Ralph Meeker

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Ralph Meeker Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • Meeker is buried the the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetary in Los Angeles.

    • Meeker's stage role in Mister Roberts was played by Phillip Carey in the movie version.

    • Meeker's final film appearance was in the 1980 film Without Warning.

    • Meeker played the same character in 1971's The Anderson Tapes as Frank Sinatra did in 1980's The First Deadly Sin.

    • While performing in Picnic on Broadway, Meeker was understudied in his role by Paul Newman.

    • Meeker and his wife, Colleen, co-produced the 1978 film My Boys are Good Boys.

    • Meeker was married twice: first to actress Salome Jens from 1964 to 1966, second to Colleen Meeker from 1970 until his death in 1988.

    • Meeker appeared in four episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Show including the pilot with Vera Miles.

    • In one of his best movie roles, Meeker played a French soldier wrongly sentenced to face a firing squad in Stanley Kubrick's 1957 classic Paths of Glory.

    • Meeker starred as Mickey Spillane's tough guy private eye Mike Hammer in 1955's Kiss Me Deadly.

    • When the film version of Picnic was made in 1956 William Holden played Meeker's stage role on-screen.

    • Meeker's greatest stage success was as Hal Carter in the original Broadway version of William Inge's Picnic. He was awarded the New York Critic's Circle Award for this role in 1954.

    • Meeker made his film debut in 1951's Teresa.

    • Meeker stepped in for vacationing Ed Sullivan and guest hosted Talk of the Town several times in the early 1950's.

    • Meeker successfully managed to replace Marlon Brandon as Stanley Kowalski in 1949 in the original Broadway play A Streetcar Named Desire. Play author Tennessee Williams later said that Meeker's physical appearance was much closer to how he originally envisioned Kowalski than Brando's.

    • Meeker understudied star Henry Fonda in the original Broadway production of Mister Roberts but never had to go on-stage for Fonda.

    • Meeker's big stage break came when he played a supporting role in the original stage production of Mister Roberts. He received a Theatre World award as a Promising Personality for his role.

    • Meeker joined the Navy during World War II but received a medical discharge when he suffered a neck injury.

    • Meeker appeared in an episode of Wagon Train playing the title character of A Man Called Horse. This episode was later made into a movie starring Richard Harris in 1970.

    • Meeker played an Army psychologist in the classic 1967 war drama The Dirty Dozen.

    • Meeker graduated from Northwestern University in 1942.

    • Meeker attended high school at the Leelanau School for Boys in Glen Arbor, Michigan. He is a member of that school's Hall of Fame.

    • Meeker played Chicago gangland boss George "Bugs" Moran in the 1967 film The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Producer/director Roger Corman later said he chose Meeker because he bore a strong resemblance to the real life Moran.

    • Meeker was born Ralph Rathgeber. His parents names were Ralph and Magnhild Rathgeber.

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