Byron Barr was born in St. Cloud, MN on 4 Nov. 1913, but after appearing in the 1942 film The Gay Sisters, he changed his name to the character he played in the film, Gig Young.
Young was nominated for Academy Awards for playing alcoholics in Come Fill the Cup (1951) and Teacher’s Pet (1958), before finally winning for his role as a dance marathon emcee in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969).
Young struggled with alcoholism much of his life and was fired after one day of shooting on Blazing Saddles (1974). His role was taken over by Gene Wilder.
Young was married 5 times, many of them ending because of his drinking.
Gig Young was also an avid collector of guns, and on 19 Oct. 1978, the 64-year-old actor murdered his 31-year-old wife of three weeks and then shot himself in their New York City apartment.