Jack Stang

Jack Stang

Jack Stang born John A. Stang (29 October 1923-7 January 1996) was a former U.S. Marine [ [http://www.crimetime.co.uk/interviews/mickeyspillane.php Mickey Spillane Interview Page ] ] who served in the pacific theater-Samoa, Guadacanal and Bougainville campaign (1943–45) during World War Two, wounded in action, one of four men in his platoon to make it out and was later a Newburgh, New York policeman. In 1946, Mickey Spillane, then residing at Orange Lake in suburban Newburgh, admitted Stang was the inspiration for his character Mike Hammer. [ [http://www.crimetime.co.uk/interviews/mickeyspillane.php Mickey Spillane Interview Page ] ] [Corliss, Richard ""The Prince of Pulp" "Time" Magazine 22 Jul 2006]


After leaving the Newburgh Police, Stang operated a popular riverfront bar and grill at 4th and Front Street in Newburgh. After it was devastated by a fire, it reopened as a children's clothing store run by Fran Stang, Jack's mother. The old Newburgh riverfront neighborhood, 4 blocks wide and about a mile long, was demolished in the late 1960s as part of an 'Urban Renewal' program, and the bar property exists as of 2008 as part of a grassy slope and parking lot complex.

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References in popular culture

Stang appeared with Spillane in the 1954 film "Ring of Fear" and had an unbilled appearance in "I, the Jury (1953 film)". Spillane wrote, directed, and filmed a 1955 Mike Hammer screen test with Stang to enable Stang to play Hammer in "Kiss Me Deadly". [Pronzini,Bill & Adrian, Jack "Hardboiled: An Anthology of American Crime Stories" p.336 Oxford University Press 1997] . Jack never got to play Mike Hammer , even though he was the Real Mike Hammer ,and every time Mickey was asked who would be the right person to play Mike Hammer , the answer was always the same- Jack Stang. The Hollywood machine at that time would only use known actors so they could get financing. Biff Elliot was cast as Hammer in "I, the Jury" as was Ralph Meeker in the second Hammer film "Kiss Me Deadly".

Jack Stang was signed to Wayne-Fellows productions at Warner Bros. and did a "Highway Patrol (TV series)" episode and Broderick Crawford wanted him as a regular. He was offered a role from Otto Preminger to be in "The Man with the Golden Arm" starring Frank Sinatra. Just as Jack Stang's star was about to shine, he left Hollywood to be with his family instead of the fast paced Hollywood lifestyle.

"Jack Stang" is also the name of the protagonist of "Dead Street", the first book published with Spillane's byline after his death (it was "prepared for publication" by Max Allan Collins). The book features a neighborhood being torn down as was Stang's section of Newburgh.

External links

Jack Stang screen test as Mike Hammer http://pages.interlog.com/~roco/screentest.html

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