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David Hedison's bio as prepared and written by the powers-that-be within 20th Century Fox.  This bio is taken from Voyage's syndication package issued in 1968 upon the original entry of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea into the syndication market.
Minor editing has been performed in the interests of readability.

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David Hedison
Commander Lee Crane in

     Al (David) Hedison, who plays Commander Lee Crane in Irwin Allen's VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, the 20th Century-Fox Television adventure-drama, is a Hollywood bachelor who lives like one.

     The 6'1", 180-pound leading man with black hair and hazel eyes, has a hide-away canyon home that once belonged to the late Jean Harlow.

     He gained recognition in Hollywood as both a thespian and bon vivant after a conventional boyhood in Providence, Rhode Island. An only child, young Al was expected to go into his father's jewelry business, but immediately started thinking about other things such as what a dashing life Tyrone Power led in "Blood and Sand." After seeing the bull-fighting film four times, he had his answer--he was going to become an actor--no questions.
   crane.jpg - 11233 Bytes        Until he was graduated from high school at 17, he attended every movie he could, with special attention paid to John Wayne films. Then he joined the U.S. Navy, serving fourteen weeks of boat training at Sampson, New York, followed by several months of routine duty in Jacksonville, Florida. On discharge, he had achieved the rank of Seaman, 2nd Class.  

     Upon reading that John Ford was going to direct a movie in Mexico, Hedison wrote him, explained he had no experience as an actor, but was confident of his ability. He would be willing to work in any capacity, in front of or behind the cameras, to get started. He enclosed a snap-shot of himself in Navy Whites, his cap cocked snappily on the back of his head.

     Ford replied promptly, disclosing that the film would not be made after all, but wishing Hedison success. He also enclosed the names of people in Hollywood who might be able to help if ever the aspiring actor came to California. The reply wound up with: "And the next time you send your picture to an ex-Navy four-striper, be sure to square your hat, sailor!"

     At this point, Hedison figured he should head for New York, to learn something about acting. His father, however, thought Brown University was the place for him, and so he reluctantly agreed to give it a try. He quit after three years, and enrolled in the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater.

     The first year, Hedison won a Barter Theater Award, and the following summer, he played stock in Virginia. The following summer, he played four parts, all Indians, then worked the following summer in "Thunderland," which he calls "a sprawling outdoor pageant which plagues the countryside seasonally in much the same way mosquitoes do."

     Simultaneously, to fill his daytime hours and his wallet, Hedison became an announcer for a local radio station in Asherville. That autumn, he began his second and last year at The Neighborhood Playhouse and graduated in the spring. Hedison's final summer of stock was at The White Barn Theater in Pittsburgh, where he played 14 leading roles in 15 weeks.

     He subsequently returned to New York, where he appeared in two Kraft Theater television shows, "Big Story" and "Star Tonight" as well as several commercials. Maybe he was going to make it as an actor after all!

     About this time, Uta Hagen was preparing to star in the off-Broadway production, "A Month In the Country." She recommended Hedsion to director Michael Redgrave. He auditioned, won the part, and wound up working with some of the finest actors and one of the outstanding directors in contemporary theater. For his performance in "A Month In the Country," he won the Theater World Award as Most Promising Newcomer, the only one of the ten recipients that year to hail from off-Broadway.

     Twentieth Century-Fox spotted Al Hedison (as he was still known at the time), put him under long term contract, and brought him to Hollywood for a featured role in "The Enemy Below," directed by Dick Powell and co-starring Robert Mitchum and Kurt Jurgens.

     Next, Hedison starred in 20th's "The Fly," Fox's first venture into science fiction. The film proved a big winner at the box-office. Hedison was then off to England to star in "Son of Robin Hood," and returned to co-star with Luciana Paluzzi as David Hedison in the TV series "Five Fingers," in which he played a U.S. counter-espionage agent.

     Following this series, Hedison co-starred in Irwin Allen's production of Canon Doyle's "The Lost World" for Fox. Japan and a co-starring role in "Marines, Let's Go" was the next step, a film directed by veteran Raoul Walsh.

     His most recent appearance was in George Steven's "The Greatest Story Ever Told."

David Hedison, Vital Statistics

Real Name:      Albert David Hedison Jr.
Birthplace:        Providence, Rhode Island
Birth date:         May 20, 1927
Height:             6'1"
Weight:            180 lbs
Hair:                Black 


Credits (Up to Voyage)

Motion Picture
THE ENEMY BELOW 20th Century-Fox
THE FLY 20th Century-Fox
THE SON OF ROBIN HOOD 20th Century-Fox
THE LOST WORLD 20th Century-Fox
MARINES, LET'S GO 20th Century-Fox

FIVE FINGERS 20th Century-Fox
HONG KONG 20th Century-Fox

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