Troy Donahue (January 27, 1936 – September 2, 2001) was an American actor and teen idol of the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Born Merle Johnson, Jr., Donahue was initially a journalism student at Columbia University in New York City before he decided to become an actor in Hollywood, where he was represented by Rock Hudson's agent, Henry Willson. According to Robert Hofler's 2005 biography, The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson: The Pretty Boys and Dirty Deals of Henry Willson, Willson tried out the name Troy on Rory Calhoun and James Darren, with no success before it finally stuck to Donahue. The blond heartthrob established himself with uncredited roles in The Monolith Monsters and Man Afraid in 1957, leading to larger parts in several films.
He starred in Monster on the Campus, Live Fast, Die Young, and The Tarnished Angels, all in 1958, and opposite fellow teen idol Sandra Dee in A Summer Place in 1959. The latter made him a star, especially among teenage audiences. He signed a contract with Warner Bros. and played several successive leading roles in films such as Rome Adventure and A Distant Trumpet. The two co-starred Suzanne Pleshette, whom he married in 1964, but divorced later that same year.