RARA-AVIS: Steve Cochran

Tyler, Tom (Ttyle@herrick.com)
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 11:21:43 -0400

Ellroy's My Dark Places and some of his other works refer to the movie actor Steve Cochran has having had "the biggest dick in Hollywood."

Seeing Cochran's nearly eponymous name in Ellroy's work jogged something in my memory about the actor, and a little internet research turned up what that was: Cochran died in the summer of 1965 at the age of 48. I was 14 then and having one of the best summers of my life reading my way through my uncle's paperback mystery collection. I read of Cochran's death in the newspapers then and its details blended nicely with my summer book list: Cochran died floating on his yacht off the coast of Guatemala. The only others on the boat with him were three females, unhappy about the corpse's stench.

Cochran got his start as one of the stud muffins in Mae West's stage shows, then moved into B-movies. I, Mobster and The Beat Generation with Mamie van Doren are two of his more interesting-sounding films, neither of which seem to be available on video.

His last two films, one of which he directed, were posthumously released and seem even less available than I, Mobster and The Beat Generation.

My questions to list members are:

        - Does anyone know anything more about Cochran than what I've turned up on the 'net?

        - Does anyone know where I could get videos of any of the films mentioned above (I've already checked the obvious places - reel.com, ccvideo, etc.)?

I have a feeling Cochran's life story must be a really sleazy, noirish Hollywood one, and, to the best of my knowledge, it's not been chronicled.

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