Thursday, June 28, 2012

Remembering Tony Young

Carleton Leonard Young was born in New York City, New York on June 28, 1937. He was the son of Carleton G. Young [1907-1971], the voice of the original "Ellery Queen" on radio. Known professionally as Tony Young, he made his way west in the 1950s and graduated from Los Angeles City College. He also served in the U.S. Air Force. Working initially as an NBC page, his interest in acting had not flagged after all this time and the virile, brawny wannabe began landing TV roles in 1959 with such western shows as "Overland Trail" (1960), "The Deputy" (1959), "Bronco" (1958) and "Laramie" (1959), not to mention bit parts in the films Walk Like a Dragon (1960) and The Marriage-Go-Round (1961). In 1961 Tony was handed his own weekly series as a cavalry undercover agent in the TV western "Gunslinger" (1961). While the program was short-lived, it managed to basically pigeonhole him as a western actor. Such low-budget films as the westerns “He Rides Tall” and “Taggart” followed.

From there Tony moved to character work and supported Elvis Presley in his non-musical western “Charro!” (1969). In his only Euro-western Tony supported James Garner in his only Euro-western “A Man Called Sledge” (1970). Roles in action-adventure and blaxploitation flicks also came in the early 70s, with “Chrome and Hot Leather” (1971), “Play It As It Lays” and “Black Gunn” (both 1972), “Superchick” and “The Outfit” (both 1973). Reliable guestings on "Star Trek" (1966), "The Virginian" (1962), "Medical Center" (1969), "Bonanza" (1959) and "The Streets of San Francisco" (1972) kept him busy throughout the decade.

Twice married (and divorced) to actresses, Tony's father died of cancer in 1971 at age 64. Tony himself retired from acting in the early 1990s and succumbed to lung cancer on Febraury 26, 2002 in West Hollywood, California at the very same age as his father. Tony had one child by second wife Madlyn Rhue [1935-2003], his co-star on film and TV both before and after their divorce.

Today we remember Tony Young on what would have been his 75th birthday.

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