Troy Donahue

Actor
The status as a teen idol of this blond, blue-eyed heartthrob leading man of the 1960s lasted longer than the memory of many of his films. Troy Donahue is perhaps best recalled for his film role as Sandra Dee's beau in ... Read more »
Born: 01/26/1936 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (59)

A Platinum Triangle 2014 (Movie)

Harold Farber (Actor)

Forever More 2014 (Movie)

(Actor)

1998 Creative Arts Emmy Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Merchants of Venus 1997 (Movie)

(Actor)

Showdown 1993 (Movie)

(Actor)

Double Trouble 1992 (Movie)

Leonard Stewart (Actor)

The Chilling 1991 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Pamela Principle 1991 (Movie)

Eddie (Actor)

Click 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cry Baby 1990 (Movie)

Hachet's Father (Actor)

Deadly Diamonds 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

Escape From Rio 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

Shock 'Em Dead 1990 (Movie)

Record Exec (Actor)

Sounds of Silence 1990 (Movie)

(Actor)

Omega Cop 1989 (Movie)

Slim (Actor)

American Rampage 1988 (Movie)

(Actor)

Assault of the Party Nerds 1988 (Movie)

Sid Witherspoon (Actor)

Bad Blood 1988 (Movie)

Jack Barnes (Actor)

Deadly Spygames 1988 (Movie)

Python (Actor)

South Seas Massacre 1988 (Movie)

Steve (Actor)

Cyclone 1987 (Movie)

Bob Jenkins (Actor)

Dr Alien 1987 (Movie)

Dr Ackerman (Actor)

Hollywood Cop 1987 (Movie)

Lieutenant Maxwell (Actor)

Nudity Required 1987 (Movie)

Jack (Actor)

Sexpot 1987 (Movie)

Phillip (Actor)

Deadly Prey 1986 (Movie)

Don Michaelson (Actor)

Low Blow 1986 (Movie)

Templeton (Actor)

Terminal Force 1986 (Movie)

Slim (Actor)

Grandview, U.S.A. 1984 (Movie)

Donny Vinton (Actor)

Tin Man 1982 (Movie)

(Actor)

Cockfighter 1974 (Movie)

Randall Mansfield (Actor)

Seizure 1974 (Movie)

Mark (Actor)

The Godfather, Part II 1974 (Movie)

Merle Johnson (Actor)

The Secret Storm 1953 - 1974 (TV Show)

Actor

Sweet Saviour 1970 (Movie)

Moon (Actor)

My Blood Runs Cold 1965 (Movie)

Ben Gunther (Actor)

A Distant Trumpet 1963 (Movie)

Lt Matthew Hazard (Actor)

Hawaiian Eye 1959 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

Palm Springs Weekend 1962 (Movie)

Jim Munroe (Actor)

Surfside 6 1960 - 1962 (TV Show)

Actor

Parrish 1961 (Movie)

Parrish McLean (Actor)

Rome Adventure 1961 (Movie)

Don Porter (Actor)

Susan Slade 1961 (Movie)

Hoyt Brecker (Actor)

Imitation of Life 1959 (Movie)

Frankie (Actor)

The Crowded Sky 1959 (Movie)

McVey (Actor)

A Summer Place 1958 (Movie)

Johnny Hunter (Actor)

Live Fast, Die Young 1958 (Movie)

Artie (Actor)

Monster on the Campus 1958 (Movie)

Jimmy Flanders (Actor)

Summer Love 1958 (Movie)

Sax Lewis (Actor)

The Perfect Furlough 1958 (Movie)

Sergeant Nickles (Actor)

This Happy Feeling 1958 (Movie)

Tony Manza (Actor)

Voice in the Mirror 1958 (Movie)

Paul Cunningham (Actor)

The Tarnished Angels 1957 (Movie)

Frank Durnham (Actor)

Wild Heritage 1957 (Movie)

Jesse Bascomb (Actor)

Legion (TV Show)

Actor

Malibu (TV Show)

Actor

Shake, Rattle & Roll (TV Show)

Actor

Split Second to an Epitaph (TV Show)

Actor

The Lonely Profession (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

The status as a teen idol of this blond, blue-eyed heartthrob leading man of the 1960s lasted longer than the memory of many of his films. Troy Donahue is perhaps best recalled for his film role as Sandra Dee's beau in "A Summer Place" (1959) and for his starring roles as Sandy Winfield, one of the three sexy young detectives, on "Surfside Six" (ABC, 1960-62) and as Philip Barton, hotel social director, of "Hawaiian Eye" (ABC, 1962-63). For all his many screen appearances, the most lasting will undoubtedly be one of his smallest--that of Merle Johnson (also Donahue's real name), prospective groom to Connie Corleone Rizzi in "The Godfather, Part II" (1974).

