Craig Stevens

Craig Stevens

Birthday: July 8, 1918
Born Place: Liberty, Missouri, USA
Birth Name: Gail Shikles Jr.
Height: 6' 2" (1.88 m)

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Born in Liberty, Missouri, as Gail Shikles Jr., tall, suave Craig Stevens will forever be remembered for his role as the cool, laid-back private eye Peter Gunn (1958), a ground-breaking show that ushered in the era of tough but smooth private eyes who were handy with their fists and with the ladies, and which also pioneered the use of jazz as not only background music but its main theme song. Stevens was attending Kansas University and planning a career in dentistry when he began performing in student plays at the university. Bitten by the acting bug, he moved to California, and in 1941 was signed by Warner Bros., where he met his future wife, Alexis Smith. Although never a front-rank star, Stevens played many second-leads through the 1940s and 1950s. Sci-fi fans will know him best as the lead in the somewhat cult-classic The Deadly Mantis (1957). With his film career in a rut, he moved over to television, and it was there he made his mark in the landmark “Peter Gunn” series. He made many guest-starring appearances in TV series over the years, had recurring roles in such series as Dallas (1978) and starred in ITC’s Man of the World (1962). He retired after a role in his old friend Blake Edwards’ 1981 film S.O.B. (1981).

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