Craig Stevens, the stage, film and TV actor best known for playing the hardboiled detective in TV"s "Peter Gunn" in the late 1950s, died May 10, according to wire reports.
The cause of death was cancer. Mr. Stevens was 81, and was predeceased by his wife, the actress Alexis Smith.
Although none of the role he played would be as popular as his TV hero in the series created by Blake Edwards, Mr. Stevens appeared on stage in Mrs. Roberts in Los Angeles in 1954, Plain and Fancy on tour in 1956, in King of Hearts in Palm Beach, FL, in 1958. He made his Broadway debut playing Fred Gaily in the musical version of "Miracle on 34th Street," Here's Love, in 1963.
He also performed in various road companies and in stock.
Mr. Stevens was born Gail Shikles Jr. In Kansas City, MO, and studied theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse. He also attended the University of Kansas City. He married Smith in 1945. Mr. Stevens appeared in such films as "God Is My Co-Pilot," "Phone Call From a Stranger," "Humoresque,'' "Since You Went Away"' and "Night Unto Night.''
Associated Press reported his last role in a major film was in Blake Edwards' Hollywood satire "S.O.B.,'' in 1981.
-- By Kenneth Jones