as Police Story, Battlestar Galactica, and The Fall Guy) and a few made-for-television films. In the 1980s, he returned to films in such faire as Space Raiders (1983; with Patsy Pease), Return to Horror High (1987; with George Clooney), and Son of Darkness: To Die for II (1991; with Steve Bond). Sadly, Vince Edwards died of pancreatic cancer on March 11, 1996, at the age of 67. He was survived by his fourth wife, Janet, and three daughters from his first two marriages.

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This listing is mostly complete but only includes Edwards' acting credits:
The Fear (1995) with Ann Turkel and Wes Craven
Jailbreakers (1994) with Shannen Doherty and Antonio Sabato Jr.
King B: A Life in the Movies (1993) with Julie Adams, Steve Allen, Parley Baer, Connie Stevens, Beverly Garland, and Dwayne Hickman
Original Intent (1992) with Martin Sheen, Candy Clark, and Don Galloway
To Die for 2: Son of Darkness (1991) with Steve Bond
Motorama (1991) with Garrett Morris and Michael J. Pollard
Dillinger (1991) with Mark Harmon
The Gumshoe Kid (1990) with Tracy Scoggins
Invasion of the Space Preachers (1990)
The Saint: The Wrong Number (1989)
Andy and the Airwave Rangers (1988) with Bo Svenson
Cellar Dweller (1988) with Yvonne De Carlo and Debrah Farentino
The Return of Ben Casey (1988)
The Dirty Dozen: The Deadly Mission (1987) with Bo Svenson, Ernest Borgnine, Telly Savalas, and Vincent Van Patten
Return to Horror High (1987) with George Clooney and Maureen McCormick
The Return of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer (1986) with Stacy Keach and Don Stroud
The Fix (1984) with Byron Cherry
Sno-Line (1984) with June Wilkinson
Space Raiders (1983) with David Mendenhall, Patsy Pease, William Boyett, and Dick Miller
Deal of the Century (1983) with Chevy Chase and Sigourney Weaver
Knight Rider: Knight of the Phoenix (1982) with David Hasselhoff, Richard Basehart, and Edward Mulhare
The Seduction (1982) with Morgan Fairchild, Andrew Stevens, and Michael Sarrazin
Evening in Byzantium (1978) with Glenn Ford, Eddie Albert, Gloria DeHaven, and George Lazenby
The Courage and the Passion (1978) with Desi Arnaz Jr., Robert Hooks, and Robert Englund
The Rhinemann Exchange with Stephen Collins, Lauren Hutton, Claude Akins, Jose Ferrer, Larry Hagman, John Huston, Roddy McDowall, and Werner Klemperer
Cover Girls (1977) with Don Galloway, Jayne Kennedy, and George Lazenby
Death Stalk (1975) with Anjanette Comer, Carol Lynley, Vic Morrow, and Neville Brand
Firehouse(1973) with Richard Roundtree and Paul Le Mat
The Mad Bomber (1972) with Chuck Connors and Neville Brand
Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate (1971) with Helen Hayes and Myrna Loy
Dial Hot Line (1970) with Chelsea Brown and Kim Hunter
Sole Survivor (1970) with Richard Basehart, William Shatner, and Patrick Wayne
The Desperados (1969) with Jack Palance, George Maharis, Sylvia Syms, and Neville Brand
Hammerhead (1968) with Diana Dors, Judy Geeson, Beverly Adams, and Veronica Carlson
The Devil's Brigade (1968) with William Holden, Cliff Robertson, Claude Akins, Dana Andrews, and Jeremy Slate
The Victors (1963) with Albert Finney, Rosanna Schiaffino, Elke Sommer, Michael Callan, and Peter Fonda
The Outsider (1961) with Tony Curtis, Bruce Bennett, and James Franciscus
Too Late Blues (1961) with Bobby Darin, Stella Stevens, and John Cassavetes
The Scavengers (1959) with Carol Ohmart and Vic Diaz
City of Fear (1959) with John Archer and Lyle Talbot
Murder by Contract (1958) with Herschel Bernardi and Phillip Pine
Island Women (1958) with Marie Windsor
Hit and Run (1957) with Cleo Moore and Hugo Haas
Ride Out for Revenge (1957) with Rory Calhoun, Lloyd Bridges, and Gloria Grahame
The Hired Gun (1957) with with Rory Calhoun, Anne Francis, and Chuck Connors
The Killing (1956) with Sterling Hayden, Marie Windsor, Coleen Gray, and Elisha Cook Jr.
Serenade (1956) with Joan Fontaine, Mario Lanza, and Vincent Price
I Am a Camera (1955) with Laurence Harvey, Shelley Winters, and Julie Harris
The Night Holds Terror (1955) with John Cassavetes, Hildy Parks, and Jack Kelly
Cell 2455 Death Row (1955) with William Campbell and Kathryn Grant
Rogue Cop (1954) with Robert Taylor, Anne Francis, George Raft, Janet Leigh, and Steve Forrest
Hiawatha (1952) with Yvette Duguay, Keith Larsen, and Morris Ankrum
Mr. Universe (1951) with Jack Carson, Janis Paige, Bert Lahr, Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, and Robert Alda
Sailor Beware (1951) with Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Corinne Calvet, and Leif Erickson

The Centurions, 1985-1986 animated TV series. Edwards voiced the character of Jake Rockwell
The Rhinemann Exchange, 1977 NBC miniseries. Edwards portrayed General Swanson
Matt Lincoln, 1970-1971 TV series. Edwards portrayed Dr. Matt Lincoln
Ben Casey, 1961-1966 ABC TV series. Edwards portrayed Dr. Ben Casey

P.S.I. Luv U, episode Diamonds Are a Girl's Worst Friend, originally aired November 2, 1991
Murder, She Wrote, episode Three Strikes, You're Out, originally aired May 7, 1989
The Highwayman, episode Frightmare, originally aired April 22, 1988
Our Family Honor, episode Lone Justice, originally aired December 6, 1985
Our Family Honor, episode Mark of Cain, originally aired November 29, 1985
Our Family Honor, episode The Casino, originally aired November 22, 1985
Tales from the Darkside, episode It All Comes Out in the Wash, originally aired May 26, 1985
Cover Up, episode Nothing to Lose, originally aired October 27, 1984
Knight Rider, episode Knight of the Phoenix, originally aired September 26, 1982
Police Story, episode A Chance to Live, originally aired May 28, 1978
Police Story, episode Payment Deferred, originally aired September 21, 1976
Medical Story, episode Test Case, originally aired September 25, 1975
The Deputy, episode The Choice, originally aired June 25, 1960
Laramie, episode The Protectors, originally aired March 22, 1960
Adventures in Paradise, episode The Raft, originally aired November 30, 1959
The Untouchables, episode Mexican Stake-Out, originally aired November 26, 1959
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Young One, originally aired December 1, 1957
General Electric Theater, episode Bitter Choice, originally aired April 21, 1957
The 20th Century-Fox Hour, episode The Last Patriarch, originally aired November 28, 1956
Celebrity Playhouse, episode Known But to God, originally aired December 6, 1955
Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre, episode The Smuggler, originally aired October 25, 1955

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Watch Vince Edwards' 1958 noir thriller Murder by Contract
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