Todd Armstrong (July 25, 1937 – November 17, 1992) was an American actor in ten films and several television series.
He is probably best known for playing the titular role of Jason in the film Jason and the Argonauts (1963). He had also starred, during 1961, in the later segments of the syndicated crime drama Manhunt.
Early life and education
He was born John Harris Armstrong in St. Louis, Missouri, son of Harris Armstrong, a well-known architect and Louise McClelland Armstrong. In 1956, Armstrong graduated from Ladue High School, where one of his classmates was Auggie Busch, a great-grandson of Anheuser-Busch brewing magnate Adolphus Busch. He moved to California and studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts, where his classmates included Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman.
His entry into films came when he was working as landscape gardener for actress Gloria Henry, who played the mother on the Dennis the Menace television series. Henry learned of her gardener's acting aspirations and successfully arranged for Armstrong to get a screen test at Columbia.
Armstrong appeared in 13 episodes of the series Manhunt and had supporting roles in the 1962 films Walk on the Wild Side (where he was credited as Todd Anderson) and Five Finger Exercise. Jason And The Argonauts was his first starring role, although his voice was redubbed by an uncredited British actor, Tim Turner.
He had only one additional leading role, in the World War II film King Rat (1965), directed by Bryan Forbes; his later work consisted of supporting parts in films and guest work on television work.
In 1992, Armstrong suffered terribly with depression, Armstrong committed suicide by gunshot on November 17. He was 55.
Armstrong appeared in the following film and television roles:
- Manhunt (13 TV episodes, 1961) as Detective Carl Spencer
- Walk on the Wild Side (1962) as Lt. Omar Stroud (credited as Todd Anderson)
- Five Finger Exercise (1962) as Tony Blake
- Jason and the Argonauts (1963) as Jason
aka Jason and the Golden Fleece
- King Rat (1965) as Tex: The American Hut
- The Silencers (1966) as Guard (uncredited)
- Scalplock (1966) (television) as Dave Tarrant. When the film became the television series The Iron Horse, Armstrong's original role was played by Gary Collins
- Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (1966) as Alfred Morgan
- Winnetou und sein Freund Old Firehand
aka Thunder at the Border (UK), a.k.a. Winnetou: Thunder at the Border (USA) (1966) as Tom
- A Time for Killing (1967) as Lt. 'Pru' Prudessing
aka The Long Ride Home (UK)
- Gunsmoke as John Wing / John August (2 TV episodes, 1968)
aka Gun Law (UK), a.k.a. Marshal Dillon (USA: rerun title)
- - "9:12 to Dodge" (1968) television episode (as Johnny August)
- - "The First People" (1968) television episode (as John Eagle Wing)
- Nakia (1 television episode, 1974)
- Hawaii Five-O as Curt Anderson (1 TV episode, 1975)
aka McGarrett (USA: rerun title)
- - "Target? the Lady" (1975) television episode (as Curt Anderson)
- The Greatest American Hero as Ted McSherry (1 TV episode, 1982)
- Shackleton (1982) (TV) as Raymond Shackleton
aka Icebound in the Antarctic (USA) (final television appearance)