Childhood & Early Life
Gary Lockwood was born on February 21, 1937, in Los Angeles, California, US, into a family of partial Polish descent. The ‘California Birth Index’ mentions his birth name as “John Gary Yurosek.” However, according to some sources, he grew up as “John Gary Yusolfsky” and later used the name “Yurosek.”
California farmer Mike Yurosek, who was recognized as the "father of the baby carrot," was his uncle.
Lockwood studied at the ‘University of California, Los Angeles’ on a football scholarship to play as a quarterback.
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Lockwood worked as a film stuntman and a stand-in for Anthony Perkins before he ventured into acting. He began his career starring in uncredited bit roles in the films ‘Onionhead’ (1958) and ‘Warlock’ (1959). In 1959, he was featured in an uncredited role in an episode of the American legal drama series ‘Perry Mason,’ titled ‘The Case of the Romantic Rogue.’ He appeared in the series again in 1962, playing ‘Davey Carroll’ in the episode ‘The Case of the Playboy Pugilist.’
The 1961-released American drama film ‘Wild in the Country,’ starring Elvis Presley, Hope Lange, Millie Perkins, and Tuesday Weld, featured Lockwood in the role of ‘Cliff Macy.’ This movie marked his film debut. Later that year, he appeared in the supporting role of ‘Allen “Toots” Tuttle’ in the American Technicolor drama film ‘Splendor in the Grass’ that won the ‘Academy Award’ for the ‘Best Writing, Story and Screenplay—Written Directly for the Screen.’
One of his initial TV roles was that of 20-year-old researcher ‘Eric Jason’ working under Honolulu-based freelance magazine writers ‘Paul Templin’ and ‘Ben Gregory,’ played by Brett Halsey and Barry Coe, respectively, in the American adventure–drama series ‘Follow the Sun.’ It was aired for a season on ‘ABC,’ from September 17, 1961, to April 8, 1962. In 1961, Lockwood appeared in the supporting role of ‘Bo,’ a Montana rodeo cowboy, in the ‘ABC’ drama series ‘Bus Stop,’ starring Marilyn Maxwell.
He co-starred with Jeff Bridges and Mary Murphy in a 1963 episode of the American anthology drama series ‘The Lloyd Bridges Show,’ titled ‘My Daddy Can Beat Your Daddy.’ His next film with Elvis Presley, an American musical flick titled ‘It Happened at the World's Fair,’ released on April 3 that year.
He essayed the leading role of ‘Second Lieutenant William Tiberius Rice,’ starring alongside Robert Vaughn, in the ‘NBC’ series ‘The Lieutenant.’ It aired for a season, from September 14, 1963, to April 18, 1964.
One of his most memorable portrayals was that of ‘Dr. Frank Poole,’ starring alongside Keir Dullea in the Stanley Kubrick-produced and directed 1968 epic science-fiction film ‘2001: A Space Odyssey.’ The film became a huge commercial success and made Lockwood immensely popular with science-fiction fans. Lockwood has starred in several other films, such as the fantasy flick ‘The Magic Sword’ (1962), the crime film ‘They Came to Rob Las Vegas’ (1968), ‘Model Shop’ (1969), the action film ‘Project: Kill’ (1976), and the South African post-apocalyptic action thriller ‘Survival Zone’ (1983).
Over the years, Lockwood has also guest-starred in many TV series. He has appeared as ‘Maj. Gus Denver/Lt. Josh McGraw’ in the drama series ‘12 O'Clock High’ (1964–1965), as ‘Lt. Cmdr. Gary Mitchell’ in the ‘Star Trek’ pilot ‘Where No Man Has Gone Before’ (1966), as ‘Clint Bethard’ in an episode of the western series ‘The Legend of Jesse James’ (1966), and as ‘Walter Lucas’ in the western series ‘The Quest’ (1976).
He has also appeared in TV films such as ‘The Ghost of Flight 401’ (1978), ‘The Incredible Journey of Doctor Meg Laurel’ (1979), ‘Top of the Hill’ (1980), and ‘Emergency Room’ (1983).
Family & Personal Life
Lockwood was initially married to Hope Harrsen. He married American actor Stefanie Powers, on August 27, 1966. They divorced on August 6, 1974. He co-starred with Powers in a single episode of the series ‘Love, American Style’ and guest-starred in the series ‘Hart to Hart’ (1983), starring Powers and Robert Wagner.
On May 31, 1982, he married American actor, film producer, businesswoman, and philanthropist Denise DuBarry. Earlier, they had shared the screen in the 1980 TV movie ‘Top of the Hill.’ The couple formed a production company named ‘Xebec Productions’ in 1982. They divorced in 1988. Lockwood’s daughter with Denise, Samantha, grew up to become an actor.