Jeff Chandler (later Robert Rockwell) played the role of biology teacher Mr. Boynton on the radio. Mr. Boynton was the object of Miss Brooks' perpetual affection. Although Phillip Boynton was not completely oblivious to Connie's advances, their relationship never moved further during the course of the old time radio show. So Miss Brooks lusted after Mr. Boynton, while he tended to his zoo of a classroom with mice and a frog named McDougall.
Jeff Chandler started life as Ira Grossel in Brooklyn, New York. As a child he attended Erasmus Hall High School which produced such notable alumni as Neil Diamond, Joseph Barbera, Susan Hayward, Bernie Kopell, and Barbra Streisand. Chandler spent his early career taking classes and in stock companies before his career was interrupted by World War II, the bulk of which he spent in the Aleutian Islands.
After his discharge, Chandler became a busy radio actor working in all kinds of genres including detective and, of course, Our Miss Brooks. His first film role was in the 1947 movie, Johnny O’Clock. Fit and ruggedly handsome, Chandler specialized in westerns and action movies until his death ins 1961 with a healthy dose of romance and the occasional costume drama.
Chandler received an Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of the famous Apache chief, Cochise in the movie Broken Arrow. He went on to play Cochise in two other movies. Some of his other movies include Female on the Beach, Drango, Thunder in the Sun, and Return to Peyton Place.
In addition to his radio and movie career, Chandler had a second career as a recording artist. He release several albums as well as having a nightclub act. He was the second person to star at the Riveria in Las Vegas with the first being Liberace. He also owned Chandler Music, played violin as well as being a song writer.
After starring in 1961’s Merrill Marauders, Chandler suffered a back injury while playing in a baseball game with the US Rangers. The injury required surgery but there were serious complications with a nicked artery. During the surgery, he needed 55 pints of blood. A second operation was performed a little later which required another 20 pints of blood. All to no avail. Chandler died in June 1961.
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