Anthony Dexter Biographical Information
Dexter was born Walter Reinhold Alfred Fleischmann, on January 19,
1913, in Talmadge, Nebraska. He earned an M.A. degree from the University
of Iowa. Anthony Dexter was a stage actor before and after his World
War II army service. His casting in the title role of the 1951 film "Valentino",
which was greeted with a fanfare of publicity, was the culmination of one
of the greatest talent hunts in the history of motion pictures. Producer
Edward Small's search covered 11 years of effort and brought forth 75,000
applicants for the job of playing the legendary silent film star, Rudolph
Tony Dexter, one time Nebraska farm boy, college choir singer, football star and G.I. sergeant, proved he had the right stuff. Of all of the actors who have tried to play Valentino in subsequent films, his portrayal remains by far the best. Bearing an uncanny resemblance to Rudy, Anthony Dexter was well-suited to the role. His acting and dancing skills, along with good production values, made "Valentino" an entertaining film.
Tall and handsome, Anthony Dexter was known to have one of the best physiques in Hollywood of his day. He went on to star in a number of other films, including The Brigand (1952), Captain John Smith And Pocahontas (1953); Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl (1954); The Black Pirates (1954); He Laughed Last (1956); The Story of Mankind (1957); The Parson and the Outlaw (1957); Twelve To The Moon (1960); and Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967).
After retiring from the screen, Anthony Dexter, now known as Mr. Walter Craig, became a teacher of English and Drama. When he retired from teaching, Mr. Craig moved to Greeley, Colorado, where he lived until his death on March 27, 2001. His passing ended an era, which began with the great Valentino with whom Anthony Dexter will always be identified. He is survived by two daughters, Kimberly and Claudia, and four grandchildren. He will remain in the loving memory of his family, his friends and his fans around the world.
Anthony Dexter, further reading:
Dexter: The Man Who Played Valentino" by Ron Miller