Image of Steve Cochran

Steve Cochran

He is perhaps best remembered for his role of Big Ed Somers, the power hungry gangster pal of James Cagney in "White Heat" (1949). Born Robert Alexander Cochran in Eureka, California, he was the son of a California lumberjack, who moved the family to Wyoming in the 1920s, where Cochran grew to adulthood. After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1939, Cochran began working steadily as a Wyoming cowboy, while developing his acting skills working in summer stock and regional theaters and gradually moving on to Broadway. In 1945, he signed with MGM, and for the next several years, played mostly secondary roles as gangsters or boxers. He made his film debut with "Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion" (1945) and quickly followed with "Wonder Man" (1945). Released from his contract in 1948, he returned to Broadway where he worked with Mae West; the next year he signed on with Warner Brothers, where he earned leading roles in such films as "The Damned Don't Cry" (1950), "Highway 301" (1950) and "Tomorrow is Another Day" (1951). Warner Brothers often had him playing the villain in several of its western films, such as "Dallas" (1950), and "Back to God's Country" (1953). With the end of his contract in 1953, he began his own film company, Robert Alexander Productions, while also freelancing for other studios and moving on to guest star roles on television shows. He would show up in such television shows as Death Valley Days, Burke's Law, The Untouchables, Naked City, The Twilight Zone, Route 66, and The Virginian. A notorious womanizer, Cochran was married and divorced three times, and was often in the Hollywood tabloids reportedly having affairs with such actresses as Mae West, Jayne Mansfield, Joan Crawford, Merle Oberon, Ida Lupino and Mamie Van Doren. Cochran died under mysterious circumstances. In May 1965, Cochran had revived his production company, and together with three women, whom he had hired as his assistants, boarded his 40-foot yacht to travel to Central and South America to look for filming locations. On June 25, 1965, the yacht drifted into Port Champerico, Guatemala, with three alive but very distraught women aboard and the body of Steve Cochran, who had died ten days earlier. The women did not know how to operate the boat, and were dependent upon its drifting to shore after his death. There were numerous rumors of murder and poisoning, and actress / former lover Merle Oberon used her influence to push for further police investigation, but no evidence of foul play was ever determined. The official cause of his death was given as Acute Infectious Edema (lung infection).

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May 25, 1917 In Eureka, California
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Wonder Man 1945-01-01
Latest Project:
Movie Jimmy Carter Man from Plains 2007-10-26
Known For
Poster of Tell Me In The Sunlight
Poster of The Virginian
Poster of White Heat
Poster of The Best Years of Our Lives
Movie Jimmy Carter Man from Plains Himself 2007-10-26
Movie Little Big League Reporter #1 1994-06-29
Movie Grumpy Old Men Weatherman 1993-12-25
Movie Tell Me In The Sunlight Dave 1965-01-01
Series Mr. Broadway Unknown 1964-09-26
Movie Mozambique Brad Webster 1964-12-07
Movie Of Love and Desire Steve Corey 1963-09-11
Series Burke's Law Unknown 1963-09-20
Series The Virginian Unknown 1962-09-19
Series Stoney Burke Unknown 1962-10-01
Movie The Deadly Companions Billy Keplinger 1961-06-06
Series Bus Stop Unknown 1961-10-01
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Movie I, Mobster Joe Sante 1959-01-01
Movie The Beat Generation Dave Culloran 1959-07-03
Movie The Big Operator Bill Gibson 1959-08-01
Series The Twilight Zone Fred Renard 1959-10-02
Movie Quantrill's Raiders Captain Alan 'Wes' Westcott 1958-04-27
Series Naked City Niccolo Mori 1958-09-30
Movie Slander H.R. Manley 1957-01-18
Movie Il Grido Aldo 1957-06-22
Movie The Weapon Mark Andrews 1957-05-17
Movie Come Next Spring Matt Ballot 1956-03-09
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Series Climax! Unknown 1954-10-07
Movie Carnival Story Joe Hammond 1954-04-16
Movie Private Hell 36 Police Sgt. Cal Bruner 1954-09-03
Movie She's Back on Broadway Rick Sommers 1953-03-14
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Movie The Desert Song Captain Claude Fontaine 1953-05-30
Movie Back to God's Country Paul Blake 1953-11-01
Movie Shark River Dan Webley 1953-11-13
Series Letter to Loretta Unknown 1953-09-20
Movie The Lion and the Horse Ben Kirby 1952-05-16
Movie Operation Secret Marcel Brevoort 1952-11-05
Movie Raton Pass Cy Van Cleave 1951-04-07
Movie Storm Warning Hank Rice 1951-02-10
Movie Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison Chuck Daniels 1951-05-18
Movie Jim Thorpe – All-American Peter Allendine 1951-08-24
Movie Tomorrow Is Another Day Bill Clark / Mike Lewis 1951-08-08
Movie The Tanks Are Coming Francis Aloysius 'Sully' Sullivan 1951-10-31
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Movie The Damned Don't Cry Nick Prenta 1950-04-07
Series Robert Montgomery Presents Unknown 1950-01-30
Series Lux Video Theatre Unknown 1950-10-02
Movie Highway 301 George Legenza 1950-12-01
Movie Dallas Bryant Marlow 1950-12-30
Movie White Heat 'Big Ed' Somers 1949-09-02
Movie A Song Is Born Tony Crow 1948-10-19
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07
Movie Copacabana Steve Hunt 1947-05-30
Movie The Kid from Brooklyn Speed McFarlane 1946-03-21
Movie The Best Years of Our Lives Cliff Scully 1946-12-25
Movie The Chase Eddie Roman 1946-11-16
Movie Wonder Man Ten Grand Jackson 1945-01-01
Movie Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion Jack Higgins 1945-05-10
Movie Boston Blackie's Rendezvous Jimmy Casey 1945-07-05
Movie The Gay Senorita Tim O'Brien 1945-08-08