Whatever happened to Cornel Wilde? --V.A.B., San Antonio, Texas.

Stats: Born Oct. 13, 1915, in New York, N.Y., as Conrelius Louis Wilde. Attended Columbia University, New York. Married twice: actress Patricia Knight (1938-51), one daughter; actress Jean Wallace (1951-1980), one son.Early years: Wilde grew up in Europe, where his father was a cosmetic salesman. Wilde dropped out of college and quit the U.S. 1936 Olympic Fencing Team when he landed a role on Broadway. The roles were small until he played Tybalt in the Olivier-Leigh Broadway production "Romeo and Juliet." Warner Bros. signed him to a movie contract.

Famous for: The role that made him a star was Chopin in 1945's "A Song to Remember" (he was nominated for an Oscar for it). He followed with a series of swashbuckling roles that used his fencing skills.

In recent years: Wilde did a few "A" features like `Leave Her to Heaven" before his roles slipped. He formed his own production company and did several good films including "The Naked Prey" in 1966. His last feature was the 1979 Austrian movie "The Fifth Musketeer." He died of leukemia in 1980.

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