This list represents my favorite actors! These are individuals whose personna on the screen was convincing as to the characters they portrayed. In my mind, when an actor can convince you they are the character they portray, then they are indeed an actor! The list of 100 does not represent a preferential order, but merely as those who come to my mind! Others will have their own lists! Again, this is a list of my favorites and not all inclusive. Others viewing this list may not agree and that is your prerogative. But if you do not like this list, perhaps you should make up your own list. That way you can express your favorites as I have mine. Another thing, I have seen lists of "great actors and worst actors" and I do not have such a list, but keep in mind, these lists are the opinions of those made such lists and you have the option to agree or not!
His father was a well-to-do inventor, his mother a beautiful concert pianist; Orson Welles was gifted in many arts (magic, piano, painting) as a child. When his mother died (he was seven) he traveled the world with his father. When his father died (he was fifteen) he became the ward of Chicago's Dr...
“ Mr. Welles excels first for his role in Citizen Kane; "Touch of Evil," and was very good in "Tomorrow is Forever." He has many other credits as well. I always enjoyed him perform. ” - arcturus6
Born to Alice Cooper
and Charles Cooper (not in film business). Gary attended school at Dunstable school England, Helena Montana and Iowa College, Grinnell, Iowa. His first stage experience was during high school and college. Afterwards, he worked as an extra for one year before getting a part in a two reeler by Hans Tissler (an independent producer)...
“ Was great in "The Fountainhead" and "The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell" ” - arcturus6
In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays...
“ Superb performance in "Sergeant York" and "Red River." ” - arcturus6
John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Iowa, to Mary Alberta (Brown) and Clyde Leonard Morrison, a pharmacist. He was of English, Ulster-Scots, and Irish ancestry. Clyde developed a lung condition that required him to move his family from Iowa to the warmer climate of southern California, where they tried ranching in the Mojave Desert...
“ Great performance in "The Searchers," "True Grit," and "Rooster Cogburn." ” - arcturus6
Robert Mitchum was an underrated American leading man of enormous ability, who sublimated his talents beneath an air of disinterest. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Ann Harriet (Gunderson), a Norwegian immigrant, and James Thomas Mitchum, a shipyard/railroad worker. His father died in a train accident when he was two...
“ Another under rated actor of great ability. I really liked him in "The Winds of War" and "Not As A Stranger." Here is a guy who could play the villian or hero with equal ability! ” - arcturus6
Sydney Greenstreet's father was a leather merchant with eight children. Sydney left home at age 18 to make his fortune as a Ceylon tea planter, but drought forced him out of business and back to England. He managed a brewery and, to escape boredom, took acting lessons. His stage debut was as a murderer in a 1902 production of "Sherlock Holmes"...
“ Great in "Casablanca," "Passage to Marseilles," "The Mask of Demetrios," "Malaya." ” - arcturus6
Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Jr. was born in Petersburg, Virginia, into a well-to-do Southern family. He was the eldest of three sons born to Sally Whitworth (Willson) and Joseph Cheshire Cotten, Sr., an assistant postmaster. Jo (as he was known) and his brothers Whit and Sam spent their summers at their aunt and uncle's home at Virginia Beach...
“ Cotton was a very good but under appreciated actor in my opinion. His performances in "Citizen Kane," "The Magnificent Ambersons," "The Third Man," and "Portrait of Jennie" were all great. ” - arcturus6
Actor, writer, and gourmet, Vincent Leonard Price, Jr. was born in St Louis, Missouri, to Marguerite Cobb (Wilcox) and Vincent Leonard Price, Sr., president of the National Candy Company. He traveled through Europe, studied at Yale and became an actor. He made his screen debut in 1938, and after many minor roles...
“ I liked him in "The Baron of Arizona" and "Dragonwyck" ” - arcturus6
American leading man of the 1940s and 1950s, Dana Andrews, was born Carver Dana Andrews on a farm by Collins, Covington County, Mississippi. He was the son of Annis (Speed) and Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister. He was one of thirteen children, including actor Steve Forrest
. Andrews studied business administration at Sam Houston State Teachers College in Texas...
“ He was very good in "Laura" and "The Best Years of Our Lives." ” - arcturus6
“ Loved him in "Harvey" ” - arcturus6
James Stewart was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition for The Philadelphia Story (1940) and receiving an Academy Lifetime Achievement award. Stewart was named the third greatest male screen legend of the Golden Age Hollywood by the American Film Institute. He was a major Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer contract star...
