Hayden Rorke (William Henry Rorke)

Hayden Rorke

Hayden Rorke was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1910. He was the son of screen and stage actress Margaret Rorke (née Hayden), and he took his stage forename from her maiden name. He attended Brooklyn Preparatory School, a Jesuit school, where he served as president of the Dramatics Society and the Student Government and a member of the Omega Gamma Delta Fraternity. He continued his education at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and began his stage career in the 1930s with the Hampden Theatrical Company. During World War II, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he made his film debut in the musical This is the Army starring Ronald Reagan, for which he was uncredited as the stage manager and as a soldier in the background. Following the war, he left the Army and worked in small parts on Broadway, finally returning to Hollywood for the film Lust for Gold (1949), again uncredited. However, it was an opening, and in later films, beginning with Rope of Sand, he is listed in the credits, although he again shows up uncredited in the films Kim (1950) and The Magnificent Yankee (1950), as well as a couple of later films such as the Academy Award-winning An American in Paris (in those days, small roles were often uncredited). Hayden Rorke appeared in episode 125 entitled “The Perfect Crime” of the television series The Lone Ranger in 1953.

In 1957, Hayden Rorke played Steve, the film agent, in the CBS television series Mr. Adams and Eve, starring Howard Duff and Ida Lupino (then married in real life) as a fictitious acting couple residing in Beverly Hills, California. He played several guest roles on television, winning the role of Colonel Farnsworth in the short-lived 1964 ABC sitcom No Time for Sergeants, based on the Andy Griffith film of the same name but starring Sammy Jackson. He also guest-starred on three episodes of CBS’s Perry Mason between 1960–1963. In his first role, he played the title character, Jay Holbrook, in “The Case of the Flighty Father”. Rorke also appeared in television programs such as I Love Lucy, The Twilight Zone, ” Thriller” where he also plays a psychologist, Peter Gunn, The Andy Griffith Show, Barnaby Jones, Mr Ed, Wonder Woman, Burns and Allen and The Love Boat. Hayden Rorke was best known for his role as Dr. Bellows, the NASA medical officer in the television sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. Bellows was constantly trying to figure out why Tony Nelson (Larry Hagman), an astronaut under Bellows’ supervision, often behaves strangely, and to decipher the madcap antics, but he never figures out what is actually going on. Bellows usually winds up making himself look like a fool in front of his own superiors. Rorke’s last film was reprising his role in the television reunion movie I Dream of Jeannie… Fifteen Years Later (1985). Hayden Rorke died of multiple myeloma in 1987 at age 76.

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  • October, 23, 1910
  • USA
  • Brooklyn, New York


  • August, 19, 1987
  • USA
  • Toluca Lake, California

Cause of Death

  • multiple myeloma


  • Holy Cross Cemetery
  • Culver City, California
  • USA

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