Full Name: Derek Delevan Harris

Description: Actor, Director, Cinematographer, Screenwriter, Producer
Known For: Known for the film – “The Ten Commandments” – 1956
Location: CA, United States of America

Date Born: 12th August 1926
Location Born: Hollywood, California, United States of America

Date Died: 22nd May 1998
Location Died: Santa Maria, California, United States of America
Cause Of Death: Cardiovascular disease

Memorial: Unknown


Web Site: John Derek at the Internet Movie Database

Other Links: For other links about this entertainer click on the Links button above


John Derek

John Derek (August 12, 1926 – May 22, 1998) was an American actor, director and photographer. He appeared in such films as Knock on Any Door, All the King’s Men, and Rogues of Sherwood Forest. He was also known for marrying glamorous starlets and for launching the career of his last wife, Bo Derek.

Derek was born Derek Delevan Harris in Hollywood, California, the son of actor/director Lawson Harris and actress Dolores Johnson. His striking good looks were noticed, and he was being groomed for a movie career by both David O. Selznick and his agent Henry Willson (who gave him the temporary screen name of ‘Dare Harris’) when he was drafted in 1944 into the United States Army, and saw service in the Philippines during the last days of World War II.

After the war, Derek approached Humphrey Bogart, who renamed him John Derek and cast him as Nick (Pretty Boy) Romano, an unregenerate killer, in Knock on Any Door (1949), a socially conscious 1949 melodrama.Derek was recognized as a talented newcomer, “plainly an idol for the girls,” as Bosley Crowther put it in a review for The New York Times.

Derek followed that picture with a supporting role as the son of Broderick Crawford in All the King’s Men (1949), the Best Picture Oscar winner for its year. He played leads in Fury at Showdown, and as Robin Hood in Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950) with Alan Hale. He also appeared as Joshua in The Ten Commandments (1956). But he found himself featured increasingly as a hero or villain in a string of unimpressive B-movies—crime melodramas, westerns, pirate pictures and costume dramas.

Unsatisfied with his career as an actor, Derek turned to film directing. He directed his second wife Ursula Andress in two films, and third wife Linda Evans in one. He also worked as a director of four films with fourth wife, Bo Derek. Ghosts Can’t Do It (1990) was his last in the director’s chair. An accomplished photographer, Derek photographed the last three of his four wives (at different times) for nude spreads in Playboy magazine.

Personal life

Derek married Russian-born prima ballerina Pati Behrs in 1948. The couple had two children, Russell and Sean Catherine, before their divorce in 1956 He was married to Swiss-American actress Ursula Andress from 1957 to 1966 and to American actress Linda Evans from 1968 to 1974. His last marriage was to Bo Derek in 1976 and they remained together until he died in 1998.


John Derek died from cardiovascular disease in Santa Maria, California at the age of 71. His remains were cremated

Films include

Nightmare in the Sun (1965)
Once Before I Die (1965)
Exodus (1960)
Battellieri del Volga, I (1959)
High Hell (1958)
Omar Khayyam (1957)
The Flesh Is Weak (1957)
Fury at Showdown (1957)
Corsaro della mezzaluna, Il (1957)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
The Leather Saint (1956)
Run for Cover (1955)
An Annapolis Story (1955)
Prince of Players (1955)
The Adventures of Hajji Baba (1954)
The Outcast (1954)
Sea of Lost Ships (1954)
Mission Over Korea (1953)
The Last Posse (1953)
Ambush at Tomahawk Gap (1953)
Prince of Pirates (1953)
Thunderbirds (1952)
Scandal Sheet (1952)
The Family Secret (1951)
Saturday’s Hero (1951)
Mask of the Avenger (1951)
Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950)
All the King’s Men (1949)
Knock on Any Door (1949)
A Double Life (1947)
I’ll Be Seeing You (1944)
Since You Went Away (1944)
The Nest (1943)

LINKS:John Derek at the Internet Movie Database

  1. ^ “John Derek.”

    The New York Times. Retrieved: August 12, 2011.

  2. Jump up ^ “John Derek, 71, Actor Known As Wife’s Svengali, Is Dead.”

    The New York Times. Retrieved: August 12, 2015.

  3. ^ Jump up to: a b Maltin 1994, p. 224.
  4. ^ Jump up to: a b Maltin 1994, p. 225.
  5. Jump up ^ “John Derek: Director.”

    IMDb. Retrieved: May 18, 2013.

  6. Jump up ^ Donnelley 2005, p. 177.
  7. Jump up ^ “Beau Derek.”

    People magazine. Retrieved: November 17, 2008.