CAR CRASH KILLS ACTRESS, MATE.
JUDY TYLER, 24, RIDGEFIELD, HUSBAND DIE IN WYOMING.
Ridgefield, July 5. -- Services for JUDY TYLER, 24-year-old screen star who, with her actor-husband, was killed yesterday in an auto accident near the tourist resort of Billy the Kid, Wyo., will take place Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in the FRANK CAMPBELL funeral home, 81st street and Madison avenue. MISS TYLER, who was a member of the First Church of Christ Scientist, will be cremated at Ferncliff, N.Y.
The daughter of MR. and MRS. JULIAN S. HESS, of Nutmeg ridge, MISS TYLER, with her husband of less than four months, GREGORY LAFAYETTE, was scheduled to have appeared on Pantomime Quiz, which will be inaugurated tonight on CBS. MR. and MRS. HESS, who have resided the past five years in Ridgefield where MR. HESS is a building contractor, are MISS TYLER'S only survivors.
She had just completed her first starring dramatic role, playing opposite ELVIS PRESLEY in "Jailhouse Rock," and a musical "Bop Girl Goes Calypso," is scheduled for July 15 release. MISS TYLER co-starred in Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Pipe Dream" with BILL JOHNSON, who died five months ago of a heart ailment. She had appeared on numerous TV shows and recently completed a series of melodramas, "Perry Mason, Detective."
Born Oct. 9, 1932, in New York city, MISS TYLER attended schools in Teaneck, N.J., and studied in the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. The brown eyed, raven haired actress won the title of "Miss Stardust," a nationwide beauty contest, in 1948.
MISS TYLER and MR. LAFAYETTE, of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., were married March 17 in Miami, Fla. The young couple had been living at 158 West 44th street, New York city.
The LAFAYETTES were motoring east from Hollywood. Police said MR. LAFAYETTE apparently swung into the lane of oncoming traffic to avoid hitting a car which was pulling onto U.S. Highway 30 from a tourist curio shop.
The LAFAYETTES' car smashed head-on into a westbound car occupied by DONALD J. JONES, 23, of Hanna, Wyo., and PAUL L. REED, 32, also of Hanna. MR. JONES was killed and MR. REED injured. A dog and cat in the LAFAYETTES' car also were killed.
Reported from the Memphis Commercial Appeal:
Barring a last-minute change in plans, Elvis Presley will not go to New York for Tuesday's funeral of the starlet who co-starred with him in his latest movie, "Jailhouse Rock." Judy Tyler and her husband, Gregory Lafayette, a television actor, were killed Wednesday in an automobile accident near Billy the Kid, Wyo. Tentative plans call for a double funeral Tuesday afternoon in New York. Mrs. Vernon Presley, mother of the rock and roll star, said last night the family had "talked it over and decided it was best for Elvis not to go." It was their feeling Elvis should remember her as she was before death. "He'll just send flowers," Mrs. Presley added, "unless Elvis takes a notion at the last minute.
Bop girl Judy Tyler was born Judith Mae Hess on October 9, 1933, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The daughter of a big band trumpeter and a former Ziegfeld girl, she got her show business break at the age of 13 playing Princess Summerfall Winterspring on The Howdy Doody Show. During a brief marriage to composer/lyricist Colin Romoff, Tyler was whisked out of the Broadway chorus line to star in the Rogers and Hammerstein musical Pipedream, based on a novel by John Steinbeck. Playing a vaguely defined Cannery Row prostitute (a role for which Julie Andrews had auditioned unsuccessfully), Tyler was nominated for a Tony award but Pipe Dreams failed to catch fire. Nonetheless, when Life magazine put the beauty on the cover of its December 26, 1955 issue in the company of other “shining young Broadway stars” Diane Cilento, Susan Strasberg, Lois Smith and Jayne Mansfield, Tyler’s stock began to rise. Granted a divorce from her first husband, Tyler married actor Gregory LaFayette in 1957. That same year, she played the eponymous chanteuse of Bop Girl Goes Calypso and was chosen to star in a film opposite the King of Rock himself, Elvis Presley. Three days after completing her work on Jailhouse Rock (1957), Tyler and LaFayette were killed i
A Milwaukee detective returned home today with the personal belongings of movie starlet Judy Tyler which were recovered from the wreckage of a head-on Wyoming highway crash that killed Miss Tyler and her husband last Wednesday
Gregory Lafayette and Judy Tyler Lafayette were involved in an auto accident on
July 3rd, 1957. The accident occurred on US-287/30 three miles north of Rock River, Wyoming in the northbound lane of US-287/30. At 5:50 PM a '54 Chevy driven by Paul Reed broadsided the '57 Chevy of the Lafayettes, which had swerved into the northbound lane to avoid colliding with a car towing a trailer
that had just pulled into the southbound lane in front of them.
The collision was so violent that all the window glass in both cars was reduced to powder. The '54 Chevy penetrated the Lafayette's car by 3 feet,
cutting Judy Tyler in half. A passenger in Reed's car was nearly decapitated.
Greg Lafayette was taken to Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie with a broken back and a fractured leg. He died there July 4th.
The site of the accident was directly in front of a popular convenience store and petting zoo called "Wild Bill's", erroneously reported as "Billy The Kid",
Wyoming. There is no such town; it was a convenience stop.
Robert E. Relyea (First assistant director on Jailhouse Rock): "Elvis loved women - all women. He wasn't just out to conquer them,he truly cherished them,and I believe,without doubt,that the woman he loved more than any other in his life was Judy Tyler his co-star in Jailhouse.
We tested four actresses for the role of Peggy,the beautiful businesswoman who tries to teach the brash young singer about love and responsiblity.Judy won the audition,despite interference from her annoying husband,the french ballet dancer Gregory Lafayette. Richard Thorpe had enough of Lafayette's meddling after ten minutes and had him physically thrown off the lot,telling Hollywood the guard at the Thalberg gate,"If you ever see this man again,shoot him!" So the husband wasn't seen at the studio after that,and the romance between Elvis and Judy developed quickly.It was an intense affair,Elvis grew to love her deeply,about the second week of shooting,the leads were ten minutes late returning from lunch-Richard Thorpe said to Elvis
"Let me explain something to you,as long as I am directing this picture,when we go to lunch from one o'clock to two o'clock we will start shooting at two o'clock" "Yes sir"Elvis said "Now,what an actor and actress do with each other away from the camera,I couldn't care less,but I won't let it interfere with our work" said Thorpe - "it was totally my fault,It won't happen again" said Elvis and it didn't
Many of us believed that once the filming of the movie ended,Elvis and Judy would go public with their love for each other,however Judy was sent on a short publicity tour when the picture wrapped without Elvis,if Judy was going to leave her husband , it would have to wait a few more weeks.*
Elvis and Judy Tyler on set. This has been taken from a magazine,and though of poor quality has the original background(this image is most often found with the background removed)
*Extracted from the book 'Not so quiet on the set' by Robert E. Relyea
Last edited by davide on Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:58 pm, edited 6 times in total.