Born in Pasadena, Ca., as George
Garfield Nader Jr., the son of Alice (née Scott), who was from Kansas, and
George G. Nader, who was from Illinois.
became interested in acting while in school. He pursued this interest at
Occidental College, from which he earned a degree in English in 1943.
He was on the swimming team.
and was also president of the Dramatic Club. A native of Los Angeles, he went to Glendale High School. He joined the Navy and served as a communications
officer in the Pacific Theater. After the war he
appeared in several productions at the local playhouse in
Pasadena Playhouse where he spent three years. There, in 1947, he met Mark Miller, who had one of the
lead roles in a production of Oh, Susannah! Nader was in the
chorus. By 1952 Miller began working as his business manager.
This led to several unbilled roles in a handful of
movies that attracted the attention of director Phil Tucker who signed Nader
for the lead in the infamous 3D thriller Robot Monster (AKA Monsters from
the Moon and Monster From Mars)(1953). Sound
clip on this page
is from this movie (used by permission The Bad Movie Website)
Golden Globe award winner (1954)
for "Most Promising Newcomer," he was often found no match in
contention with more famous leading men, such Rock Hudson, Tony Curtis
or Jeff Chandler.
Nader landed roles in films such as Carnival Story, Six Bridges to
Cross, The Second Greatest Sex, Congo Crossing, The Female Animal, Away All
Boats, Man Afraid, Joe Butterfly,
Flood Tide and Nowhere to Go.
screen career was virtually over by the end of the 1950s.
Eager to project a heterosexual image the studio used arranged dates for Nader
with several actresses.
On Television, Nader starred in three short-lived series:
'The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen'
'The Man and The Challenge'
and 'Shannon'(1961). He also made
frequent appearances on "The Loretta Young Show" as well as guest
starring in episodes of 'Alfred Hitchcock presents'.
But in the mid 1960s, 'Confidential Magazine',
threatened to publish the details of Nader's homosexuality.
Supposedly the studio try to
cut a deal. His career in Hollywood all but dead,
Nader moved to Europe, where he continued to work steadily as
he appeared in several German-Italian co-productions
as FBI agent Jerry Cotton. The series (8 movies) proved immensely popular and
still has a large cult following (In April 2000 Nader was honored with a Jerry
Cotton film retrospective in Titisee-Neustadt, Germany).
In 1972 the couple returned
to the States to divide their time between Palm
Springs, CA and Hawaii. He retired in 1974 after sustaining an eye injury in a
car accident and developing
He took up writing and his first (homoerotic) sci-fi novel 'Chrome' (1978)
had six printings. In addition Nader was the subject of an extensive biography
'Jerry Cotton - George Nader and his films' published in 1998.
Only in 1986 after
the dead of Rock Hudson Nader and
Hudson left most of his estate to them.
Nader and Miller recently completed a book
called "The Perils of Paul," about the gay community in Hollywood, which
he did not want published until after his death.
Nader's last public appearance was at the 1st Annual Palm
Springs Film Noir Festival in May 2001 where he received a standing ovation
following the screening of the British film "Nowhere to Go",
co-starring Maggie Smith.
Nader was admitted to Desert Regional Medical Center in September 2001 with a
mysterious bacterial infection, two weeks after returning to his Palm Springs
home from vacation in Hawaii.
the actor's condition worsened he was transferred to intensive care for
observation. However, doctors could not find the source of his infection. He was
moved to the Motion Picture & Television Fund Country Home in Woodland Hills one
month later where he remained until his death on February 4, 2002
at the age of 80. Nader is survived by Miller, his
cousin Sally Kubley and his nephew, actor Michael Nader. The
actor's body was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea. A cenotaph in his
honor (with Mark Miller and Rock Hudson) exists in Cathedral City's Forest Lawn