JAMES DARREN Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: James William Ercolani                                                           
Born: 8 June 1936 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States                           
James William Ercolani (born June 8, 1936), best known as James Darren, is an         
American television and film actor, television director, and singer.                   
Darren was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1936.                                 
Darren began his career as a teen idol, having been discovered by talent agent         
and casting director Joyce Selznick. This encompassed roles in films, most             
notably his role as Moondoggie in Gidget in 1959, as well as a string of pop           
hits for Colpix Records, the biggest of which was "Goodbye Cruel World" (#3 on         
the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961). He is also featured in one of the Scopitone           
series of pop music video jukebox films ("Because You're Mine").                       
Darren's role in the gritty 1961 World War II film The Guns of Navarone was an         
attempt to break out of his teen image. He then achieved success co-starring as       
impulsive scientist and adventurer Tony Newman in the science fiction television       
series, The Time Tunnel (1966–1967).                                                 
In the 1970s, Darren appeared as a celebrity panelist on Match Game.                   
Later, Darren had a regular role as Officer James Corrigan on the television           
police drama T.J. Hooker from 1983–1986. Subsequently he worked as a director on     
many action-based television series, including Hunter, The A-Team, and Nowhere         
Man, as well as dramas such as Beverly Hills, 90210 and Melrose Place.                 
In 1998 he achieved renewed popularity as a singer through his appearances on         
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in the role of holographic crooner and advice-giver         
Vic Fontaine; many of his performances on the show were recorded for the album         
This One's From the Heart (1999). The album showed Darren, a close friend of           
Frank Sinatra, comfortably singing in the Sinatra style; the 2001 follow-up           
Because of You showed similar inspiration from Tony Bennett.                           
Some animation fans may know him as the singing voice of Yogi Bear in the 1964         
animated film, Hey There, It's Yogi Bear!, on the song "Ven-e, Ven-o, Ven-a".         
Prior to that, he was the singing and speaking voice of "Jimmy Darrock" on an         
episode of The Flintstones.