George Hamilton

George Hamilton Headshot

Actor

Birth Date: August 12, 1939

Age: 84 years old

Birth Place: Memphis, Tennessee

Spouses: Alana Stewart

Children: Ashley Hamilton

Handsome, charming, self-amused and of course, deeply tanned, George Hamilton was an actor whose long career in film and television was consistently overshadowed by his dashing persona both on and off-screen. Frequently cast as cads or hopeless romantics in films during the late 1950s and early 1960s, he enjoyed success in lightweight roles, but yearned for more substantive parts. His attempts to achieve such roles in the mid-1960s, such as his turn as Hank Williams in "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1964), were met largely with dismissal. He floundered through the 1970s until striking gold with "Love at First Bite" (1979), a winning comedy which cast him as a vain Count Dracula. Hamilton's ability to mock his own image proved his saving grace, and he enjoyed a fruitful run in the 1990s and 2000s as a comic presence in numerous films and television shows, often as himself. His longevity in show business was proof positive that a career not only had second acts, but could surpass all expectations.

Born August 12, 1939 in Memphis, TN, he was the son of Southern society matron Ann Spaulding, whose second husband (of four), bandleader George "Spike" Hamilton, was his father. Hamilton moved extensively throughout the South due to his father's performing engagements before eventually settling in Palm Beach, FL. There, he developed a taste for acting through numerous high school plays, and eventually won top honors in a statewide acting contest. After deciding that Hollywood held the key to his fortune, he relocated to Los Angeles in the late fifties, where his pin-up worthy looks and effortless self-assurance helped land him one of the last studio contracts with MGM.

He proved a natural for brooding, romantic young heroes, as well as the occasional heel in B-pictures like "Crime and Punishment, USA" (1959), which earned him a Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer. Hamilton eventually settled into a string of youthful leads in melodramas and sudsy romances; his flawless features provided considerable distraction - and temptation for the likes of Mercedes McCambridge in "Angel Baby" (1961), Lana Turner in "By Love Possessed" (1961) and Yvette Mimeux in "A Light in the Piazza" (1962). Though he received the occasional award for his efforts, most notably a BAFTA nomination for "Piazza," Hamilton was largely perceived as a lightweight actor by studios and critics alike, and as such, frequently found himself in such trifles as "Where The Boys Are" (1960).

Hamilton attempted to break the mold that was forming rapidly around him with such decidedly non-heartthrob roles as the ill-fated country singer Hank Williams in the biopic "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1964) and a Mexican revolutionary romanced by Brigitte Bardot and Jeanne Moreau in Louis Malle's Western parody, "Viva Maria!" (1965). Neither proved particularly helpful to his career, and by the mid-'60s, Hamilton was drawing more attention from his relationship with First Daughter Lynda Bird Johnson than for his film roles. The dissolution of the studio system, and the rise of intense, often Method-driven actors like Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman and Elliott Gould helped to render a traditional Hollywood leading man like Hamilton obsolete. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was stranded in forgettable efforts like "The Power" (1968). There was a brief return to the limelight with "Evel Knievel" (1971), which Hamilton co-produced in addition to starring as the pop culture hero, but within a few years, he was slogging through such miserable projects as "The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington" (1977) and "Sextette" (1978).

In 1979, Hamilton discovered that gentle self-parody was the key to success, which he parlayed to great effect in Stan Dragoti's "Love at First Bite" (1979). A charming mix of slapstick and romantic comedy, Hamilton's Dracula arrives in modern-day New York, where he struggles to align his Old World charms with a new breed of women. Critics praised Hamilton for his comic skills, which earned him a Golden Globe nomination and quite possibly the first degree of respect from critics since his earliest days in Hollywood. He attempted to follow the success of "Bite" with another movie parody, "Zorro, The Gay Blade" (1981), but the results were largely tasteless.

