Jeff Chandler
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Jeff Chandler

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Jeff Chandler (December 15, 1918 – June 17, 1961)

He is best remembered for being one of Universal International's most popular male stars of the 1950s. He served in World War II for four years, mostly in the Aleutians, finishing with the rank of lieutenant. After the war, he went to Hollywood and began work in Radio. Chandler appeared in episodes of anthology drama series such as Escape and Academy Award Theater, and became well known for playing the lead in Michael Shayne and bashful biology teacher Phillip Boynton on Our Miss Brooks. In 1945 he was involved in a serious car accident on the way to a screen test which resulted in a large scar on his forehead. In 1950, he starred as Cochise in Broken Arrow (1950). This film was a considerable hit, earning Chandler an Oscar nomination and establishing him as a star. He later reprised the role as the legendary Apache chief in The Battle at Apache Pass (1952) and in a cameo in Taza, Son of Cochise (1954). He was the first actor nominated for an Academy Award for portraying an American Indian.

After a back injury in 1961, he entered a Culver City hospital and had surgery for a spinal disc herniation. There were severe complications; an artery was damaged and Chandler hemorrhaged. In a seven-and-a-half-hour emergency operation over-and-above the original surgery, he was given 55 pints of blood. Another operation followed, where he received an additional 20 pints of blood. He died on June 17, 1961. His death was deemed malpractice and resulted in a large lawsuit and settlement for his children. Jeff Chandler is interred at Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, CA.