He was first billed as "Brad Dexter" in The Asphalt Jungle.
He was an amateur boxer before beginning theatrical training in the late 1930s.
His career received a significant boost in 1960 when he was cast as the smooth-talking gunfighter Harry Luck in The Magnificent Seven. Dexter's aptly-named character provides comic relief in the movie, particularly in the scenes where he quizzes various Mexican villagers regarding the whereabouts of what he believes to be is a hidden cache of riches.
He had three grandchildren.
He was a friend of Marilyn Monroe. In 1954, he unsuccessfully attempted to convince her to stay with Joe DiMaggio.
He was married three times: Peggy Lee (January 1953 until they divorced in September of the same year), Mary Bogdanovich (January 1970 until her death on June 12, 1994) and June Deyer (1994 until his death on December 12, 2002).
During the 1950s, the majority of the characters he played were hard cases of a usually villainous stripe, in both crime dramas and Westerns.
He continued acting into the 1970s then made a shift into producing.
The Magnificent Seven was his favourite of all of his films. He also regarded it as being the most fun to film.
He was apparently an excellent poker player.
He died on December 12, 2002 in Rancho Mirage, California suffering from emphysema.
His birth name was Boris Milanovich.
He is best known for his role as Harry Luck, one of the title characters of The Magnificent Seven. However, he is the one of the seven whom no one can ever remember.
He was a close friend of Frank Sinatra. Their relationship began in 1964 when he saved him from drowning. Sinatra was swimming at the beach while on location during the filming of None But the Brave. He began to be pulled into the undertow along with his female co-star.
Dexter immediately sprang to his aid and was able to save them both. He was awarded by the Red Cross for his heroism. The two later had a falling out and Dexter complained about Sinatra's pettiness and the fact that he never thanked him or gave him credit for saving him.
He was the second husband of Peggy Lee. They were married from January to September 1953.
He was a close friend of Karl Malden for over fifty years.
He originally changed his name to Barry Mitchell.
He joined the Air Corps during World War II and was assigned to the troupe performing the Moss Hart Broadway tribute to the Corps, Winged Victory.
He spoke Serbo-Croatian.
His parents were Yugoslavian immigrants.