With a new career direction firmly in place, Hamilton played up the camp in numerous television appearances, most notably a season-long guest stint on "Dynasty" (ABC, 1981-89) as a producer who attempts to murder John Forsythe's Blake Carrington. He was also put to excellent use in countless commercials which played up his impeccable sartorial style and smooth repartee to plug their products. Hamilton himself served as pitchman for several businesses, including a line of tanning products and a tanning salon franchise. There were occasional bumps along the road - in the late 1980s, Hamilton was called to testify against former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos and wife Imelda during their racketeering trial. The actor had befriended the eccentric duo during a promotional tour through the country for "Love at First Bite," and had become entangled in several financial schemes. But for the most part, Hamilton was content and busy as a tongue-in-cheek symbol of classic Tinseltown and the Good Life in general.

Despite his popularity, Hamilton did not return to movies until 1990, when Francis Ford Coppola cast him as an oily lawyer for the Corleone family in "The Godfather Part III." Critics initially raised an eyebrow at the choice, but Hamilton proved to be among the film's limited saving graces. He soon settled into a string of bit and supporting roles in features and television; often as wealthy and self-absorbed older men, but more often than not, comic roles that played to his strength in self-parody. But as the 1990s wore on, audiences seemed more interested in seeing Hamilton play himself than any particular role, and he began to develop a second career as a TV personality. At one point, however, when his son Ashley rapidly married television's then biggest off-screen wild child, Hamilton became famous for briefly being the father-in-law of Shannen Doherty of "90210" (Fox, 1990-2000) fame.

With former wife Alana Stewart, he launched a lighthearted daytime talk show, "George and Alana" (syndicated, 1995-96) before joining the celebrity panel on a revival of "Match Game" (syndicated, 1998). A stint as the host of the reality series "The Family" (ABC, 2003), which pitted the members of a large Italian-American brood against each other for cash prizes, preceded an endearing run on the first season of "Dancing With the Stars" (ABC, 2005- ). Once again, humor proved Hamilton's secret weapon; he broke out his Zorro costume and threw himself into deliberately campy numbers that not only dispelled concerns over his recent knee surgery, but advanced him all the way to Round 6 in the competition.

Hamilton's success on "Stars" placed him in the forefront of likely successors to Bob Barker as host of "The Price is Right" (CBS, 1972- ). He bore his loss to comic Drew Carey with typical good grace, moving to a vast array of other projects, including a stint on Broadway as slick lawyer Billy Flynn in "Chicago." The following year, he released an autobiography, Don't Mind If I Do (2008), a charming and undeniably readable account of his professional and private life, including details of his numerous romances with, among others, Elizabeth Taylor, Danielle Steele, and actress Kimberly Blackford, who bore him a son, George Thomas, at the age of 61.

