Pat Cleveland and Tony Spinelli photographed by Tracy
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Playgirl's Man for January
John Ericson (sometimes Erickson) (born John Meibes on 25 September 1926) is a German-American actor and film and television star.
He trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and played the lead role in Stalag 17 by Donald Bevan and Edmund Trzcinski on Broadway (1951). He went on to make a number of films for MGM in quick succession in the 1950s.
His first appearance was in Teresa (1951), directed by Fred Zinnemann, which also launched the film careers of Pier Angeli and Rod Steiger. He then went on to appear in a series of films which included Rhapsody, The Student Prince, Green Fire (all in 1954), and opposite Spencer Tracy in Bad Day at Black Rock (1955). Ericson also co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck (as her brother) in Samuel Fuller's western Forty Guns.
For the next thirty years his career continued mostly on television. He appeared in the lead role in "The Peter Bartley Story" of CBS's fantasy drama, The Millionaire. Child actor Johnny Washbrook appeared in the same episode in a flashback segment of Ericson as a boy. He appeared with Dorothy Malone in the January 1, 1956, episode entitled "Mutiny" of CBS's Appointment with Adventure. He guest starred in 1958 in the NBC western series The Restless Gun, starring John Payne and in the 1961 ABC crime drama, Target: The Corruptors!
From 1965–66, Ericson co-starred as the partner of Anne Francis in the ABC detective series Honey West, a unique concept about a female private eye. He and Francis had played brother and sister in Bad Day at Black Rock.
He also appeared in such films as Pretty Boy Floyd (1960), 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (1964) and Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971).
He has been married twice and has two children from his first marriage to Milly Coury.
Plaintiff John Ericson, in order to boost his career as an actor, agreed that defendant Playgirl, Inc. could publish without compensation as the centerfold of its January 1974 issue of Playgirl photographs of Ericson posing naked at Lion Country Safari. No immediate career boost to Ericson resulted from the publication. In April 1974 defendant wished to use the pictures again for its annual edition entitled Best of Playgirl, a publication with half the circulation of Playgirl and without advertising.
Ericson agreed to a rerun of his pictures in Best of Playgirl on two conditions: that certain of them be cropped to more modest exposure, and that Ericson's photograph occupy a quarter of the front cover, which would contain photographs of five other persons on its remaining three-quarters. Defendant honored the first of these conditions but not the second, in that as the result of an editorial mixup Ericson's photograph did not appear on the cover of Best of Playgirl. Ericson thereupon sued for damages, not for invasion of privacy from unauthorized [73 Cal. App. 3d 853] publication of his pictures, but for loss of the publicity he would have received if defendant had put Ericson's picture on the cover as it had agreed to do. The trial court awarded plaintiff damages of $12,500, but on appeal the award was reduced to $300.