James Darren

Actor, Singer, Director
Born Jimmy Ercolini and raised on 10th Street between Ritner and Porter in the same South Philadelphia neighborhood that produced Fabian, Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon, James Darren grew into a tall, dark and handsome ... Read more »
Born: 06/08/1936 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Filmography

Actor (35)

Bobby Rydell: Wild About Bobby 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Elvis Forever 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Sandra Dee 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Melrose Place 1986 - 1987, 1989 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Actor

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine 1992 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Diagnosis Murder 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Actor

TV Guide Looks at Science Fiction 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Blood Sport 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

T.J. Hooker 1981 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Hollywood Starr 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

Battle of the Network Stars XVI 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Portrait of a Legend 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

Scruples 1980 - 1981 (TV Show)

Actor

The Boss' Son 1977 (Movie)

Buddy (Actor)

City Beneath the Sea 1970 - 1971 (TV Show)

Actor

The Time Tunnel 1966 - 1967 (TV Show)

Actor

The Lively Set 1964 (Movie)

Casey Owens (Actor)

For Those Who Think Young 1963 (Movie)

Gardner "Ding" Pruitt III (Actor)

Diamond Head 1962 (Movie)

Paul Kahana (Actor)

Gidget Goes to Rome 1962 (Movie)

Jeff (Actor)

Gidget Goes Hawaiian 1961 (Movie)

Jeff Mather (Actor)

The Guns of Navarone 1961 (Movie)

Pappadimos (Actor)

All the Young Men 1960 (Movie)

Cotton (Actor)

Because They're Young 1960 (Movie)

(Actor)

Let No Man Write My Epitaph 1960 (Movie)

Nick Romano (Actor)

The Gene Krupa Story 1959 (Movie)

Eddie Sirota (Actor)

Gidget 1958 (Movie)

Jeffrey "Moondoggie" Matthews (Actor)

Gunman's Walk 1957 (Movie)

Davy Hackett (Actor)

Operation Mad Ball 1957 (Movie)

Private Widowskas (Actor)

The Brothers Rico 1957 (Movie)

Johnny Rico (Actor)

The Web 1956 - 1957 (TV Show)

Actor

Baa Baa Black Sheep (TV Show)

Actor

The Lives of Jenny Dolan (TV Show)

Actor

Turnover Smith (TV Show)

Actor
Director (9)

Nowhere Man 1986 - 1987, 1989 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Director

Silk Stalkings 1986 - 1987, 1989 - 1999 (Tv Show)

Director

Hardball 1986 - 1987, 1989 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

Raven 1991 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

Savannah 1992 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

Walker, Texas Ranger 1992 - 1994, 1997 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

Werewolf 1986 - 1987, 1991 - 1998 (Tv Show)

Director

Beverly Hills 90210 1996 (Tv Show)

Director

Gladiator School 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Director

Biography

Born Jimmy Ercolini and raised on 10th Street between Ritner and Porter in the same South Philadelphia neighborhood that produced Fabian, Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon, James Darren grew into a tall, dark and handsome Italian heartthrob who would also enjoy a run as a teenage singing sensation. While studying acting with Stella Adler in NYC, a chance meeting with Columbia Pictures eastern talent scout Joyce Selznick opened the door to a screen career, and he joined the studio's stable of fine young actors, delivering a standout performance in his feature debut as the juvenile gang leader and star of "Rumble on the Docks" (1956). Darren continued to impress in subsequent outings but really came into his own as Jeff 'Moondoggie' Matthews opposite Sandra Dee's "Gidget" (1959). Especially effective as the young man torn between the carefree surfing life and the responsibilities of growing up, he also displayed a pleasant singing voice on the film's title song and the even better "The Next Best Thing to Love," launching a recording career that boasted five Top 10 singles during the early 60s, including the Grammy-nominated "Goodbye Cruel World" (1961), which peaked at Number Three.

