Troy Donahue

Biography

Troy Donahue (January 27, 1936 – September 2, 2001) was an American actor, known for being a teen idol. Born Merle Johnson, Jr., Donahue was initially a journalism student at Columbia University before he decided to become an actor in Hollywood, where he was represented by Rock Hudson's agent, Henry Willson. According to Robert Hofler's 2005 biography, The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson, Willson tried out the name Troy on Rory Calhoun and James Darren, with no success, before it finally stuck to Donahue. The blond heartthrob established himself with uncredited roles in The Monolith Monsters and Man Afraid in 1957, leading to larger parts in several films. He starred in Monster on the Campus, Live Fast, Die Young, and The Tarnished Angels, all in 1958, and opposite fellow teen idol Sandra Dee in A Summer Place in 1959. The latter made him a star, especially among teenage audiences. He signed a contract with Warner Bros. and played several successive leading roles in films such as Rome Adventure and A Distant Trumpet. The latter two co-starred Suzanne Pleshette, whom he married in 1964 but divorced later that same year. After the release of My Blood Runs Cold (1965), Donahue's contract with Warner Bros. ended. He later struggled to find new roles and had problems with drug addiction and alcoholism. He was married again in 1966, to actress Valerie Allen, but they divorced in 1968. In 1970 he appeared in the daytime drama The Secret Storm. In 1974 he was cast in his most high profile role, a small part in The Godfather Part II as the new fiancé of Connie Corleone. His character was called Merle Johnson, Donahue's real name. Donahue also starred in the 1960s television series Surfside 6. Donahue spent his last few years with his fiancée, mezzo-soprano Zheng Cao. He died of a heart attack at the age of 65.

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Birth Name

Merle Johnson, Jr.

Birth Place

Nueva York, Nueva York, Estados Unidos

Birth Date

1/27/1936

Death Date

9/2/2001
Known For
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Deadly Prey

Don Michaelson

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Click: The Calendar Girl Killer

Alan

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Shock 'Em Dead

Record Exec

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Una Trompeta Lejana

2nd Lt. Matthew 'Matt' Hazard

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Those Fantastic Flying Fools

Gaylord Sullivan

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Rome Adventure

Don Porter

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Palm Springs Weekend

Jim Munroe

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The Phantom Gunslinger

Bill

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Grandview, U.S.A.

Donny Vinton

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Parrish

Parrish McLean

Starring In
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The Godfather Supplements

Merle Johnson (archive footage)

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Legion

Flemming

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A Dirty Little Business

FBI Agent

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The Pamela Principle

Troy

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Double Trouble

Leonard

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Deadly Diamonds

Matt Plimpton

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Shock 'Em Dead

Record Exec

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Cry-Baby

Hatchet's Father

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Click: The Calendar Girl Killer

Alan

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Omega Cop

Slim

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Terminal Force

Slim

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The Chilling

Dr. Miller

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Party Nerds Toga Bash: Assault of the Party Nerds/Heavy Petting Detective

Sid Witherspoon

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Blood Nasty

Barry Hefna

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Hardrock Nightmare

Uncle Gary

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Dr. Alien

Dr. Ackerman

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Hawkeye

Mayor

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Deadly Prey

Don Michaelson

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Fight to Win

Rosenberg

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Cyclone

Bob Jenkins

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Hollywood Cop

Lt Maxwell

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Low Blow

John Templeton

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Grandview, U.S.A.

Donny Vinton

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Diner

Johnny Hunter (archive footage)

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The Godfather: Part II

Merle Johnson

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South Seas

Steve

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Cockfighter

Randall Mansfield

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Die Herrscherin des Bösen

Mark Frost

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Hollywood Massaker

Moon

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The Phantom Gunslinger

Bill

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Those Fantastic Flying Fools

Gaylord Sullivan

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My Blood Runs Cold

Ben Gunther

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Una Trompeta Lejana

2nd Lt. Matthew 'Matt' Hazard

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Palm Springs Weekend

Jim Munroe

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Rome Adventure

Don Porter

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Parrish

Parrish McLean

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Susan Slade

Hoyt Brecker

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The Crowded Sky

McVey

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Imitation of Life

Frankie

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A Summer Place

Johnny Hunter

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Monster on the Campus

Jimmy Flanders

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The Perfect Furlough

Sgt. Nickles

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Flood Tide

Teenager at Beach (uncredited)

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This Happy Feeling

Tony Manza

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Voice in the Mirror

Paul Cunningham

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The Monolith Monsters

Hank Jackson (uncredited)

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The Tarnished Angels

Frank Burnham

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Man of a Thousand Faces

Assistant Director in Bullpen (uncredited)

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Man Afraid

Reporter (uncredited)

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