Who is Tom Graeff?Tom Graeff's FilmographyAbout Teenagers from Outer SpaceThe Boy From Out of This WorldContact Information & Links

In 1964 Tom started work on what would be his last film, The Wizard of Mars, a cheapie sci-fi take on L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz produced by David Hewitt. Tom edited WOM, working once more with cinematographer Austin McKinney, DP on Toast to our Brother and The Noble Experiment. Tom made barely any money from the job, and resigned himself not to work under anyone but himself.

Tom resurfaced again in 1968, with a screenplay named "Orf" for sale at the tidy and unprecedented sum of $500,000. He immediately caught the media's attention, and then made the misstep of bragging to one reporter, Joyce Haber, about the industry names he was hoping to enlist for the production. Haber subsequently printed a sarcastic piece in which two of the supposedly involved bigwigs, actor Carl Reiner and director Robert Wise, denied any involvement in developing the "far out there" script.

Tom fired back with a public apology to Wise the next day, accusing Haber of purposefully leaving out positive reactions from Peter Sellers, amongst others. In his letter, Tom expresses a desire to become Wise's protegé, and apologizes profusely for mentioning Wise's name to Haber. Unfortunately, Haber didn't take this retaliation sitting down, and in her next weekly column brought up the Jesus Christ story, identifying Tom as "that man" from years earlier. This last jab effectively put the nail in the coffin of Tom's career, and by the end of the year, Tom had retreated from Hollywood altogether.

The end

Tom's Gravesite

During this time Tom lived in the guest house of a large Brentwood home, where he helped the owners with chores. By 1969, the year of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, Tom began publishing ads and radio programmes about bisexuality and sexual freedom. These programs did little business and did little to ease Tom's growing depression and struggle with his sexuality. He began to isolate himself, and apparently falling out with his family, Tom moved down to La Mesa to a tiny home on Olive Avenue.

On the morning of December 19th, 1970, 19 years after his first film premiered at UCLA, a neighbor alerted Tom's father that something was wrong. When George Graeff and the paramedics arrived, they found Tom in the front seat of his car. He had committed suicide the night before. Tom was buried a few days later. No obituary was ever released. He was only 41 years old.

DISCLAIMER: All information within this site is original research on Tom Graeff conducted by the creators and contributors of this site. References made to other intellectual property are cited where appropriate and used with permission. All Rights Reserved. (c) 2005-2013.