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Rudy Diaz Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (7)

Overview (3)

Born in Jerome, Arizona, USA
Died in Los Angeles, California, USA
Birth NameAdolph Carrillo Diaz

Mini Bio (1)

Rudy Diaz was born Adolph Carrillo Diaz on October 16, 1918 in Jerome, Arizona. He was one of four children in a family of Mescalero Apache descent. Rudy served in the U.S. Army during World War 2 as a paratrooper. Over the course of his military career, he made 49 jumps, reached the rank of Staff Sergeant, and was awarded multiple medals.

After his discharge, Diaz decided to make the natural progression from the military to working in law enforcement. He joined the LAPD where he remained for a 21-year career until his retirement in 1967. While with the police department he worked at various times on the narcotics squad and in the robbery/homicide division, and ultimately made the rank of Sergeant. His time doing police work around Los Angeles was where his interest in the entertainment industry originally grew. And some of his cases were even featured as real-life inspired stories on the television cop show Dragnet (1951) in the 1950s.

Diaz's time with the police is also notoriously known for his link to the death of Hollywood superstar Marilyn Monroe. As he was one of the first law enforcement officers who arrived at the scene of her demise in 1962. He was a detective at the time and worked on the investigation into the circumstances around Monroe's death.

Just a few years later he retired from the force and became an actor himself. He began to ply his new trade in local theater before landing his first role as a professional actor in 1968 in the film Bandolero! (1968) . Unfortunately, that same year he endured the personal tragedy of the suicide of his estranged first wife, Dorothy Abbott a veteran bit-part actress herself. Dorothy suffered from depression and was despondent about the breakdown of her and Rudy's marriage before she took her life. After several years of remaining single and working to establish himself as an actor, Diaz eventually married again to Beverly Gallaher in 1976. That union would endure for the remainder of his life.

As an actor Rudy specialized in character roles and his memorable physical appearance made him easily recognizable with audiences. He had an imposing stature along with rugged looks that made him a natural for gritty and "tough guy" roles. He is perhaps best remembered today specifically for his many performances in westerns, above all else. But throughout his screen career, he appeared in a wide array of genres in both film and television. And his roles spanned an eclectic range of projects from the glamorous film musical Pal Joey (1957) to the obscure children's TV show Far Out Space Nuts (1975) .

His heritage often made him a go-to choice to play American Indian and Hispanic characters. And his background as a real cop also frequently resulted in him getting cast in the roles of law enforcement officers. Diaz was also a favored stock actor of directors Don Siegel and Andrew V. McLaglen who both used him in multiple films. He remained active in the industry throughout 5 different decades, between the years 1957 and 1993.

Rudy Diaz spent the last few decades of his life away from the camera and passed away from undisclosed natural causes on December 5, 2006 in Los Angeles at the age of 88. He was survived by his wife of 30 years, Beverly, and a large family of children, grandchildren, siblings, and nieces and nephews. According to his family, his ashes were scattered at sea in Mazatlan, Mexico which was a location beloved by him.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: A.C. Robinson

Spouse (2)

Beverly Gail Gallaher (12 December 1976 - 5 December 2006) ( his death)
Dorothy Abbott (11 August 1952 - 15 December 1968) ( her death) ( 1 child)

Trivia (7)

Diaz was a famous LAPD homicide detective--he was one of the first officers on the scene of Marilyn Monroe's suicide--who retired to become a familiar character actor.
He was a real-life cop in the 1950s; he worked for 5 years on the narcotics squad in Los Angeles when his wife (Dorothy Abbott) landed a role on Dragnet (1951). Two of his cases were dramatized on Dragnet (1951) and led to his future in television.
First wife Dorothy Abbott, an actress, died by suicide in 1968.
Served in the Army as a paratrooper.
Became an actor after he retired from the Los Angeles Police Department in 1967. As an ethnic character actor, he also played American Indians frequently.
He had a son, Ronald R. Diaz, with his first wife, Dorothy Abbott.
Although often thought to be Hispanic, he was actually a Mescalero Apache.

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