Turhan Bey


VIENNA (AP) — Turhan Bey, an actor whose exotic good looks earned him the nickname of "Turkish Delight" in films with Errol Flynn and Katherine Hepburn before he left Hollywood for a quieter life in Vienna, has died. He was 90.

Marita Ruiter, who exhibited Bey's photos in her Luxembourg gallery, told the Austria Press Agency on Tuesday that Bey died in the Austrian capital on Sept. 30 after a long struggle with Parkinson's disease and was cremated on Monday.

While celebrated for supporting roles alongside Flynn, Hepburn, John Wayne, Peter Lorre and other film greats of the 1940s, friends described Bey as a modest, unassuming man who never bragged of his ties with the stars of the era.

"He was a man brimming with humor, with plenty of aplomb and self-irony, and was very popular," Ruiter was quoted as saying. "He wasn't the kind who cared a lot about honors."

Born in Austria as Gilbert Selahettin Schultavey, the son of a Turkish diplomat, Bey assumed his stage name shortly after moving to the United States with his Jewish Czech mother from Vienna to escape the Nazis and being discovered by talent scouts from Warner Bros. studios.

His popular name was "Turkish Delight" — a reference to his suave good looks that made him an ideal partner to exotics like Maria Montez in escapist Technicolor adventure fantasies set in faraway places.

He starred or had major roles alongside the big stars of the era in films such as "A Night in Paradise," "Out of the Blue," and "The Amazing Mr. X" until the popularity of the genre faded in the 1950s.

Moving back to Vienna, he made living as a photographer and occasional stage director, again returning after a brief film and television comeback in the 1990s that earned him an Emmy nomination for his performance as the venerable Turval in the "Babylon 5" space fantasy TV series.

Funeral arrangements were not announced.

GEORGE JAHN,Associated Press

Copyright © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Guest Book

Not sure what to say?

Rest Turhan, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.

Thank you for your service to this nation.

Thank you for sharing a part of your life with us.

Very sad to learn of his passing. Since I was a teenager, I remained a fan and watched many of his movies. My condolences to his family and friends.

Penelope Pappas

I saw an old movie (An evening in paradise) last weekend. It brought back memories of what a crush I had on him. Also think I fell in love with a Greek boyfriend because he looked very much like Turhan Bey!

Seviyorum Turhan Bey..salam

Light and peace forever in your sweet heart..

Beloved Thurhan
The scent of lotus embalsame your soul with the sweet aroma of peace ..
With love, Ayesha Murady - Brazil

With love forever...

Beloved Thuran: I wish that God sustain you and your beautiful soul descanses in flower petals,,, that you can illuminate the universe with eternal li