George Hamilton (actor)

George Hamilton

Hamilton in Florida, 1965
Born George Stevens Hamilton
(1939-08-12) August 12, 1939
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Residence Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1952–present
Spouse(s) Alana Stewart (m. 1972; div. 1975)
Partner(s) Kimberly Blackford (1997–1999)
Children Ashley Hamilton (b. 1974)
George Thomas Hamilton (b. 1999)

George Stevens Hamilton (born August 12, 1939) is an American film and television actor. His notable films include Home from the Hill (1960), Light in the Piazza (1962), Your Cheatin' Heart (1964), Once Is Not Enough (1975), Love at First Bite (1979), Zorro, The Gay Blade (1981), The Godfather: Part III (1990), Doc Hollywood (1991), 8 Heads in a Duffle Bag (1997), Hollywood Ending (2002) and The Congressman (2016). For his debut performance in Crime and Punishment U.S.A. (1959), Hamilton won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a BAFTA Award. He has received one additional BAFTA nomination and two additional Golden Globe nominations.

Early life

Hamilton was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and lived in Blytheville, Arkansas. He is the eldest son of bandleader George "Spike" Hamilton[1][2] and his first wife, Anne Stevens (formerly Mrs. William Potter). Hamilton won many scholastic, athletic and performing arts awards as a student at Palm Beach High School, West Palm Beach, Florida.

After moving to California, Hamilton was put under contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and was showcased in films such as Home from the Hill, Your Cheatin' Heart, All the Fine Young Cannibals, Light in the Piazza and Two Weeks in Another Town.

His stepfathers were Carleton Hunt and Jesse Spalding; his stepmother was June Howard, with whom Hamilton said he had an affair when he was 12 years old which was shortly after she married his father.[3][4]

His late elder half-brother, William (Potter) Hamilton, became an interior decorator for such prestigious firms as Eva Gabor Interiors in Palm Springs, where Hamilton owned a home a few blocks away from Elvis Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, who became his good friend. Hamilton also has a younger brother, David Hamilton.


Hamilton began his film career in 1952 and although he has a substantial body of work in film and television he is, perhaps, most famous for his debonair style and his perfect and perpetual suntan. Bo Derek writes in her autobiography "there was an ongoing contest between John [Derek] and George Hamilton as to who was tanner".[5]

With his matinee-idol looks it was sometimes noted that Hamilton physically resembled Warren Beatty. Beatty's political satire Bulworth contained a running gag about this with Hamilton appearing as himself in a brief cameo.

One of his best-known MGM films was Where the Boys Are (1960), a coming-of-age romantic comedy set during a college student spring break in the Fort Lauderdale area of Florida in which Hamilton played a smooth Ivy League type. Earlier, Hamilton made his credited onscreen debut in Crime and Punishment U.S.A. (1959), a re-imagining of Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment; his performance earned him the Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year - Actor and a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actor. He was nominated for the latter award again for The Light in the Piazza (1962).

Hamilton went on to star with George Peppard as a soldier in 1963's The Victors, a World War II story, and as a Confederate captain who kidnaps the wife of a Union officer (Glenn Ford) in a 1967 drama, A Time for Killing.

Hamilton made two memorable bio-pics: Your Cheatin' Heart (1964), in which he portrayed the country-western music legend Hank Williams, followed by Evel Knievel (1971), the life story of the motorcycle daredevil.

A surprise blockbuster hit came his way in 1979 when Hamilton showed a flair for comedy in Love at First Bite which was the story of Count Dracula's pursuit of a young Manhattanite model, played by Susan Saint James. The movie included such scenes as Dracula and his conquest dancing to "I Love the Nightlife" at a disco. The film's box-office success created a popularity surge for Hamilton, who followed it with a farcical portrayal of the famed swordsman character in 1981's Zorro, the Gay Blade. He was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for both films.

However, film leads dried up quickly. In the mid-1980s, Hamilton starred in the sixth season of the ABC Aaron Spelling-produced nighttime television serial Dynasty. Hamilton played a doctor who uses hypnosis to commit a murder on a 1975 episode of Columbo. He returned for a second homicide on the long-running Peter Falk detective series in 1991, this time playing the host of an America's Most Wanted-style television show. Hamilton later became a semi-regular panelist on the 1998 revival of Match Game.

A break for Hamilton came in 1990 when Francis Coppola cast him as the Corleone family's lawyer in a much-anticipated film, The Godfather Part III. For the second time, he portrayed a murderer on the television series Columbo, starring as the host of a TV true-crime show in the 1991 episode "Caution: Murder Can Be Hazardous to Your Health."

In 2003, Hamilton hosted The Family which was a reality television series on ABC for one season. The program starred 10 members from a traditional Italian-American family, each fighting for a $1,000,000 prize.

In 2006, Hamilton competed in the second season of ABC's Dancing with the Stars[6] with professional Edyta Sliwinska in which they lasted until the sixth round. At age 66 and recovering from knee injuries, Hamilton, unable to match the limber dance moves of his younger competitors, charmed the audience and judges with endearingly silly dances utilizing props including a Zorro mask and the sword from Zorro, The Gay Blade.

In 2006, it was rumored that Hamilton would replace Bob Barker on The Price Is Right. He auditioned for the show and in March 2007, TMZ reported that Hamilton was a frontrunner to replace Barker. According to Reuters, Hamilton was one of the final three contenders to host the show, alongside Mark Steines and Todd Newton.[7] Soon thereafter, however, Drew Carey was named as Barker's successor. Subsequently, Hamilton has hosted the live stage adaptation of the show, The Price Is Right Live!.

