George Nader (October 19, 1921 – February 4, 2002) was an American film and television actor. He appeared in a variety of films from 1950 through 1974, including Sins of Jezebel (1953), Congo Crossing (1956), and The Female Animal (1958). During this period, he also did episodic television and starred in several series, including NBC's The Man and the Challenge (1959–60). In the 1960s he made several films in Germany, playing FBI agent Jerry Cotton. He is remembered for his first starring role, in the low-budget 3-D sci-fi film Robot Monster (1953), known as "one of the worst films ever made".
George Nader, circa 1959–60
|Born||October 19, 1921|
Pasadena, California, United States
|Died||February 4, 2002 (aged 80)|
Woodland Hills, California, United States
|Robot Monster (film)|
The Man and the Challenge (TV)
Jerry Cotton series (film)
|Awards||Golden Globe, Most Promising Newcomer – Male (1955)|
Discreetly gay during his acting career, he and his life partner Mark Miller were among Rock Hudson's closest friends. After retiring from acting, he wrote Chrome (1978), a science-fiction novel dealing positively with a same-sex relationship.
Nader was born in Pasadena, California, the son of Alice (née Scott), who was from Kansas, and George G. Nader, who was from Illinois and of Lebanese heritage. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in theatre arts at Occidental College.
Nader began his acting career in 1950. He appeared in several productions at the Pasadena Playhouse over four years, which led to a number of bit parts in films. He was in Rustlers on Horseback (1950) for Republic Pictures while also appearing on stage in Summer and Smoke at the Pasadena Playhouse.
He had small parts in You're in the Navy Now (1951), The Prowler (1951), Take Care of My Little Girl (1951), The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951), and Two Tickets to Broadway (1951). He had a bigger part in a Tim Holt Western, Overland Telegraph (1951), and a drama, Monsoon (1952). He was going to star in a film called GI Smith, but production was cancelled. He had unbilled bit roles in the studio films Phone Call from a Stranger (1951) and Down Among the Sheltering Palms (1952).
Nader's first starring role was in Robot Monster (1953), a 3-D feature film directed by Phil Tucker. Although the film is remembered primarily for its "camp" attributes as "one of the worst films ever made", it was financially successful and led to more prominent roles for Nader in other films. He supported Paulette Goddard in Sins of Jezebel (1953) and had a supporting role in Carnival Story (1954). He was the male love interest for Miss Robin Crusoe (1954) at Fox.
His rugged good looks won him a contract with Universal Studios, for which he made a number of films, although he often found himself in the shadow of more famous leading men such as Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis, and Jeff Chandler. His first film for Universal was a Western, Four Guns to the Border (1954), wherein he was billed beneath Rory Calhoun and Colleen Miller. He followed it with Six Bridges to Cross (1955), supporting Tony Curtis and Julie Adams in a role that Chandler had turned down.
Nader was promoted to lead in The Second Greatest Sex (1955) opposite Jeanne Crain and in Lady Godiva of Coventry (1955) opposite Maureen O'Hara, stepping in for Chandler again. In 1955, he won a Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer."
He starred opposite Virginia Mayo in Congo Crossing (1956) and was second-billed to Chandler in Universal's expensive war epic Away All Boats (1956). He was Esther Williams's leading man in The Unguarded Moment (1956), which starred a young John Saxon. He had top billing in Four Girls in Town (1957) and Man Afraid (1957). Nader supported Audie Murphy in Joe Butterfly (1957), a military comedy. He had the lead in Appointment with a Shadow (1958) and Flood Tide (1958). He was Hedy Lamarr's love interest in The Female Animal (1958), replacing John Gavin. He had the starring role in Nowhere to Go, a 1958 British crime drama featuring the screen debut of Maggie Smith.
Nader moved into regular television roles in the late 1950s, appearing in several short-lived series, including The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen (1959) and The Man and the Challenge (1959–60). In the 1961–62 season, he appeared as insurance investigator Joe Shannon in the syndicated crime drama Shannon, co-starring with Regis Toomey.
