Sterling Hayden is perhaps best-known for playing Jack D Ripper but his life and career make for fascinating reading. After a time working as a mate on various ships his near 2-metre frame, grizelled good looks and shock of blonde hair saw him move into print modelling and then into Hollywood. Hayden then joined the Marine Corps and from there the Office of the Co-ordinator of Information, which became the OSS. Following WW2 he returned to the film industry and became embroiled in the Red Scare as he had briefly been a member of the Communist Party. He testified at the HUAC hearings, a decision he later renounced, before eventually starring in two Stanley Kubrick films – The Killing and as Jack D Ripper in Dr. Strangelove. Hayden’s OSS file contains details of his wartime exploits and his reckless character.
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