De Wilde, Brandon Biography

biography of De Wilde, Brandon

Andre Brandon deWilde
9 April 1942, Brooklyn, New York, USA
6 July 1972, Denver, Colorado, USA (road accident)
5' 8 1/2"
Born into a theatrical family, he made a much-acclaimed Broadway debut at the age of nine in "The Member of the Wedding." He was the first child actor to win the Donaldson Award and went on to repeat his role in the film version directed by 'Fred Zinnemann' (qv) in 1952. As the blonde, blue-eyed Joey who idolizes the strange gunman ('Alan Ladd (I)' (qv)) in _Shane (1953)_ (qv), he stole the picture and was rewarded with an Oscar nomination the following year. He starred in his own television series _"Jamie" (1953)_ (qv) during 1953-54 and made his mark as a screen adolescent during the 1960s, playing younger brothers in _All Fall Down (1962)_ (qv) and _Hud (1963)_ (qv) starring 'Paul Newman (I)' (qv). However, he managed to keep his career building up to his adult status. While en route to visit his wife at a hospital where she had recently undergone surgery, he was killed in a vehicle accident as the camper van he was driving struck a parked truck. He was only thirty years old.

-   'Susan Margot Maw' (19 December 1963 - 21 March 1970) (divorced); 1 child

-   'Janice Gero' (25 March 1972 - 6 July 1972) (his death)

-   Although he was the only one of the four principal players not nominated for an Oscar for the 1963 film _Hud (1963)_ (qv), Brandon got to share Oscar night glory nevertheless when he went on stage to accept the Best Supporting Actor trophy for co-star 'Melvyn Douglas' (qv), who was in Israel at the time. 'Patricia Neal (I)' (qv) won for "best actress," but 'Paul Newman (I)' (qv) lost "best actor" to 'Sidney Poitier' (qv) for _Lilies of the Field (1963)_ (qv).

-   When he died he left behind one small son.

-   The son of a stage-manager father and actress mother. Made his stage debut at age seven in 492 performances of the Broadway hit, "The Member of the Wedding." He also became the first juvenile to win the Donaldson Award.

-   De Wilde is pronounced duh-WIL-duh.

-   Close friend (and sometimes singing partner) country-western legend Gram Parsons immortalized De Wilde's tragic death in Parsons' and Emmylou Harris's song "In My Hour of Darkness"; Once I knew a young man went driving through the night. Miles and miles without a word, with just his high-beam lights. Who'd have ever thought they'd build such a deadly Denver bend. To be so strong, to take as long as it would till the end.

-   His son's name is Jesse.

-   He was killed as the result of a traffic accident that occurred in the Denver suburb of Lakewood on the evening of July 6, 1972 at about 3:25 PM. He had been en route to visit his wife at a Denver hospital. He was driving a camper van, lost control and crashed into a parked construction truck on the side of the road, causing his camper to roll onto its side, pinning him in the wreckage of his vehicle for a while before being taken to St. Anthony Hospital where he died at 7:20 PM of multiple injuries including a broken back, neck, and leg. He was not wearing a seat belt. De Wilde had been in the Denver area to co-star in the Elitch Theatre production of Butterflies Are Free, which ended July 1.

-   Originally buried in Hollywood, California, but his parents later moved his remains to Pinelawn Memorial Park in Farmingdale, New York in Suffolk County, to be closer to their home in Long Island. Father, Frederick De Wilde died in 1980 and mother, Eugenia De Wilde died in 1987.

-   De Wilde had hoped to embark on a music career. He watched as Paul McCartney wrote the song Wait during the filming of the Beatles movie Help! (1965).

