Albert David Hedison Jr. (May 20, 1927 – July 18, 2019) was an American film, television, and stage actor. He was billed as Al Hedison in his early film work until 1959 when he was cast in the role of Victor Sebastian in the short-lived espionage television series Five Fingers. NBC insisted that he change his name and he proposed his middle name and he was billed as David Hedison from then on. He was known for his role as Captain Lee Crane in Irwin Allen's television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and as CIA agent Felix Leiter in two James Bond films, Live and Let Die and Licence to Kill.
Hedison at the Big Apple Convention, 2009
Albert David Hedison Jr.
May 20, 1927
Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
|Died||July 18, 2019 (aged 92)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Other names||Al Hedison|
|Spouse(s)||Bridget Mori Hedison (1968–2016; her death)|
|Children||2, including Alexandra Hedison|
He began his acting career with the Sock and Buskin Players at Brown University before moving to New York to study with Sanford Meisner and Martha Graham at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.
He acted at Newport Casino Theatre. In 1951 he won a Barter Theatre Award for most promising young actor, entitling him to work at a theatre in Virginia. He did radio in North Carolina and worked on stage in Pittsburgh.
His work on the New York stage includes an appearance in Much Ado About Nothing (1952). He was studying with Uta Hagen who recommended him for a role in the Broadway production of A Month in the Country (1956), directed by Michael Redgrave. It ran for 48 performances on Broadway. The Theatre World declared Hedison as one of the most promising theatre personalities of the 1955-56 season.
20th Century FoxEdit
After his role in A Month in the Country, Hedison signed a film contract with 20th Century Fox in May 1957. His first movie with them was the classic war film The Enemy Below (1957), which also starred Robert Mitchum.
Hedison was cast in the lead of a TV series made by Fox for NBC, Five Fingers (1959). He was reluctant to make it, especially when NBC insisted he change his first name to David. The series only lasted one season. Hedison guest starred on some Fox shows, Hong Kong and Bus Stop. He co-starred with Tom Tryon in Marines, Let's Go (1961).
Voyage to the Bottom of the SeaEdit
When the series ended, Hedison moved to London. "I liked London very much," he later said. "I just wanted to go and spend a couple years there ... It's two years I'm not sorry for. The problem was, when I came back to the U.S., it was more difficult getting work then."
Hedison guest starred on Journey to the Unknown, Love, American Style, ITV Sunday Night Theatre, BBC's Play of the Month, The F.B.I., and The New Perry Mason. He could be seen in Kemek (1970), A Kiss Is Just a Kiss (1971), Crime Club (1973), The Cat Creature, and The Man in the Wood. He was most proud of doing an adaptation of Summer and Smoke with Lee Remick.
James Bond and televisionEdit
Hedison played Felix Leiter in Live and Let Die (1973). He later said the film "didn't really do much for my career. I got some wonderful fan mail, sent my pictures out, but it didn't lead to any work at all."
He could be seen in North Sea Hijack (1980), episodes of Charlie's Angels, Nero Wolfe, Hart to Hart, T. J. Hooker, Matt Houston, Amanda's, Dynasty, Fantasy Island, Partners in Crime, The Fall Guy, The Love Boat, Simon & Simon, Double Trouble, Finder of Lost Loves, Knight Rider, Crazy Like a Fox, The A-Team, Trapper John, M.D., Hotel, The Colbys, Who's the Boss?, The Law & Harry McGraw, and Murder, She Wrote.
Hedison appeared in the West Coast premiere of Forty Deuce in 1985.
Hedison was the first actor to play James Bond's ally Felix Leiter in more than one film when he reprised the role in Licence to Kill (1989). Hedison thought he was asked back because "there was much more to do in the film than in the past, and they were afraid of using an unknown or someone they were not quite sure of."
"I think in this kind of film, it won't lead to other work unless you do something stand-out with a really wonderfully written scene," added Hedison." Otherwise you're just doing a job, part of the ensemble. And in this case, I have lots of action scenes, but no one scene that is memorable ... Felix is a fairly one-dimensional character, you never get into any depth. You do what you can. There's not much to play. All you can do is perform it with a simple reality ... It was running around, bang bang, getting wet, screaming and yelling, and all kinds of fun, but not serious acting."
