Gig Young

The Life and Career of Gig Young

Gig Young was an American actor who had a successful career in Hollywood during the 1940s to the 1970s. He appeared in over 100 films and television shows, earning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1969 for his role in “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” However, despite his success, his personal life was plagued with issues such as alcoholism and failed marriages.

Young was born Byron Elsworth Barr in 1913 in Minnesota. He began his acting career in theater before moving to Hollywood in the 1940s. He changed his name to Gig Young and quickly became a popular character actor, known for his charm and wit. He appeared in films such as “Come Fill the Cup” and “Teacher’s Pet” alongside Doris Day and Clark Gable. He also had a successful television career, appearing in shows such as “The Twilight Zone” and “The Rogues.”

The Tragic Death of Gig Young

Gig Young

On October 19, 1978, Gig Young was found dead in his New York City apartment alongside his fifth wife, Kim Schmidt. Both had been shot to death, and it was determined that Young had killed his wife before turning the gun on himself. The news shocked Hollywood and left many wondering what could have led to such a tragic end.

Some speculated that Young’s struggles with alcoholism and failed marriages had finally caught up with him. Others pointed to his daughter’s suicide just a few years prior as a possible trigger for his mental health decline. However, the exact reasons for the murder-suicide remain unknown.

The Mystery of the Crime Scene

The crime scene left behind by Gig Young and his wife only added to the mystery surrounding their deaths. The apartment was found in disarray, with furniture overturned and broken glass on the floor. Some reports suggest that Young had been drinking heavily before the incident, leading to a possible altercation with his wife.

Despite the chaos, there were no signs of forced entry, leading investigators to believe that Young had let his killer into the apartment. However, no suspects were ever identified, and the case remains unsolved to this day.

Legacy of Gig Young

Gig Young’s tragic death left a lasting impact on Hollywood and his fans. His talent and charm will always be remembered, as will the mystery surrounding his untimely death. His daughter, Jennifer Young, has since become an advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, hoping to prevent others from experiencing the same pain that her family went through.


Gig Young’s life and career were cut short by his tragic death, leaving behind a legacy of talent and mystery. While the reasons for his murder-suicide remain unknown, his impact on Hollywood and the world of acting will never be forgotten.

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