(1922 - 2012)
He was born on March 30, 1922, in Viena as Gilbert Selahettin Schultavey. He was the son of a Turkish diplomat and a Czech lady, owner of an important industry. In 1930, he moved to the United States and there he studied with Ben Ard at the School of Dramatic Art and in Pasadena Playhouse. He is the nicest gentleman in every sense of the word. He is articulate and smart as a whip. He is a good photographer capturing people and places. He said Roddy McDowell always carried a camera on the set and took really great photos. Turhan said he was always busy with the acting part and could never get to taking photos on the set and was jealous in a good way of his pal.
Bey assumed his stage name shortly after moving to the United States with his Jewish Czech mother from Vienna to escape the Nazis and being discovered by talent scouts from Warner Bros. studios.
His popular name was "Turkish Delight" - a reference to his suave good looks that made him an ideal partner to exotics like Maria Montez in escapist Technicolor adventure fantasies set in faraway places.
He began his career in Hollywood in 1941, becoming one of the actors who almost always appeared in the Universal movies with Maria Montez. The films he appeared with her are: RAIDERS OF THE DESERT, BOMBAY CLIPPER, ARABIAN NIGHTS, WHITE SAVAGE, ALI BABA AND THE 40 THIEVES, FOLLOW THE BOYS, and BOWERY TO BROADWAY.
He starred or had major roles alongside the big stars of the era in films such as "A Night in Paradise," "Out of the Blue," and "The Amazing Mr. X" until the popularity of the genre faded in the 1950s.
Moving back to Vienna, he made living as a photographer and occasional stage director, again returning after a brief film and television comeback in the 1990s that earned him an Emmy nomination for his performance as the venerable Turval in the "Babylon 5" space fantasy TV series.
Turhan Bey died in the Austrian capital on September 30, 2012 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease and was cremated on Monday, October 8, 2012.
"He was a man brimming with humor, with plenty of aplomb and self-irony, and was very popular," Marita Ruiter (close friend who owns the Luxembourg art gallery) was quoted as saying. "He wasn't the kind who cared a lot about honors."
Turhan Bey is acknowledged world-wide for his spectacular supporting roles among some of Hollywood’s most beloved classic film stars including Errol Flynn, Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne and Peter Lorre, and has been fondly described by those who knew him as being a “modest, unassuming man who never bragged” of his ties with Hollywood royalty.
Special Thanks to Deirdre Malafronte and Lucinda Fox for all their incredible help.
01. Virtual Combat (1996) * As: Dr. Cameron
02. Skateboard Kid II, The (1995) * As: Zeno
03. Healer (1994) * As: Igor Vostovich
04. Possessed by the Night (1994) * As: Calvin
05. Prisoners of the Casbah (1953) * As: Ahmed
06. Stolen Identity (1953)
07. Parole, Inc. (1949)
08. Song of India (1949)
09. Spiritualist, The (1948) * As: Alexis
aka The Amazing Mr. X
10. Adventures of Casanova (1948) * As: Lorenzo
11. Out of the Blue (1947) * As: David
12. Night in Paradise, A (1946) * As: Aesop
13. Sudan (1945) * As: Herua
14. Frisco Sal (1945)
15. Follow the Boys (1944)
16. Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves (1944) * As: Jamiel
17. Bowery to Broadway (1944) * As: Ted Barrie
18. Climax, The (1944) * As: Franz
19. Dragon Seed (1944) * As: Lao Er
20. White Savage (1943) * As: Tamara
21. Adventures of Smilin' Jack (1943) * As: Kageyama
22. Background to Danger (1943) * As: Hassen
23. Captive Wild Woman (1943) * As: End Narrator
24. Mad Ghoul, The (1943) * As: Eric Iverson
25. Arabian Nights (1942) * As: The Captain
26. Mummy's Tomb, The (1942) * As: Mehemet Bey
27. Drums of the Congo (1942) * As: Juma
28. Falcon Takes Over, The (1942) * As: Jules Amthor
29. Bombay Clipper (1942) * As: Chundra
30. Danger in the Pacific (1942) * As: Tagani
31. Destination Unknown (1942) * As: Muto
32. Junior G-men of the Air (1942) * As: Araki
33. Unseen Enemy (1942) * As: Ito
34. Yank on the Burma Road (1942)
35. Burma Convoy (1941) * As: Mr. Yuchau
36. Footsteps in the Dark (1941) * As: Ahmed
37. Gay Falcon, The (1941) * As: Manuel Retana
38. Raiders of the Desert (1941) * As: Hassen Mohammed
39. Shadows on the Stairs (1941) * As: Ram Singh
NOTABLE TV GUEST APPEARANCES
1. "Babylon 5" (1994) playing "Turval" in episode: "Learning Curve" (episode #5.5) 2/18/1998
2. "Babylon 5" (1994) playing "Centauri Emperor" in episode: "Coming of Shadows, The" (episode #2.9) 2/1/1995
3. "VR.5" (1995) playing "Abernathy" in episode: "Reunion" 1995
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