-   (1950- 1965). Active on Broadway in the following productions:

-   (1952) Stage: Member of the Wedding. Written by 'Carson McCullers' (qv). Directed by 'Harold Clurman' (qv). Empire Theatre: 5 Jan 1950- 17 Mar 1951 (501 performances). Cast: 'Ethel Waters' (qv) (as "Berenice Sadie Brown"), 'Julie Harris (I)' (qv) (as "Frankie Addams"), Margaret Barker (as "Mrs. West"), Mitzi Blake (as "Helen Fletcher"), 'Harry Bolden' (qv) (as "T.T. Williams"), Janet De Gore (as "Janice'), 'Brandon de Wilde' (as "John Henry West") [Broadway debut], Jimmy Dutton (as "Barney MacKean"), William Hansen (as "Royal Addams"), James Holden (as "Jarvis"), Phyllis Love (as "Muriel"), Henry Scott (as "Honey Camden Brown"), Joan Shepard (as "Doris"), Phyllis Walker (as "Sis Laura"). Understudy: Frederic de Wilde. Produced by 'Robert Whitehead (II)' (qv), Oliver Rea and Stanley Martineau. Produced by Robert Whitehead, Oliver Rea and Stanley Martineau. Note: Filmed by Stanley Kramer Productions (distributed by Columbia Pictures) as _The Member of the Wedding (1952)_ (qv) with Brandon De Wilde reprising his stage role as John Henry, along with Ms. Waters, Ms. Harris and Mr. Bolden recreating their stage roles.

-   (1952). Stage Play: Mrs. McThing. Comedy/fantasy. Written by 'Mary Chase (I)' (qv). Background music (played on the Theremin) by Mischa Tulin. Scenic Design and Lighting Design by Lester Polakov. Directed by 'Joseph Buloff' (qv). Martin Beck Theatre (moved to The Morosco Theatre from 25 Mar 1952- 1 Nov 1952, then moved to The 48th Street Theatre from 3 Nov 1952- close): 20 Feb 1952- 10 Jan 1952 (320 performances). Cast: 'Helen Hayes (I)' (qv) (as "Mrs. Howard V. Larue III"), 'Brandon De Wilde' (qv) (as "Boy/Howay"), 'Jules Munshin' (qv) (as "Poison Eddie Schellenbach"), 'Minnette Barrett' (qv) (as "Mrs. Schellenbach") [final Broadway role], 'Ernest Borgnine' (qv) (as "Nelson") [only Broadway role], Ann Buckles (as "Fairy"), Solen Burry (as "First Policeman"), Mildred Chandler (as "Grace Lewis"), 'Irwin Corey' (qv) (as "Dirty Joe"), Marga Ann Deighton (as "Maude Lewis"), Elsa Freed (as "Crone"), 'Fred Gwynne' (qv) (as "Stinker") [Broadway debut], 'William Lanteau' (qv) (as "Waiter/Virgil"), 'Enid Markey' (qv) (as "Evva Lewis"), Mary Michael (as "Carrie"), Lydia Reed (as "Mimi"), Robert Sagalyn (as "Second Policeman"), 'Paula Trueman' (qv) (as "Sybil"), Iggie Wolfington (as "Chef/Ellsworth"). Understudy: Solen Burry (as "Dirty Joe/Poison Eddie Schellenbach"). Replacement cast during Morosco Theatre run: 'Lee Bergere' (qv) (as "Nelson"), Frank Corsaro (as "Dirty Joe"), Robert Mariotti (as "Boy/Howay"), Raymond Niemi (as "Boy") [Alternate], Jada Rowland (as "Mimi") [Alternate]. Replacement cast during 48th Street Theatre Theatre run: Lee Bergere (as "Nelson"), Frank Corsaro (as "Dirty Joe"), Robert Mariotti (as "Boy/Howay"), Raymond Niemi (as "Boy") [Alternate], Jada Rowland (as "Mimi") [Alternate]. Produced by ANTA (Robert Whitehead, Managing Director).