Donahue was studying journalism at Columbia University and pursuing an acting career in stock productions when he landed his first film role, a bit part in "Man Afraid" (1957). Later that year, he supported Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack in "The Tarnished Angels". Despite such foolishness as the low-budget "Monster on the Campus" (1958) and several other small roles in teen-oriented fare, Warner Bros. signed Donahue to a multi-year contract in 1959. His first film for the studio, the sudsy "A Summer Place", cast him as the son of booze-soaked Dorothy McGuire and Arthur Kennedy and boyfriend of the then-Number One female teen star, Sandra Dee. Their pairing was a popular one and briefly put Donahue on equal footing with Elvis Presley and Pat Boone as a teen idol. Warner Bros., eager to capitalize on Donahue's ability to sell tickets at drive-in theatres, cast the actor in such typical efforts as "Palm Springs Weekend" (1963), a predictable romp stocked with the popular faces of the moment.

When his contract with Warner Bros. ended, Donahue was cast by Raoul Walsh in "A Distant Trumpet" (1964) as a fighting cowboy matched with Suzanne Pleshette, to whom he was briefly married. As the teen audience matured and tastes changed, Donahue found himself starring in such forgettable efforts as the murder mystery "Come Spy With Me" (1967). He had not worked in films for three years when Francis Ford Coppola hired him for "The Godfather, Part II". After the film's release there were a lot of "Wasn't that Troy Donahue?" remarks on TV talk shows and in the press, and columnists seemed to be wishing him well, but perhaps soured on Hollywood "promises," Donahue plunged into low-budget films with gay abandon. Some, such as "Cockfighter" (1975), had an artistic, interesting bent, but most were on the order of "Deadly Prey" (1987), "Sexpot" (1988), and "Attack of the Party Nerds" (1989). He did make cameos, along with other teen favorites of the 50s and 60s, in such films as "Back to the Beach" (1987), and John Waters' "Cry Baby" (1990), but Donahue seemed to disappear from mainstream fare. He could be seen in the 90s signing autographs at $10 per 8x10 glossy at Hollywood memorabilia collector shows alongside many other faces used and discarded by Hollywood.

Relationships

Valerie Allen

Wife
married in 1966 divorced in 1968

Zheng Cao

Companion
born in 1966 met in 1991 became engaged in 1999 still with Donahue until his death in 2001

Janine Donahue

Daughter

Sean Donahue

Son

Merle Johnson

Father
had been a vice president at General Motors died of ALS in 1950

Edith Johnson

Mother

Suzanne Pleshette Actor

Wife
Co-starred in "Rome Adventure" (1962)

Suzanne Pleshette

Wife
married on January 4, 1964 divorced on September 8, 1964

Vicky Taylor

Wife
married from 1979 to 1981

EDUCATION

Columbia University

New York , New York

Milestones

1998

Appeared onstage in a touring production of "Bye Bye Birdie", playing Mr. McAfee

1997

Co-starred in low budget films "S.O.S", "Forever More", "Hard Rock Nightmare" and "Escape Rio"

1990

Cast by John Waters in a cameo role in "Cry Baby"

1986

Feature career reached low point with "Assault of the Party Nerds"

1974

Played character called 'Merle Johnson' in "The Godfather, Part II"

1969

Appeared as regular on "The Secret Storm" (CBS)

1968

Made first TV-movie, "Ironside: Split Second to an Epitaph" (NBC)

1959

TV acting debut in an episode of "Wagon Train" (NBC)

1959

Made seven films under contract to Warner Bros.

1959

Co-starred with Sandra Dee in "A Summer Place"

1957

Film acting debut, "Man Afraid"

Starred in first TV series, "Surfside 6" (ABC)

Acted in stock productions while a student at Columbia

Was star of "Hawaiian Eye (ABC)

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