Alan Ladd, 1933 to 1964, made a burst albeit a small one onto Hollywood fame at the age of 29 in the movie "This Gun For Hire". Americans didn't have televisions in 1942. They went to movies, read books, and listened to radio dramas. Today's American can not imagine what their world of entertainment meant to them. We are jaded through over-exposure and numb to variances of life. Ladd was a high shool swimming and diving champion, which certainly gave him demonstrable athletic skills which came through on the move screen. He also took up some dramatic work in high school. The Ladd family moved to California and young Alan eventually wound up doing radio work, which got him discovered by a talent agent. Alan Ladd entered the service during World War II but he was rather quickly classified 4-F due to stomach problems and was allowed to return to Hollywood with hardly any time away from it. We want our stars to save us on the screen where no one really gets killed by the Germans or the Japanese soldiers. The 5'7" Ladd often had opposing actors stand in holes or Ladd to be on elevated surfaces in close ups. Ladd's high school nickname was 'Tiny' but movie going audiences embraced him wholeheartedly as the tough guy who could get rid of the bad guy and win the heart of the girl. His persona was possessed of self-confidence and he was well liked by his fellow actors. The western Shane is still on the all time best western.He died from drug overdose and alcohol.