Sterling Relyea Walter Hayden was born on March 26, 1916 in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. Hayden had a restless spirit and dropped out of school at 16. He took a job on a schooner and sailed to Newport Beach, California. He later became a commercial fisherman and operated a charter yacht, eventually sailing around the world several times. Hayden’s acting career started in 1941 with Paramount Studios but after two films he joined the Marines where he was recommended for officers school and became an undercover agent as John Hamilton. After leaving the military in 1945. On returning to film making his career was filled with peaks and valleys. Such hits like “Johnny Guitar”, “The Lost Command” and “Dr. Strangelove” were followed by many lesser quality films. He was offered the role of Tarzan replacing Lex Barker but turned down the role. He was offered the role of Quint in ‘75s “Jaws” he was unable to accept do to problems with the IRS on tax issues. Instead he headed overseas and he appeared in his only Euro-western “Cipolla Colt” (aka “Spaghetti Western”) (1975) as Henry ‘Jack’ Pulitzer opposite Franco Nero. Hayden wrote to acclaimed novels Wanderer (1963) and Voyage (1976). Hayden retired to the seaside community of Sausalito, California where he died of prostate cancer on May 23, 1986. Today we remember Sterling Hayden on what would have been his 95th birthday.
Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1946 I have a BA degree in American History from Cal St. Northridge. I've been researching the American West and western films since the early 1980s and visiting filming sites in Spain and the U.S.A. Elected a member of the Spaghetti Western Hall of Fame 2010.