Adventures in Paradise: Gardney McKay filmography

Gardner McKay, alias Captain Adam Troy

His filmography, an "aborded career"
Theater, as an actor direct to theater section
The writer direct to "the writer" section, "Sea Marks" direct to "Sea Marks", "Untold Damage" direct to "Untold Damage", "Toyer" direct to the novel "Toyer".



His filmography
An aborted movie career...
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(in chronological order)
1957 - Raintree C
ountry - uncredited - 2h46 (Color) -.Drama directed by Edward Dmytryk, from Ross Lockridge Jr.'s novel, with Elisabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift, Eva Marie Saint, Nigel Patrick, Lee Marvin, Rod Taylor, Agnes Moorehead (what a beautiful list!). A love story with the Civil War as background, which reminds "Gone with The Wind" and cost $6 millions, a record for MGM in those days!.- Gardner McKay made an appearance as a beared solder... - picture right - (To me, it seemed I saw him just in the first scene in a group of youngsters gazing at Eva Marie Saint?)

1957 - Boots and Saddles - 2 season run TV series (1957/58) in 39 episodes in B&W of 30 mins each, shooted at Kanab (Utah) : Gardner kept his uniforme as he played the role of lieutenant Kelly in a series which tells the adventures of the 5th Cavalry and the indians in the years 1880! (See left McKay fighting an indian). He appeared in 17 or 18 of the 39 episodes.

1959/1962 - Adventures in Paradise, TV series boadcasted by ABC Channel, as captain Adam Troy. His first leading role.

1964 - The Pleasure Seekers (pictures on right & movie posters) - 20th Century Fox musical comedy in color of 107 mins, directed by Jean Negulesco, with Ann-Margret, Antony Franciosa, André Lawrence, Carol Lynley, Pamela Tiffin and Gene Tierney (her last movie).
Producer:David Weisbart
Photodirector:Daniel L.Fapp
Music:Alexandre Courage, Lionel Newman and James Van Hesen.
Choregraphy:Antonio Gades and Robert Sidney.
A remake of Warner's Bros. 1954 "Three coins in The Fountain", inspired from John H. Secondari's novel and written by Edith R. Sommer.
The story: Three young american girls (Ann-Margret, Lynley, Tiffin) arrive in Spain looking for adventure and romance. Each of them fall in love with respectively Lawrence, Pete Stenello (McKay) et Franciosa, but misunderstandings comes along when a married man is dicovered...
One can notice that the film received an Oscar nomination for the best musical adaptation.

1968 - I sailed to Tahiti with All Girl Crew
A light comedy in color of 95 mins by Richard Bare, with Fred Clark, Pat Buttram, Diane McBain, ... A $20,000 bet story of a race between two sailors, but Gardner McKay will make it with an all girl crew... Again a role for a sailor and occasionally a deep-sea diver in the warm seas. (see photo on the right from the film).

Bearded soldier Gardner in "Raintree Country"
In "Boots & Saddles"
"The Pleasure Seekers"
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"The Pleasure Seekers"
"The Pleasure Seekers"
Gardner McKay dans les îles Photos d'une scène de "I Sailed To Tahiti"...
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Guest appearances

In other series :
  • on television:
    1957 - A brief appearance and "passive role" on The Thin Man, based on the 1930's series of movies by the same name; starring Myrna Loy and William Powell, a husband and wife team of detectives. In the episode in which Gardner was, the couple-detectives were investigating a murder; and, upon opening a closet door, out fell Gardner McKay as a "mighty handsome" corpse. He was only on the screen a few seconds. It was one of his first roles in Hollywood, just before the Boots and Saddles series.
    1958 -"Death Valley Days" : Brief appearance in one episode called "The Big Rendez-Vous", out of a long run western series (532 episodes from 1952 to 1975!). Then in the same year, in an episode called "Showdown" of the western TV series "Jefferson Drum" (26 episodes of 30mins), in the years 1958-1959. A further short guest appearance in another TV series called: "Silent Service".
  • In movies:
    "Holiday for Lovers":a movie in which Gardner McKay had a small role, as a U.S. soldier. It came out about the time "Adventures in Paradise" began. He had a small part and appeared a few times after the beginning of the film.In this film starred Brian Keith who also played in The Pleasure Seekers. Unfortunately Gardner McKay's name did not appear in the credits of the movie because the studio didn't want the star of their biggest and newest TV production, "Adventures", to be noted for such a brief role in the movie (thanks Ashley for this info!).
As a guest:
  • TV Shows:
    - In the States, in the 60's, "The Dating Game", a TV show where celebrities date a mystery guest behind a closed curtain.

Special feature : Gardner McKay declined the offer to be the partner of Marilyn Monroe (who, we understand had insisted!) in George Cuckor' s unfinished movie "Something Got to Give", dramatically interrupted by the actress' death (1962).

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Theater

Click to read this articleClick on this
picture
to read an article
from a school-newspaper
written in 1967
by young Beverly
from Florida
(USA)

In the years 1963-64, Gardner McKay started to devote most of his artistic life to theater and drama.
IN 63, his long theater career started first as an actor in We're No Angel (see Biography). Later, amongst many different plays, he performed in Dial M For Murder, The Mousetrap, Fantasticks (1965) in which he took the part of the narrator and El Gallo, and further made his first singing role with a song called "Try To Remember..."; Any Wednesday (1967) with Loretta Swit as his partner; "Funny Girl"; My 3 Angels, and a play on Tarzan.

Parallele to teaching drama in universities and his thirst for writting coming back to him, he put himselft in staging his own plays, such as Sea Marks, Untold Damage and Toyer (see further down).



Ticket for "My 3 Angels"


Ticket for "Funny Girl"

Singing

While in Paris in 1963, Gardner McKay recorded 4 songs in french:

  • "C'est vrai" (It's true) - extract
  • "L'ile Saint-Louis" (Saint-Louis Island - a little island on the Seine river in the center of Paris) - extract
  • "L' Ocean" (The Ocean) - extract
  • "Cala di Volpe" (Wolf's creek) - extract

In spite of 50000 copies released, his career as a singer had no future. Gardner wrote the lyrics of "C'est vrai", followed later by many others for singers and musicians, such as for his very close friend: David Soul, who casted in the well known TV series of the seventies: Starkey and Hutch.


The writer

Gardner McKay wrote his first story at the age of 15. He wrote novels (The last Américan, Trompe L'Œil, Master Of The Seas, This Fortunate Island - with the Island of Lanzarote (Canaries), where he lived, as background - , Landmarks, Me, Meeting, Silver Eyes, The People We Kill, The Visitor, Have no Choice, and Toyer) , many screenplays, poems, and 21 plays, all this jointly with his work as playwriting teacher at U.C.L.A., the University of Southern California, The University of Alaska and the University of Hawaii. He is the laureate of three National Endorsement Fellowship Grants for playwriting.

His best known works are his plays such as Me, Sea Marks and Untold Damage, not forgetting his novel: Toyer.

Gardner McKay à Hawaï
"SEA MARKS"

Play and TV film.

A love story between an irish fisherman and an english spinster.

Its the story of a fisherman named Colm, who lived on a little irish island and who, at a wedding reception is attracted by a single english woman, Timothea. He starts to write her a few poems, in a rather primitive style. After one year of letter exchanges, Timothea asks him to come over to Liverpool to live with her. She manages to convince the editor's company for which she was working, to get interest in his poems and edit them. In a few weeks, Colm becomes a growing up celebrity, but he cannot cope that new experience, as he considered his poems as personnal, only wrote to Timothea. From then on, their love and social lives will get into conflict. Soon she will not appreciate his indifference to writing, his drift towards alcohol and his disregard on his looks. Colm wishes to return back home, to go back to the sea, only life he really knows...

Sea Marks is a love story between two people who are so different from each other, that finaly when they get together, they will find out that love cannot win it all. The opposite do not always attract one another at its best... in love!

This play, first time performed at the "Hollywood Center Theatre" in 1974, has still today great success in the States, in Ireland and the UK. It had received many prizes, of which the "Los Angeles Drama Critic's Circle Award" for Best Play in 1979.

TV film of 130 mins shooted for WNET-13 in 1976 - Producer Ronald F.Maxwell. Directed by: Ronald F.Maxwell and Steven Robman, with Véronica Castang et George Hearn.

