Jeffrey Hunter (Henry Herman “Hank” McKinnies)
(November 25, 1926 – May 27, 1969)
Today let’s remember Jeffrey Hunter, an actor whose career was cut way too short. He’s seen above, at right, as Frank James in Nicholas Ray’s The True Story Of Jesse James (1956). He’s excellent in this underrated film.
Western fans also know him for his strong performance in John Ford’s The Searchers (also 1956). Not many actors could threaten John Wayne and not get laughed off the screen.
He was in the first Star Trek pilot.
And he played Jesus in Ray’s King Of Kings (1961) — he’s parlayed the role in my mind’s eye ever since. Another Nick Ray movie that doesn’t get its due.
There’s also The Great Locomotive Chase (1956), The Longest Day (1962) and many others. A remarkable body of work for someone who passed away at just 42.