Troy Donahue was studying journalism at Columbia University and pursuing an acting career in stock productions when he landed his first film role, a bit part in “Man Afraid” (1957).
Later that year, he supported Rock Hudson, Dorothy Malone and Robert Stack in “The Tarnished Angels.”
Despite such foolishness as the low-budget “Monster on the Campus” (1958) and several other small roles in teen-oriented fare, Warner Bros. signed Donahue to a multi-year contract in 1959.
His first film for the studio, the sudsy “A Summer Place,” cast him as the son of booze-soaked Dorothy McGuire and Arthur Kennedy and boyfriend of the then-Number One female teen star, Sandra Dee. Their pairing was a popular one and briefly put Donahue on equal footing with Elvis Presley and Pat Boone as a teen idol.
Warner Bros., eager to capitalize on Donahue’s ability to sell tickets at drive-in theatres, cast the actor in such typical efforts as “Palm Springs Weekend” (1963), a predictable romp stocked with the popular faces of the moment. TCM.