Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Remembering Todd Armstrong

John Harris Armstrong was born on July 25, 1937 in St. Louis, Missouri. He moved to California and studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, where his classmates included Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman. His entry into films came when he was working as a landscape gardener for actress Gloria Henry, who played the mother on the Dennis the Menace television series. Henry learned of her gardener's acting aspirations and successfully arranged for Armstrong to get a screen test at Columbia.

Armstrong appeared in 13 episodes of the TV series “Manhunt” and had supporting roles in the 1962 films “Walk On The Wild Side” (where he was credited as Todd Anderson) and “Five Finger Exercise”. “Jason And The Argonauts” was his first starring role, although his voice was redubbed by an uncredited British actor, Tim Turner.

He had only one additional leading role, in Bryan Forbes' “King Rat” (1965); his later work consisted of supporting parts in films and guest work on television work including his only Euro-western “Thunder at the Border” (1966) with Rod Cameron. Todd died in Butte, California on November 17 1992 of a self-inflicted gunshot. Today we remember Todd Armstrong on what would have been his 75th birthday.

1 comment:

  1. It's so sad that Todd Armstrong committed suicide because he was so talented. He was suffering from depression and from what I gather, at the time of his death, he was abusing alcohol. He drank heavily and hardly left the house and when he DID leave the house, he would always go to a local Italian restaurant where he had his usual meal of spaghetti and wine. But on the day of November 7, 1992, when he didn't show up at the restaurant, a concerned friend went to Todd's home only to find him on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood. He was dead. He had shot himself in the head with a shotgun. He was 55 years old. RIP Todd Armstrong.