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John Derek

John Derek

John Derek was an American actor, director and photographer most famous for the women to whom he was married.

Born Derek Delevan Harris in Hollywood, California, he was first married to actress Pati Behrs (1922-2004), grand-niece of Leo Tolstoy and mother of his two children, Russell & Sean.

His matinee-idol good looks quickly got him supporting roles, most notably as Broderick Crawford's son in All the Kings Men (1949), but he also enjoyed leads such as Nick Romano in Knock on Any Door (1949) opposite Humphrey Bogart (who told him, You look great, but kid, that's not enough), and as Robin Hood in Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950) with Alan Hale.

Perhaps Derek's most memorable film appearance was in a supporting role in the 1956 epic film, as the noble Joshua in The Ten Commandments.

Derek had a minor role as a film director. He directed his fourth wife, Bo Derek, in four movies. The 1990 film Ghosts Can't Do It was his last attempt in the director's chair. He also directed two hit music videos for Shania Twain, Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under? and Any Man of Mine.

His last three wives seemed to be nearly identical in appearance. Derek took photos of all three, at different times, for Playboy Magazine. He died from cardiovascular disease in Santa Maria, California at the age of 72.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2007.

John Derek Facts

Birth NameDerek Sullivan Harris
BirthdayAugust 12, 1926
BirthplaceHollywood, California, USA
Date of deathMay 22, 1998 (Santa Maria, California, USA, age 71)
Height6' 1" (1m85)  How tall is John Derek compared to you?

Selected Filmography

The Tarzan Ape Man
Bolero / Ghosts Can't Do It
Tarzan the Ape Man
Confessions Of Tom Harris
Tarzan, the Ape Man / "10"
Once Before I Die
Nightmare in the Sun
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