03/15/2002 at 01:00 AM EST
Gig Young, born Byron Elsworth Barr, was affable, suave and good-looking in a fresh-faced Midwestern way, the kind of actor who often played the second lead in light comedies of the 1950s and 1960s. (Doris Day rejected him for in favor of Cary Grant in 1962's "That Touch of Mink.") Gradually he was given more challenging roles and in 1969 he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar playing the seedy dance promoter in "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?". His promising career came to abrupt end in 1978 when he shot and killed his 31-year-old wife of three weeks, German actress Kim Schmidt, and then turned the gun on himself. The reasons behind the murder-suicide were never made clear. After his death, Young's gold statuette disappeared, allegedly taken by CAA uber-agent Martin Baum, now 78. Jennifer Young, his daughter with fourth wife Elaine Young (his third wife was "Bewitched" star Elizabeth Montgomery), is now seeking to regain possession of her dad's Oscar. Young, 37, is no stranger to legal issues, having been dragged into court when her infamous roommate, "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss, was the scandal du jour. She has spent the past four years in pursuit of the elusive statuette, along with producing a documentary on her father's life, and will finally get her rightful inheritance back when Baum dies.