One of the popular exotic actors from Hollywood’s Studio Era has died. Turhan Bey was the son of a Turkish diplomat and a Czechoslovakian Jewish mother. Born in Vienna, after the annexation of Austria to Nazi Germany, his family emigrated to the US in 1940. He was discovered by talent scouts from Warner Brothers. Bey was immediately cast in several of The Falcon series of motion pictures.
Often cast as suave and sometimes dubious types, he worked opposite Katharine Hepburn, Errol Flynn, John Wayne, and Peter Lorre. He became an ideal co-star in Technicolor foreign films, many times alongside Maria Montez. They appeared together in Raiders of the Desert, Arabian Nights, White Savage, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Bowery to Broadway, Follow the Boys, and Sudan. Turhan also was popular in horror and film noir flicks, including The Mummy’s Tomb, Footsteps in the Dark, The Mad Ghoul, and The Amazing Mr. X. He is best remembered for co-starring in The Dragon Seed.
KATE HEPBURN / TURHAN BEY
In 1953, Bey returned to Europe, and pursued careers as a photographer and stage director. Though retired from cinema, his adoring fans dubbed him The Turkish Delight for his dark good looks. He had a brief renaissance in the 1990s, appearing in episodes of the science fiction television series Babylon 5, and a guest starring role in Murder She Wrote. He received his one-and-only accolade, receiving an Emmy nomination when he worked on the small screen.
Turhan Bey was 90.
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