Birthday: June 11, 1937
Died At Age: 75
Sun Sign: Gemini
Also Known As: Raymon Lee Cramton
Born in: South Bend, Indiana
Famous as: Actor
Height: 6'2" (188 cm), 6'2" Males
Spouse/Ex-: Shelby Grant (m. 1966 – her death. 2011)
father: Harry Clyde Ted Cramton
mother: Virdeen Ruth Cramton
children: Katherine Thorp Everett, Shannon Everett
Died on: July 24, 2012
U.S. State: Indiana
education: Fordson High School, Wayne State University
Who was Chad Everett?
Chad Everett was an American actor who is best remembered for his role of Dr. Joe Gannon in ‘Medical Center,’ a CBS television series that was a hit with the audience from 1969 to 1976. Born Raymon Lee Cramton, he was advised by his agent, Henry Wilson, to change his name to Chad Everett. He once said that he took up acting because he would get easily bored as a youngster. His acting career in movies and television spanned over four decades. Though he could not achieve much success as a movie star, he did manage to leave a mark in the television industry with shows like ‘Medical Center,’ ‘Melrose Place,’ ‘Murder, She Wrote,’ and ‘Supernatural.’ While it is true that post ‘Medical Center,’ his roles were not always as significant as that of Dr. Joe Gannon, he still managed to find consistent work till the very end. He was a conservative Christian and a lifelong Republican. For several years, he co-hosted the Labor Day Jerry Lewis Telethon that raises awareness about the affliction of muscular dystrophy.
Childhood & Early Life
Chad Everett was born on June 11, 1937 in South Bend, Indiana, to Harry Clyde and Virdeen Ruth. His father was a race car driver, a sports car mechanic and an auto parts salesman. They later shifted to Dearborn, Michigan, where he attended Fordson High School. It was during his high school years that he became interested in acting and took part in school plays.
After graduating from high school in 1955, he enrolled at the Wayne State University’s mass communication program and graduated in 1960. During his college years, he joined a Michigan repertory company and was part of its theatrical group that went to India on a state department sponsored theatrical tour.
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Chad Everett arrived in Hollywood in 1960. The following year, he signed with Warner Brothers. His first major feature film role was in ‘Claudelle Inglish’ (1961).
His was cast in the television series ‘The Dakotas’ (1963). The series was about the lawlessness in Dakota and how a lawman and his deputies endeavor to maintain law and order. Chad Everett essayed the role of Deputy Del Stark. His role was noted and he was signed up by MGM as a contract artist.
The ensuing years saw him appearing in various movies but they did not have much of an impression on the audience. ‘Get Yourself a College Girl’ (1964), ‘Johnny Tiger’ (1966), ‘Made in Paris’ (1966), ‘The Singing Nun’ (1966), ‘Return of the Gunfighter’ (1967) and ‘The Impossible Years’ (1968) were some of the movies Chad Everett appeared in.
His big break came in 1969, when he signed up for ‘Medical Center’ to essay the role of the handsome and stubborn Dr. Joe Gannon. The role made him a 1970s heartthrob. Chad Everett managed to shine amongst a sea of stars (Chris Hutson, James Daly, Virginia Hawkins and Audrey Totter) who starred in this series. The show ran for seven years.
After ‘Medical Center,’ he appeared in ‘Centennial’ (1978) and ‘Hagen’ (1980), both of which were short-lived television series. Unable to find substantial roles like that of Dr. Joe Gannon, Chad Everett turned to alcohol. His battle with alcohol is well documented, and with the help of his family, he was able to quit drinking in 1994.
Once he quit drinking, he began to get decent roles. In 1994-95, Chad Everett was seen in ‘McKenna,’ in which played the patriarch of a business family. From 1995-98, he appeared in ‘Cybill,’ in which he was the lover of the main protagonist of the show. He appeared regularly in the series ‘Melrose Place’ (1992-99).
His performances in Gus Van Sant’s ‘Psycho’ (1998) and David Lynch’s ‘Mulholland Drive’ (2001) have often been cited as his best. In ‘Mulholland Drive,’ he has a very brief scene as the audition partner of Naomi Watts. The steamy audition scene became the center of this critically acclaimed movie.
In 2011, he made regular appearance in the series ‘Chemistry.’ His last appearance was in ‘Castle: The Blue Butterfly’ (2012).
His career is also noted for the various voiceovers he did for numerous characters. He was so good at it that John Wayne’s family requested him to be the voice of Wayne’s animatronic figure in Disney Hollywood Studio.
Appearing in ‘Medical Center’ was the defining moment in Chad Everett’s career. It earned him two Golden Globe (1971 and 1973) and one Emmy nomination. He was the owner of 15% of the share in the series and it provided him with a steady stream of income when roles dried up for him after the end of ‘Medical Center.’
Family & Personal Life
Chad Everett married Shelby Grant in 1966. She gave up her acting career to focus on her marriage. They had two daughters, Katherine K. Cramton, who was born in 1969, and Shannon K. Cramton, who was born in 1971.
They were married for 45 years and she was his rock throughout their marriage. She stood by him even when he struggled with his alcoholism. Shelby Grant died in 2011 due to a brain aneurysm.
Chad Everett was involved in a long running paternity suit with actress Sheila Scott, who claimed that he was her son’s father. She had appeared in some episodes of ‘Medical Center.’ Throughout the ordeal, his wife stood by him and in the end the court ruled in his favor.
He died on July 24, 2012, after battling with lung cancer for several months.
He once appeared on the ‘The Dick Cavett Show’ along with Lily Tomlin and referred to his wife as his “property.” This angered Tomlin—a famous comedian, actress, and feminist—so much that she walked off the set.