A young Sterling Hayden
You might remember this man in the role of the somewhat psychotic Air Force General Ripper in the 1964 film, Dr. Strangelove—or as the brutally corrupt police chief in the 1972 film The Godfather, but by the time these two films became box-office successes, Sterling Hayden had already starred in films for twenty-three years. He stood 6’5” tall and weighed around 230 pounds. In some Hollywood circles, he was ‘the most beautiful man in movies.’ But, as it turns out, Sterling Hayden was much more than that.
He was christened Sterling Relyea Walter shortly after his birth in Montclair, New Jersey on 26 March 1916. After the death of his father, he went to live with his maternal uncle, whose name he took. Like many young men of his day, he yearned for the adventurous life, so at the age of 16-years, Hayden quit school…
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