Alana Ladd's son tells us what the Shane star was like at home.

HE WAS OF­TEN CAST AS TOUGH GUYS, BUT THE LEG­ENDARY MOVIE STAR SHOWED A TEN­DER SIDE WHEN IT CAME TO HIS FAM­ILY

Closer Weekly - - Contents - ALAN LADD JR.

Alan Ladd never in­tended to be a movie star. He was work­ing as a crew mem­ber on a film at Warner Bros. in the early 1930s when “he saw Er­rol Flynn do­ing all these won­der­ful things and said, ‘I can do that!’ ” his son, Alan Ladd Jr., tells Closer. “And from there it just snow­balled.”

Even as he found fame in film noir fa­vorites like This Gun for Hire and such Western clas­sics as Shane, Alan Sr. main­tained the same worka­day at­ti­tude with which he’d been raised. His fa­ther died when Alan Sr. was 6, and his mother re­mar­ried a house pain­ter. The fam­ily lived in a mi­grant camp in Pasadena, Calif., be­fore Alan Sr. got in­volved in the movie in­dus­try. “He never dis­cussed” his dif­fi­cult child­hood, Alan Jr. says.

Nor did he trum­pet his own star­dom. Alan Jr. didn’t even know his dad was an ac­tor un­til he saw a pre­view for an up­com­ing movie when he was only six or seven. “I never saw him get caught up in fame,” Alan Jr. says.

Alan had di­vorced Alan Jr.’s mom, Mar­jorie Har­rold, a few years ear­lier, and he soon re­mar­ried ac­tress/agent Sue Carol. “My step­mother was more in­volved with the busi­ness than he was,” Alan Jr. re­mem­bers. “She was an ex­traor­di­nary woman, and he was a good hus­band.”

He was close with Alan Jr. as well as his chil­dren with Sue, Alana and David (who also be­came an ac­tor and pro­ducer). Says Alan Jr., “He was a good fa­ther.”

THIS AC­TOR FOR HIRE

“I don’t care how small the parts are, as long as they’re good,” Alan Sr. once said, and he passed along this hum­ble out­look to Alan Jr., who be­came a pro­ducer and stu­dio ex­ec­u­tive. “I learned it’s not nec­es­sary to scream and yell at peo­ple,” Alan Jr. says. “I was very quiet and laid-back, just like he was.”

Sadly, Alan Sr. died of an ac­ci­den­tal over­dose at 50 in 1964, but his le­gacy lives on. Says Alan Jr., “He was a good guy.” — Bruce Fretts, with

re­port­ing by Amanda Cham­pagne-Mead­ows

“It’s nat­u­ral to want your kids to have the things you didn’t.” — Alan Ladd Sr.

Jr. won an Os­car for Brave­heart Alan Sr. be­came an icon as the gun­fighter who be­friended Bran­don deWilde in 1953’s Shane.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.