Born Francis Timothy McCown in Los Angeles in August 8, 1922, Rory Calhoun had a rough start in life. Calhoun's father died in 1923, and in the late 1930s, Rory Calhoun dropped out of high school. Falling into a bad crowd, he stole a car in 1940 and was arrested. After serving a three-year sentence, he cleaned up his act, taking menial jobs. He was spotted in 1944 by actress-turned agent Sue Carol (the wife and agent of Alan Ladd), and soon he was under contract to 20th Century Fox.

Rory CalhounRory Calhoun

Early Hollywood photos

Billed as Frank McCown, he was given small roles for his first two years as an actor, and even appeared in The Bullfighters (1945), one of Laurel and Hardy's last films. Calhoun changed his name in 1947 and began working more as an actor in supporting roles. He married actress Lita Baron in 1948; the couple had three children before divorcing in 1970. In the late 1940s, he acted in his first two western films: Sand (1949; with Coleen Gray), released by 20th Century-Fox; and Massacre River (1949; with Guy Madison), released by Allied Artists. This began a string of western roles for Calhoun, and soon he was getting offers for bigger films, such as How To Marry a Millionaire (1953; with Betty Grable, Marilyn Monroe, and Lauren Bacall).

In 1956, Calhoun formed Rorvic, his own production company. Rorvic produced three films, for which Calhoun served as producer and actor: Apache Territory (1958; with Barbara Bates), The Domino Kid (1957; with Andrew Duggan. Calhoun also wrote the screenplay), and The Hired Gun (1957; with Anne Francis and Vince Edwards).

the films of rory calhoun

Massacre River (1949)

Rory Calhoun and Guy Madison

Studio shot with Guy Madison before the filming of Massacre River began

How To Marry a Millionaire (1953)

Rory Calhoun and Betty Grable

With Betty Grable in a promotional photo for the 20th Century Fox comedy How to Marry a Millionaire

Four Guns to the Border (1954)

Colleen Miller and Rory Calhoun

With Colleen Miller in the Universal-International western Four Guns to the Border

River of No Return (1954)

Marilyn Monroe and Rory Calhoun

With Marilyn Monroe in the 20th Century Fox adventure River of No Return

The Looters (1955)

Rory CalhounRory Calhoun and Julie AdamsEmory Parnell, Julie Adams, and Rory Calhoun

Scenes from the Universal-International adventure The Looters. LEFT: Calhoun discovers a stash of $250,000. CENTER: Making time with Julie Adams. RIGHT: Calhoun gets tough with Emory Parnell

Ain't Misbehavin' (1955)

Rory CalhounBarbara Britton and Rory Calhoun

LEFT: Rory Calhoun looks as if he's just seen co-star Mamie Van Doren in this studio shot from the Universal-International musical Ain't Misbehavin'. RIGHT: With Barbara Britton

The Spoilers (1955)

Rory CalhounAnne Baxter and Rory CalhounJeff Chandler and Rory Calhoun

From the Universal-International western The Spoilers. LEFT: Calhoun as Alexander McNamara. CENTER: Flirting with Anne Baxter. RIGHT: Slugging it out with Jeff Chandler

The Treasure of Pancho Villa (1955)

Rory Calhoun and Gilbert Roland

With Gilbert Roland in the RKO western The Treasure of Pancho Villa

The Big Caper (1957)

Rory Calhoun and Mary Costa

From the crime drama The Big Caper with Mary Costa

The Hired Gun (1957)

Anne Francis and Rory Calhoun

From the western The Hired Gun with Anne Francis

The Texan (1958-1960 CBS TV Series)

Rory Calhoun

Desilu promotional photo from Calhoun's 1958-1960 western series The Texan, aired by CBS

Thunder in Carolina (1960)

Rory Calhoun and Connie Hines

Calhoun oogles sexy Connie Hines in a scene from the low-budget independent feature Thunder in Carolina. Hines is best known for her role as Carol Post on the 1961-1966 TV sitcom Mr. Ed

The Colossus of Rhodes (1961)

Rory Calhoun and Mimmo Palmara

Whoa! What's a cowboy doing in a torch and toga epic? Calhoun is Dario in Sergio Leone's first directorial assignment The Colossus of Rhodes. This film sported one of the biggest budgets of any sword and sandal film. Also pictured is Mimmo Palmara

The Young and the Brave (1963)

Rory Calhoun, Richard Arlen, William Bendix, and Manuel Padilla Jr.

