Tag Archives: figure of note

Previously unpublished snapshots of actor Jeffrey Hunter and first wife Barbara Rush

1949 Hank McKinnies. Snapshot. Private Collection.

1949 Hank McKinnies/Jeffrey Rush. Snapshot. Private Collection.

(If you came from the WordPress reader the couple picture isn’t the one I’m talking about.)

This is the perfect example of expecting one thing but finding something special instead. The picture stood on its own. There was no other description other than this is a picture of a handsome man from the 50’s. And here I was thinking “he looks like your typical clean-cut All-American guy of that decade, and I like it.” Little did I know he was a man who helped define the type of that decade.

Upon receiving it I saw writings on the back that hadn’t been mentioned at all by the seller. Great! I love surprises and here’s a name! Maybe I can find something about him.

Hank snapshot back.

This is Hank McKinnies. Fall 1949. Please return. Walter took the picture.

Turns out this is an original, early snapshot used as a headshot of actor Jeffrey Hunter, taken a few months before he was discovered in 1950.

Hank was born on November 26, 1926 Henry Herman ‘Hank’ McKinnies in New Orleans, Louisiana and lived his first years in Metairie (he’s my neighborhood’s boy!). His family moved to Wisconsin and Illinois, then Hank joined the navy but was medically discharged after a year. He finally settled in California to get his Masters in radio at UCLA. At the time this snapshot was taken he was 22, a student and an unknown apart from a few school plays and radio shows.

I believe his scout sent this picture to casting agencies or directors. Hence the ‘please return’ note. The snapshot was later glued on to an album I think was his or his first wife’s Barbara.

Jeffrey Hunter or Hank – I’ll call him Hank-, had a promising acting career, yet it waned in the end and only lasted 19 years.

He worked with the biggest names in the industry such as director Alfred Hitchcock in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and actor John Wayne as his sidekick in the classic The Searchers. He also played the role of Jesus Christ in the big budget King of Kings.

Last but not least, he starred in the first Star Trek television pilot “The Cage” as Captain Christopher Pike of the USS Enterprise (the role was reprised recently in the new Star Trek Into Darkness.) His likeness still graces the covers of Star Trek novels.

In 1969, while filming ¡Viva America! in Spain, a rigged car he was in exploded inward instead of outward, giving him a concussion. On the plane back to California Hank suffered a stroke but recovered. Again weeks later he had another, fell and fractured his skull. He died of a brain hemorrhage out of surgery the next day at the too young age of 42.

I’ve searched a few online galleries dedicated to this actor and I believe the picture I found was never publicly published.

Here are a few pictures of Jeffrey Hunter:

Because I was able to ID the picture I went back to the same California based seller, recognised and acquired his first wife’s picture who was a stunner as well. It is also a 3″x 3″ snapshot. There were also a lot of cat pictures in the same format I strongly suspect are from the same album. Cat lovers, yes! :)

Barbara Rush 1950 candid. Snapshot. Private Collection.

Barbara Rush 1950 candid. Snapshot. Private Collection.

The back is blank but was glued to the album the same way as the first picture.

Barbara Rush has had a very long and successful a career. She recently made a few recent appearances such as in 7th Heaven as Grandma Ruth Camden. She and Hank were married from 1950 to 1955 and had a son together, Chris. Hank went on to marry twice more and had three more kids; Steele he took on as his own and two boys, Todd and Scott.


Visit Jeffreyhunter.net for much more info on this very successful actor who to this day has many fans still.

Jeffrey Hunter wiki.

Barbara Rush wiki.


Hey, Charlie!

I'm famous

I’m famous…so famous! Photo taken circa 1910.

Three more portraits and a bit on his life after the cut.

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Ivor Novello in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Lodger’

'The Lodger'

This photo was taken in 1927 and is of Welsh actor Ivor Novello (real name David Ivor Davies) in the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Lodger” loosely based on Jack the Ripper. Ivor plays the role of a suspected serial killer who goes around London killing blonde chorus girls. My cup of tea.

His character’s a bad boy so in the category he goes!

The actor was multi-talented and was a famous singer and composer too.  He was also openly gay. A shot of Ivor with his face uncovered after the cut.

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Czech violinist Jan Kubelík

RPPC. Personal Collection.

RPPC.Circa 1900.

Jan Kubelik was born in 1880 and died in 1940. His father was an amateur violinist who taught him how to play. By age five, young Jan was found to have talent and received professional lessons. He’s said to have practiced 10-12 hours a day until his fingers bled. His efforts paid off. By the age of eighteen he was touring as a soloist in London and Vienna, and by twenty-one he toured the U.S. Some of his recordings are said to have contributed to the success of the gramophone.

In 1903 he married a countess and had eight children with her, all became violinists.

Don Terry & June Collyer

Silent movie stars

Silent movie stars. Private Collection

An original print from 1928 I added to my collection. I love the pose and the sepia tone. Don Terry (his entertainment industry name) was an actor of the 30s and 40s. This photo is from the first film that discovered him “Me, Gangster”.

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Wild Party with photographer Dana B. Merrill

Dana B. Merrill and his young rowdy subjects. Personal Collection

Dana B. Merrill among young, rowdy subjects. Circa 1910. Private Collection


Back. Click on the picture for larger format

Dana B. Merrill was a noted American photographer whose prints are still on sale today. I researched him based on the name and the N.H. in pencil I figured is New Hampshire.

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Leonard Spiller

Personal Collection

Private Collection

The cabinet card measures 2.5' x 4'

The CDV measures 2.5″ x 4″

Leonard Spiller (1890-1952) was a student at Cambridge University when this photo was taken. In 1909 he founded the Brotherhood of Scouts at the university. Later in life he became a vicar and a reverend, and authored a religious book. He suddenly passed in November 1952. A more in-depth post update on him here.

Photographer: Stearn & Sons. 72, Bridge Street, Cambridge. U.K.

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