Relationships

Evy Darren

Wife
married on February 6, 1960 former Miss Denmark of 1958 appeared in "The Flying Fontaines" (1959) mother of Darren's two younger children

Anthony Darren

Son
mother, Evy Norlund

Gloria Darren

Wife
married in 1955 divorced in 1959 remarried husband adopted son James

Christian Darren

Son
mother, Evy Norlund

Jim Moret

Son
adopted stepfather's name former entertainmnet lawyer joined CNN in 1992 as correspondent on "Showbiz Today" (later co-hosted) mother, Gloria Darren

EDUCATION

studied acting with Stella Adler in NYC for only a few weeks

Southern High School

Philadelphia , Pennsylvania

Milestones

1999

Released 13th album, "This One's From the Heart"

1997

Received star on the Philadelphia Walk of Fame (September 25)

1988

Helmed "Gladiator School" (ABC), a "Police Story" TV-movie

1986

Made directorial debut with an episode of "T.J. Hooker" (CBS) near the end of its final season

1978

Last feature to date, Bobby Roth's engaging independent "The Boss' Son"

1977

Made the charts again with "You Take My Heart Away"

1967

Reached the Top 40 with "All"

1966

Starred with Robert Colbert as time-travelling scientists in the ABC series "The Time Tunnel"

1963

Final turn as 'Moondoggie' (opposite Cindy Carol) in Wendkos' "Gidget Goes to Rome"

1962

Played native Hawaiian in love with Yvette Mimieux in "Diamond Head"; when her irate father, bigoted pineapple baron Charles Heston, "accidentally" kills Darren, she then takes up with his brother (George Chakiris)

1961

Received Grammy Award nomination (Best Rock and Roll Recording) for "Goodbye Cruel World"

1961

Acted in Wendkos' "Gidget Goes Hawaiian", this time opposite Deborah Walley

1961

Joined all-star saboteur gang of Gregory Peck, Anthony Quayle, David Niven, Anthony Quinn and Stanley Baker in J Lee Thompson's "The Guns of Navarone"

1960

Reteamed with Wendkos for "Because They're Young", starring Dick Clark as an understanding, do-good teacher

1960

Registered impressively as slum kid who keeps his head high and becomes a concert pianist in "Let No Man Write My Epitaph"

1959

Portrayed Eddie Sirota in "The Gene Krupa Story"; sang "Let There Be Love" in film

1959

Played Jeff 'Moondoggie' Matthews opposite Sandra Dee's "Gidget"; first of four films with director Paul Wendkos (a fellow Philadelphian); sang the songs "Gidget" and "The Next Best Thing To Love"

1956

Feature acting debut, "Rumble on the Docks"

Began working exclusively as a director, helming episodes of series like "Hunter", "The A-Team", "Stingray", "Hard Ball" (all NBC), "Werewolf" (Fox), "Raven" and "Walker: Texas Ranger" (both CBS)

Commuted to NYC from Philadelphia to study acting with Stella Adler

Returned to "Melrose Place", this time acting the role of villain Tony Marlin

On way to appointment with Columbia Pictures eastern talent scout Joyce Selznick in NYC's Brill Building met Selznick in elevator; not knowing who he was, she was impressed with his look and presence and suggested he meet with her; signed to contract with

Directed episodes of Fox's "Beverly Hills, 90210"

Recurring role as hologramic Vegas lounge singer Vic Fontaine in ten episodes of the syndicated "Ster Trek: Deep Space Nine" revived singing carreer

Reteamed with Locklear, directing her in episodes of Fox's "Melrose Place"

Born and raised in South Philadelphia

Portrayed veteran patrolman Jim Corrigan, Heather Locklear's partner, on "T.J. Hooker"; when ABC cancelled series in the spring of 1985, CBS picked it up for its final season

Bonus Trivia

.

Took his name from the popular Kaiser Darrin sports car of the 1950s.

.

Darren and his wife are godparents to Frank Sinatra's first grandchild, Angela Jennifer Lambert (Nancy's daughter).

SIMILAR ARTICLES