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Vince Edwards "Ben Casey" (1961-66)
Pre-Op: Born in 1928, Edwards was a champion high school swimmer and attended Ohio State University on an athletic scholarship. Edwards studied acting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts. In 1950, he was signed to a contract at Paramount where he made his film debut in 1951's "Mr. Universe." He appeared in several movies in the 1950s, most notably the snappy 1958 noir, "Murder by Contract." But he didn't hit superstardom until "Ben Casey."
Scrubs: Virile, handsome and extremely hairy, Edwards played the ace young resident surgeon on the popular hourlong drama set in County General Hospital. Sam Jaffe was his mentor, Dr. David Zorba. Produced by Bing Crosby, the series didn't shy away from controversial subjects or supplying romance for the good doctor. During the series, Edwards recorded several albums and performed at sold-out concerts. He also directed episodes of "Ben Casey."
Post-Op: He landed starring roles in 1968's "The Devil's Brigade" and "Hammerhead," but neither did anything to help his feature status. Until his death of pancreatic cancer in 1996, he continued to work in TV and low-budget features, as well as directing episodic TV.