He also starred in the New York City premiere of First Love with Lois Nettleton in 1999. He returned to the Cape Playhouse to appear in Tale of the Allergist's Wife (2002), and at Monmouth University's Pollak Theatre, in Love Letters with Nancy Dussault in 2007.
In 2006, he acted in The Scent of Jasmine at the Fountain Theatre in Los Angeles on November 13. In 2008, Hedison performed Uncle Vanya at the Actor's Studio West. He also participated in performances of The Cherry Orchard and I Never Sang for My Father in Los Angeles in 2009. He later appeared in The Marriage Play by Edward Albee.
His parents were Albert David Hedison (Heditsian) Sr. and Rose Boghosian; they were Armenian. He and his wife Bridget were married in London on June 29, 1968. Bridget Hedison died of breast cancer on February 22, 2016. They had two daughters, actor/director/photographer Alexandra Hedison and editor/producer Serena Hedison. Alexandra Hedison has appeared in L.A. Firefighters and The L Word and is married to actress and director Jodie Foster.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2019)
- The Enemy Below (1957) ... Lt. Ware
- The Fly (1958) ... Andre Delambre
- The Son of Robin Hood (1958) ... Jamie
- The Lost World (1960) ... Ed Malone
- Marines, Let's Go! (1961) ... Pfc. Dave Chatfield
- The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965) ... Philip
- Kemek (1970) ... Nick
- A Kiss Is Just a Kiss (1971) ... Kit Shaeffer
- Crime Club (1973) ... Nick Kelton (TV Movie)
- Live and Let Die (1973) ... Felix Leiter
- The Cat Creature (1973) ... Prof. Roger Edmonds (TV Movie)
- The Man in the Wood (1973) ... Edmund Hardy (TV Movie)
- The Compliment (1974) ... Steve Barker (TV Movie)
- For the Use of the Hall (1975) ... Allen (TV Movie)
- Adventures of the Queen (1975) ... Dr. Peter Brooks (TV Movie)
- The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975) ... Dr. Wes Dolan (TV Movie)
- The Art of Crime (1975) ... Parker Sharon (TV Movie)
- Murder in Peyton Place (1977) ... Steven Cord (TV Movie)
- Colorado C.I. (1978) ... David Royce (TV Movie)
- The Power Within (1979) ... Danton
- North Sea Hijack (1980) ... Robert King
- Kenny Rogers as The Gambler: The Adventure Continues (1983) ... Carson
- The Naked Face (1984) ... Dr. Peter Hadley
- Smart Alec (1986) ... Frank Wheeler
- Licence to Kill (1989) ... Felix Leiter
- Undeclared War (1990) ... US Ambassador
- Mach 2 (2000) ... Stuart Davis
- Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001) ... Daniel Alexander
- Spectres (2004) ... William
- The Reality Trap (2005) ... Morgan Jameson
- Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk (2017) ... Interviewee #2 (final film role)
|1959-1960||Five Fingers||Victor Sebastian||16 episodes|
|1961||Hong Kong||Roger Ames||Season 1, Episode 15: "Lesson in Fear"|
|Bus Stop||Max Hendricks||Season 1, Episode 11: "Call Back Yesterday"|
|1962||Perry Mason||Damion White||Season 6, Episode 6: "The Case of the Dodging Domino"|
|1964||The Saint||Bill Harvey||Season 2, Episode 19: "Luella"|
|The Farmer's Daughter||Richard Barden||Season 2, Episode 2: "The Mink Machine"|
|1964-1968||Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea||Captain Lee Crane||110 episodes|
|1965||ABC's Nightlife||Himself||1 episode|
|1967||Hollywood Squares||Himself - Panelist||5 episodes|
|The Mike Douglas Show||Himself||1 episode|
|You Don't Say!||Himself||2 episodes|
|Dream Girl of '67||Himself||5 episodes|
|1968||Journey to the Unknown||William Searle||Season 1, Episode 2: "Somewhere in a Crowd"|
