He attended grade school in Glendale, California. His father was a chemical engineer in the oil fields who moved often. To ensure he receive a stable education, his parents sent him to live with relatives in New Jersey and attend school while they travelled.
During the holidays, he would return to his parents in such places as Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Burkburnett, Texas. When he completed high school, he rejoined them for good. He worked for a time in the oil fields as a roustabout, then a tool pusher and rig builder. When he was seventeen, they moved back to San Francisco.
He attended Stanford University, where he played football. He then became interested in theater. After a brief stay in New York City, he went to London, England, in 1933, where he enrolled at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
He later went to Hollywood and took a job with CBS radio, where he performed in a number of plays on the air. In 1937, an MGM talent scout heard him in one of these broadcasts and arranged an interview. Phillip made a screen test and was awarded a contract with the studio. Among his film appearances, he had a bit part in the movie Mannequin.
Two years later he signed with Paramount Studios, where he starred in The Parson of Panamint. He then did supporting roles in Wake Island and Bataan. The latter on loan out to MGM.
When he left Paramount, he signed with RKO and was in Music in Manhattan, George White's Scandals, and Pan-Americana.
Phillip Terry appeared in more than eighty films over the span of his career. Many of the early roles were small and often uncredited. But in the 1940s he received bigger and more numerous roles in some quality films such as The Lost Weekend (1945), which starred Ray Milland, and To Each His Own (1946), which starred Olivia de Havilland.
When his career began to slide in the late 1940s he turned his attention to real estate. He was a good salesman and investor and eventually became very wealthy.
He was married July 21, 1942 at Hidden Valley Ranch in Ventura County, California, to actress Joan Crawford. They were divorced in 1946. He was then married to Rosalind Lee, a woman with no connection to show business.
Phillip never completely abandoned acting. During the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, he took on occasional film roles. Some of his better B movies from this period include The Leech Woman (1960), with Grant Williams, and The Navy VS. the Night Monsters (1966), with Mamie Van Doren.
Sometimes he would accept television roles and was in episodes of The Name of the Game and Police Woman.
In 1973 he retired and moved to Santa Barbara, California.
He suffered the first of a series of strokes in 1978. Because of the strokes, he lost his mobility and communication and was an invalid for several years before his death.
Phillip Terry died at his home in Santa Barbara. He was cremated and his ashes scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
Phillip Terry Facts
|Birth Name||Frederick Henry Kormann|
|Birthday||March 7, 1909|
|Birthplace||San Fransisco, California, USA|
|Date of death||February 23, 1993 (age 83)|