Monday, 21 December 2015

Richard Gilden

Born: 30 December 1931, USA

Lost, Lonely and Vicious (1958) as Walt
















8 comments:

  1. i can't find any information about Richard Gilden's early life or upbringing, does anybody know more?

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  2. He’s my (Kimberly Gilden) dad! His father - Samuel Gilde - (Pronounced “Gil- dee” yes, that is the original spelling of his last name- he changed it for Hollywood)) emmigrated from Russia, escaping the Pogroms. My dad grew up in multiple places in NY state, constantly traveling - as Samuel was a salesman. His mother, my paternal grandmother, was Edith Wilcox. The family finally landed in Syracuse, NY when my dad was 9. He went to Syracuse University as a Fine Arts major, where he met my mom, Mary Morrison, who was also a fine arts major. Dad became discouraged at the advanced talent of his fellow FA classmates, who he felt were too far ahead to catch up with. He changed his major to Speech and graduated in 1953 with a major in Speech and a minor in Fine Arts. My mom and dad married and moved to Hollywood, and had me in 1957. Dad originally intended to start a career in real estate but went with a friend to audition for a play, ending up with the role. From there he hired an agent and ended up with a part in The Ten Commandments. DeMille noticed my dad’s enthusiasm for his role and singled him out for up-front shots - eventually writing him into the script, giving him several scenes with spoken lines. My dad actually ended up as one of “the chosen people” on the Ten Commandments set — being followed around by cast-mates hoping to share a shot with him! My mom and dad divorced when I was still very young. I grew up with my mom and maternal grandparents in Montecito, CA, and dad ended up living on the very trendy Skyline Drive in Hollywood, in a house with stilts on the edge of a hill that I still remember. He appeared in multiple films including The Black Whip; Lost Lonely and Vicious; The Black Klansman, and The Ten Commandments. He also appeared in many western TV series of the day - including Gunsmoke - where he was cast as either a cowboy or an Indian. Dad says he always had an issue with his skin color - being olive-toned - he could easily play a native or a Caucasian, or a light- skinned black person, (see the controversial “The Black Klansman” original version) and was always fighting the “you’re too light/you’re too dark” syndrome. Dad remarried about 16 years after I was born and had another daughter, Rebecca- my half-sister. As of this date (August 2020) he still lives in L.A. with his 3rd wife, after retiring from a career with the County of Los Angeles.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for this invaluable insight into your father's life.

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    2. Kimberly, I was glad to read about your father, too. I am an insatiable Gunsmoke fan and enjoy reading about those who had smaller roles, since so many great stars passed through Dodge City. I couldn’t find anything on Richard Gioden and it was making me nuts. Now I know. Thanks.

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    3. Hey Kimberly. What you mentioned about your father's skin tone was quite interesting. I'm a student from the University of Southern California studying Film Production. I am doing a video essay on the film - I crossed the color line. I would love to learn more about the film from your father's point of view. My email is mudeh@usc.edu. If you have a moment, I would love to chat.

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  3. Hey Kimberly. What you mentioned about your father's skin tone was quite interesting. I'm a student from the University of Southern California studying Film Production. I am doing a video essay on the film - I crossed the color line. I would love to learn more about the film from your father's point of view. My email is mudeh@usc.edu. If you have a moment, I would love to chat.

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  4. Thank you for this great information about your dad! I just watched him in the hunter on Gunsmoke and he was really good as golden calf. Please tell him I said that and really appreciate your sharing his story

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