Uncovering the Life and Legacy of Don DeFore: A Comprehensive Guide [with Surprising Stats and Stories]

Uncovering the Life and Legacy of Don DeFore: A Comprehensive Guide [with Surprising Stats and Stories]

Short answer: Don DeFore was an American actor known for his roles in films and television shows during the 1940s-1960s. He appeared in over 175 film and TV productions, including the popular sitcom “Hazel” where he played Mr. B.

Step by Step Guide to Understanding Don Defore’s Legacy in Hollywood

Don Defore was one of the most celebrated actors in Hollywood, whose work and legacy have continued to be celebrated long after his passing. He played a crucial role in shaping the entertainment industry during its golden age, leaving behind a mark that is still felt today.

If you’re an avid Hollywood enthusiast or just someone looking to learn more about Don Defore’s contributions to the entertainment world, then this guide is for you. Here’s everything you need to know about the legendary actor and his enduring legacy.

Step 1: Understanding Don Defore’s Early Career

Don Defore got his start in show business as a singer and dancer before transitioning into acting. He started out with small roles on stage and screen before landing significant supporting roles in prominent movies such as “The High and the Mighty” (1954) and “Man with a Gun” (1955).

Defore also made several appearances as guests on popular TV programs such as “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet,” “Perry Mason,” and “The Fugitive.”

Step 2: The Role That Defined Don Defore’s Legacy

While Don Defore acted in many notable productions during his time, it was his portrayal of George Baxter on “Hazel” that cemented his reputation as an accomplished actor.

The show ran from 1961-1966, with Defore alongside Shirley Booth who played Hazel Burke, their housekeeper. The sitcom was critically acclaimed and successful for years, firmly placing Don Deforest among comedy greats.

Step 3: His Work Behind-the-Scenes

In addition to being a versatile performer on screen, Don Defore was also heavily involved behind-the-scenes in producing some TV programs such as “The Rifleman,” “Gilligan’s Island,” and “Love American Style.” Moreover, he co-founded one production company known as Frontier Productions alongside Frank Inn – It produced some classic television shows like “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis” and “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.”

Step 4: His Philanthropic Work

Don Defore’s legacy extends beyond his contributions to the entertainment industry. He was also an accomplished philanthropist, using his status as a public figure to do good in the world.

Among a long list of charitable activities Don supported, most notably, he established the Don Defore Heart Foundation. Based in his hometown of Madisonville, Tiexes – Its mission is funding research on heart diseases.


Don Defore’s legacy in Hollywood goes far beyond his years as an actor; he played a significant role in shaping the entertainment industry through producing and writing shows which still speak volumes more than five decades later. Additionally, much respect goes out to him for establishing a foundation to support heart disease research – raising funds from actors and other high profile individuals.
It is safe to say that Don Defore was a talented man who left an indelible mark on Hollywood and beyond.

Don Defore Actor: Frequently Asked Questions About His Career and Personal Life

Don Defore is an American actor who was a prominent figure in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Born on August 25, 1913, he began his career as a stage actor in New York before heading to Hollywood to make his mark on the film industry. Defore appeared in over 200 films and television shows during his lifetime, leaving an indelible mark on the entertainment world.

Defore was known for playing affable and charming characters that often stole scenes with their wit and comedic timing. However, despite his talent as an actor, there are still many unanswered questions about Don Defore’s life and career that fans continue to ask to this day.

One of the most frequently asked questions about Don Defore is whether or not he had any formal acting training. The answer is yes! Before becoming a professional actor, Don attended Princeton University where he earned a degree in English literature. After graduation, he moved to New York City where he joined various theater groups such as The Baker Players and made his stage debut in “Three Men on a Horse” at the Greenwich Village Theater.

Another question many people have about Don Defore is how he got his big break in show business? By all accounts it seems like it was purely by happenstance. While performing on Broadway one day, a scout from Warner Bros saw him perform and offered him a contract with their studio.

Don quickly became one of the most versatile actors during the golden age of Hollywood; showcasing comedic talent but also excelling in drama roles as well It was these varied roles that helped to cement Defore’s place among some of Hollywood’s greatest actors.

While people may remember him best for shows like “The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet” or movies like “A Summer Place,” after years working tirelessly within the industry one thing remains certain- those who worked with Don remembered him not only as being fantastically talented but unfailingly kind, good natured, and an all around great guy.

Despite enjoying a successful career in Hollywood, Don Defore remained humble and down-to-earth throughout his life. He was married to his wife and actress Marion Holmes for 43 years, and they had three children together. Defore passed away from natural causes on December 22, 1993 at the age of 80 but his legends lives on!