Nader had the title role in a European swashbuckler, The Secret Mark of D'Artagnan (1963). He made Zigzag (1963) in the Philippines and The Great Space Adventure (1964) for Albert Zugsmith. He starred in The Human Duplicators (1965) and regularly guest-starred on TV shows. Nader went to Germany to star as FBI agent Jerry Cotton in the German film Tread Softly (1965). It was a hit and led to a series of films: Manhattan Night of Murder (1965), Tip Not Included (1966), The Trap Snaps Shut at Midnight (1966), Murderers Club of Brooklyn (1967), Death in the Red Jaguar (1968), Death and Diamonds (1968), and Dead Body on Broadway (1969).
In the 1970s, Nader suffered an eye injury in an automobile accident, which made him particularly sensitive to the bright lights of movie sets and forced him to retire from acting. He began writing, including his 1978 science fiction novel Chrome, which dealt with a forbidden romance between a man and an android (also male).
According to Variety's Army Archerd, Nader had completed a book called The Perils of Paul (the title being a play on the melodrama serial The Perils of Pauline) about the gay community in Hollywood, which he did not want published until after his death.
Although Nader was not openly gay during his film career, he generally did not feign relationships with women to conceal it, instead deflecting questions by saying that he had not met "the right one".
Miller worked as Rock Hudson's personal secretary from 1972 until the star's death, and the couple inherited the interest from Hudson's $27 million estate after his death from AIDS complications in 1985. Hudson biographer Sara Davidson described Nader, Miller, and another person as "Rock's family for most of his adult life." Nader publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation shortly afterward.
Nader and Miller eventually settled in Palm Springs.
Stricken by multiple medical problems, Nader entered the hospital in September 2001. He died on February 4, 2002 in Woodland Hills, California, of cardiopulmonary failure, pneumonia, and multiple cerebral infarctions. He was survived by Miller (with whom he had spent 55 years), his cousins Sally Kubly and Roberta Cavell, and his nephew, actor Michael Nader. His ashes were scattered at sea; a cenotaph in his honor, together with Mark Miller and Rock Hudson, exists in Cathedral City's Forest Lawn Cemetery. In 2002, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.
|1950||Rustlers on Horseback||Jack Reynolds||Credited as George Nadar|
|1950–1953||Fireside Theater||Web Martin/George||TV, 2 episodes|
|1951||You're in the Navy Now||Crew member||Uncredited|
|Take Care of My Little Girl||Jack Gruber||Uncredited|
|The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel||Commando||Uncredited, alternative titles: Rommel, Desert Fox & The Desert Fox|
|Two Tickets to Broadway||Charlie, Crosby's Sound Technician||Uncredited|
|Overland Telegraph||Paul Manning|
|1952||Phone Call from a Stranger||Pilot||Uncredited|
|Gruen Guild Playhouse||TV, 1 episode|
|Big Town||TV, 1 episode|
|Han glömde henne aldrig||Chris Kingsley||(English version, voice)|
|1953||Down Among the Sheltering Palms||Lt. Homer Briggs||Uncredited|
|Your Jeweler's Showcase||TV, 1 episode|
|Robot Monster||Roy||Alternative titles: Monster from Mars & Monsters from the Moon|
|Schlitz Playhouse of Stars||Richard||TV, 1 episode|
|Your Play Time||TV, 1 episode|
|Sins of Jezebel||Jehu|
|Hallmark Hall of Fame||TV, 1 episode|
|1953–1961||The Loretta Young Show||Various roles||TV, 8 episodes|
|1954||The Pepsi-Cola Playhouse||TV, 2 episodes|
|Carnival Story||Bill Vines|
|Cavalcade of America||Eliphalet Remington II||TV, 2 episodes|