“ I liked him in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "Harvey." ” - arcturus6
With features chiseled in stone, and renowned for playing a long list of historical figures, particularly in Biblical epics, the tall, well built and ruggedly handsome Charlton Heston was one of Hollywood's greatest leading men and remained active in front of movie cameras for over sixty years. As a Hollywood star...
“ Memorable performances in "The Ten Commandments" and "Ben Hur" ” - arcturus6
Walter Pidgeon, a handsome, tall and dark-haired man, began his career studying voice at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He then did theater, mainly stage musicals. He went to Hollywood in the early 1920s, where he made silent films, including Mannequin
. When talkies arrived...
“ Very good in "How Green Is My Valley" and "Advise and Consent." ” - arcturus6
Dean Jagger was born in Lima, Ohio, on November 7, 1903. He dropped out of high school twice before finally graduating from Wabash College. Working first as a school teacher, he soon became interested in acting and enrolled at Chicago's "Lyceum Art Conservatory". Mr. Jagger made his first movie and only silent film...
“ Fine performance in "Twelve O'Clock High" and "Bad Day At Black Rock." ” - arcturus6
Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy in Andover...
“ Great in "Casablanca" and "The Big Sleep" ” - arcturus6
Jovial, somewhat flamboyant Frank Morgan (born Francis Wuppermann) will forever be remembered as the title character in The Wizard of Oz
, but he was a veteran and respected actor long before he played that part, and turned in outstanding performances both before and after that film. One of 11 children of a wealthy manufacturer...
“ Fine performance in "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Mortal Storm." ” - arcturus6
O'Toole was one of several actors to be Oscar-nominated for playing the same role in two different films: he played King Henry II in both Becket (1964) and The Lion in Winter (1968). O'Toole played Hamlet under Laurence Olivier's direction in the premiere production of the Royal National Theatre in 1963...
“ Loved him in "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Good-Bye Mr. Chips" He was chilling in "Night of the Generals." A actor of great ability. ” - arcturus6
James Mason was a great English actor of British and American films. He was born in Yorkshire, and attended Marlborough and Cambridge, where he discovered acting on a lark, and abandoned a planned career as an architect. Following work in stock companies, he joined the Old Vic under the guidance of Sir Tyrone Guthrie
and of Alexander Korda
“ Memorable performance in "The Desert Fox" but very good in many other films as well. ” - arcturus6
Once told by an interviewer, "Everybody would like to be Cary Grant", Grant is said to have replied, "So would I." Cary Grant was born Archibald Alexander Leach in Horfield, Bristol, England, to Elsie Maria (Kingdon) and Elias James Leach, who worked in a factory. His early years in Bristol would have been an ordinary lower-middle-class childhood...
“ Great in "North by Northwest" and "The Bishop's Wife" ” - arcturus6
William Claude Rains, born in the Camberwell area of London, was the son of the British stage actor Frederick Rains. The younger Rains followed, making his stage debut at the age of eleven in "Nell of Old Drury." Growing up in the world of theater, he saw not only acting up close but the down-to-earth business end as well...
“ Great in "Casablanca" and "Passage to Marseilles" and "Mr. Skeffington." ” - arcturus6
Spencer Tracy was born four years after his brother Carroll to truck salesman John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy. He attended Marquette Academy along with Pat O'Brien
and the two left school to enlist in the Navy at the start of World War I. He was still at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia at the end of the war...
“ Very memorable in "The Last Hurrah," "Broken Lance, "Bad Day at Black Rock," and "Keeper of the Flame" among his many great films. ” - arcturus6
Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema who rose from being "the ragman's son" (the name of his best-selling 1988 autobiography) to become a bona fide superstar, Kirk Douglas, also known as Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was born in Amsterdam, New York, in 1916. His parents, Bryna (Sanglel) and Herschel Danielovitch...
“ He was really good in "In Harm's Way" and "Seven Days In May." ” - arcturus6
Prematurely white-haired character star who began as a supporting player of generally vicious demeanor, then metamorphosed into a star of both action and drama projects, Lee Marvin was born in New York City to Lamont Waltman Marvin, an advertising executive, and his wife Courtenay Washington Davidge...
“ He was such a scoundrel in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence" and very good in "Gorky Park." ” - arcturus6
Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Anna (Boselli), who had emigrated from Carpi (MO), