Known for movies

Short Info

DiedJune 2, 1977, Northridge, Los Angeles, California, United States
SpouseElizabeth Mills, Mariella di Sarzana
MarkOften cast in historical epics
FactShortly before his death he was seriously considered for the role of the Regimental Sergeant Major in The Wild Geese (1978), which was subsequently played by Jack Watson.

Stephen Boyd was born on July 4, 1931, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. His parents were Archibald and Edith Boyd. He had two brothers, William and Robert. Boyd was educated at Belfast Royal Academy and the Queen’s University of Belfast. He began his career as a journalist with the Belfast Telegraph. He later worked as a public relations officer for the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

Boyd’s first film role was in the 1956 film noir The Man Who Knew Too Much. He later appeared in such films as The Bravados (1958), The Big Country (1958), Ben-Hur (1959), Exodus (1960), and The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964). He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Ben-Hur.

Boyd’s later films include Slaves (1969), The Lost Continent (1968), and The Wild Geese (1978). He appeared on television in such series as The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968), The Virginian (1969-1970), and Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979). His last film appearance was in the 1980 film The Blue Lagoon.

Boyd was married to actress Elizabeth Mills from 1957 to 1977. They had two children, Jenny and Christopher. Boyd died of a heart attack on June 2, 1977, in Los Angeles, California. He was 45 years old.

General Info

Full NameStephen Boyd
DiedJune 2, 1977, Northridge, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height1.82 m
EducationHarvard University


SpouseElizabeth Mills, Mariella di Sarzana
ParentsJames Alexander Millar, Martha Boyd
SiblingsAlex Boyd


AwardsGolden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
NominationsGolden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
MoviesBen-Hur, Fantastic Voyage, The Fall of the Roman Empire, The Man Who Never Was, The Best of Everything, Billy Rose's Jumbo, Shalako, The Bravados, The Night Heaven Fell, The Oscar, The Bible: In the Beginning..., The Man Called Noon, Imperial Venus, Genghis Khan, Woman Obsessed, The Inspector, Islan...
TV ShowsKey West, Pulling Moves

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
2Often cast in historical epics


1My whole life has been in entertainment. I like to look at people and see them smile - when the face smiles the soul comes through.
2He's a mystery man and I think it's a good idea to occasionally bring back a good character. He's a bit like the man with no name, but he's got more depth, more humor. I think he's capable of more things on either side of the law. He's got glamor. I think a lot of the glamor is missing in motion pictures today and it's very necessary to bring it back. It's interesting to really get to the bottom of the word 'glamor'. It is almost impossible to have glamor without mystery. If there is too much explanation, too much knowledge, the glamor is diminished. It doesn't matter how much you interview Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando or Steve McQueen, there is always the mystery. Once that goes, so too does the glamor. - On The Man Called Noon (1973)
3They tried to make me a star, a leading man. Well, I'm not a star even though they thought I looked like one. I'm a character actor. When I've had the choice I've always opted for the character role. I'd rather be the pillar that holds up the star than the star himself.
4I am sick and tired of acting. I want to make decisions at production level. I have tried to fight the system and do things my way, but I haven't been able to. Now I feel that whatever talent I may have had is gone. The time has come to move on.
5[on Sophia Loren] She is not the most attractive lady in the world at first glance but, my God, two seconds later you felt like you were in a dream world. Just for her to say "Hello" was enough. You just capitulated. For me she is the most beautiful person I've ever met.
6[on Brigitte Bardot] All I can say is that when I'm trying to play serious love scenes with her, she's positioning her bottom for the best angle shots.
7I decided that perhaps now I'm at an age when film producers and the major companies might accept me again as I am rather than as they thought I was. (1976)


1For his work in Ben-Hur (1959), he's one of only 6 actors to win the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor in a motion picture without receiving an Oscar nomination for the same performance. The other 5 are, in chronological order: Millard Mitchell in My Six Convicts (1952), Earl Holliman in The Rainmaker (1956), Oskar Werner in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Richard Attenborough, The Sand Pebbles (1966) and Doctor Dolittle (1967) and Richard Benjamin in The Sunshine Boys (1975).
2There seems to be some confusion as to Boyd's date of birth. Reference works usually give 1928 as his birth-date, and his obituaries referred to him as being 49 at the time of his sudden death.
3Nearly died during the great flu epidemic in London in 1952.
4He blamed the massive commercial failure of The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964) for ruining his movie career.
5In 1995, Charlton Heston denied a claim by screenwriter Gore Vidal that there was a gay subtext to the film Ben-Hur (1959). Vidal claims he wrote the script with such an implication and mentioned the subtext to director William Wyler. Boyd, who played Ben-Hur's friend (and later nemesis) Messala, supposedly was in on this subtext and played his scenes as if he had been spurned by his gay lover. Heston was not informed of this as they thought he would not like it. Heston went on to state that after writing one scene, Vidal was dismissed from the project. Vidal responded by producing extracts from Heston's 1978 journal "The Actor's Life", in which he admitted Vidal had written most of the finished screenplay.
6While working as a doorman in 1955, Boyd was discovered by Sir Michael Redgrave, who got him his first film role.
7Shortly before his death he was seriously considered for the role of the Regimental Sergeant Major in The Wild Geese (1978), which was subsequently played by Jack Watson.
8In 1976, in what would be his final interview, Boyd expressed regret at concentrating so heavily on movies and said he wished he had acted more on stage and on television.
9Was associated with the lead role in a film version of Mary Renault's novel of ancient Crete, "The King Must Die." The film was never made.
10Was the original choice to play James Bond 007 in Dr. No (1962).
11Was initially cast as Marc Antony in Cleopatra (1963). When numerous delays in production eventually brought about his departure, Richard Burton took over the role.
12Died of a heart attack while playing golf, shortly after completing a guest-starring role on Hawaii Five-O (1968).




Hawaii Five-O1977TV SeriesDaniel Costigan
Women in Hospital1977Dr. Oberhoff
Impossible Love1977Alvaro
Hunter1977TV SeriesGarth Roberts
The Squeeze1977Vic
Lady Dracula1977Graf Dracula
Montana Trap1976Bill Ardisson
The Lives of Jenny Dolan1975TV MovieJoe Rossiter
L'uomo che sfidò l'organizzazione1975Inspector Stephen McCormick
La polizia interviene: ordine di uccidere!1975Lanza
The Treasure of Jamaica Reef1974Hugo Graham
Key West1973TV MovieSteve Cutler
The Man Called Noon1973Rimes
Of Men and Women1973TV MovieHost / Actor (segment "The Interview")
The Big Game1973Leyton van Dyk
Those Dirty Dogs1973Captain Chadwell Williams
One Billion for a Blonde1972León Urrutía, joyero
The Hands of Cormac Joyce1972TV MovieCormac Joyce
Kill! Kill! Kill! Kill!1971Brad Killian
The Devil with Seven Faces1971Dave Barton
Hannie Caulder1971The Preacher (uncredited)
African Story1971Arnold Tiller
Marta1971Don Miguel
Historia de una traición1971Arturo
Freedom1970/IIShortHost / Narrator
Carter's Army1970TV MovieCapt. Beau Carter
Shalako1968Bosky Fulton
Assignment K1968Philip Scott
The Caper of the Golden Bulls1967Peter Churchman
The Bible: In the Beginning...1966Nimrod
Fantastic Voyage1966Grant
The Poppy Is Also a Flower1966Benson
The Oscar1966Frank Fane
Genghis Khan1965Jamuga
The Fall of the Roman Empire1964Livius
The Third Secret1964Alex Stedman
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre1964TV SeriesRobert MacKay
Imperial Venus1962Jules de Canouville
Billy Rose's Jumbo1962Sam Rawlins
Lisa1962Peter Jongman
General Electric Theater1962TV SeriesBud Austin
The Big Gamble1961Vic Brennan
Playhouse 901960TV SeriesCapt. Leslie Cronyn
The Best of Everything1959Mike Rice
Woman Obsessed1959Fred Carter
The Bravados1958Bill Zachary
The Night Heaven Fell1958Lambert
The Beasts of Marseilles1957Dave
Island in the Sun1957Euan Templeton
Abandon Ship1957Will McKinley
Aggie1957TV SeriesKurt Thalburg
Hell in Korea1956Pvt. Sims
Life with the Lyons1956TV Series
BBC Sunday-Night Theatre1954-1956TV SeriesAbel Martin Joe Varwell Joseph ...
The Man Who Never Was1956Patrick O'Reilly
Lilli Palmer Theatre1956TV SeriesMike Gardener
Born for Trouble1955
London Playhouse1955TV SeriesJimmy Day
An Alligator Named Daisy1955Albert O'Shannon
Barnet's Folly1955TV MovieSam Burridge
Let's Make Up1954Beaumont's Poolside Companion (uncredited)
A Nest of Singing Birds1954TV MovieTrooper Tim Shannon
The Shadow of the Glen1954TV ShortMichael Dara
Black 131953Policeman (uncredited)


Those Dirty Dogs1973performer: "The Wind in My Face", "Campa carogna" / writer: "The Wind in My Face", "Campa carogna"
Billy Rose's Jumbo1962performer: "Sawdust And Spangles And Dreams" - uncredited


Edición Especial Coleccionista2011TV Series in memory of - 1 episode


The Merv Griffin Show1974TV SeriesHimself - Guest
V.I.P.-Schaukel1973TV Series documentaryHimself
Mantrap1971-1972TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself
Once Upon a Wheel1971DocumentaryHimself
The Movie Game1969-1970TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
The Joey Bishop Show1967-1969TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest
Maurice Woodruff Predicts1969TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Steve Allen Show1968TV SeriesHimself - Guest
I've Got a Secret1966TV SeriesCelebrity Guest
The Celebrity Game1965TV SeriesHimself - Panelist
Visitando a las estrellas1964Documentary shortHimself
Here's Hollywood1961-1962TV SeriesHimself
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show1960-1962TV SeriesHimself - Guest
What's My Line?1960TV SeriesHimself - Mystery Guest
This Is Your Life1960TV SeriesHimself / Himself - Guest of Honor
Hedda Hopper's Hollywood1960TV Movie documentaryHimself
Film Fanfare1956TV SeriesHimself - Interviewee / Himself - Host

Archive Footage

Inside Edition2016TV Series documentaryHimself
Tellement Gay! Homosexualité et pop culture2015TV Mini-Series documentaryMessala
Österreich-Bild2012TV Series documentaryHimself
Edición Especial Coleccionista2011TV SeriesLivius
Parada2011Messala (uncredited)
Stephen Boyd: The Man Who Never Was2011TV MovieHimself
20 to 12010TV Series documentaryMessala
The Naked Archaeologist2005-2008TV Series documentaryMessala
Dreams with Sharp Teeth2008DocumentaryFrank Fane in 'The Oscar'
Sexes2005TV SeriesMessala
Cleopatra: The Film That Changed Hollywood2001TV Movie documentaryHimself
Margret Dünser, auf der Suche nach den Besonderen1981TV Movie documentaryHimself


Won Awards

1960Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Supporting ActorBen-Hur (1959)

Nominated Awards

1963Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor - Comedy or MusicalBilly Rose's Jumbo (1962)
1957BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsMost Promising Newcomer to FilmThe Man Who Never Was (1956)

3rd Place Awards

1960Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male Dramatic PerformanceBen-Hur (1959)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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