|1972||ITV Sunday Night Theatre||Bill Kromin||Season 4, Episode 13: "A Man About a Dog"|
|Play of the Month||John Buchanan||Season 7, Episode 5: "Summer and Smoke"|
|1972-1973||The F.B.I.||Scott Jordan / Lou Forrester||2 episodes|
|1973||The New Perry Mason||Calvin Ryan||Season 1, Episode 12: "The Case of the Frenzied Feminist"|
|1973-1975||Cannon||David Farnum / John Sandler / Gordon Bell||3 episodes|
|1974||Shaft||Gil Kirkwood||Season 1, Episode 6: "The Capricorn Murders"|
|Medical Center||Dave||Season 5, Episode 17: "Dark Warning"|
|The Wide World of Mystery||Herbert Kasson||1 episode|
|The Manhunter||Jeffrey Donnenfield||Season 1, Episode 2: "The Man Who Thought He Was Dillinger"|
|The ABC Afternoon Playbreak||Clay||Season 3, Episode 1: "Can I Save My Children?"|
|1975||Bronk||Lyle Brewster||Season 1, Episode 13: "Betrayal"|
|1976||Ellery Queen||Roger Woods||Season 1, Episode 14: "The Adventure of the Eccentric Engineer"|
|Family||Peter Towne||2 episodes|
|1977||Barnaby Jones||Paul Nugent||Season 5, Episode 12: "The Deadly Charade"|
|Wonder Woman||Evan Robley||Season 2, Episode 7: "The Queen and the Thief"|
|Gibbsville||Season 1, Episode 13: "The Grand Gesture"|
|1977-1985||The Love Boat||Cliff Jacobs / Barry Singer / Bradford York / Allan Christensen / Sherman / Buddy Stanfield||7 episodes|
|1978||The Bob Newhart Show||Steve Darnell||Season 6, Episode 19: "It Didn't Happen One Night"|
|Project U.F.O.||Frederick Flanagan||Season 1, Episode 11: "Sighting 4011: The Dollhouse Incident"|
|Flying High||Glen Dodson||Season 1, Episode 8: "High Rollers"|
|1978-1981||Charlie's Angels||John Thornwood / Carter Gillis||2 episodes|
|1978-1984||Fantasy Island||Daniel Garman / Phillip Camden / Captain John Day / David Tabori / Karl Dixon / Claude Duncan / Carlyle Cranston||6 episodes|
|1979||Greatest Heroes of the Bible||Ashpenaz||Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar|
|Benson||John Taylor||Season 1, Episode 1: "Pilot"|
|1981||Nero Wolfe||Phillip Corrigan||Season 1, Episode 8: "Murder by the Book"|
|1982||Hart to Hart||Miles Wiatt||Season 3, Episode 13: "Hart of Diamonds"|
|T.J. Hooker||Saxon||Season 1, Episode 1: "The Protectors"|
|Romance Theatre||Marc||4 episodes|
|Matt Houston||Pierre Cerdan||Season 1, Episode 6: "Recipe for Murder"|
|1982-1985||The Fall Guy||Monte Sorrenson / Milo / Jordan Stevens||3 episodes|
|1983||Amanda's||David||Season 1, Episode 1: "All in a Day's Work"|
|Dynasty||Sam Dexter||2 episodes|
|1984||Partners in Crime||Davidson||Season 1, Episode 8: "Fantasyland"|
|1985||Simon & Simon||Austin Tyler||2 episodes|
|Double Trouble||David Burke||Season 2, Episode 12: "September Song"|
|Finder of Lost Loves||Neil Palmer||Season 1, Episode 18: "Haunted Memories"|
|Knight Rider||Theodore Cooper||Season 3, Episode 20: "Knight in Retreat"|
|A.D.||Porcius Festus||5 episodes|
|Crazy Like a Fox||Ed Galvin||Season 2, Episode 1: "Eye in the Sky"|
|The A-Team||David Vaughn||Season 4, Episode 9: "Mind Games"|
|Trapper John, M.D.||Miles Warner||Season 7, Episode 8: "The Second Best Man"|
|1985-1987||Hotel||Dr. Howard Bentley / Jack Fitzpatrick||2 episodes|
|1985-1987||The Colbys||Roger Langdon||9 episodes|
|1986-1989||Murder, She Wrote||Victor Casper / Victor Caspar / Mitch Payne||3 episodes|
|1987||Who's the Boss?||Jim Ratcliff||Season 3, Episode 23: "Mona"|
|The Law and Harry McGraw||Blake Devaroe||Season 1, Episode 3: "Mr. Chapman, I Presume?"|
|1992||Another World||Spencer Harrison||1 episode|
|2004||The Young and the Restless||Arthur Hendricks||50 episodes|
|Soap Talk||Himself||2 episodes|
- "David Hedison". The New York Times.
