Biography

Born in Brooklyn, Jeff Chandler attended that borough's Erasmus High School, the spawning ground of many top stage and film personalities. He spent two years in summer stock before serving in World War II. After the war, he became a busy radio actor, co-starring as the clueless Professor Boynton on the popular Eve Arden sitcom Our Miss Brooks. His first film appearance was a one-line bit in Columbia's Johnny O'Clock (1947). He made a better impression as an Israeli freedom fighter in Universal's Sword in the Desert (1948)--so much so that the studio's executives ordered that Chandler's role be expanded during filming. In 1950, Chandler made the first of three screen appearances as sagacious Apache chief Cochise in Broken Arrow. Though he worried that he'd be typecast in Native American parts, Chandler became a top leading man of the 1950s, his sex appeal curiously heightened by his prematurely gray hair. Shortly after completing his role in Merrill's Marauders (1962), Jeff Chandler died at age 42, the victim of blood poisoning following spinal surgery. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi