19 September, 2006


Most Eurogenre enthusiasts will remember him as Travis Anderson aka The Crimson Executioner in THE BLOODY PIT OF HORROR, a Sadean exercise in high camp directed with style by Massimo Pupillo in 1965. Others will first note that he was the husband of Jayne Mansfied and the father of Mariska Hargitay. Fans of bodybuilding will remember that he was MR. UNIVERSE 1955. Mickey Hargitay was called a "magnificent individual" in a tribute by Gov. Arnold who credited him as an "inspiration" in that Hargitay was an unknown immigrant who made good in the worlds of international body culture and Hollywood. The former performer in Mae West's 1950s revue was remembered by Ms West as the man who stole her show and gave it to "that woman". That woman, Jayne Mansfied, would star alongside Hargitay in several mainstream Hollywood films like WILL SUCCESS SPOIL ROCK HUNTER? and PROMISES! PROMISES! and the Italian peplum THE LOVES OF HERCULES. But Mickey survived Jayne and went on to his own career in European cult films like VENGEANCE OF THE GLADIATORS, STRANGER FROM SACREMENTO, THE SHERIFF DON'T SHOOT (an obscure Renato Polselli western I would really like to unearth), CJMANGO, WANTED: RINGO, SEVEN GOLDEN WOMEN VS 2,007, LADY FRANKENSTEIN, and again for Polselli, DELIRUM and THE REINCARNATION OF ISABEL, those final two mindspinning Italian horror projects revealing him an actor capable of a surprising range of emotion. I wish he had continued to make more films after that but he went into the contracting business in California. Appearing on a making of documentary of Anchor Bay's DELIRIUM DVD, he showed an engaging sense of humor and perspective about his colleagues on that film and his career in general. Just before he died, Gordon Mitchell wrote to me that Mickey Hargitay was a longtime loyal friend who stood by him in his darkest days. Now Mickey Hargitay's time has come. I was saddened to hear of his passing but will remember him for the high spirited enthusiasm with which he threw himself into roles like The Crimson Executioner and DELIRIUM's lounge-lizard/forensic scientist/tormented husband/pscyho-killer Herbert Luytak. Many thanks Mickey for the many hours of pleasure you provided with your distinctive presence in the above mentioned films and the dedication you showed to your friends and fans. Adios!


Mae West NYC said...

MICKEY HARGITAY [1926 - 2006] - - never heard of most of these films you listed. Thank you for doing the hard work of digging and researching. - - Photo of Mickey in 1955 with Mae West is here - - http://MaeWest.blogspot.com - -

Robert Monell said...

Thanks for the photo and Welcome!