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Marjoe Gortner

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Born on January 14th, 1944. Former evangelist and film actor, Marjoe Gortner is the grandson of prominent Assemblies of God leader J. Narver Gortner. Marjoe was preaching from the time when he was just a child, around the age of four. By 1951, his younger brother Vernoe was brought into the act. By the time Gortner was 16, his family had made three million dollars profit from the preaching. Not long after that his father ran off with the money. As a young man he did the rounds on the revival circuit and gained celebrity status.

In 1972, he starred in the film "Marjoe" which showed what went on behind the scenes. The film which won the 1972 Academy Award for Best Documentary Film is now regarded as one of the most forward criticisms of Pentecostal preaching. Years later Texe Marrs would include a section from the film in his documentary "The Blind & the Dead" which was an exposé on greedy evangelists and religious charlatans. Around 1972, Gortner's album, "Bad But Not Evil" was released on Chelsea Records. The album which was themed on his documentary was a mixture of country, rock and gospel. The background vocalists included Clydie King, Maxine Willard Waters and Venetta Fields. Some of the musicians that played on the album were Hal Blaine, Larry Carlton and Michael Omartian.
In 1973, Gortner appeared at the Millennium '73 event which featured Shri Guru Maharaj Ji. He covered the event for Oui Magazine and wrote a bit about soul singer and Stax recording artist Eric Mercury in his article "WHO WAS GURU MAHARAJ JI ?"

His acting career started off with "The Marcus-Nelson Murders", the 1973 pilot for the "Kojak" TV series. In 1974, he appeared with William Shatner in "Pray for the Wildcats". The same year, he had the starring role in "The Gun and the Pulpit" which was about a gunslinger on the run who impersonates a preacher. He also played the deranged Jody who becomes obsessed with Rosa (played by Victoria Principal) in the film "Earthquake". Other films include "Acapulco Gold" in 1976, "Starcrash" in 1978, "Jungle Warriors" in 1984 and "Wild Bill" in 1995. He also had a regular role as Vince Karlotti from 1986 to 1987 in the television show "Falcon Crest".

He has been married to Carol J. Raney and actress Candy Clark. He is now married to fim production designer and Set decorator Susan Magestro.

Sites:Wikipedia , Imdb , YouTube
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