-   (1953). Stage Play: The Emperor's Clothes. Drama. Written by 'George Tabori' (qv). Scenic Design by Lester Polakov. Costume Design by Ben Edwards. Lighting Design by Lester Polakov. Directed by 'Harold Clurman' (qv). Ethel Barrymore Theatre: 9 Feb 1953- 21 Feb 1953 (16 performances). Cast: John Anderson (as "Policeman/Singer"), Richard Case (as "A Boy"), David Clarke (as "The Man Without Shoes"), 'Lee J. Cobb' (qv) (as "Elek Odry"), Tamara Daykarhanova (as "Granny"), 'Brandon De Wilde' (qv) (as "Ferike"), Howard H. Fischer (as "Mr. Schmitz"), Mike Kellin (as "Second Rottenbiller Brother"), Esmond Knight (as "The Baron"), Allan Rich (as "Milkman"), Philip Rodd (as "The Fat Hugo"), Anthony Ross (as "Peter"), 'Maureen Stapleton' (qv) (as "Bella"), Michael Strong (as "First Rottenbiller Brother"), 'Nydia Westman' (qv) (as "Mrs. Schmitz"). The Playwrights' Company ('Maxwell Anderson (I)' (qv), 'S.N. Behrman' (qv), 'Elmer Rice (I)' (qv), Robert E. Sherwood, 'Sidney Howard (I)' (qv)).

-   (1958). Stage Play: Comes a Day. Drama. Written by Speed Lamkin. Directed by 'Robert Mulligan' (qv). Ambassador Theatre: 6 Nov 1958- 29 Nov 1958 (28 performances). Cast: 'Judith Anderson (I)' (qv) (as "Isabel Lawton"), Joseph Barr (as "Lewis"), 'Brandon De Wilde' (qv) (as "C.D. Lawton"), 'John Dutra (I)' (qv) (as "Bud"), 'Larry Hagman' (qv) (as "Jim Culpepper"), 'Ruth Hammond (II)' (qv) (as "Katherine Eubanks"), 'Arthur O'Connell' (qv) (as "Charley Lawton"), Michael J. Pollard (as "Joe Glover"), Eileen Ryan (as "Lorraine"), 'George C. Scott' (qv) (as "Tydings Glenn"), Lorna Thayer (as "Mrs. McCarthy"), Diana van der Vlis (as "Caroline Lawton"), Charles White (as "Gordie Eubanks"). Produced by Cheryl Crawford and 'Alan J. Pakula' (qv).

-   (1965). Stage Play: A Race of Hairy Men! Comedy. Written by 'Evan Hunter (I)' (qv). Directed by Elaine Perry. Henry Miller's Theatre: 29 Apr 1965- 1 May 1965 (4 performances + 12 previews that began on 17 Apr 1965). Cast: 'Brandon De Wilde' (qv) (as "Ralph") [final Broadway role], Martin Huston (as "Nick"), Joan McCall (as "Kathy"), April Shawhan (as "Bernstein"). Produced by Elaine Perry and Ben Edwards. Notes: (1). Evan Hunter often wrote under the name Ed McBain. (2). Brandon De Wilde would continue his stage career in regional theatrical productions. He would die as the result of a car accident on the 6th Avenue Freeway in Lakewood, CO after completing a road show run of "Butterflies Are Free" at the Elitch Theatre on 6 Jul 1972.