Credits

Blind Ambition

Executive Producer
Movie
2021

Comedy Central Roast of David HasselhoffStream

Actor
Special
2018

Being Evel

Executive Producer
Show
2018

The Boulevard

Guest
Show
2018

Swiped

Actor
Phil Singer
Movie
2018

American HousewifeStream

Guest Star
Spencer Blitz
Series
2016

The Congressman

Actor
Laird Devereaux
Movie
2016

Stewarts & HamiltonsStream

Actor
Reality
2015

Stewarts & HamiltonsStream

Self
Reality
2015

Celebrity Family FeudStream

Guest
Game Show
2015

Being Evel

Executive Producer
Movie
2015

Silver Skies

Actor
Phil
Movie
2014

Holiday Road Trip

Actor
Max
Movie
2013

Celebrity Wife SwapStream

Guest
Reality
2012

2 Broke GirlsStream

Guest Star
Bob
Series
2011

The Talk

Guest
Talk
2010

George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight

Guest
Show
2010

Access Hollywood Live

Guest
Show
2010

Hot in ClevelandStream

Guest Star
Robin
Series
2010

My One and Only

Executive Producer
Movie
2009

The Bonnie Hunt Show

Guest
Talk
2008

The Wendy Williams Show

Guest
Talk
2008

The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson

Guest
Talk
2005

The L.A. Riot Spectacular

Actor
The King of Beverly Hills
Movie
2005

Life of Luxury

Host
Show
2004

InnerVIEWS With Ernie Manouse

Guest
Show
2004

The Hollywood Mom's Mystery

Actor
Woody Prentice
Movie
2004

Too Cool for Christmas

Actor
Santa Claus
Movie
2004

Las VegasStream

Guest Star
Series
2003

Comedy Central RoastStream

Actor
Series
2003

The Family Premiere Special

Host
Show
2003

The Family

Host
Show
2003

FastlaneStream

Guest Star
Series
2002
47%

Hollywood Ending

Actor
Ed
Movie
2002

Pets

Actor
Von Steiger/"The Hand"
Movie
2002

Live With Regis and Kelly

Guest
Show
2001

Off-Key

Actor
Armand
Movie
2001

The Early Show

Guest
Show
1999

Ladies Man

Guest Star
Series
1999
8%

P.T. Barnum

Actor
Show
1999

Buddy Faro

Guest Star
Show
1998

Casper Meets Wendy

Actor
Desmond Spellman
Movie
1998

She's Too Tall

Actor
Alonso Palermo
Movie
1998

The Little Unicorn

Actor
The Great Allonso
Movie
1998

Casper y la Brujita

Actor
Movie
1998

Jenny

Actor
Show
1997

The View

Guest
Talk
1997

Rough Riders

Actor
Show
1997

8 Heads in a Duffel Bag

Actor
Dick Bennett
Movie
1997

Nash Bridges

Guest Star
Series
1996

A Farewell to Arms

Actor
Lt. Frederick Henry
Show
1996

Hart to Hart: Till Death Do Us Hart

Actor
Karl Von Ostenberg
Movie
1996

Bonnie

Guest Star
Show
1995

The Naked Truth

Guest Star
Series
1995
64%

NewsRadioStream

Guest Star
Don Green
Series
1995
95%

CybillStream

Guest Star
Series
1995

Vanished

Actor
Malcolm Patterson
Movie
1995

Playback

Actor
Movie
1995

Two Fathers: Justice for the Innocent

Actor
Bradley
Movie
1994

Diagnosis MurderStream

Guest Star
Series
1993

Dave's World

Guest Star
Series
1993

The John Larroquette Show

Guest Star
Series
1993

Das Paradies am Ende der Berge

Actor
Movie
1993

Paraíso de las Montañas

Actor
Movie
1993

El Paraíso al Final de las Montañas

Actor
Movie
1993

Amore!

Actor
Rudolpho Carbonera
Movie
1993

Once Upon a Crime

Actor
Alfonso de la Pena
Movie
1992

Doc HollywoodStream

Actor
Doctor Halberstrom
Movie
1991
69%

Columbo: Caution, Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

Actor
Wade Anders
Movie
1991

The Godfather, Part IIIStream

Actor
B.J. Harrison
Movie
1990
66%

Birds of a Feather

Self
Show
1989

BaywatchStream

Guest Star
Earl
Series
1989

Poker Alice

Actor
Cousin John Moffit
Movie
1987

Monte Carlo

Actor
Harry Price
Movie
1986

Two Fathers' Justice

Actor
Trent Bradley
Movie
1985

Malibu

Actor
Jay Pomerantz
Movie
1983

Zorro, the Gay Blade

Actor
Don Diego Vega/Zorro/Bunny Wigglesworth/The Gay Blade/Ramon Vega
Movie
1981

