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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Sal Mineo born 10 January 1939

Salvatore "Sal" Mineo, Jr. (January 10, 1939 – February 12, 1976), was an American film and theatre actor, known for his performance as John "Plato" Crawford opposite James Dean in the film Rebel Without a Cause (1955). He was twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his roles in Rebel Without a Cause and Exodus (1960).
Born Salvatore Mineo Jr., in the Bronx part of New York City to Italian immigrants who had come from Sicily, he was thrown out of school at age 8, and quickly became a member of a street gang. After an arrest for robbery at age 10, the judge gave him an option of juvenile confinement or enrolment in a professional acting school. He chose the latter, with his first appearance in "The Rose Tattoo" (1951) on Broadway.
 He soon began appearing in supporting roles in such films as "The King and I" (1952) and "Six Bridges to Cross" (1955), reaching his peak of fame with his role as Plato in "Rebel Without a Cause" (1955).
In 1957, Mineo made a brief foray into pop music by recording a handful of songs and an album. He released two singles. The first was "Start Movin' (In My Direction)", which stayed in the US top 40 for 13 weeks and reached the #9 position. It sold over one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. The second was "Lasting Love", which stayed on the charts for three weeks and reached #27. The singles were followed up by an album on the Epic label. In the UK the records were released on the Philips label.  

He starred as drummer Gene Krupa in the movie Drum Crazy(1959), directed by Don Weis with Susan Kohner, James Darren, and Susan Oliver. He donated the drum he used in the film to another teen idol, David Cassidy, the day after a dinner with David and his father, Jack Cassidy. David was 13 at the time.

Sal continued working in films and television but offers gradually declined in the '60s. He made a couple of mid-decade attempts at rekindling his music career with one-shot releases on the Decca and Fontana labels. A choice he made in 1962, to pose nude for painter Harold Stevenson, may have come across as an affront to the morals to many in the entertainment industry (hard to imagine that) and could be partly responsible for the lack of work. The high point of this period was his portrayal of Uriah in The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965).
Expanding his repertoire, Mineo returned to the theatre to direct and star in the play "Fortune and Men's Eyes" with successful runs in both New York and Los Angeles. In the late 1960s and 1970s he continued to work steadily in supporting roles on TV and in film, including Dr. Milo in Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971) and Harry O (1973). In 1975 he returned to the stage in the San Francisco hit production of "P.S. Your Cat Is Dead".
By 1976, Mineo's career had begun to turn around. While playing the role of a burglar in a series of stage performances of the comedy, P.S. Your Cat Is Dead, in San Francisco, Mineo received substantial publicity from many positive reviews, and he moved to Los Angeles along with the play.

Mineo was arriving home after a rehearsal on February 12, 1976, when he was stabbed to death in the alley behind his apartment building near the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. Mineo was stabbed just once, not repeatedly as first reported, but the knife blade struck his heart, leading to immediate and fatal internal bleeding. It’s sad that he came to such an end at the age of only thirty seven. His remains were interred in the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.
In March 1979, pizza deliveryman Lionel Ray Williams was sentenced to 57 years in prison for killing Mineo and for ten robberies in the same area. Although considerable confusion existed as to what witnesses had seen in the darkness the night Mineo was murdered, Williams claimed to have no idea who Mineo was. Corrections officers later said they had overheard Williams admitting to the stabbing.
 Although taken away far too soon, the memory of Sal Mineo continues to live on through the large body of TV and film work that he left behind. (Info edited mainly from Wikipedia & IMDB) 

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Sal Mineo – The Complete Epic Recordings – go here:

1. Start Movin' (In My Direction)
2. Love Affair
3. Lasting Love
4. You Shouldn't Do That
5. Dino - (previously unreleased)
6. The Words That I Whisper
7. Too Young
8. Party Time
9. Secret Doorway
10. Deep Devotion
11. Now and for Always
12. Blue-Eyed Baby
13. My Bride
14. Down by the Riverside
15. Oh Marie
16. Tattoo
17. Baby Face
18. Not Tomorrow But Tonight
19. Little Pigeon
20. Seven Steps to Love
21. Cuttin' In
22. A Couple of Crazy Kids
23. Souvenirs of Summertime
24. Make Believe Baby
25. Young as We Are
26. Part of a Fool - (previously unreleased)
27. I'll Never Be Myself Again