John Agar, handsome leading man of numerous films and TV shows and remembered for his three-year marriage to teenage Shirley Temple, died Sunday at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, Calif. He was 81.
A native of Chicago, he graduated from the Pauling School in New York and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war and his marriage to Temple (whom he wed in 1946 when she was 17), he appeared in a few John Ford-helmed Westerns including “Fort Apache” (1948) and “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” (1949) before settling into routine feature fare such as “I Married a Communist,” “Tarantula” and “The Mole People.”
TV credits included “The Gale Storm Show,” “Perry Mason,” “Rawhide,” “Bat Masterson,” “The Virginian,” “Combat!,” “Charlie’s Angels” “Highway to Heaven” and “The Twilight Zone.”
His acting career was interrupted with several drunken-driving arrests, and he eventually left the business to become an insurance salesman. He returned to the screen in 1976 in “King Kong” and appeared on the large and small screen occasionally.
He is survived by a daughter, two sons, two brothers and four grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, family suggests donations in his name be made to charity of the donor’s choice.