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Power, Jr., Tyrone
Written by Diana Saenger   

Date of Birth: May 5, 1914

Place of Birth: Cincinnati, Ohio

Date of Death: November 15, 1958

Place of Death: Madrid, Spain

Cause of Death: Heart Attack

tryonepface200.jpgTyrone Power stole hearts in his romantic swashbuckling roles and earned the status as a leading man in all kinds of movies from 1925 to 1959. Whether strapping on a gun for a western (Jesse James, picking up a sword (The Mark of Zorro) or wooing a starlet (Loretta Young), Power became one of Hollywood's biggest stars, despite the fact one director told him he'd never be an actor,

Born Tyrone Edmund Power Jr. in 1914, in Cincinnati, Ohio, he and his family moved to California when he was a young child in hopes of improving his failing health. His father, Tyrone Power Sr., began a career in stage and later film, but eventually divorced his wife, Helen Emma "Patia" Riaume, also a stage actress. Power made his first professional appearance on stage at age 7 with his mother in the play, La Golondrina, at San Gabriel, California. Eventually

Mrs. Power took him and his sister back to Cincinnati, but Power was in constant touch with his father who continually encouraged his son's dream to be an actor.

After graduating from Purcell High School in 1931, Tyrone found small roles in films and stage during the early 30s - including a role in his father's stage production of The Merchant of Venice the same year his father died (1931). Power tried his hand at radio with friend, Don Ameche, and then moved on to New York where he worked as understudy in stage. Power had a screen test at Fox in 1936 that landed him a contract with the studio.

Although director, Sidney Lanfield (Sing Baby Sing), told Power that he would never become an actor, other filmmakers show promise in the tall, extremely handsome young man. He found parts in Ladies in Love (1936) and several more movies. His role in the musical Alexander's

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Tyrone Power in Ragtime
Ragtime Band (1938) garnered him many fans.

Power married French actress Annabella (Suzanne Georgette Charpentier), whom he met on the set of Suez (1938), in 1939. He adapted her daughter Anne Power, but the couple divorced in 1948.

His roles in the westerns, Jesse James (1939) and Brigham Young (1940); war film, Yank in the R.A.F. (1941) and the adventurous The Mark of Zorro (1940) and The Black Swan (1942) raised his star status even more.

With international war looming, Power felt the call to duty and enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1942. He trained as a pilot, and flew cargo and wounded Marines during the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa until 1946, but remained in the reserves until 1951.

From honored war veteran Power hit pay day as a con-man in Nightmare Alley (1947). In 1949 he married Mexican actress Linda Christian. They had two daughters, Romina Francesca Power, and Taryn Power before divorcing in 1956. His stage successes in the early 50s include John Brown's Body, Mister Roberts (London Coliseum) The Devil's Disciple (The Opera House, Manchester, England) Broadway's The Dark is Light Enough and Back to Methusaleh. He continued to star on stage and in films - (Seven Waves Away (1957) Witness for the Prosecution (1957) but his career was began to wane.

In 1958 Tyrone married Debbie Ann Minardos. In September, Power traveled to Spain, to star in Solomon and Sheba. While filming a dueling scene with co-star George Sanders, Power suffered a heart attack and died before reaching a hospital. His son with Debbie Ann Minardos, son Tyrone William Power IV, was born in 1959, after his father's death.

An impressionable icon, Tyrone Power Jr. certainly was taken from his fans, friends and family too early, but the legacy he left lives on in film forever to enjoy.

 

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