With Richard Arlen, William Bendix, and Manuel Padilla Jr. in the MGM war drama The Young and the Brave

Young Fury (1965)

Rory Calhoun

Lobby photo from the Paramount western Young Fury

Apache Uprising (1966)

Rory Calhoun and Corinne Calvet

With Corinne Calvet in the A.C. Lyles western Apache Uprising

later years

In the early 1960s, with good roles drying up, Rory Calhoun went to Europe and made a string of films, including The Colossus of Rhodes, Marco Polo, and Operation Delilah. In the late 1960s, when the bottom fell out of the European film market, Calhoun headed back to the U.S. but initially found few roles. He began working regularly again in the mid 1970s, after his divorce from his second wife. He once again enjoyed an active career, taking many roles on TV and doing some film work. His last film was the 1992 release Pure Country. After struggling with diabetes and emphysema, Rory Calhoun passed away on April 28, 1999, at the age of 76. He was survived by four daughters.

rory calhoun dvds available from

Pure Country (1992) with Lesley Ann Warren and George Strait
Bad Jim (1990) with James Brolin, Richard Roundtree, and Ty Hardin
Roller Blade Warriors: Taken by Force (1989) with Kathleen Kinmont and Abby Dalton
Hell Comes to Frogtown (1987) with William Smith and Roddy Piper
Avenging Angel (1985) with Susan Tyrrell, Tim Rossovich, and Ross Hagen
Half Nelson (1985) with Fred Williamson, Morgan Brittany, Dean Martin, and George Kennedy
Angel (1984) with Susan Tyrrell, Cliff Gorman, and Dick Shawn
Smokey and the Judge (1980) with Wayde Preston
Motel Hell (1980) with Nancy Parsons, Elaine Joyce, and Wolfman Jack
Flatbed Annie (1979) with Annie Potts and Kim Darby
The Main Event (1979) with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal
The Rebels (1979) with Andrew Stevens, Don Johnson, Anne Francis, Doug McClure, Jim Backus, Richard Basehart, Joan Blondell, Macdonald Carey, and Peter Graves
Revenge of Bigfoot (1979)
Love and the Midnight Auto Supply (1978) with Michael Parks, Scott Jacoby, Linda Cristal, Colleen Camp, John Ireland, and Rod Cameron
Mulefeathers (1977) with Nedra Volz
Mission to Glory (1977) with Richard Egan, John Ireland, Ricardo Montalban, Aldo Ray, and John Russell
Flight to Holocaust (1977) with Patrick Wayne
Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood (1976)
Night of the Lepus (1972) with Stuart Whitman, Janet Leigh, and DeForest Kelley
Operation Cross Eagles (1969) with Richard Conte
The Emerald of Artatama (1969)
Land's End (1968) with Martin Milner, Gilbert Roland, and Sonny Tufts
Dayton's Devils (1968) with Leslie Nielsen, Lainie Kazan, Eric Braeden, and Bruce Glover
Operation Delilah (1967) with Gia Scala
Our Men in Bagdad (1966) with Raf Baldassarre
Apache Uprising (1966) with Lon Chaney Jr., Corinne Calvet, John Russell, Richard Arlen, and Johnny Mack Brown
Young Fury (1965) with John Agar, Merry Anders, Lon Chaney Jr., Virginia Mayo, and Jody McCrea
Black Spurs (1965) with Linda Darnell, Terry Moore, Scott Brady, and Lon Chaney Jr.
Blue Lightning (1965) with Silvia Solar
Face in the Rain (1963)
The Gun Hawk (1963) with Rod Cameron, Ruta Lee, and Jody Daniels
The Young and the Brave (1963) with John Agar, Richard Arlen, and William Bendix
Marco Polo (1961) with Lex Barker and Yoko Tani
The Secret of Monte Cristo (1961) with Peter Arne
The Colossus of Rhodes (1961) with Georges Marchal
Thunder in Carolina (1960) with Connie Hines and Alan Hale Jr.
The Saga of Hemp Brown (1958) with Beverly Garland, Russell Johnson, and Yvette Vickers
Apache Territory (1958) with Barbara Bates, Carolyn Craig, and Myron Healey
The Big Caper (1957) with James Gregory and Roxanne Arlen
The Domino Kid (1957) with Andrew Duggan and Crash Corrigan
The Hired Gun (1957) with Anne Francis, Vince Edwards, and Chuck Connors
Utah Blaine (1957) with Max Baer
Ride Out for Revenge (1957) with Vince Edwards, Gloria Grahame, and Lloyd Bridges
Flight to Hong Kong (1956) with Barbara Rush, Werner Klemperer, Rhodes Reason, and Mel Welles
Red Sundown (1956) with Grant Williams and Martha Hyer
Raw Edge (1956) with Rex Reason, Yvonne De Carlo, Mara Corday, John Gavin, and Ed Fury
Ain't Misbehavin' (1955) with Mamie Van Doren, Piper Laurie, Jack Carson, and Barbara Britton
The Spoilers (1955) with Jeff Chandler, Ray Danton, Anne Baxter, and Barbara Britton
The Treasure of Pancho Villa (1955) with Gilbert Roland and Shelley Winters
The Looters (1955) with Julie Adams and Ray Danton
A Bullet Is Waiting (1954) with Jean Simmons
Four Guns to the Border (1954) with George Nader and Colleen Miller
River of No Return (1954) with Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum
The Yellow Tomahawk (1954) with Peggie Castle, Lee Van Cleef, and Peter Graves
Dawn at Socorro (1954) with Piper Laurie, Mara Corday, David Brian, and Lee Van Cleef
Powder River (1953) with Corinne Calvet, Cameron Mitchell, and Carl Betz
The Silver Whip (1953) with Dale Robertson and Robert Wagner
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, Lauren Bacall, William Powell, Alexander D'Arcy, and Cameron Mitchell
Way of a Gaucho (1952) with Richard Boone, Gene Tierney, and Hugh Marlowe
With a Song in My Heart (1952) with Susan Hayward, Thelma Ritter, David Wayne, and Max Showalter
Meet Me After the Show (1951) with Betty Grable, Macdonald Carey, Irene Ryan, and Eddie Albert
I'd Climb the Highest Mountain (1951) with Susan Hayward, William Lundigan, and Barbara Bates
Return of the Frontiersman (1950) with Julie London and Gordon MacRae
Rogue River (1950) with Peter Graves
A Ticket to Tomahawk (1950) with Dan Dailey and Anne Baxter
County Fair (1950)
Massacre River (1949) with Guy Madison, Cathy Downs, and Steve Brodie
Sand (1949) with Mark Stevens and Coleen Gray
Miraculous Journey (1948) with Virginia Grey
The Red House (1947) with Edward G. Robinson and Julie London
That Hagen Girl (1947) with Ronald Reagan, Shirley Temple, and Lois Maxwell
Adventure Island (1947) with Rhonda Fleming
The Great John L. (1945) with Linda Darnell and Barbara Britton
The Bullfighters (1945) with Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy
Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (1944)

