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Gig Young's Shocking End

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You may or may not know the name Gig Young. He started acting in the late 30's and picked up his name from a character he played in a movie. He had a prolific career, appearing in movies like They Shoot Horses, Don't They, The Three Musketeers (the 1948 one) Kid Galahad, and Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia. He also did some t.v. including The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, and being a regular guest on The Tonight Show. He was almost in Blazing Saddles (he was replaced by Gene Wilder as the Waco Kid when he couldn't perform on the first day of shooting due to having the DT's from alcohol withdrawal) and Charlie's Angels (John Forsythe replaced him for the same reason Gene Wilder did) and his final film appearance was in the morbid curiosity of a film Game of Death (Bruce Lee's unfinished film that was completed posthumously as a cash in).

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Gig was known a fun party guy, but there was a darker side to him. He was married 5 times. The first marriage lasted 7 years. The second lasted 2 years and ended when his wife died of cancer. He then married Elizabeth Montgomery of Bewitched fame. She divorced him after 7 years due to his alcoholism and mental and physical abuse. Nine months after his divorce he married again, to a woman who was pregnant with his only child. This wife also divorced him citing alcoholism and mental and physical abuse. Young tried to claim that their daughter was not his so he wouldn't have to pay child support. He lost his case but disowned his daughter.

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He married for the fifth and final time in September of 1978. This wife wouldn't get a chance to leave him. Three weeks after marrying a German actress less than half his age, Gig came home from shooting an episode of a t.v. show and got one of his guns. He first shot his wife in the head, killing her. Then he put the gun in his mouth and killed himself. No one knows why he did this. There was no note and no apparent motivation. Even in death Gig was a dick, leaving his daughter only $10 (yes, that is correct one zero) from his $200,000 estate. His sister took him home to North Carolina to be buried in a family plot. Somehow despite being in many famous movies and shows and having his life end in a mysterious murder/suicide, Gig Young has mostly faded into obscurity.

© 2022 Gracchus Gruad

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