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Acting in movies

  1. How the West Was Lost (2008) (TV)
  2. "Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence" (2008) {Richard Gere (#1.8)}
  3. Go West, Young Man! (2003)
  4. George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984)
  5. America at the Movies (1976)
  6. Wild in the Sky (1972)
  7. The Deserter (1971)
  8. "Ironside" (1967) {In the Line of Duty (#5.6)}
  9. "Night Gallery" (1969) {Death in the Family/The Merciful/Class of '99/Witches' Feast (#2.2)}
  10. "Insight" (1960) {Confrontation}
  11. "The Virginian" (1962) {Gun Quest (#9.6)}
  12. "The Young Rebels" (1970) {To Hang a Hero (#1.4)}
  13. "Disneyland" (1954) {Those Calloways: Part 1 (#15.13)}
  14. "Disneyland" (1954) {Those Calloways: Part 2 (#15.14)}
  15. "Disneyland" (1954) {Those Calloways: Part 3 (#15.15)}
  16. "Hawaii Five-O" (1968) {King Kamehameha Blues (#2.8)}
  17. "Love, American Style" (1969) {Love and the Bachelor/Love and the Other Love/Love and the Positive Man (#1.12)}
  18. "The Name of the Game" (1968) {The Bobby Currier Story (#1.22)}
  19. "Journey to the Unknown" (1968) {One on an Island (#1.15)}
  20. "The Virginian" (1962) {The Orchard (#7.3)}
  21. The Trip (1967/II)
  22. "ABC Stage 67" (1966) {The Confession (#1.5)}
  23. "Combat!" (1962) {A Sudden Terror (#4.29)}
  24. In Harm's Way (1965)
  25. Those Calloways (1965)
  26. "The Defenders" (1961) {The Objector (#4.19)}
  27. The 36th Annual Academy Awards (1964) (TV)
  28. "12 O'Clock High" (1964) {Here's to Courageous Cowards (#1.11)}
  29. "Disneyland" (1954) {The Tenderfoot: Part 1 (#11.4)}
  30. "Disneyland" (1954) {The Tenderfoot: Part 2 (#11.5)}
  31. "Disneyland" (1954) {The Tenderfoot: Part 3 (#11.6)}
  32. "The Greatest Show on Earth" (1963) {Love the Giver (#1.27)}
  33. Hud (1963)
  34. "The Nurses" (1962) {Ordeal (#2.8)}
  35. All Fall Down (1962)
  36. "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955) {The Sorcerer's Apprentice (#7.39)}
  37. "The Virginian" (1962) {50 Days to Moose Jaw (#1.12)}
  38. "Thriller" (1960) {Pigeons from Hell (#1.36)}
  39. "Wagon Train" (1957) {The Mark Miner Story (#5.8)}
  40. Blue Denim (1959)
  41. "Alcoa Theatre" (1957) {Man of His House (#2.12)}
  42. "Wagon Train" (1957) {The Danny Benedict Story (#3.10)}
  43. The Missouri Traveler (1958)
  44. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#11.39)}
  45. Night Passage (1957)
  46. "The United States Steel Hour" (1953) {The Locked Door (#5.5)}
  47. Good-bye, My Lady (1956)
  48. "Climax!" (1954) {An Episode of Sparrows (#2.25)}
  49. "Screen Directors Playhouse" (1955) {Partners (#1.29)}
  50. "Star Stage" (1955) {Bend to the Wind (#1.35)}
  51. "Climax!" (1954) {The Day They Gave Babies Away (#2.14)}
  52. "Jamie" (1953) {Aunt Laurie's Birthday}
  53. "Jamie" (1953) {Bicycle Built for Jamie}
  54. "Jamie" (1953) {Camp}
  55. "Jamie" (1953) {Grandpa's Old Flame}
  56. "Jamie" (1953) {Jamie and the Pet Shop}
  57. "Jamie" (1953) {Jamie Becomes a Journalist}
  58. "Jamie" (1953) {Jamie Has Teacher Trouble}
  59. "Jamie" (1953) {Jamie Takes Violin Lessons}
  60. "Jamie" (1953) {Jamie's Birthday}
  61. "Jamie" (1953) {Laurie Enters Contest}
  62. "Jamie" (1953) {Laurie Goes on a Diet}
  63. "Jamie" (1953) {Laurie Makes Dough}
  64. "Jamie" (1953) {Love Comes to Annie Moakum}
  65. "Jamie" (1953) {Television Comes to Jamie}
  66. "Jamie" (1953) {The Arrival of Cousin Fred}
  67. "Jamie" (1953) {The Crush}
  68. "Person to Person" (1953) {(#1.18)}
  69. "The Colgate Comedy Hour" (1950) {(#4.23)}
  70. Shane (1953)
  71. "ABC Album" (1953) {Jamie (#1.3)}
  72. "Jamie" (1953) {(1953-11-23)}
  73. "Jamie" (1953) {(1953-11-30)}
  74. "Jamie" (1953) {Grandpa's Class Reunion (#1.4)}
  75. "Jamie" (1953) {Jamie Tents Out (#1.1)}
  76. "Jamie" (1953) {Liz's First Date}
  77. "Jamie" (1953) {The Glasses (#1.2)}
  78. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#6.52)}
  79. The Member of the Wedding (1952)
  80. "The Philco Television Playhouse" (1948) {A Cowboy for Chris (#4.16)}
  81. "The Philco Television Playhouse" (1948) {No Medals on Pop (#3.26)}
  82. "Toast of the Town" (1948) {(#4.4)}