Tyrone Power is still a name which inspires strong emotions, particularly in female moviegoers of a certain age. Even so it is difficult nowadays to realise just how big a star, and a heartthrob star at that, that Tyrone Power was.
Tyrone Power was one of the great swashbucklers of Hollywood’s golden Age, on a par with Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks.
His career total movies is about 50 and he began at the age of 22. Almost immediately his spectacular good looks marked him out and within his first full year of movie acting he leapfrogged from supposedly fourth lead in ‘Lloyds of London’ in 1936 to become a leading man and top star.
He appeared in ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’, and ‘Suez’ in 1938 which, along with ‘In Old Chicago’ which he had starred in the previous year, became three of the top four of Twentieth Century Fox’s highest grossing films.
Power then cemented his status with a series of highly successful swashbuckling costume dramas such as ‘The Mark of Zorro’ in 1940, ‘Blood and Sand’ in 1941 and ‘Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake’ and ‘The Black Swan’ both in 1942. He had become Godlike and he continued at the top until the 1950’s.
In November 1958 Power collapsed while filming a dueling scene and died from heart failure. He was buried at Hollywood Memorial Cemetery (now called Hollywood Forever) with an inscription on his tombstone which reads, “Good night, sweet prince…”.