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"UNTOLD DAMAGE"
 

A play, then a TV film of 60 mins, shooted in 1973 by Gardner McKay and Allan Muir, Produced by George Turpin, with Billie Jean Beach, Tracy Brooks Swope, Joshua Bryant, Lou Frizzell, Alison Rose, Géraldine Fitzgerald and the well known actor Richard Dreyfuss (photo of the film), who played in Jaws, Entcounter of the Third Kind...

A drama, or perhaps more a "black comedy", which tells the story of Tomby, a lightly backward teenager who manipulates his family, which accepts all his tantrums. Only his brother Greg, played by Richard Dreyfuss, will understand the boy and treat him as a human being. Their mother (Geraldine Fitzgerald) is hiding Tomby's secret...

Photo d'une scène de "Untold Damage"
"TOYER" (1998)
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Une couverture de "Toyer"
First it was a play in one act (the play is presently on show in London), then a thriller novel of 455 pages published in 1998-1999 by Little, Brown & Co.
First edition: 200,000 copies - Press and TV advertising campaign budget: $ 200,000.-.

Originality of the first edition: the novel was published with 12 different covers representing a different woman's face.

It's the story of of a maniac psychopath who harasses women with fright and horror. He is not a serial killer. He does'nt rape his victims, but almost like a cat with his toy, he wants to maintian them in a continuous and oppressive fright by injecting them some drug affecting their brain. When a copycat comes up with a murder, the one the police calls "Toyer", contacts the press denying beeing the author and makes a deal by giving them exclusivity of his activities against publishing his book and rights on a future film. All this to the delight of Toyer, who maintains his victims in a permanent terror.


In his book, Gardner McKay demonstrates the fascination has serial killers in the public and the perversity of the judicial system with the press, which causes conflicts between people who fight themselves to reach the best position in Los Angeles.


A few critics on the book:

"A brilliant black diamond of a novel... a relentless suspenser that can overpower readers... Wait untill you get a load of the final" - Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel.

"Chapter after chapter frightened me... There were times reading it when I had to put it down to collect myself before picking it up again."... "Frightening, fascinating and wonderfully well writen" - Dominick Dunne, Author of Another City, Not My Own.

"A terrifying talent" - Vanity Fair.

"Toyer is a novel where Los Angeles stars as itself, the city of masks, where relationships peel the onion of dark revelation, as two adversaries couple in a seductive death lock. Gardner McKay has woven a chilling and disturbing descent into the catacomb of the mind." - James Cameron, director of Titanic.

"The most effective, exciting, bizarre, tale possible. In TOYER, McKay has given us an array of victims who fall into the Venus flytrap of a villain as cunning as Richard III and as maniacal as Hannibal Lecter." - Jimmy Buffett, author of A Pirate Looks at Fifty.

"Toyer is almost impossible to put down. Read it once for the story. Read it at least twice more to appreciate McKay's use of the language, plot, and characterization... A first-rate thriller... No one who reads this book will ever forget Toyer." - Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Une couverture de "Toyer"
Une couverture de "Toyer"
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"JOURNEY WITHOUT A MAP" - 2009
 

During his final year, Gardner McKay gathered his notebooks together and began writing this memoir of a life so richly varied that it would seem contrived if it were a movie script. Dozens of handwritten diaries were augmented by events he'd written about previously. Both devotees of his short stories and plays as well as fans from his years as a television star will enjoy his unusual insights and even more unusual adventures (...to purchase the book)


"THE KINSMAN" - A Novel - 2011
 

The Kinsman is an adventure of great proportion, as well as one of audacious success, where the impossible odds are a million-to-one. It is a drama wherein the ancient, atrocious debasement of humanity is confronted and defeated. It is a visually stunning tale of the richest, most beautiful sport on earth. It is a love story of great contrast. It is the story of a wealthy, divided family. And of a spoiled brat named Charles Rutledge, who discovers that his manhood is alive and well and living inside him (...to purchase the book).


Gardner McKay à Hollywood en 59
Gardner McKay in his convertible Chevy with his dog "Pussycat" (Hollywood - 1959)

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