This article conducts a critical narrative of the public lives and performances of the actor Sterling Hayden as a contribution to the theory of emotion. Cultural theories of feeling have frequently suspended their attention to the diachronies of story and history in favor of a synchronic analysis of affect and ontology. This article argues that the analysis of a particular passion, coalescing in a series of moments in a single star text, offers a way to reconcile these divergent theoretical models.

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