Leone actor John Frederick dies at age 96.
Veteran actor John Frederick, died in Palm Springs, California at the age of 96.
Frederick died at a Palm Springs-area hospital on November 11, 2012 after a two-month illness. Frederick had lived in the Desert Hot Springs area for many years, and until recently had been in good health and living in his own home. He was a familiar figure at Palm Springs social functions and had a star on that city’s Walk of Fame.
Frederick, whose real name was Frederick Stiffler, was born on his family’s farm on July 4, 1916 in Norwalk, Iowa, and fell in love with movies when he saw his first one at the Des Moines Orpheum. At 16, he raised a calf and sold it at the Iowa State Fair to earn money for his first trip to Hollywood.
He later attended Drake University and the University of Iowa before a short teaching career at Frederika. Then he gave in to the lure of show business, honing his skills on the New York stage. At 6-foot-2 and with an athletic physique and deep voice, he found that roles came easily.
He appeared in such films as "The Ten Commandments" (1956), "Cleopatra" (1963) "The Shoes of the Fisherman" (1968), and on television series such as "Superman", "Bonanza", "Wells Fargo", "Death Valley Days", and "Twilight Zone". But friends enrich our lives more than anything, and his included Mae West, Elizabeth Taylor, Ginger Rogers, and Ronald Reagan. Euro-westerns included “Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968), “Duck You Sucker” and “Blindman” (both 1971)
At one time in his career Frederick went by the name John Merrick because he was being confused with a Hollywood milliner named John Frederic.
Frederick documented his life story in a memoir, “Name Droppings on Your Head,” which was published in 1999.