Sterling Hayden was not your typical Hollywood leading man. He was one of those rare exceptions of a star who lived out the roles he played onscreen. An intimidating 6' 5'' frame and tough-guy demeanor won him roles playing criminals, generals, sheriffs, and other gritty characters. "The Asphalt Jungle" was one of his more famous films, as well as a classic of film noir.


During WWII Hayden joined the Marines. After becoming a second lieutenant he was transferred to William J. Donovan's COI office, where he became an undercover agent, later working as an OSS agent when that office became the OSS. While there he earned a Silver Star for his courage in sailing missions as well as reconnaissance, working in rescue teams and running guns through German lines.

Despite having a film career that lasted over forty years, he professed in interviews that it was merely a means to finance his true passion: sailing. This love for the sea was instilled in him at the age of 15, when he ran away from home and became a ship's boy. For many years he lived on various ships, sailing around the world numerous times. Eventually he was awarded the command of a boat at 22, in which he sailed from Massachusetts to Tahiti. When he divorced his wife in 1958, he made this voyage again with his children.

Sterling Hayden wrote two books, one being the autobiographical "Wanderer." In it he revealed his belief that every man needs adventure, poignantly stated in the following passage:

"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. "I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?"


All credit goes to Wikipedia.

Views: 571

Comments are closed for this blog post

Latest Activity

David Arbogast replied to Art's discussion Beat the Clock in the group Men Over 50
"I am enjoying life much more than when I was younger.  Since turning 60 I have made three trips to China and one to VietNam.  I really enjoyed them all."
1 minute ago
David Arbogast replied to Greatman's discussion Shirtless career in the group The Shirtless Man
"That doesn't look like the sort of yard work I do.  I would say that is some really serious raking."
4 minutes ago
Nature of a Man replied to Lumberjoe's discussion What happens when Islamic sexism meets Icelandic feminism / gender equality? Let's find out! in the group The Great Debate
"For that matter, even the media-driven 'movements' to get women into arts and entertainments, primarily just focus on lowbrow or mass entertainment, a la Amy Schumer's trash, because it's much easier to sell a comedy show about a…"
15 minutes ago
Nature of a Man replied to Lumberjoe's discussion What happens when Islamic sexism meets Icelandic feminism / gender equality? Let's find out! in the group The Great Debate
"Fair enough."
19 minutes ago
Braeden replied to Pale Horse's discussion Best Methods for Cutting Down on Sweets
"Have I been summoned?"
35 minutes ago
Nature of a Man replied to Lumberjoe's discussion What happens when Islamic sexism meets Icelandic feminism / gender equality? Let's find out! in the group The Great Debate
"That's an interesting opinion. My opinion is that secular consumer capitalism can be as oppressive to women as various religions but isn't by default, absolutely and unilaterally. IMO either can be equally beneficial or…"
38 minutes ago
Lumberjoe replied to Drew's discussion Dealing with a depressing job
"Lifehacker has a lot of resources for these kinds of situations. Below are just a few, but check out all the related articles you can find on their site,…"
41 minutes ago
Lumberjoe replied to Lumberjoe's discussion What happens when Islamic sexism meets Icelandic feminism / gender equality? Let's find out! in the group The Great Debate
"It's similar to being "straight X edge" vs simply being a teetotaler. The latter is simply one who doesn't consume alcohol. The former is one who has wrapped his entire sense of self and his outward image in the banner of the…"
45 minutes ago

© 2017   Created by Brett McKay.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service