Lucky indeed. Not only was Mel Ferrer married to the supremely beautiful Audrey Hepburn for some 14 years, he got to star opposite her as Prince Andrei in King Vidor’s 3½-hour epic War and Peace (1956, below) and to direct her in the hallucinatory romantic fantasy Green Mansions (1959).
Although Melchior Gaston Ferrer (no relation to actors José or Miguel) never quite achieved major stardom, he worked – first as a leading man, later as a distinguished character actor – for an incredible group of directors that included Vidor, Nicholas Ray (Born to Be Bad), Fritz Lang (Rancho Notorious), Michael Powell (Oh… Rosalinda!!), Jean Renoir (Elena et les Hommes), Roger Vadim (Blood and Roses), Anthony Mann (as the blind man who murders Alec Guiness’s character with a poisoned apple in The Fall of the Roman Empire), Richard Quine (Sex and the Single Girl), and Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Lili Marleen). Fans of MGM musicals remember him most fondly for his role opposite Leslie Caron in Charles Walters’ Lili. Afficionados of apocalyptic sci-fi recall him as the last racist on Earth opposite Harry Belafonte and Inger Stevens in The World, the Flesh and the Devil.
And he lived to be 90.