Sterling Hayden

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Movie Actor
Date of Birth March 26, 1916
Place of Birth Montclair, New Jersey
Date of Death May 23, 1996 (80)
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Sterling Hayden

Sterling Walter Hayden was an American actor, author, and sailor. A leading man for most of his career, he specialized in westerns and film noir throughout the 1950s, in films such as John Huston's The Asphalt Jungle, Nicholas Ray's Johnny Guitar, and Stanley Kubrick's The Killing. He became noted for supporting roles in the 1960s, perhaps most memorably as General Jack D. Ripper in Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Hayden's success continued into the New Hollywood era, with roles such as Irish-American policeman Captain McCluskey in Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather, alcoholic novelist Roger Wade in Robert Altman's The Long Goodbye, and elderly peasant Leo Dalcò in Bernardo Bertolucci's 1900. With a distinctive "rapid-fire baritone" voice and standing at 6 feet 5 inches, he had a commanding screen presence in both leading and supporting roles.

Born: Sterling Relyea Walter, March 26, 1916, Upper Montclair, New Jersey, U.S.
Died: May 23, 1986, Sausalito, California, U.S.
Other names: Sterling Walter Hayden, John Hamilton
Occupation: Actor, author, sailor, model, Marine, OSS agent
Years active: 1941–82
Spouse(s): Madeleine Carroll (1942–46), Betty Ann de Noon (1947–58), Catherine Devine McConnell (1960–86)
Children: 6
IMDb: Sterling Hayden's IMDb

About Sterling Hayden

Billed by Paramount Studios as The Most Beautiful Man in the Movies, his 6'5" height made him a prototypical Western hero. His roles in The Godfather and The Long Goodbye brought him additional acclaim.

Before Fame

He dropped out of high school at age 16 to seek adventure as a mate on board a schooner. He later worked as a fisherman, and a yacht operator.


He was a decorated soldier in WWII, delivering seaborne supplies to communist-occupied Yugoslavia, and later helped to rescue downed air crews from enemy territory.

Family Life

He was born Sterling Relyea Walter in Montclair, New Jersey, to George and Frances Walter, and after his father's death was adopted by James Hayden and renamed Sterling Walter Hayden.


In one of his most famous roles, he played the aggressively coldblooded Brigadier General Jack Ripper in the Stanley Kubrick's classic, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Information related to Sterling Hayden

  • Leuchtturm des Chaos , a 1983 documentary profile of Sterling Hayden.
  • World War II spies for the United States
  • Paramount Pictures contract players
  • People of the Office of Strategic Services
  • American sailors
  • American communists
  • Male Western (genre) film actors
  • Male actors from New Jersey
  • American autobiographers
  • American Marine Corps personnel of World War II
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Latest information about Sterling Hayden updated on October 28, 2020.

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