Douglas Fairbanks Jr
- Category : Entertainment-Actor-Actress
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 6/2 - Role Model / Hermit
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Separation 2
American actor and noted family, the son of Douglas Fairbanks Sr., followed his famous dad's footsteps with suave continental charm. With a film debut at 13, he entered an acting career that lasted up to 1951, when he went into production. Fairbanks had to carve his own way through the Hollywood jungle, taking on bit parts and supplementing his meager income with writing titles for silent films. He never wanted - or tried - to emulate his father but was determined to be his own man and make his own mark. The 75 movies that were his legacy included "Catherine the Great," "The Prisoner of Zenda," 1937 and "Gunga Din," 1939.
Fairbanks was not fully committed to acting until 1928 when he became more ambitious and began to emerge as a star. Despite his dashing good looks and agreeable screen personality, he never achieved superstar magnitude that matched his dad's.
He thrived on social and political connections, becoming close to the British royal family. During WW II, he participated in several Anglo-American operations as a Naval Officer, 1941-1946, the first American officer to command a British flotilla of raiding craft. He received assorted medals and decorations and was knighted by King George VI in 1949 for "furthering Anglo-American amity." He became a friend of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth, entertaining them at his home.
From 1953-57 he hosted an anthology series in London TV and during the '60s he hosted the "Douglas Fairbanks Presents" series for British drama TV. The co-author of "The Fairbanks Album," released in 1975, he has written two autobiographies, "The Salad Days" in 1988 and "A Hell of a War" in 1993.
Fairbanks first marriage was to Joan Crawford, 1928-1933, and his second marriage, to Mary Lee Hartford, lasted from 1938 until her death in 1988. He remarried a third time on 30 May 1991, to Vera Shelton, then in her 50s. He was known to have affairs with Marlene Dietrich and Gertrude Lawrence.
"I've led an enormously lucky life," Fairbanks said in 1989. "I've done what I wanted to do. I worked hard and played hard and it was all tremendously rewarding. I just wish it could go on and on and on."
On 7 May 2000, at the age of 90, Fairbanks died of Parkinson's, remembered as the rakishly handsome star who was one of the symbols of his era.