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John Payne
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    (May 23, 1912-December 6, 1989)
    Born in Roanoke, Virginia
    Birth name was John Howard Payne
    Acted in 'Tin Pan Alley,' Sun Valley Serenade,' Springtime in the Rockies,' 'Hello, Frisco, Hello,' 'To the Shores of Tripoli,' 'Miracle on 34th Street,' 'Kansas City Confidential,' '99 River Street,' 'Silver Lode,' 'Tennessee's Partner,' and 'Slightly Scarlet'
    Best known for his role as Fred Gayley in the perennial Christmas favorite, 'Miracle on 34th Street'
    Also known for his lead role on the NBC Western series, 'The Restless Gun' (1957-59)
    He married three times and divorced twice, both from Hollywood starlets (Anne Shirley and Gloria DeHaven).
    He shares a name with the Asia (Band) lead-singer, John Payne.
    He had a thirty year career in film, television, and stage work, but is remembered only for his role in 'Miracle on 34th Street.'
    Mr. Gayley was heavy into beefcake shots (hey, kids who grew up on 'Miracle' - how's that for a psychedelic revelation?)
    His chest was regularly shaved for his 1940s beef-cake photos; when hairy chests went back in fashion in the 1950s, his chest hair came back in the photos with a vengeance.
    He paid a $1,000-a-month option for 9 months, in 1955, for the Ian Fleming/James Bond novel "Moonraker.'
    He relinquished the option when he learned he couldn't obtain the rights to the entire 007 series.
    He was a die-hard Richard Nixon supporter who drove in the Nixon-Lodge Bumper Sticker Motorcade in Los Angeles in 1960.
    He and Maureen O'Hara were frequently dogged by children with messages who wanted to know if they really were friends with Santa Claus.
    He served in the Air Force during WWII.
    He had a brief affair with Jane Russell after his divorce.
    He frequently listed 'Miracle on 34th Street' as his favorite of his films, as well as his favorite film in general.
    In a case of art imitating life, he was so sure that 'Miracle' was going to be a classic that he pressured 20th Century Fox into filming it and put up his own money as a sign of good faith.
    He was good friends with Maureen O'Hara in real life, whom he co-starred with in four films.
    He sustained extensive, life-threatening injuries after being hit by a car in 1962.
    He spent over two years recovering from his leg fractures and facial/scalp wounds, before returning to show business.
    He was a guest panelist on 'What's My Line.'
    He has two separate stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for Motion Pictures and Television.
    Critics have been known to prefer his version of Mr. Gayley to Dylan McDermott's version in the '94 remake. (Then again, for the most part critics prefer everything about the original 'Miracle' over the remake.)

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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