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John Derek (born Derek Delevan Harris; August 12, 1926 – May 22, 1998) was an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer and photographer. He appeared in such films as Knock on Any Door, All the King's Men (both 1949), and Rogues of Sherwood Forest (1950). Bisexual, he was rumored to be in a relationship with actor Spencer Tracy and to have had an affair with Paul Newman.
Derek Delevan Harris  was born in Hollywood, California, on August 12, 1926, the son of actor/director Lawson Harris and actress Dolores Johnson.
Derek married Turkish-born prima ballerina Pati Behrs Eristoff in 1948. They had a son, Russell Andre (1950–1999), who became paralyzed from the chest down in a 1969 motorcycle accident, and a daughter, Sean Catherine (born 1953), who later wrote a memoir titled Cast of Characters (1982) about her parents' dysfunctional relationship. Derek abandoned his wife and family in late summer 1955 after meeting 19-year-old aspiring Swiss actress Ursula Andress, who spoke almost no English when they met. He and Behrs were divorced in 1956. In 1957, Derek married Andress in a quick Las Vegas ceremony. Five years later, her role in the James Bond film Dr. No launched her career. Derek ejected Andress from his California home in 1964 over rumors that she had been seeing actor Ron Ely. Andress returned to Europe, engaging in public affairs with costars John Richardson and Marcello Mastroianni before officially leaving Derek for Jean-Paul Belmondo in 1965. The pair divorced in 1966. In September 1965, Derek became involved with American actress Linda Evans, at the time starring in television's The Big Valley. Several years into their relationship, Evans reduced her appearances on the show to spend more time with Derek, and financed his alimony and child support payments to Behrs, as he had quit acting to pursue photography and directing. They eloped in Mexico in 1968, with his daughter Sean as a witness.
In 1973 Derek, Evans and 16-year-old high school dropout Mary Cathleen Collins (who would later be known as Bo Derek) traveled to the Greek island of Mykonos to make the film And Once Upon a Time (unreleased until 1981, under the title Fantasies). During filming, Derek and Collins began an affair. Evans returned to the United States and filed for divorce in 1974, but Derek and Collins stayed in Europe until she turned 18 in November of that year so that Derek could avoid statutory rape charges. Collins became known to the public as Bo Derek following their marriage on June 10, 1976, and achieved international fame in 1979 with her role in the Blake Edwards film 10. They remained together until John died in 1998. Derek suffered a heart attack in 1986, but completely recovered. Derek had one granddaughter, Alyce Derek (born 1969), from Russell's marriage to Lynette Berry. He became a great-grandfather in 1996.
John Derek died on May 22, 1998 of cardiovascular disease in Santa Maria, California at the age of 71. His remains were cremated.
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