|Four Guns to the Border||Bronco||Alternative title: Shadow Valley|
|Miss Robin Crusoe||Jonathan|
|1954–1957||Lux Video Theatre||Dr. Frank Matson / Don / Jeremy||TV, 3 episodes|
|1955||Six Bridges to Cross||Edward Gallagher|
|The Second Greatest Sex||Matt Davis|
|Lady Godiva of Coventry||Lord Leofric|
|1956||Congo Crossing||David Carr|
|Away All Boats||Lieutenant Dave MacDougall|
|The Unguarded Moment||Lieutenant Harry Graham||Alternative title: The Gentle Web|
|1957||Four Girls in Town||Mike Snowden|
|Man Afraid||Rev. David Collins|
|Joe Butterfly||Sgt. Ed Kennedy|
|Climax!||Harry Parker||TV, 1 episode|
|Appointment with a Shadow||Paul Baxter|
|Flood Tide||Steve Martin||Alternative title: Above All Things|
|1958||The Female Animal||Chris Farley|
|Nowhere to Go||Paul Gregory|
|1959||The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen||Ellery Queen||TV, 25 episodes|
|The Man and the Challenge||Dr. Glenn Barton||TV, 36 episodes|
|1960||Laramie||Wells Clark||TV, 1 episode|
|1961||The Andy Griffith Show||Dr. Robert Benson||TV, 1 episode|
|Shannon||Joe Shannon||TV, 36 episodes|
|1962||The Secret Mark of D'Artagnan||d'Artagnan|
|The Great Space Adventure|
|A Walk by the Sea|
|1965||The Human Duplicators||Glenn Martin||Alternative titles: Space Agent K1 & Jaws of the Alien|
|Burke's Law||Chris Maitland||TV, 1 episode|
|Schüsse aus dem Geigengasten||Jerry Cotton|
|Espionage in Lisbon||Drunk entering hotel-room||Uncredited|
|Manhattan Night of Murder||Jerry Cotton|
|1966||The Trap Snaps Shut at Midnight||Jerry Cotton|
|Die Rechnung – eiskalt serviert||Jerry Cotton|
|1967||Der Mörderclub von Brooklyn||Jerry Cotton|
|The Million Eyes of Sumuru||Agent Nick West|
|The House of 1,000 Dolls||Stephen Armstrong|
|1968||Dynamit in grüner Seide||Jerry Cotton|
|Radhapura – Endstation der Verdammten||Steve Weston|
|Tod im Roten Jaguar||Jerry Cotton|
|1969||Todesschüsse am Broadway||Jerry Cotton|
|1972||Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law||TV, 1 episode|
|The F.B.I.||TV, 1 episode|
|1973||Beyond Atlantis||Nereus||Alternative title: Sea Creatures|
|1974||Nakia||McMasters||Television movie, (final film role)|
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- The Life Story of GEORGE NADER Picture Show; London64.1657 (Jan 1, 1955): 12.
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- Bachelor George Nader Bored by Going Out 'Just to Be Seen' Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File); Los Angeles, Calif. [Los Angeles, Calif]23 June 1957: E3.
- UNIVERSAL CASTS TWO IN NEW FILM: Jane Powell, George Nader to Appear in 'Female Animal' --Actor Replaces Gavin By THOMAS M. PRYOR Special to The New York Times.. New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]17 May 1957: 19.
- "DID YOU KNOW?". The Australian Women's Weekly. 30, (4). Australia, Australia. 27 June 1962. p. 9 (Teenagers' Weekly). Retrieved 13 October 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
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- "George Nader, 80, Actor and Sci-Fi Writer". New York Times. 2002-02-12. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
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- Archerd, Army (2002-02-04). "Nader's death another sad finale to a glamorous H'w'd life". Variety. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
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- Wilson, Scott. Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed.: 2 (Kindle Locations 34104-34105). McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. Kindle Edition
- "Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-10-13. Retrieved 2013-03-27.