90 Facts About Alan Ladd


Alan Walbridge Ladd was an American actor and film producer.


Alan Ladd was often paired with Veronica Lake in films noir, such as This Gun for Hire, The Glass Key, and The Blue Dahlia.


Alan Ladd appeared in ten films with William Bendix; both actors coincidentally died in 1964.


Alan Ladd's popularity diminished in the mid 1950s, though he has appeared in numerous films, including his first supporting role since This Gun for Hire in the smash hit The Carpetbaggers released in 1964.


Alan Ladd died of an accidental combination of alcohol, a barbiturate, and two tranquilizers in January 1964.


Alan Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on September 3,1913.


Alan Ladd was the only child of Ina Raleigh, and Alan Ladd, a freelance accountant.


Alan Ladd's mother was English, from County Durham, and had migrated to the US in 1907 when she was 19.


Alan Ladd's father died of a heart attack when Ladd was four.


On July 3,1918, young Alan Ladd accidentally burned down the family home while playing with matches.


Alan Ladd enrolled in North Hollywood High School on February 18,1930.


Alan Ladd became a high-school swimming and diving champion and participated in high school dramatics in his senior year, including the role of Ko-Ko in The Mikado.


Alan Ladd appeared unbilled in Once in a Lifetime, but the studio eventually decided Alan Ladd was too blond and too short, and it dropped him after six months.


At 20, Alan Ladd graduated from high school on February 1,1934.


Alan Ladd worked in the advertising department of the San Fernando Sun Valley Record, becoming the newspaper's advertising manager.


Alan Ladd sold cash registers and borrowed $150 to open his own hamburger and malt shop, across from his previous high school, which he called Tiny's Patio, but he was unable to make a success of the shop.


Alan Ladd was injured falling off a scaffold and decided to quit.


Alan Ladd managed to save and borrow enough money to attend an acting school run by Ben Bard, who had taught him when he was under contract at Universal.


In 1936, Alan Ladd played an unbilled role in Pigskin Parade.


Alan Ladd had short-term stints at MGM and RKO and got regular professional acting work only when he turned to radio.


Alan Ladd had worked to develop a rich, deep voice ideal for that medium, and in 1936 he was signed by station KFWB as its sole radio actor.


Alan Ladd stayed for three years at KFWB, working as many as 20 shows per week.


One night Alan Ladd was playing the roles of a father and son on radio when he was heard by the agent Sue Carol.


Alan Ladd was impressed and called the station to talk to the actors and was told it was one person.


Alan Ladd arranged to meet him and, impressed by his looks, she signed him to her books and enthusiastically promoted her new client in films as well as on radio.


Alan Ladd tested unsuccessfully for the lead in Golden Boy but obtained many other small roles in films such as the serial The Green Hornet, Her First Romance, The Black Cat, and the Disney film The Reluctant Dragon.


Alan Ladd's career gained extra momentum when he was cast in a featured role in Joan of Paris, a wartime drama made at RKO.


Alan Ladd auditioned successfully, and Paramount signed him to a long-term contract in September 1941 for $300 per week.


Alan Ladd then appeared in Lucky Jordan, a lighter vehicle with Helen Walker, playing a gangster who tries to get out of war service and tangles with Nazis.


Alan Ladd had a cameo spoofing his tough guy image in Star Spangled Rhythm, which featured most of Paramount's stars, and then starred in China with Loretta Young for director John Farrow, with whom Ladd made a number of movies.


Alan Ladd briefly served in the US Army Air Forces' First Motion Picture Unit.


Alan Ladd was posted to the Walla Walla Army Air Base at Walla Walla, Washington, attaining the rank of corporal.


Alan Ladd attended the Oscars in March 1943, and in September he appeared in a trailer promoting a war loan drive titled Letter from a Friend.


Old Alan Ladd films were reissued with his being given more prominent billing, such as Hitler, Beast of Berlin.


Alan Ladd was reportedly receiving 20,000 fan letters per week.


Alan Ladd's black-lashed eyes gave nothing away; it was 'take me as I am' or 'I'm the boss around here'.


Alan Ladd never flirted nor even seemed interested.


In March 1944, Alan Ladd took another physical and was reclassified 1A.


Alan Ladd would have to be reinducted into the army, but a deferment was given to enable Ladd to make Two Years Before the Mast.


Alan Ladd was meant to be re-inducted on September 4,1944, but Paramount succeeded in getting this pushed back again to make Salty O'Rourke.


Alan Ladd found time to make a cameo in a big-screen version of Duffy's Tavern.


However, in May 1945, the US Army released all men 30 or over from induction, and Alan Ladd was finally free from the draft.


Alan Ladd next made Calcutta, which reteamed him with John Farrow and William Bendix.


Alan Ladd was meant to make California with Betty Hutton, but he refused to report for work in August 1945.


Alan Ladd then convinced Ladd that he should play the title role in an adaptation of The Great Gatsby, to which Paramount held the film rights; Ladd became enthusiastic at the chance to change his image, but the project was delayed by a combination of censorship wrangles and studio reluctance.


Alan Ladd earned a reported $88,909 for the 12 months up to June 1946.