In August 2008, Hamilton co-starred in Coma, a web series on Crackle.[8]

Hamilton was executive producer of the 2009 film My One and Only, which is loosely based on his early life and relationship with his mother.

Hamilton was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame on 12 August 2009 – his 70th birthday.[9] In 1999, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to him.[10]

Hamilton appeared as a contestant on the UK edition of I'm a Celebrity…Get Me out of Here! (UK series 9) in November 2009. Hamilton walked out of the jungle on 30 November 2009, telling the other contestants that he wasn't there to win, but to have fun.[11][12] Hamilton was considered one of the favorites to win the series.

In 2010 Hamilton was chosen as one of David Hasselhoff's roasters in the Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff.

Starting in the fall of 2011, Hamilton starred as "Georges" for the national tour of the Tony-winning revival of La Cage aux Folles.[13] He was still starring in the show as of June 2012.

In 2015 George and his ex-wife, Alana Hamilton appeared in Season 4/Episode 10 of Celebrity Wife Swap. Alana swapped with Angela "Big Ang" Raiola of Mob Wives fame, and her husband, Neil Murphy.

In the summer of 2016, Hamilton appeared in television commercials for KFC as the "Extra Crispy Colonel," a deeply tanned version of the company's mascot, Colonel Sanders.

Personal life

In 1966 Hamilton had a relationship with Lynda Bird Johnson, the daughter of US President Lyndon B. Johnson.[14]

Hamilton was married to actress Alana Stewart from 1972 to 1975. Their son, Ashley Hamilton, was born in 1974. George Thomas Hamilton is his younger son (born in December 1999) with his ex-girlfriend Kimberly Blackford.

The divorced Hamiltons reunited in the mid-1990s to co-host a daytime talk show, George and Alana.

In I'm A Celebrity he revealed he had dated at least four Miss Worlds.

Hamilton has a well-known social relationship with Imelda Marcos, the widow of former Philippines president Ferdinand Marcos. It was later revealed that he also had business ties to the Marcoses. In 1990 Hamilton was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal fraud and racketeering case against the Marcoses involving looting Philippine government funds; Imelda was acquitted in the case.[15]

According to Burt Reynolds' autobiography,[16] Hamilton has a healthy sense of humor, even when the humor is directed at him: Reynolds once made up a birthday card for Hamilton with a composite photograph of Tony Curtis and Anthony Perkins, titled "To George, love from Mum and Dad". Hamilton found the card hilarious and showed it to everybody.

My One and Only, a 2009 comedy film starring Logan Lerman, was loosely based on a story about George Hamilton's early life on the road with his mother and brother, featuring anecdotes that Hamilton had told to Merv Griffin.

Business endeavors and misc

In the late 1980s Hamilton launched George Hamilton Skin Care System and the George Hamilton Sun Care System and tanning salons.[17][18]

A cigar lounge bearing his name was opened in the late 1990s at the New York, New York, hotel in Las Vegas and other locations, along with a line of cigars bearing the actor's name. A January 1998 article in Cigar Aficionado magazine described Hamilton's style as "Cary Grant meets Pat Riley".[19][20][21]

In April 2006 Hamilton served as grand marshal for the 79th Annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival in Winchester, Virginia.[22]


Television work



  1. George Hamilton Biography (1939–) from
  2. "George Hamilton Stevens."1 from
  3. "'I had an affair with my stepmother when I was 12,' reveals George Hamilton ." Daily Mail.. October 17, 2008
  4. Beifuss, John. "From Blytheville to Hollywood, George Hamilton looks back in memoir." Commercial Appeal. November 4, 2008
  5. Derek, Bo (with Mark Seal) (2002), Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses, ReganBooks HarperCollins, ISBN 0060394374, p.212
  6. Dancing With The Stars –
  7. Trio remaining in Price line from Reuters
  8. "Michael Madsen, George Hamilton and Paul Ben-Victor Star in Coma, an Original Web Series Premiering On". 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2009-03-05.
  9. "Content Marketing Platform - B2B and B2C Content Marketing Technology - NewsCred".
  10. Palm Springs Walk of Stars by date dedicated
  11. Alex Fletcher. "George Hamilton 'quits I'm A Celebrity'". Digital Spy.
  12. "Hamilton leaves I'm a Celebrity". BBC News. 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  13. "George Hamilton to Star in National Tour of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES".
  14. "I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here: George Hamilton - The latest contestants - I'm a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here!". sofeminine.
  15. Rempel, William C.; Weinstein, Henry (1990-10-09). "COLUMN ONE : An Actor's Close Ties to Marcos : The Philippine government's quest for missing funds leads to George Hamilton's former doorstep in Beverly Hills". Los Angeles Times.
  16. Reynolds, Burt (1994). My Life. Hyperion Books. ISBN 978-0-7868-6130-9.
  17. Jacobson, Michael; Masur, Laurie; Collins, Ron (1995). Marketing Madness: A Survival Guide For A Consumer Society. Westview Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-8133-1980-3.
  18. Alexander, Ron (19 Sep 1989). "Where the Sun Shines, There He Is". The New York Times.
  19. Benes, Alejandro. "Hamiltons Las Vegas". CigarAficionado. CigarAficionado. Mar-Apr 1998.
  20. Minkoff, Alysse. "Forever Suave". CigarAficionado. CigarAficionado. Jan-Feb 1998.
  21. "Smoke a Stogie". Los Angeles Magazine. Oct 1999.
  22. "Past Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festivals". Retrieved 24 July 2010.

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