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Jon-Erik Hexum
(November 5, 1957 - October 18, 1984) U.S.A.

Jon-Erik Hexum

Actor

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Jon-Erik Hexum was born to Norwegian immigrants, Thor and Gretha, in Tenafly, New Jersey. His father walked out when Jack was four so his mother single-handedly raised him and his older brother, Gunnar. She worked two jobs and made many sacrifices for her sons.

At Tenafly High School, Jack played the horn and later the violin in the orchestra, played the organ in church for two years and played the piano since age 9. Jack was also senior class president and the first guy in the school's history to become a cheerleader.

Jack attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, for a year before transferring to Michigan State University (BA in Social Science). At MSU, Jack studied bio-medical engineering but a year into the course, switched to philosophy. He also took up football and spent his nights deejaying as "Yukon Jack" at six local radio stations. He did odd jobs in New York until he was "discovered" by John Travolta's manager, Bob LeMond.

Jon-Erik HexumHe left New York for California in September 1981. In October 1983, after a self-funded, self-promotion tour, Jack was cast as Tyler Burnett in The Making of a Male Model opposite Joan Collins.

The Hollywood rumor mill linked him with Joan Collins, Emma Samms and various other stars. On the other hand, "underground" rumors spread like wildfire that Jack was homosexual. He played along. "I don't care if people think I date a lot or a little, if they think I'm gay or if they think I'm aborigine. Who gives a shit! I would rather people didn't think I was gay but I don't 'rather' it a whole lot. It doesn't upset me a whole lot, and I've been to gay bars with friends and I don't worry about it..."

Jon-Erik Hexum had a bright and shining career ahead of him. Filming on the set of Cover Up had been delayed over and over again. Between scenes on the set of "Cover-Up", Jon-Erik was bored by delays in filming. Always the comedian, he jokingly placed a blank-loaded .44 Magnum prop gun to his right temple as a sight gag and pulled the trigger. The explosive charge drove a quarter-sized piece of his skull into his brain. Two days later, Jon-Erik was taken off life support at his family's request and his heart, corneas, skin, and kidneys were donated for transplant. This benefited six people, including a last-minute burn victim.

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Filmography:

  • Voyagers! (1982)
  • The Making of a Male Model (1983)
  • Hotel (1983)
  • The Bear (1984)
  • Cover Up (1984)
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