John Agar

John Agar

  • Highest Rated: 100% Sands of Iwo Jima (1950)
  • Lowest Rated: 22% Revenge of the Creature (1955)
  • Birthday: Jan 31, 1921
  • Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • John Agar was one of a promising group of leading men to emerge in the years after World War II. He never became the kind of star that he seemed destined to become in mainstream movies, but he did find a niche in genre films a decade later. Agar was the son of a Chicago meatpacker and never aspired to an acting career until fate took a hand in 1945, when he met Shirley Temple, the former child star and one of the most famous young actresses in Hollywood. In a whirlwind romance, the 17-year-old Temple married the 25-year-old Agar. His good looks made him seem a natural candidate for the screen and, in 1946, he was signed to a six-year contract by producer David O. Selznick. He never actually appeared in any of Selznick's movies, but his services were loaned out at a considerable profit to the producer, beginning in 1948 with his screen debut (opposite Temple) in John Ford's classic cavalry drama Fort Apache, starring John Wayne and Henry Fonda. His work in that movie led to a still larger role in Ford's She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, also starring Wayne. Those films were to mark the peak of Agar's mainstream film career, though John Wayne, who took a liking to the younger actor, saw to it that he had a major role in The Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), which was one of the most popular war movies of its era. In 1949, however, Temple divorced Agar and his career slowed considerably; apart from the film he did with Wayne, the most notable aspect of his career that year was his appearance in the anti-Communist potboiler I Married a Communist (aka The Woman on Pier 13). During the early '50s, he appeared in a series of low-budget programmers such as The Magic Carpet, one of Lucille Ball's last feature films prior to the actress becoming a television star, and played leads in second features, including the offbeat comedy The Rocket Man. Agar seemed destined to follow in the same downward career path already blazed by such failed mid-'40s leading men as Sonny Tufts, when a film came along at Universal-International in 1955 that gave his career a second wind. The studio was preparing a sequel to its massively popular Creature From the Black Lagoon, directed by Jack Arnold, and needed a new leading man; Agar's performance in an independent film called The Golden Mistress had impressed the studio and he was signed to do the movie. Revenge of the Creature, directed by Arnold, was nearly as successful as its predecessor, and Agar had also come off well, playing a two-fisted scientist. He was cast as the lead in Arnold's next science fiction film, Tarantula, then in a Western, Star in the Dust, and then in The Mole People, another science fiction title. In between, he also slipped in a leading-man performance in Hugo Haas' crime drama Hold Back Tomorrow. He left Universal when the studio refused to give him roles in a wider range of movies, but his career move backfired, limiting him almost entirely to science fiction and Western movies for the next decade. In 1956, the same year that he did The Mole People, Agar made what was arguably the most interesting of all his 1950s films, Flesh and the Spur, directed by Edward L. Cahn for American International. The revenge Western, in which he played a dual role, wasn't seen much beyond the drive-in circuit, however, and was not widely shown on television; it is seldom mentioned in his biographies despite the high quality of the acting and writing. Agar was most visible over the next few years in horror and science fiction films, including Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, Attack of the Puppet People, The Brain From Planet Arous, Invisible Invaders, and Journey to the Seventh Planet. Every so often, he would also work in a mainstream feature such as Joe Butterfly or odd independent features like Lisette, but it was the science fiction films that he was most closely associated with and where he found an audience and a fandom. Coupled with his earlier movies for Universal, those films turned Agar into one of the most vis

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

No Score Yet Shield for Murder Mark Brewster 2003
No Score Yet Invasion of Privacy Old Convict 1992
No Score Yet The Perfect Bride Gramps 1991
No Score Yet Fear Leonard Scott Levy 1990
40% Nightbreed Special Appearance 1990
90% Miracle Mile Ivan Peters 1989
No Score Yet Perfect Victims Actor 1987
No Score Yet Horrible Horror Actor 1987
No Score Yet Mr. No Legs Actor 1981
51% King Kong City Official 1976
No Score Yet Big Jake Bert Ryan 1971
83% Chisum Patton 1970
29% The Undefeated Christian 1969
No Score Yet Night Fright Sheriff Clint Crawford 1967
88% The St. Valentine's Day Massacre Dion O'Bannion 1967
No Score Yet Women of the Prehistoric Planet Dr. Farrell 1966
No Score Yet Curse of the Swamp Creature Barry Rogers 1966
No Score Yet Zontar The Thing from Venus Dr. Curt Taylor 1966
No Score Yet Johnny Reno Ed Tomkins 1966
No Score Yet Hell Raiders Actor 1965
No Score Yet Law of the Lawless Pete Stone 1964
No Score Yet Cavalry Command Sgt. Judd Norcutt 1963
No Score Yet Journey to the Seventh Planet Capt. Don Graham 1962
No Score Yet Invisible Invaders Maj. Bruce Jay 1959
No Score Yet Attack of the Puppet People Bob Westley 1958
33% The Brain from Planet Arous Steve March 1957
No Score Yet Daughter of Dr. Jekyll Janet Smith 1957
43% The Mole People Dr. Roger Bentley 1956
No Score Yet Flesh and the Spur Luke Random/Matt Random 1956
No Score Yet Star in the Dust Sheriff Bill Jorden 1956
No Score Yet The Lonesome Trail Actor 1955
22% Revenge of the Creature Prof. Clete Ferguson 1955
94% Tarantula Dr. Matt Hastings 1955
No Score Yet The Golden Mistress Bill Buchanan 1954
No Score Yet The Magic Carpet Ramoth 1951
No Score Yet Along the Great Divide Billy 1951
No Score Yet Breakthrough Lt. Joe Mallory 1950
100% Sands of Iwo Jima Pfc. Peter Conway 1950
No Score Yet The Woman on Pier 13 (I Married a Communist) Don Lowry 1949
95% She Wore a Yellow Ribbon Lt. Flint Cohill 1949
100% Fort Apache Lt. Michael "Mickey" O'Rourke 1948

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

No Score Yet Highway to Heaven
1984-1989
Guest Morton Clay
  • 1984
No Score Yet Charlie's Angels
1976-1981
Colonel Blaylock
  • 1976
No Score Yet Rawhide
1959-1965
Grant Anderson
  • 1960
  • 1959
No Score Yet Perry Mason
1957-1966
Kenneth Baxter
  • 1959

QUOTES FROM John Agar CHARACTERS

Dr. Curt Taylor
"Some Kind of Progressive Jazz?"
Dr. Curt Taylor
Some kind of progressive jazz?