Actor Tyrone Power Dies at 45 After Heart Attack on Spanish Lot
November 15, 1958
MADRID, SPAIN. Tyrone Power was stricken Saturday by a heart attack the height of a dueling scene on a movie set and died an hour later.
The dark, handsome stage and screen star was 45.
Power's death was a tragic duplicate of that of his actor fatter, Frederick Tyrone Power who was stricken fatally on a Hollywood movie set in 1931.
A virtual stranger in recent years to Hollywood where he made his fame and fortune, Power was here for the filming of "Solomon and Sheba" with Italian actress Gina Lollobrigida.
In the role of Solomon, Power showed up on the set for a dueling scene with George Sanders, 52 years old movie veteran. Sanders, play8ng the role of Solomon's older brother, was to be killed in the duel.
Power Reports Pain
During the filming, Power complained of a pain in his left arm and abdomen. the pain had been recurring for several days.
While stunned actors stood aside, Power was rushed to a hospital at 11:30 a.m. He died within an hour.
Director King Vidor halted shooting. Spanish extras left the scene solemnly. the entire staff was shaken when the news came that Power was dead.
Producer at Bedside
Ted Richmond, producer of "Solomon and Sheba," was at Power's bedside when death came. Richmond then left to tell Power's third wife, the former Mrs. Deborna [sic] Minardos, 26. Married to Power early this year, she is expecting a child in February.
Power's previous marriages to French actress Annabella (Suzanne Georgette Charpentier and actress Linda Christian ended in divorce).
Power was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 5, 1913, according to his studio and the Motion Picture Almanac. Who's Who listed the year as 1914.
Father Gives Lessons
He had his first stage role at seven. After graduation from high school in Cincinnati, he began pre0paring for a theatrical career instead of going to college. He studied Shakespearean drama under his father.
The family moved to Hollywood, where his father was at work on "The Miracle Man" when fatally stricken.
Convinced he never could get a start in the movies, young Power turned to stock company work in Chicago. But n 1936 he got his break with a 20th Century Fox contract.
With his success in "Lloyds of London," he was on his way to stardom. He was a romantic figure and his name was linked with the beauties of the film capital--Sonja Henie, Janet Gaynor, Arleen Whelan, Loretta Young and Norma Shearer.
He stared in such box office attractions as "Alexander's ragtime Band," "Marie Antoinette," "The Rose of Washington Square," "Jesse James," "Johnny Apollo," "The Rains Came," Brigham Young," "The Mark of Zorro," "The Eddy Duchin Story" and "The Sun Also Rises."
War Interrupts Career
Power was the top box office star of Hollywood in 1938 and 1940.
When World War II came, Power shucked his career and in 1942 enlisted as a private in the Marines at San Diego.
"Why the hell should I ask for a commission?" he demanded of a friend who wanted to know why he was enlisting as a mere private. "What the hell do I know about being an officer?"
But he learned. He entered Officer Training School, took flight training at Corpus Christi, Texas, and logged 3,500 flight hours piloting a transport plane for the Marines in the Pacific. He was discharged in 1945 as a lieutenant.
Old Roles Irk
Power had married Annabella in 1939. Back from the war, he appeared restless and chafed at playing the usual dashing roles.
In January 1948 he and Annabella were divorced.
A year after he wed Linda Christian at a Rome wedding that had all the elements of a movie scene. He was all but mobbed by spectators outside the church. Many crowded inside, elbowing invited guests aside.
This marriage lasted six years. Miss Christian, who bore Power two daughters, won a divorce and a million-dollar settlement in 1955.
Discontented with his film roles, Power turned to the stage in 1952, returning to Hollywood for only an occasional movie.
He played "Mr. Roberts" in London, toured the United States with "John Brown's Body," and appeared on Broadway with "The Dark is Light Enough" opposite Katharine Cornell.
Country Supplies Name
Before going to Europe this year, he toured the eastern states in George Bernard Shaw’s "Back to Methuselah."
Power came of a line of actors that began with his great-grandfather. Tyrone Power the first was a popular comedian on the Dublin stage as far back as 1827.
The first of the acting Powers got his baptismal name from County Tyrone, Ireland. But the name was not passed on to his son, Harold.
Harold Power, Power's grandfather, revived the Tyrone. He named his son Frederick Tyrone Power. This was the father of the movie actor.
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