RIP Don Sullivan
Don Sullivan, who acted in Hollywood B-movies of the late 1950s - most notably the now cult monster picture, The Giant Gila monster (1959) – died in Los Angeles, California on January 7th
According to Don himself, in an interview he gave to the B-movie Podcast in 2007, he was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA in 1929 and soon after moved to Idaho where he was raised until 1948 - when he joined and spent 4 years in the Marine Corps. In the mid-1950s he went off to Los Angeles" with 3 dollars in my pocket…a young guy out looking for a fortune".
In Hollywood he began dating actress Judi Meredith (USA 1936-2014). After joining her acting class - and being handsome, tall (6' 2") and a talented singer - he was quickly spotted by visiting film director Hugo Haas (Czech 1901-1968) who offered him the lead romantic role in his charming film, Paradise Alley (filmed 1957/8 but not released to TV until 1962). Roles in at least 15 TV shows followed before his good looks and sensitive acting lead to lead roles in 3 B-movies that are today cult classics: The Giant Gila Monster (1959), The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959) & Teenage Zombies (1960) - the latter directed by Jerry Warren (USA 1925-1988) in 24 hours on a shoe-string budget - according to Sullivan, when he was 25 (though the movie's official release was 1960).
Despite appearing in other pictures and after a long actors' strike, by 1960 Don Sullivan had had enough - and decided to use his chemistry degree, attained from the University of Idaho - and found great success as one of the top creative cosmetic chemists in the hair industry.
In later years, Don has cherished the memories of his brief Hollywood career and delighted in hearing from film fans - and in 2008 made a well-received public appearance at the Monster Bash Convention in Pennsylvania.
In 2011 he made a return to acting in a remake of The Giant Gila Monster entitled GILA! - though release of the film, scheduled for 2012, has been questionable.
SULLIVAN, Don (Donald Sullivan)
Born: 1929, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.
Died: 1/7/2018, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Don Sullivan’s westerns – actor:
The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok (TV) – 1956 (Blake)
Death Valley Days (TV) – 1958 (Tony Rando)
Seven Guns to Mesa – 1958 (man)
Curse of the Undead – 1959 (Louis Middleton)