Crime History: Oscar-winning actor kills wife, self

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Oct. 19, in 1978, Academy Award-winning film and TV star Gig Young murdered his new bride and then killed himself in their Manhattan apartment.

Young, 64, previously wedded to Elizabeth Montgomery of "Bewitched" fame, had married his fifth wife, 31-year-old Kim Schmidt, three weeks earlier.

A motive for the killing was never established.

Young, who grew up in the District, had been nominated for an Academy Award for his supporting role in "Teacher's Pet" in 1958. He won the Oscar in 1969 for his portrayal of a sleazy dance marathon-promoter opposite Jane Fonda in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"

But Young also had a reputation as an unreliable drunk, and Mel Brooks fired him on the first day of filming of the 1974 movie "Blazing Saddles" and replaced him with Gene Wilder.

- Scott McCabe

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