ON THE COVER…
If Stephen Boyd hadn’t been so anxious to get on with his move career, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor might never have met. Boyd was the first choice to play Mark Antony in “Cleopatra,” but when Liz’ illness postponed filming for six months, the ruggedly handsome Irishman signed to do another picture.
“I’m not sorry about missing THAT experience,” he said.
Born in Belfast on July 4, 1928, the youngest of nine children, his real name is Billy Miller. He was 8 when he decided to become an actor, and at 16 he began his career with the Ulster Theatre Group. Two years later he went to Canada, where he played in summer stock and radio. In 1950 he came to the United States and tours in “Streetcar Named Desire” and other plays.
He returned to Europe, where his career hit a bleak period, and it took him five years to win his way to a movie contract. His first major screen role was in “The Man Who Never Was.” He also appeared in “Island in the Sun” and “The Best of Everything” before getting his first big break, the role of Messala in “Ben Hur.” His latest role was opposite Doris Day in “Jumbo.”
Boyd married Mariella de Graziani, an Italian talent agency executive, in August, 1958. The marriage lasted 23 days, and they were divorced the following March.
SUNDAY NEWS, MAY 5, 1963
Blogger’s note: this article misspelled Mariella’s name – it’s di Sarzana. Also, this is a common mistake where Boyd’s birth date is incorrectly given as 1928, not 1931.
What a great photo! Stephen looks like he’d ready to take on the world here. This is a fascinating read from very early on in Stephen’s budding career, or what the author dubs as “the greatest find since James Mason.” It also mentions the Clair Tree Major Stock company which Boyd toured America with in 1950 when he performed as Stanley Kowalski in “A Streetcar Named Desire”, a performance which later Stephen would recall as his best.
Twentieth Century Fox Studios took some truly gorgeous photos of Stephen for the press release of “Woman Obsessed.” Stephen had just finished wrapping the film work on “Ben-Hur” about 4 months prior and he was ready to melt the cameras with his brawny masculinity in the pine woods of Northern California. Dressed in a black sweater, brown corduroy pants, thick leather belt and boots with that curly Irish hair, Stephen is just…WOW. Words can’t describe how handsome and strapping he looks. Enjoy!