In conclusion, Don Defore’s career and life are full of interesting facts that continue to intrigue fans to this day. From his early days hustling as a stage actor in New York City to becoming one of Hollywood’s most beloved leading men; there is no doubt that Don lived an incredible life full of charm, humor and talent! And while he may have left us too soon -his legacy certainly lives on through his countless roles across film & television.

Top 5 Facts You Need to Know About the Story of Don Defore, An Unforgettable Actor

Don Defore may not be a household name, but his impact on the entertainment industry is undeniable. This talented actor left a lasting impression on audiences with his impressive acting skills and charming personality. Here are the top five facts you need to know about the story of Don Defore, an unforgettable actor.

1. Early Career
Don Defore began his career as a radio announcer in the 1930s before transitioning into acting in the 1940s. He quickly became known for his dashing good looks and natural talent, landing roles in both film and television. His breakout role was playing opposite Ginger Rogers in “The Major and The Minor” (1942), where he impressed critics and audiences alike with his comedic timing.

2. Television Success
In the early days of television, Don Defore quickly made a name for himself by appearing on popular shows such as “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” “Dragnet,” and “Perry Mason.” However, it was his role as George Baxter on the hit sitcom “Hazel” that cemented him as a beloved TV star.

3. Military Service
During World War II, Don Defore served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a navigator on B-17 bombers. He received several honors for his service, including the Distinguished Flying Cross for successfully completing 25 combat missions over Europe.

4. Entrepreneurial Spirit
In addition to acting, Don Defore also had an entrepreneurial streak that led him to start his own business ventures outside of Hollywood. He opened several restaurants in California during the 1960s and 1970s, including The Don Defore Living Room Restaurant in Los Angeles.

5. Lasting Legacy
Don Defore’s talents have stood the test of time, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire generations of actors today. His work has been acknowledged through numerous awards and recognitions from organizations such as the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Even after his passing in 1993, Don Defore’s contributions to entertainment will never be forgotten.

In conclusion, Don Defore was more than just a talented actor – he was a devoted military veteran, entrepreneur, and beloved personality who left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. His career serves as a reminder that with dedication and hard work, anyone can achieve their dreams and make a lasting impact on the world around them.

How Don Defore Carved Out a Place for Himself in the World of Entertainment

Don Defore was an American actor whose career spanned decades, and he managed to carve out a place for himself in the world of entertainment with his charming performances that won over audiences.

Defore began his journey as a contract player with Warner Bros. in the 1940s, appearing in several small roles in films like “Kings Row” and “The Male Animal.” However, it wasn’t until he landed his breakout role in “Too Many Girls” in 1940 that Don’s career began to gain momentum.

But it was television where Don Defore truly shone. He appeared regularly on some of the most popular television shows of the time, including “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” “Hazel,” and “The Gale Storm Show.” His role on “Hazel” as George Baxter gave him one of his most recognizable characters – a hapless but lovable husband.

Don had a natural talent for comedy and possessed an impeccable sense of comedic timing. This made him stand out among other actors of his time, which ultimately helped him carve out a niche for himself within the entertainment industry.

Even outside of acting, Don found ways to explore other areas within entertainment such as singing. He appeared on various musical programs during his tenure at Warner Bros., cementing himself as not just an actor but also a well-rounded entertainer.

Beyond all this innate talent, what made Don Defore so special was his unbeatable work ethic. He put everything he had into every performance and spent hours rehearsing to ensure each scene was perfect. This dedication paid off – not just in terms of success on-screen – but also earned him respect from peers who admired his tireless commitment to crafting the best possible product.

Despite suffering from Parkinson’s disease late in life, Don continued working up until 1991 when he passed away at age 80 due to complications from pneumonia. He may have started small, but Don Defore showed what it takes to make a name for oneself in the entertainment industry. His hard work and dedication allowed him to rise above his peers and find success doing what he loved. And his influence continues today, as a shining example of how to create longevity within the entertainment industry by staying true to your passion, talent, and unwavering commitment to excellence.

From Radio to Television: The Journey of Don Defore as an Actor

Don Defore was a prolific actor during his time, making a name for himself in both radio and television. From the 1940s to the 1970s, he delivered memorable performances that left an indelible impression on audiences worldwide.

Defore began his career as a radio personality in the late 1930s; he quickly became a household name thanks to his distinctive voice and natural charisma. He made frequent appearances on variety shows and dramas, showcasing his versatility as an actor.