Alan Ladd made a cameo appearance as a detective in the Bob Hope comedy, My Favorite Brunette, and he made another cameo in an all-star Paramount film, titled, Variety Girl, singing Frank Loesser's "Tallahassee" with Dorothy Lamour.


Alan Ladd was reteamed with Lake for the final time in Saigon, then made Whispering Smith, his first Western since he became a star.


Alan Ladd followed this with Beyond Glory, a melodrama with Farrow, which featured Audie Murphy in his film debut.


Since he had become a star, Alan Ladd has appeared in radio, usually in dramatizations of feature films for such shows as Lux Radio Theatre and Screen Directors Playhouse.


Alan Ladd created roles played both by himself, but other actors, including the part of Rick Blaine in an adaptation of Casablanca.


Alan Ladd's next role was a significant change of pace, playing Jay Gatsby in the 1949 version of The Great Gatsby, written and produced by Richard Maibaum.


In 1951, Alan Ladd's contract had only one more year to run.


Alan Ladd received a six-year offer to make Adventure Limited, a TV series.


In May 1951, Alan Ladd announced he had formed Alan Ladd Enterprises, his own production company, to produce films, radio, and TV, when his Paramount contract ended in November 1952.


Alan Ladd optioned the novel Shadow Riders of the Yellowstone by Les Savage.


Once Alan Ladd finished Botany Bay in February 1952, it was announced Alan Ladd's contract with Paramount would end early and be amended, so that he would make two more movies for the studio, at a later date.


Alan Ladd made Desert Legion, a film at Universal Studios, playing a member of the French Foreign Legion.


Alan Ladd was paid a fee and a percentage of the profits.


Alan Ladd signed an arrangement with Warwick Films to make three films in Britain, where the actor was very popular: a wartime saga titled The Red Beret, with Alan Ladd masquerading as a Canadian soldier in the Parachute Regiment, and a whaling story titled Hell Below Zero, based on the Hammond Innes book The White South.


Alan Ladd played a mountie in Saskatchewan for Universal in Canada and returned to Britain for his final film with Warwick, The Black Knight, a medieval swashbuckler, wherein Alan Ladd played the title role.


Alan Ladd signed to appear in some episodes of General Electric Theater on TV.


The first of these, "Committed", was based on an old episode of Box 13, which Alan Ladd was considering turning into a TV series.


For Jaguar, Alan Ladd produced, but did not appear in, A Cry in the Night.


Alan Ladd was meant to return to Paramount to make The Sons of Katie Elder, but he bought himself out of his Paramount contract for $135,000; the film was made a decade later, with John Wayne and Dean Martin, and was a big hit.


Alan Ladd made Farewell to Kennedy, another TV film for General Electric Theater; he hoped this would lead to a series, but that did not happen.


Alan Ladd then received an offer to star in Boy on a Dolphin, a film being made in Greece for 20th Century Fox.


The second film under the contract was Island of Lost Women, which Alan Ladd produced but did not appear in.


MGM hired Alan Ladd to make The Badlanders, a Western remake of The Asphalt Jungle, but like many of Alan Ladd's films around this time it was a box-office disappointment.


Alan Ladd was considered to play the lead in The Angry Hills, but Robert Mitchum eventually was cast.


For Walter Mirisch at United Artists, Alan Ladd appeared in The Man in the Net.


Alan Ladd produced a pilot for a TV series, starring William Bendix, called Ivy League.


That did not go to series; neither did The Third Platoon, another pilot Alan Ladd produced for Paramount, written by a young Aaron Spelling where Alan Ladd only did a voiceover.


Alan Ladd kept acting, following the path of many Hollywood stars made Duel of Champions, a peplum in Italy.


In 1963, Alan Ladd's career looked set to make a comeback, when he took a supporting role in The Carpetbaggers, based on the best-selling novel.


Alan Ladd announced plans to turn Box 13 into a feature-film script, and was hoping for cameos from old friends, such as Veronica Lake and William Bendix.


Alan Ladd gave her the money, thinking it was for alcohol.


Alan Ladd purchased some arsenic-based ant paste from a grocer and died by suicide by drinking it in the back seat of Ladd's car.


On November 2,1962, Alan Ladd was found lying unconscious in a pool of blood with a bullet wound near his heart.


At the time, Alan Ladd said he thought he heard a prowler, grabbed a gun, and tripped over, accidentally shooting himself.


Alan Ladd has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1601 Vine Street.


Alan Ladd's handprint appears in the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.


Alan Ladd married Marjorie Jane "Midge" Harrold, a high school sweetheart, in October 1936.


On March 15,1942, Alan Ladd married his agent and manager, former film actress Sue Carol in Mexico City.


Actor David Alan Ladd, who co-starred with his father as a child in The Proud Rebel, was married to Charlie's Angels star Cheryl Alan Ladd.


In January 1964, after injuring his knees, Alan Ladd hoped to recuperate at his house in Palm Springs.


Alan Ladd suffered from chronic insomnia and regularly used sleeping pills and alcohol to induce sleep.


Alan Ladd was buried in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.


Alan Ladd was buried with his wedding ring and a letter that his son David had written to him.


Alan Ladd died a wealthy man, with his holdings including a 5,000-acre ranch at Hidden Valley and a hardware store in Palm Springs.