Tyrone Power(1914-1958) 

    One of my all time favorite action stars, Tyrone Power ruled the theater marquees\ in the forties through the early fifties. Power was easy for us kids to understand. Handsome, to a flaw, dashing, with a wonderful stage-worthy speaking voice, Power starred in films like Blood and Sand as a bullfighter and The Black Swan as a pirate. In Old Chicago in 1937 and Suez and Alexander's Ragtime Band vaulted Power into the movie star pantheon. Jesse James in 1939 was Power's first Western and established him as an action star. In 1940 Power donned a mask to play Don Diego Vega, better known as Zorro. The Mark of Zorro was a huge hit and Fox quickly capitalized on Power's box office draw with Blood and Sand, with Rita Hayworth shaking her skirts to attract the bullfighter.
      Power was terrific in all those swashbucklers, but my favorite Power film may be Nightmare Alley. This is one time Power plays against type as a slick and ambitious carny worker who moves up the entertainment ladder with little concern for those around him. It defines the word geek for me.
     Amongst his leading ladies, Power got to make love to Gene Tierney three times, Linda Darnell four times, Anne Baxter in three  movies,  Maureen O'Hara and Susan Hayward played opposite Power twice each, as well as other beauties from Betty Grable to Loretta Young to Ava Gardner and Kim Novak. Henry King was Power's favorite director, giving the star his cues in eleven films. He did five films with Henry Hathaway
     The actor's untimely death from a heart attack on the set of Solomon and Sheba in 1958 was a great loss. Still a leading man, Power was aging well and could have probably continued as a box office draw well into his fifties. In his last few films, Power developed a more rugged appearance. He was handling middle age with great confidence, but a faulty heart deprived us of more years from the greatly underrated actor.

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