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Don Terry (born Donald Prescott Loker, August 8, 1902 – October 6, 1988) was an American film actor, best known for his lead appearances in B films and serials in the 1930s and early 1940s. His best known role is probably playing the recurring character of Naval Commander Don Winslow in Universal Pictures serials of the early 1940s, including Don Winslow of the Navy (1942) and Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (1943).

Don Terry
1928 Don Terry.jpg
Terry in 1928
Donald Prescott Loker

August 8, 1902
DiedOctober 6, 1988 (aged 86)


Early life and backgroundEdit

Terry was born Donald Loker (though some sources give Locher) in Natick, Massachusetts in 1902. He was a 1925 graduate of Harvard.[1][2]

Terry was discovered while visiting Los Angeles as a tourist. During the visit, he hoped to see some film stars, but had been disappointed. Nearing the end of his trip, he decided to have lunch at Hollywood's Café Montmartre since it was a favorite of many in the film industry. Terry thought he might finally see a film star while having lunch, but found only other tourists who had the same hope.[1] However, Fox screenwriter Charles Francis Coe was at the restaurant and happened to see Terry and thought of the screenplay he had just completed, based on his 1927 novel.[3] Coe introduced himself and asked Terry if he was in the film industry. He gave Terry his business card and invited him to the Fox lot for a screen test. Terry went to the lot expecting only to be able to see some film stars. When Terry's screen test came out of the film laboratory, he was signed as the lead in the 1928 film Me, Gangster, the screenplay Coe had just written.[1]

Film careerEdit

Don Terry on his film debut in Me, Gangster (1928), opposite Anders Randolph

Known for his "typical clean-cut American hero roles",[4] it was also noted that Terry was "not the most facile of actors".[5] He was a contemporary of Victor Jory, Paul Kelly, and Charles Quigley, who all portrayed "bare-knuckled, sleeves-rolled-up hard hats" in various films.[6]

In the late 1930s, he appeared in several films directed by Charles C. Coleman, including A Fight to the Finish (1937), Paid to Dance (1937),[7] Who Killed Gail Preston? (1937),[8] When G-Men Step In (1938),[9] and Squadron of Honor (1938).[10] His best known role is probably playing the recurring character of Naval Commander Don Winslow in Universal Pictures serials of the early 1940s, including Don Winslow of the Navy (1942)[11] and Don Winslow of the Coast Guard (1943), co-starring Elyse Knox.[12] Knox previously worked with Terry in Top Sergeant (1942).[12] Terry appeared in Danger in the Pacific (1942) as a scientist, co-starring Louise Allbritton.[13] Other credits include Fugitives (1929), Border Romance (1929), The Secret of Treasure Island (1938), Barnacle Bill (1941), Overland Mail (1942), Sherlock Holmes in Washington (1943) and White Savage (1943), his last screen appearance before enlisting in the U.S. Navy. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander and was awarded the Purple Heart. He left the Navy in 1946 and never returned to film.[14]

Post-film life and careerEdit

In 1941, Terry married Katherine Bogdanovich, a daughter of the founder of StarKist tuna.[15] Bogdanovich, a 1940 graduate of University of Southern California (USC), shared an interest in Olympic competition with her husband. She tried out for the 1932 Olympics as a sprinter.[15] The couple had two daughters, and after completing his World War II service, Terry dropped his screen name and went to work for StarKist as vice president of public and industrial relations.[2]

Loker retired from the company in 1965, and the couple then devoted their time and energies to various philanthropic projects by establishing the Donald and Katherine Loker Foundation.[2] The Foundation supported many projects, with a special emphasis on the colleges that were the Lokers' alma maters. They supported USC as board members of long standing, and with financial gifts of more than $30 million over a period of time. The Lokers were long-time friends of Richard and Pat Nixon and were also supporters of the Nixon Library.[15][15][16] Despite the Lokers' lack of experience in chemistry, Carl Franklin, who was at the time USC's legal vice president, referred them to the university's hydrocarbon research institute, which was established in 1978 with the Lokers' financial aid.[17] In 1983, it was renamed Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute in their honor.[17] He died at Oceanside, California on October 6, 1988, aged 86. After his death, his widow continued the couple's philanthropic efforts until her death in 2008.[2][18]

Partial filmographyEdit


  1. ^ a b c Bailey, Vernon (January 1929). Embarrassment. Photoplay. pp. 74, 105. Retrieved November 24, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Littlejohn, Donna (July 17, 2008). "Obituary: Loker helped local colleges". Daily Breeze. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  3. ^ Langman, Larry (1 January 1998). American Film Cycles: The Silent Era. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-313-30657-0.
  4. ^ Fyne, Robert (1997). The Hollywood Propaganda of World War II. Scarecrow Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-8108-3310-4.
  5. ^ Fletcher, Anthony L. (November 2009). Don't Dare Miss the Next Thrilling Chapter. Hillcrest Publishing Group. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-936107-18-6.
  6. ^ Sklar, Robert; Zagarrio, Vito. Frank Capra: Authorship and the Studio System. Temple University Press. p. 234. ISBN 978-1-4399-0489-3.
  7. ^ Langman, Larry; Finn, Daniel (1 January 1995). A Guide to American Crime Films of the Thirties. Greenwood Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-313-29532-4.
  8. ^ Rainey, Buck (1992). Sweethearts of the sage: biographies and filmographies of 258 actresses appearing in western movies. McFarland & Company Incorporated Pub. p. 516. ISBN 978-0-89950-565-7.
  9. ^ Moscati, Massimo (1986). I predatori del sogno: i fumetti e il cinema (in Italian). Edizoni Dedalo. p. 143. ISBN 978-88-220-4517-1.
  10. ^ Slide, Anthony (1 January 1999). Actors on Red Alert: Career Interviews with Five Actors and Actresses Affected by the Blacklist. Scarecrow Press. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-8108-3649-5.
  11. ^ Rowan, Terry. World War II Goes to the Movies & Television Guide. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-105-58602-6.
  12. ^ a b Fitzgerald, Michael G.; Magers, Boyd (2 February 2006). Ladies of the Western: Interviews with Fifty-One More Actresses from the Silent Era to the Television Westerns of the 1950s and 1960s. McFarland. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-7864-2656-0.
  13. ^ Monush, Barry (2003). "Louise Allbritton". The Encyclopedia of Film Actors from the Silent Era to 1965. Vol. 1. New York City: Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. p. 8. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b c d "Katherine Bogdanovich Loker; Philanthropist supported Oceanside schools and USC". Union-Times San Diego. June 29, 2008. Archived from the original on December 5, 2014. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  16. ^ "White House East Room Opens August 21". PR Newswire. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  17. ^ a b Olah, George Andrew (2001). "Moving to Los Angeles: Building the Loker Institute—Hydrocarbons and Hydrocarbon Research". A Life of Magic Chemistry: Autobiographical Reflections of a Nobel Prize Winner. New York City: Wiley-Interscience. pp. 114+. Retrieved December 19, 2014 – via Google Books.
  18. ^ "In Memoriam: Katherine B. Loker, 92". USC Dornsife. June 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2014.

External linksEdit