- Garfield, David (1980). "Appendix: Life Members of The Actors Studio as of January 1980". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 278. ISBN 0-02-542650-8.
- He Sold Anything and Finally Himself Hopper, Hedda. Chicago Daily Tribune July 3, 1960: b14.
- 3 PLAYERS SHARE DERWENT AWARDS: GETS ACTING PRIZE By SAM ZOLOTOW. New York Times, 21 May 1951: 23.
- Nichols, Mackenzie (July 22, 2019). "David Hedison, Actor in 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' and 'The Fly', Dies at 92". Variety. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- Theatre: Charming Play by Turgenev: 'Month in the Country' Staged at Phoenix By BROOKS ATKINSON. New York Times April 4, 1956: 23.
- STAGE AWARDS MADE: Theatre World Prizes Go to 'Promising Personalities' New York Times May 23, 1956: 35.
- Evans, Greg (July 22, 2019). "David Hedison Dies: 'Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea' Actor Was 92". Deadline. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
- Looking at Hollywood: Chicago Daily Tribune May 25, 1957: 17.
- "David Hedison, 'Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea' Actor, Dies at 92". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 23, 2019.
- $4 MILLION LATER: 20th Has Its Stars of Tomorrow Los Angeles Times August 16, 1959: E1.
- MRS. ROOSEVELT PLANS TV SERIES New York Times9 June 1959: 75.
- Tryon Will Star in Marine Drama: Locale to Be Japan, Okinawa; 'Exodus' Premiere Picketed Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times December 24, 1960: A4.
- p.157 Weaver, Tom David Hedison Interview in Eye on Science Fiction: 20 Interviews with Classic SF and Horror Filmmakers McFarland, June 1, 2007
- CAMERA ANGLES: Smooth sailing for David Hedison MacMINN, ALEENE. Los Angeles Times July 4, 1965: H4.
- David Hedison hopes for fame, again, in `License to Kill'Lee Goldberg. Distributed by Los Angeles Times Syndicate.. Chicago Tribune June 2, 1989: J.
- SIMON COMEDY 'CHAPTER TWO' AT FOX THEATRE, Los Angeles Times, September 26, 1979: sd4.
- STAGE REVIEW `FORTY-DEUCE' LOOKS AT MALE HUSTLERS' WORLD Los Angeles Times January 23, 1985: 7.
- First Love Gets a Shot At a Rare Second Chance Newsday12 Nov 1999: B35.
- Soap star made a buzz in original Fly Soapsuds Toronto Star17 Jan 1994: C7.
- David Hedison's Hollywood 'Voyage' The Spectrum; St. George, Utah [St. George, Utah]May 20, 2016: A.5.
- "Obituary". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 28, 2016.
- SOD (July 22, 2019). "Soap Alum David Hedison Dies at 92". Soap Opera Digest. United States: American Media, Inc. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
- David Hedison at Rotten Tomatoes
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to David Hedison.|
- Official website
- David Hedison on IMDb
- David Hedison at the Internet Broadway Database
- David Hedison at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- David Hedison at the TCM Movie Database
- David Hedison at Find a Grave
- Hedison on the Felix Leiter website
- Interview with David Hedison at Classic Film & TV Cafe
- Bridget Hedison obituary
- Mi6.co.uk Interviews David Hedison[permanent dead link]
| Felix Leiter actor
| Felix Leiter actor