HomeStatisticsFilmstarsVan Heflin Height, Weight, Age, Death, Family, Biography

Van Heflin Height, Weight, Age, Death, Family, Biography

Van Heflin Quick Info
Height 5 ft 11¾ in
Weight 76 kg
Date of Birth December 13, 1908
Zodiac Sign Sagittarius
Date of Death July 23, 1971

Van Heflin was an American actor, theatre artist, and radio personality who was cast in a variety of films such as A Woman RebelsTomahawk, The Outcasts of Poker FlatFlight From GloryAnnapolis SaluteSaturday’s HeroesThe Three Musketeers, Madame Bovary, Back Door to HeavenSanta Fe TrailAct of Violence, The Feminine TouchTap Roots, Kid Glove KillerJohnny EagerGrand Central Murder, South of Algiers, Presenting Lily Mars, Count Three and Pray, The Strange Love of Martha IversThe Greatest Story Ever Told, Till the Clouds Roll ByGreen Dolphin Street, B.F.’s DaughterThe Ruthless Four, The Secret LandThe RaidUnder Ten Flags, The Man Outside, Tempest, They Came to Cordura, The Big Bounce, and East Side, West Side. In addition to that, his television credits included The Nash Airflyte TheaterPlayhouse 90The Ken Murray ShowThe Dick Powell ShowThe Great AdventureThe Danny Thomas Hour, and others.

Born Name

Emmett Evan Heflin Jr.

Nick Name


Van Heflin as seen in a studio publicity photo in 1964
Van Heflin as seen in a studio publicity photo in 1964 (Studio Publicity Still / / Public Domain)


He was born on December 13, 1908.


On July 23, 1971, Van Heflin died at 6:43 a.m. at the age of 62 in Hollywood, California, United States. He suffered a heart attack while swimming in a pool on June 6, 1971, and lived for nearly 7 weeks but apparently never regained consciousness and eventually passed away.

Sun Sign


Born Place

Walters, Cotton County, Oklahoma, United States





Van Heflin studied at Classen High School in Oklahoma City. After that, he got enrolled at the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1932. During his time at the university, he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Then, he completed a master’s degree in theater at Yale University.


Actor, Theatre Artist, Radio Personality


  • Father – Dr. Emmett Evan Heflin (Dentist)
  • Mother – Fanny Bleecker (née Shippey)
  • Siblings – Mary Frances Heflin (September 20, 1920 – June 1, 1994) (Younger Sister) (Daytime Emmy-nominated Actor, Stage Artist), Martin Heflin (Brother) (Public Relations Executive)
  • Others – Alexander Heflin (Paternal Grandfather), Mary Catherine “Mollie” Murphree (Paternal Grandmother), Martin Henry Shippey (Maternal Grandfather), Caroline Willard (Maternal Grandmother), Sol Kaplan (April 19, 1919 – November 14, 1990) (Brother-In-law, Mary’s Husband) (Film and Television Music Composer), Julia Dorn Heflin (July 22, 1911 – August 20, 2007) (Sister-In-Law, Nartin’s Wife) (Journalist, Theatre Producer, Teacher), Nora Heflin (Niece), Mady Kaplan Ahern (Niece), Jonathan Kaplan (Nephew) (Film Producer, Director), Marta Heflin (March 29, 1945 – September 18, 2013) (Niece) (Actor), Ben O’Brien (Grandson) (Actor), Eleanor O’Brien (Granddaughter) (Actor)



Van Heflin as settler Joe Starrett in 'Shane' (1953)
Van Heflin as settler Joe Starrett in ‘Shane’ (1953) (Insomnia Cured Here / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)


5 ft 11¾ in or 182 cm


76 kg or 167.5 lbs

Girlfriend / Spouse

Van Heflin had dated –

  1. Gloria Vanderbilt – He was once romantically involved with artist, author, actor, fashion designer, and socialite Gloria Vanderbilt.
  2. Eleanor Scherr (a.k.a. Eleanor Shaw) (1934-1936)​ – Van Heflin was married to actor Eleanor Scherr between 1934 and 1936.
  3. Frances E. Neal (1942-1967) – He got married to RKO contract player Frances E. Neal in 1942 and they had 2 daughters, actors Vana O’Brien (b. June 20, 1943) and Cathleen (Kate) Heflin (b. July 14, 1946), and a son named Tracy Heflin (b. July 8, 1954). The marriage ended in divorce in 1967.
  4. Ava Gardner (1949) – Van Heflin had an affair with actor Ava Gardner in 1949.

Race / Ethnicity


Heflin was of English, Irish, German, Dutch, and French descent.

Hair Color

Salt and Pepper

Eye Color


Sexual Orientation


Distinctive Features

Deep voice

Van Heflin as seen in a publicity photo in 1941
Van Heflin as seen in a publicity photo in 1941 (Clarence Bull / eBay / Public Domain)

Van Heflin Facts

  1. Before embarking on an acting career, he was an accomplished seaman and was in a US Army artillery unit during WWll.
  2. Along with Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, and Edward Arnold, Van Heflin co-starred as Jeff Hartnett in the 1941 film noir Johnny Eager. For this role, he won the Academy Award for “Best Supporting Actor”.
  3. As per Van Heflin’s wishes, no public funeral was held after his death and his cremated remains were scattered in the ocean.
  4. He was awarded 2 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 – for his contributions to motion pictures at 6311 Hollywood Boulevard and for television at 6125 Hollywood Boulevard.

Featured Image by Studio Publicity Still / / Public Domain

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