“We stand today on the edge of a new frontier-the frontier of the 1960s, a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils-a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy
George Dolenz (born Jure Dolenc, or Giorgio Dolenz and George Dolentz, 5 January 1908 – 8 February 1963) was an American film actor born in Trieste (then part of Austria-Hungary, now in Italy), in the city's Slovene community.
Under the name Giorgio Dolenz, he emigrated to the United States via Cuba, arriving by steamship at the port of Key West, Florida, in October 1934; by 1937, the young actor-to-be was in Hollywood and earning his living as a waiter. After appearing in small parts in B movies, he graduated to supporting roles. Following the end of World War II, Dolenz became a leading man under contract to RKO Pictures under Howard Hughes. However, the failure of the feature film Vendetta in 1950 resulted in his return to character and supporting parts for other studios, including MGM's The Last Time I Saw Paris as the husband of Donna Reed's character.
Better luck came to him when he was cast as the star of the 1956 ITC Entertainment 39-episode television series, The Count of Monte Cristo as the title character, Edmond Dantes.
On April 21, 1958, Dolenz played Count Peter Von Gilsa in the episode "The Outlander" of the NBC Western television series The Restless Gun.
In 1959, he portrayed Colonel Gutterez in "The Town Is a Prisoner" of the NBC Western series, Cimarron City.
He was cast as Juan Amontillo in the 1961 episode "The Uncourageous" of the ABCWestern series, The Rebel, starring Nick Adams. That same year, he played Ramon Ortega in "Brand of Honesty" on the NBC Western, The Deputy, starring Henry Fondaand Allen Case.
Dolenz, who was of Slovene descent, married the actress Janelle Johnson. They had four children: actor and singer Micky Dolenz (George Michael Dolenz) of the 1960s musical group, The Monkees, Gemma "Coco" Dolenz, Gina Dolenz, and Debbie Dolenz.
Dolenz died of a heart attack in 1963 at the age of 55. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.