Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Actor Corey Allen Passes On

Actor and television director Corey Allen, who played Buzz (who challenged James Dean's character to a chicken race) in A Rebel Without a Cause, passed on June 27 at the age of 75.

Corey Allen was born Alan Cohen on  June 29, 1934 in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1954 Mr. Allen graduated from the UCLA theatre department. It was that same year that he made his movie debut in the film A Time Out of War. In 1954 he also appeared in the film The Mad Magician in the uncredited role as Gus the Stagehand, and made his television debut in a guest appearance on Medic. He appeared in bit parts in the films The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954) and The Night of the Hunter (1955) and guest starred on the TV shows Dragnet and Stories of the Century before his famous appearance in Rebel Without a Cause. In the film Corey Allen played the leather jacketed leader of a high school gang, Buzz, who challenges Jim Stark (James Dean) to a chicken race.

Despite his appearance in Rebel Without a Cause, much of Mr. Allen's career would be spent in television. In the late Fifties he guest starred on such shows as The Loretta Young Show, Casablanca, Studio 57, The Millionaire, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Relsteles Gun, Gunsmoke, Trackdown, Have Gun--Will Travel, Rawhide, and Dan Raven.  He also appeared in the films The Shadow on the Window (1957), The Big Caper (1957), Darby's Rangers (1958), Party Girl (1958),. and Key Witness (1960).

In the Sixties Corey Allen guest starred on such shows as Sea Hunt, The Rebel, Perry Mason, Bonanza, Dr. Kildare, Combat, and My Friend Tony. He also appeared in the films Sweet Bird of Youth (1962), and The Champion Report (1962). It was in 1969 that Mr. Allen moved into television direction, with an episode of The New People. Over the years he would direct episodes of Then Came Bronson, Mannix, The High Chapparal, Matt Lincoln, Ironside, Hawaii Five-O, Barnaby Jones, Police Story, Police Woman, Lou Grant, Quincy M.E., The Rockford Files, T. J. Hooker, Simon and Simon, Hill Street Blues, Murder She Wrote, Magnum P.I., Hunter, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and The Cosby Mysteries. He directed three  feature films: The Erotic Adventures of Pinocchio (1971), Thunder and Lightning (1977),  and Avalanche (1978).  Mr. Allen would appear in acting roles twice more, in the film The Works (2004) and as the voice of Mr. Eagle in Quarantined (2009).

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