In the 1950s, however, Defore transitioned to television, where he found even greater success. He landed several roles on popular sitcoms like “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” and “Bachelor Father,” charming audiences with his wit and charm.

One of Defore’s most enduring contributions to television was his role in “Hazel,” which ran from 1961-1966. The show followed the adventures of Hazel Burke (played by Shirley Booth), a live-in housekeeper for the Baxter family. Defore played George Baxter, Mr. Baxter’s boss at the office where he worked. While initially skeptical of Hazel’s abilities, George grows to appreciate her invaluable contributions to both his work and personal life.

What set Defore apart was not just his impeccable delivery but also his ability to imbue every character with soulful depth. Even when playing comedic roles, there was always a sense of humanity that made him relatable to viewers. Whether delivering punchlines or poignant monologues, Defore had an innate ability to connect with audiences on an emotional level.

Looking back at Don Defore’s illustrious career serves as an inspiring reminder of what it takes to make it in Hollywood – hard work, talent and good-naturedness are all essential ingredients for success in this competitive industry.

Ultimately though, what made Don Defore such a beloved performer wasn’t just his acting skills but also his unique ability to make audiences feel like they were part of the action. He was a true pioneer, breaking down barriers and bringing his infectious charisma to every performance. Fortunately, for those of us who still appreciate the golden age of television, Don Defore’s legacy lives on through his many unforgettable performances.

The Golden Age of Television: How Don Defore Became One of Its Most Memorable Stars.

In the history of television, there have been countless stars who have captured the hearts of audiences and etched themselves into the annals of entertainment lore. Among these luminaries is Don Defore, a versatile actor with an undeniable talent for delivering unforgettable performances.

Born in 1913 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Defore’s early acting career began on Broadway where he honed his craft and perfected his skills before making a splash in Hollywood. It wasn’t long before he caught the attention of producers and directors alike, landing memorable roles alongside some of the biggest names in film and television.

However, it was during the golden age of television that Defore truly made his mark. With its rise in popularity during the 1950s and 60s, television became more than just another form of entertainment – it was a medium that changed American culture forever.

Defore quickly became one of this medium’s most beloved stars, portraying a wide range of characters across numerous genres. He appeared in popular sitcoms such as “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet” where he played Thorny Thornberry, a comically hapless neighbor to America’s favorite family.

But perhaps one of Defore’s most iconic roles came in 1957 when he starred opposite Shirley Booth in the groundbreaking series “Hazel”. The show followed the adventures of Hazel Burke (Booth), who worked as a live-in maid for a wealthy family headed by George Baxter (Defore). Despite their initial differences, Baxter grew to appreciate Hazel’s no-nonsense approach to life and her unwavering loyalty. The show was an instant hit with audiences and ran for five seasons.

Despite his success on television, Don Defore never lost sight of what really mattered – family. In fact, he often brought his wife Marion Ross (not to be confused with actress Marion Ross) and their four children along with him to various filming locations throughout his career.

As the golden age of television came to a close, Don Defore continued to work steadily in both film and television until his death in 1993. His legacy lives on as one of the most memorable actors of his time, known for his impeccable comedic timing, dramatic range, and enduring charm.

In conclusion, Don Defore’s contributions to the golden age of television cannot be overstated. From his early days on Broadway to his iconic roles on beloved sitcoms like “Hazel,” he captured the hearts and imaginations of audiences across America. He truly earned his place among the pantheon of great entertainment legends who will continue to captivate generations for years to come.

Table with useful data:

Year TV Show/Movie Role
1942 The Male Animal Harrison
1944 The Doughgirls Harold Thatcher
1947-1955 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet Thorny
1956-1958 The Gale Storm Show Larry Lawrence
1959-1961 Hazel Mr. B

Note: This table provides data on some of the TV shows and movies that Don Defore appeared in, along with the respective year and role.

Information from an expert

Don Defore was a versatile American actor whose impressive body of work spanned over five decades. He started his career in the 1940s and appeared in many films before transitioning to television. He is best known for his portrayal of ‘Thorny’ Thornberry on the hit sitcom “Hazel” which ran from 1961-1966. Defore’s performances were often marked by his unique blend of humor and sincerity, endearing him to audiences across generations. His legacy as a talented and beloved performer continues to inspire new generations of actors today.

Historical fact:

Don DeFore was a popular American actor during the 1940s and 1950s, known for his roles in films such as “The Male Animal” and “My Friend Irma,” and for his portrayal of George Baxter in the television series “Hazel.” He also served as the President of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences from 1959 to 1961.

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