Zorro, the Gay Blade

Producer
Movie
1981

The Great Cash Giveaway Getaway

Actor
Hightower
Movie
1980

Death Car on the Freeway

Actor
Ray Jeffries
Movie
1979

From Hell to Victory

Actor
Maurice Bernard
Movie
1979

Blackjack

Actor
Paul Franks
Movie
1979

Love at First Bite

Actor
Count Dracula
Movie
1979

Love at First Bite

Executive Producer
Movie
1979

Le Vampire de ces dames

Actor
Movie
1979

The Seekers

Actor
Lt. Hamilton Stovall
Movie
1979

IFR

Actor
Alan Roberto
Movie
1979

The Magnificent Hustle

Actor
Movie
1978

Nightmare in Pendragon's Castle

Actor
Movie
1978

The Users

Actor
Adam Baker
Movie
1978

The Strange Possession of Mrs. Oliver

Actor
Greg Oliver
Movie
1978

Circus of the Stars

Self
Ringmaster
Show
1977

The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington

Actor
Ward Thompson
Movie
1977

Killer on Board

Actor
Glenn Lyle
Movie
1977

Gibbsville

Guest Star
Show
1976

The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Dennis Weaver

Host
Show
1976

Colombo: Testimone di se stesso

Actor
Dr. Mark Collier
Movie
1975

The Dead Don't Die

Actor
Don Drake
Movie
1975

Once Is Not Enough

Actor
David Milford
Movie
1975

TattletalesStream

Guest
Game Show
1974

Medusa

Actor
Jeffrey
Movie
1974

The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing

Actor
Crocker
Movie
1973

ColumboStream

Guest Star
Dr. Mark Collier
Series
1971

Evel KnievelStream

Actor
Evel Knievel
Movie
1971
40%

Evel KnievelStream

Producer
Movie
1971
40%

McCloud

Guest Star
Keith Hampton
Series
1970

Double Image

Actor
Movie
1970

Togetherness

Actor
Jack DuPont
Movie
1970

The Last of the Powerseekers

Actor
Movie
1969

The PowerStream

Actor
Professor Jim Tanner
Movie
1968

The Hellcats

Actor
Lee Ragdon
Show
1967

Jack of Diamonds

Actor
Jeff Hill
Movie
1967

Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding

Actor
Harlan W. Wycliff
Movie
1967

La Guerre des cerveaux

Actor
Movie
1967

A Time for Killing

Actor
Capt. Dorrit Bentley
Movie
1967

Tres Para la Boda

Actor
Movie
1967

Class of '67

Host
Show
1966

El Hombre de Marruecos

Actor
Movie
1966

That Man George

Actor
George
Movie
1966

The Merv Griffin Show

Guest
Talk
1965

Viva Maria

Actor
Flores
Movie
1965

Your Cheatin' Heart

Actor
Hank Williams
Movie
1964

Hellcats

Actor
Movie
1964

The Danny Kaye ShowStream

Guest
Series
1963

The VictorsStream

Actor
Trower
Movie
1963
20%

Act One

Actor
Moss Hart
Movie
1963

The Tonight Show Starring Johnny CarsonStream

Guest
Talk
1962

Light in the Piazza

Actor
Fabrizio Naccarelli
Movie
1962

Two Weeks in Another TownStream

Actor
Davie Drew
Movie
1962
89%

Ben Casey

Guest Star
Dr. Geoffrey Collicott
Series
1961

Bus Stop

Guest Star
Show
1961

By Love Possessed

Actor
Warren Winner
Movie
1961

Angel Baby

Actor
Paul Strand
Movie
1961

A Thunder of Drums

Actor
Lt. Curtis McQuade
Movie
1961

Home From the HillStream

Actor
Theron Hunnicutt
Movie
1960
90%

Where the Boys AreStream

Actor
Ryder Smith
Movie
1960
88%

All the Fine Young Cannibals

Actor
Tony McDowall
Movie
1960

Ces folles filles d'Eve

Actor
Movie
1960

Crime and Punishment, U.S.A.

Actor
Robert
Movie
1959

Destination Nightmare

Actor
Movie
1958

Adventures of SupermanStream

Guest Star
Series
1952

I've Got a SecretStream

Guest
Game Show
1952

Today

Guest
News
1952

What's My Line?Stream

Guest
Game Show
1950

News aboutGeorge Hamilton