Brad Dexter

Actor, Producer, Amateur boxer
A burly, handsome supporting player and occasional lead, Brad Dexter was often cast as villainous or menacing types in a variety of films starting with 1950's "The Asphalt Jungle". Of Serbian heritage, he was born Boris ... Read more »
Born: 04/08/1917 in Goldfield, Nevada, USA

Filmography

Actor (29)

Secret Ingredient 1989 (Movie)

(Actor)

Valentine 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

House Calls 1978 (Movie)

Quinn (Actor)

Winter Kills 1978 (Movie)

1st Captain Heller (Actor)

The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover 1977 (Movie)

Alvin Karpas (Actor)

Law and Order 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor

Vigilante Force 1976 (Movie)

Mayor (Actor)

Shampoo 1975 (Movie)

Senator East (Actor)

Jory 1972 (Movie)

Jack (Actor)

Blindfold 1965 (Movie)

Harrigan (Actor)

Bus Riley's Back in Town 1965 (Movie)

Slocum (Actor)

None But the Brave 1965 (Movie)

Sergeant Bleeker (Actor)

Invitation to a Gunfighter 1964 (Movie)

Kenarsie (Actor)

Von Ryan's Express 1964 (Movie)

Sgt Bostick (Actor)

Johnny Cool 1963 (Movie)

Lennart Crandall (Actor)

Kings of the Sun 1962 (Movie)

Ah Haleb (Actor)

Taras Bulba 1962 (Movie)

Shilo (Actor)

The George Raft Story 1961 (Movie)

Benny Siegel (Actor)

X - 15 1961 (Movie)

Major Anthony Rinaldi (Actor)

The Magnificent Seven 1960 (Movie)

Harry Luck (Actor)

Last Train From Gun Hill 1958 (Movie)

Beero (Actor)

Run Silent, Run Deep 1958 (Movie)

Cartwright (Actor)

The Oklahoman 1957 (Movie)

Cass Dobie (Actor)

Between Heaven and Hell 1956 (Movie)

Joe Johnson (Actor)

House of Bamboo 1955 (Movie)

Captain Hanson (Actor)

The Bottom of the Bottle 1955 (Movie)

Stanley Miller (Actor)

Untamed 1955 (Movie)

Christian (Actor)

Violent Saturday 1955 (Movie)

Gil Clayton (Actor)

The Asphalt Jungle 1950 (Movie)

Bob Brannom (Actor)
Producer (3)

The Lawyer 1969 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Naked Runner 1966 (Movie)

(Producer)

Skag (TV Show)

Producer

Biography

A burly, handsome supporting player and occasional lead, Brad Dexter was often cast as villainous or menacing types in a variety of films starting with 1950's "The Asphalt Jungle". Of Serbian heritage, he was born Boris Milanovich in Nevada. Raised in poverty, Dexter began working as early as age seven in order to help support his parents. After stints as a shoeshine boy, meatpacker and amateur boxer, he studied acting at the famed Pasadena Playhouse. While serving in the military during WWII, he was cast in Moss Hart's stage show "Winged Victory", appearing under the stage name Barry Mitchell. Following other stage and radio roles, director John Huston spotted the hulking performer and cast him in "The Asphalt Jungle", for which he was newly christened Brad Dexter.

The actor cut an imposing screen figure and not unlike the equally husky Raymond Burr was frequently cast as ne'er-do-wells as in 1952's "Macao". Not that he couldn't play the good guy, as he more or less did in "House of Bamboo" (1955). Although he remained a busy character player for much of the 1950s, Dexter seemed on the brink of breaking through when he kicked off the 60s with a starring role as one of the titular "The Magnificent Seven" (1960). But while that film solidified or raised the profiles of his co-stars like Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and Charles Bronson, Dexter remained a relatively unknown quantity. He shone in the supporting role of gangster Benjamin 'Bugsy' Siegel in the uninspired biopic "The George Raft Story" (1961) and a reteaming with Brynner in "Taras Bulba" (1962) but he was to become better known for his off screen associations than for his film work.

Dexter was a confidante of Marilyn Monroe and he reportedly attempted to intercede when the sex siren separated from baseball great Joe DiMaggio. He was also a pal of singer-actor Frank Sinatra but their relationship was complicated by the fact that in 1964 Dexter saved the singer from drowning. At the time, they were filming "None But the Brave" (1965) and later that same year, they appeared together in "Von Ryan's Express". Sinatra later hired Dexter to work at Artanis, the singer-actor's production company. The two parted company during the filming of "The Naked Runner" (1967). According to Dexter, the strain in their friendship began when Sinatra announced his intention to marry Mia Farrow and Dexter told him it wouldn't work. While shooting the film (which Dexter was producing), Sinatra proved temperamental and expressed his desire to leave the London location. Dexter held firm and when the star bolted, worked around his absence and completed the movie. Returning to L.A., he was informed he was fired from Sinatra's company.

Dexter continued to work as a producer (1970's "The Lawyer" which was the basis of the short-lived NBC's series "Petrocelli") and returned to acting in 1972's "Jory". Once again, though, the roles were hardly taxing, although he seemed to be having fun as a senator in "Shampoo" (1975) and as Alvin Karples in "The Secret Files of J. Edgar Hoover" (1977). By the 80s, he curtailed much of his activities, making only rare forays in the business such as producing the Karl Malden TV-movie "Skag" (NBC, 1980) and one last screen appearance in "Secret Ingredient" (1990).

Relationships

Peggy Lee

Wife

EDUCATION

Pasadena Playhouse

Pasadena , California

Milestones

1990

Last film (to date) "Secret Ingredient"

1980

Produced the TV-movie "Skag", starring Karl Malden

1979

Appeared in "Winter Kills"; last film for more than 10 years

1978

Acted in "House Calls"

1977

Cast as Alvin Karples in "The Secret Files of J Edgar Hoover"

1976

TV-movie debut "Law and Order" (NBC)

1975

Appeared as a senator in "Shampoo"

1972

Returned to film acting in "Jory"

1969

Served as producer of "The Lawyer"

1967

Produced "The Naked Runner", starring Sinatra

1965

Co-starred with Sinatra in "None But the Brave" and "Von Ryan's Express"

1964

Saved Frank Sinatra from drowning in Hawaii during the filming of "None But the Brave"

1961

Cast as gangster Bugsy Siegel in "The George Raft Story"

1960

Portrayed Yul Brynner's pal in "The Magnificent Seven"

1958

Supported Burt Lancaster and Clark Gable in "Run Silent, Run Deep"

1955

Co-starred with Robert Ryan and Robert Stack in "House of Bamboo"

1950

Feature film debut, "The Asphalt Jungle", directed by John Huston; first credit as Brad Dexter

Served in the US Air Corps during WWII

Hired to work at Frank Sinatra's production company Artanis

Raised in poverty in Nevada; began working at age seven to help support family

Stage acting debut (as Barry Mitchell) in "Winged Victory"

Was an amateur boxer

Bonus Trivia

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Some sources list Mr. Dexter's birthdate as May 13.

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Not to be confused with the Canadian hockey player of the same name.

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