The following is a very abbreviated biography of Tom Graeff and is an attempt to set the record straight on a number of Internet "urban legends" that have sprung up concerning Graeff and Teenagers from Outer Space.
The Early Years
Tom Graeff was born Thomas Lockyear Graeff on September 12, 1929, to George and Grace Graeff in the now-vanished mining town of Ray, Arizona. Before Tom was two years old, he and his parents moved to Los Angeles, where Tom grew up and where his brother James was born. Discovering a love for film at an early age, Tom enrolled in the UCLA Theater Arts program, which allowed him to study filmmaking. He pledged the Delta Chi fraternity and became a brother. His college career was marked by poor grades and after being put on academic probation several times, he redeemed himself by making a short film about fraternity life entitled Toast to Our Brother.
The film starred Graeff and a Paramount ingenue named Judith Ames, and guest-starred the Hollywood actor and comedian Joe E. Brown, a UCLA alumni. Judith Ames, who appeared in When Worlds Collide, later changed her name to Rachel Ames and found success in the role of "Audrey Hardy," one of the longest-running characters on the popular American soap opera General Hospital. Toast to Our Brother premiered at the Village Theater in Westwood on December 18, 1951 as a benefit for the St. Sophia Building Fund. The film garnered some industry attention and, because of the work Graeff put into it as writer, director, producer, and star, he was allowed to graduate in 1952.
Famed actor/comedian Joe E. Brown
in Toast to Our Brother
Ingenue Judith Ames plays
Tom Graeff's love interest in Toast to Our Brother