"If trojan Donahue could come to be a movie star, then i could come to be a movie star," sings a character in the Broadway musical, A Chorus Line. The is one affectionate put-down that the hunky, blond, blue-eyed teen idol, insanity popular throughout the era that generation-gap movie in the late 1950s and also early 60s.

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Donahue, who has passed away of a heart assault aged 65, shot come star condition in A Summer location (1959), in i m sorry he and also Sandra Dee do love come the strains that the ubiquitous title-song on a Maine beach. For a short time, the movie made the the height fan-mail recipient - greatly from adolescent girl - at Warner Bros studios. "They"d asking me to irradiate a cigarette, and also when i did, they screamed and also fell down," that recalled.

However, through the mid-1960s, he was every washed up, so that when producer Robert Evans was readily available Marlon Brando because that The Godfather (1972), he declared, "Sonny Tufts, trojan Donahue, Tab Hunter, Fabian - placed them every together, Brando is colder."

Donahue to be born in brand-new York together Merle Johnson Jr. His father to be head of the activity picture department of general Motors; his mom was one aspiring actress. He learned journalism at Columbia University, however acting took up most of his time. After showing up in neighborhood rep, his beachboy great looks obtained him a Hollywood contract and also a brand-new name, coined by Henry Willson, the agent that came up v the pseudonyms "Rock Hudson" and also "Tab Hunter".

"It was part of me 10 minutes after I acquired the name," Donahue said years later. "It feels so natural. I jump when people call me by my old name. Also my mother and sister speak to me troy now." together an in-joke, he play a character dubbed Merle Johnson in The Godfather part II (1974).

As component of Universal"s secure of young talent, Donahue do his screen debut in guy Afraid (1957), as a teenage burglar who gets eliminated in the first few minutes the the movie. The studio then placed him into five pictures in 1958, amongst them This Happy Feeling, in which the spent many of his small part willing a injured seagull come fly, and Monster on The Campus, which experienced him as a student terrified by a giant fish and also by a professor turned neanderthal. In Douglas Sirk"s magnificent melodrama, Imitation of Life (1959), he had actually the brief but significant role as Susan Kohner"s boyfriend.

But it was Warner Bros that saw Donahue"s potential and also cast the in 4 soap operas command by Delmer Daves, start with A Summer Place. He then acquired the title role in Parrish (1961), play a young Connecticut tobacco grower having trouble with 3 seductive girls (and with his lines).

There adhered to Susan Slade (1961), in i beg your pardon he to be a awkward horse-doctor that married Connie Stevens, despite the reality that she was pregnant by an additional man; and Rome Adventure (1962), in i m sorry Suzanne Pleshette opts because that the American arts student troy over the Latin charm of Rossano Brazzi.

Donahue and also Pleshette married in 1964, despite the union just lasted a year. No one the less, the pair co-starred in Raoul Walsh"s western, A far-off Trumpet (1964), with Troy together an expressionless lieutenant defending a fort.

Previously, that had showed up in two television series, Surfside 6 and Hawaiian Eye. His fleeting time in the limelight involved an finish with mine Blood operation Cold (1965), in which he risked his good-guy image as one insane killer who believes he has been reincarnated and is in love through a girl indigenous a previous life. It ended his Warner Bros contract.

After a couple of years away from the screen, Donahue returned, with his clean-cut looks dirtied up, together a Charles Manson-like number in Sweet Saviour (1971), a nasty exploitation movie. A step of him knifing world during one orgy was an clues of how much points had readjusted in the film business.

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After his brief moment as a weak honest suit intruder into the Mafia family of The Godfather II, he ended up being addicted come drugs and also alcohol, also spending a summer homeless in main Park, new York. However, by the early on 1980s he had sobered up. "I establish that i was going come die," the explained. "Worse 보다 that, ns could live the method I was i was living because that the remainder of mine life."

In 1989, man Waters offered the almost unrecognisable Donahue a cameo duty in Cry-Baby (1989), thus paying tribute to among the good teen idols the the 1950s, the era in i m sorry the film was set. In his last years, the eked the end a living offering acting great to passengers on the Holland-America cruise line.

Donahue, that was married four times, and also was living v the Chinese-born mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao once he died, is survived by a daughter and son. • troy Donahue (Merle Johnson Jr), actor, born January 27 1936; passed away August 30 2001