Vince Edwards (Vincent Edward Zoino)

Vince Edwards

Edwards was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, New York City, New York, to Julia and Vincento Zoino. He and his twin brother, Anthony, were the youngest of seven children. He was a standout on his high school swim team and went on to study at Ohio State University on an athletic scholarship. He was part of the university’s swim team that won the United States National Championships. He also studied aviation mechanics at East New York High School, worked as a lifeguard at Coney Island and swam for the Flatbush Boys Club. Edwards studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and in 1950, he was signed to a contract by Paramount Pictures, making his film debut as “Vince Edwards” in 1951’s Mister Universe and then played the lead actor the following year in Hiawatha. Although he had major or lead roles in several films, including the film noirs The Killing (1956) and Murder by Contract (1958), it was not until he was featured in the title character on the highly successful Ben Casey television series that he achieved a level of stardom. The medical drama show, which he occasionally directed, ran from 1961 to 1966. As a result of the show’s and his own popularity, Edwards also released several music albums and appeared in the all-star war film The Victors in 1963. He was represented by one of Hollywood’s first “super agents”, Abbey Greshler of Diamond Artists in Hollywood. Edwards referred to rival actor Richard Chamberlain, who also played a television role as a medical doctor, as “a hack” and said that he “couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag”. During a heated confrontation between the two actors in Central Park in New York City in 1964, Edwards threw his ice cream cone onto Chamberlain’s suit. The two never spoke again.

When the Ben Casey television series ended, Edwards returned to acting in motion pictures with a major role in the 1968 war drama The Devil’s Brigade, together with films such as Hammerhead (1968), The Desperados (1969), and The Mad Bomber (1973). In 1983, he played the main protagonist, Hawk, in the sci-fi film Space Raiders. He continued to act in film as well as in guest spots on television, including roles in The Rhinemann Exchange (1977), Evening in Byzantium (1978), and the pilot episode of Knight Rider, Knight Of The Phoenix in 1982. He directed a number of episodes in a variety of television series including the original Battlestar Galactica. Some twenty-two years after the series ended, Edwards returned to television as Dr. Ben Casey in 1988. He made his last film, The Fear, in 1995. After the filming he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Edwards died in Los Angeles, California, on March 11, 1996, and was buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City, California.

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Born

  • July, 09, 1928
  • USA
  • New York, New York

Died

  • March, 11, 1996
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • pancreatic cancer

Cemetery

  • Holy Cross Cemetery
  • Culver City, California
  • USA

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