Monday, July 18, 2011

Tuesday, July 18, 1933

I straightened up the house today. Pauline and I climbed trees. I gave her back her magazine. Went over to Gweyn's.

Craig Stevens (July 8, 1918 – May 10, 2000)

Born Gail Shikles, Jr., in Liberty, Missouri, Stevens studied dentistry at Kansas City
University, from which he received a bachelor's degree in 1936. Acting with the university's
drama club prompted him to halt his studies and instead to audition in Hollywood. Adopting the
stage name Craig Stevens, he debuted in a small role in 1939 and thereafter played mainly secondary
parts. In 1944, he married Canadian actress Alexis Smith to whom he was wed for almost fifty years
until her death in 1993.

After nearly twenty years in film, Stevens gained national prominence in 1958 for his starring role
as private detective Peter Gunn, a television series which aired on NBC (and later ABC.) The
series was produced by Blake Edwards, who also wrote and directed many of the episodes.
The theme music was composed by Henry Mancini and helped establish his early fame. After
the series ended, Stevens worked in television, movies and stage work. He and his wife co-starred
in nationwide tours of the musical Plain and Fancy and the comedy Cactus Flower.

Stevens died from cancer at the age of eighty-one in Los Angeles, CA. The Stevenses were childless.

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