Don DeFore

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Don DeFore

Don DeFore

Photo credit: 
Photofest

Don DeFore

Date of Birth

Date of Birth: August 25, 1913
Date of Passing: December 22, 1993
Birthplace: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Obituary: Los Angeles Times

Don DeFore was an American actor.

After graduating from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, DeFore attended the University of Iowa. Since acting was not a major study at the university, he left and enrolled at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, where he won a scholarship and stayed for three years.

Onstage, DeFore appeared in Where Do We Go From Here? (1938), Steel (1939), and the Broadway production of James Thurber's The Male Animal (1940). He was also featured in a 1951 production of Elmer Rice's Dream Girl (which starred Judy Holliday).

Don DeFore was an American actor.

After graduating from Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, DeFore attended the University of Iowa. Since acting was not a major study at the university, he left and enrolled at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, where he won a scholarship and stayed for three years.

Onstage, DeFore appeared in Where Do We Go From Here? (1938), Steel (1939), and the Broadway production of James Thurber's The Male Animal (1940). He was also featured in a 1951 production of Elmer Rice's Dream Girl (which starred Judy Holliday).

On screen, he appeared in the 1942 film adaptation of The Male Animal with Henry Fonda and Olivia de Havilland. Among his other film credits are Wings for the Eagle (1942), Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo (1944), You Came Along (1945), The Stork Club (1945), Romance on the High Seas (1948), featuring Doris Day in her film debut, and My Friend Irma (1949), with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

DeFore is remembered for playing the next-door-neighbor, Erskin "Thorny" Thornberry, in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet from 1952 to 1958, a role which earned him an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Regular Series in 1955. His most popular role was as George Baxter, employer of headstrong housekeeper Hazel Burke (played by Shirley Booth) in Hazel, which aired from 1961 to 1965.

After Hazel ended its run, DeFore appeared in episodes of My Three Sons, Mod Squad, Mannix, The Virginian, Marcus Welby, M.D., The Love Boat, Fantasy Island, Vega$, Matt Houston, Murder, She Wrote, and St. Elsewhere.

DeFore served as president of the Television Academy.

DeFore died December 22, 1993, in Los Angeles, California. He was 80.

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Awards & Nominations

1 Nomination
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(L-R) Actor Edgar Bergen, Harry Lubcke, actor Don DeFore, Academy Founder Syd Cassyd, and actor Charlie Ruggles, 1955. At the time of the photo, DeFore was the Academy president; the other four gentlemen had previously served as president of the Academy.

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