John Derek

John Derek

  • Highest Rated: 100% Scandal Sheet (1952)
  • Lowest Rated: 0% Bolero (1984)
  • Birthday: Aug 12, 1926
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • John Derek was the son of writer/director Lawson Harris and bit-actress Dolores Johnson. Signed by David O. Selznick in 1943, Derek made his film debut as an extra in Since You Went Away, playing a soldier--which indeed he was at the time. His first starring role was as a death-row juvenile delinquent in Columbia's Knock on Any Door (1949), in which he was given more screen time than nominal star Humphrey Bogart. Most of Derek's subsequent Columbia assignments were in workaday "B" costume pictures and westerns; he enjoyed his best role in years, that of John Wilkes Booth, in 20th Century-Fox's Prince of Players (1954). By 1961, Derek's film career was seriously flagging, obliging him to sign on as one of the stars of the 26-week TV series Frontier Circus. Unhappy with his progress (or lack of it) as an actor, Derek turned director for the 1966 wartime flick Once Before I Die. Derek used many of his directorial efforts as showcases for his various "protege" wives: Ursula Andress, Linda Evans, and Bo Derek. When not playing "Svengali" (an appellation he fully accepted with high good humor, as did his lovely "Trilbys"), John Derek kept busy as a director and cinematographer on such quasi-erotic films as Bolero (1984) and Ghosts Can't Do It (1990). Derek had suffered from heart trouble for many years; on May 20, 1998, the 71-year-old director was found unconscious in his Santa Ynez Valley home. Despite doctor's efforts, the damage to his heart muscle proved too great and on May 22, he passed away.


Highest Rated Movies








No Score Yet Childish Things Director 2014
No Score Yet Ghosts Can't Do It Director Screenwriter 1990
0% Bolero Screenwriter 1984
No Score Yet Fantasies Producer Screenwriter Director 1981
10% Tarzan, the Ape Man Director 1981
No Score Yet Confessions of Tom Harris Director 1969
No Score Yet Once Before I Die Producer Bailey Director 1965
64% Exodus Taha 1960
No Score Yet Fury At Showdown Brock Mitchell 1957
No Score Yet Omar Khayyam Malik the Young Prince 1957
97% The Ten Commandments Joshua 1956
No Score Yet An Annapolis Story Tony J. Scott 1955
No Score Yet Prince Of Players John Wilkes Booth 1955
No Score Yet Run for Cover (Colorado) Davey Bishop 1955
No Score Yet The Adventures of Hajji Baba Hajji Baba 1954
No Score Yet The Outcast Jet Cosgrave 1954
No Score Yet Big Moment Actor 1954
No Score Yet Mission over Korea Lt. Pete Barker 1953
No Score Yet Ambush at Tomahawk Gap Kid 1953
No Score Yet The Last Posse Jed Clayton 1953
100% Scandal Sheet Steve McCleary 1952
No Score Yet Saturday's Hero Steve Novak 1951
No Score Yet Mask of the Avenger Capt. Renato Dimorna 1951
No Score Yet Rogues Of Sherwood Forest Robin, Earl of Huntington 1950
97% All the King's Men Tom Stark 1949
70% Knock on Any Door Nick Romano 1949
71% A Double Life Police Stenographer 1947
No Score Yet I'll Be Seeing You Lieutenant Bruce 1945
83% Since You Went Away Actor 1944


If Dathan so much as looks at you, I'll strangle him with his own whip.
God made men. Men made slaves.