Capitol, 1982-1987 daytime drama. Calhoun portrayed Judge Judson Tyler. Also in the cast were Julie Adams, Richard Egan, Anthony Eisley, Julie Parrish, and Lana Wood
The Blue and the Gray, 1982 miniseries. Other cast members included Sterling Hayden and Warren Oates
The Texan, 1958-1960 CBS TV series. This show also aired on ABC weekdays between October 1960 and March 1962

Tales from the Crypt, episode Oil's Well That Ends Well, originally aired November 24, 1993
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode Killer Takes All, originally aired March 12, 1988
Hart to Hart, episode Harts at High Noon, originally aired November 9, 1982
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, episode The Cowboy Connection, originally aired March 31, 1981
Hawaii Five-O, episode Death Mask, originally aired November 16, 1978
Fantasy Island, episode Big Dipper/The Pirate, originally aired September 23, 1978
Starsky and Hutch, episode Murder on Stage 17, originally aired March 19, 1977
Jigsaw John, episode Follow the Yellow Brick Road, originally aired March 8, 1976
Movin' On, episode The Big Wheel, originally aired November 11, 1975
Police Woman, episode Shoefly, originally aired December 20, 1974
Petrocelli, episode By Reason of Madness, originally aired September 25, 1974
Police Story, episode Death on Credit, originally aired November 27, 1973
Ghost Story, episode Death's Head, originally aired January 5, 1973
Hec Ramsey, episode The Green Feather Mystery, originally aired December 17, 1972
Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law, episode Charlie Gave Me Your Number, originally aired November 16, 1972
The Doris Day Show, episode Cover Girl, originally aired February 21, 1972
Alias Smith and Jones, epsiode Night of the Red Dog, originally aired November 4, 1971
Lancer, episode The Rivals, originally aired May 5, 1970
Custer, episode Blazing Arrows, originally aired November 29, 1967
Gilligan's Island, episode The Hunter, originally aired January 16, 1967
Death Valley Days, episode Water Bringer, originally aired March 17, 1966
I Spy, episode A Day Called 4 Jaguar, originally aired March 9, 1966
Rawhide, episode The Testing Post, originally aired November 30, 1965
Gunsmoke, episode Honey Pot, originally aired May 15, 1965
Wagon Train, episode The Jarbo Pierce Story, originally aired May 2, 1965
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Nobody Somehow?, originally aired March 31, 1965
The Virginian, episode A Father for Toby, originally aired November 4, 1964
Bonanza, episode Thanks for Everything, Friend, originally aired October 11, 1964
The Greatest Show on Earth, episode This Train Don't Stop Till It Gets There, originally aired April 14, 1964
Death Valley Days, episode Measure of a Man, originally aired October 1, 1963
The Dick Powell Show, episode Luxury Liner, originally aired February 12, 1963
Wagon Train, episode The Artie Matthewson Story, originally aired November 8, 1961
Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse, episode The Killer Instinct, originally aired June 15, 1959
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars, episode Curfew at Midnight, originally aired June 27, 1958
Telephone Time, episode Trail Blazer, originally aired April 1, 1958
Suspicion, episode Meeting in Paris, originally aired February 10, 1958
Zane Grey Theater, episode Muletown Gold Strike, originally aired December 21, 1956
Screen Directors Playhouse, episode Hot Cargo, originally aired January 4, 1956
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Bet the Queen, originally aired December 8, 1955
Screen Directors Playhouse, episode Day Is Done, originally aired October 12, 1955
Climax!, episode The Champion, originally aired March 31, 1955
The Ford Television Theatre, episode Garrity's Sons, originally aired March 24, 1955
The Ford Television Theatre, episode The Road Ahead, originally aired November 11, 1954

rory calhoun film now showing

Watch Rory Calhoun in the 1954 crime drama A Bullet Is Waiting

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