Known primarily in Britain for his many “matinée idol” roles during the 1950s, Anthony Steel is perhaps best remembered in Hollywood and elsewhere as the erstwhile husband of Anita Ekberg. His career never really took off in Hollywood; at one point during his marriage to Ms. Ekberg, he was referred to as Mr. Ekberg – a slight that reflected his success (or lack of it) in movies following the eventual breakup of the marriage. Steel was born in London and was the son of an Indian army officer. He was educated at Cambridge and served in the army for England during World War II. It wasn’t until after the war that he pursued acting, starring in such adventure-charged films as Malta Story (1953) for the J. Arthur Rank studio. His career was at its pinnacle and he was lauded as one of Britain’s biggest movie stars when he married Ekberg in 1956 and set out with her to break into Hollywood pictures. Finding Hollywood unsatisfactory and even hostile, he turned primarily to making some not-so-memorable European films in the ’70s and ’80s – including The Story of O (1975) (The Story of O) and some guest spots on British TV. He died on March 21, 2001, inNorthwood, Middlesex, England.
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