Jeffrey Hunter was an American actor from New Orleans, Louisiana. Hunter grew up in Milwaukee, and began acting while he was in high school. He also performed on radio. He enlisted in the Navy upon graduation, and subsequently studied theater at Northwestern University. After his graduation in 1949, he enrolled as a graduate student at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he studied radio and was very active in the UCLA theater program. While a student at UCLA, Hunter was noticed by a Hollywood talent scout, and shortly afterwards signed a short contract with 20 Century Fox. In fewer than two years, he became a serious film actor and enjoyed top billing on several films, including "Red Skies of Montana" (1952) and "Sailor of the King" (1953). Hunter shared the screen with many legendary actors, including John Wayne and Spencer Tracy. He also appeared on television; his most notable role in that regard was Captain Christopher Pike on the first pilot episode of "Star Trek."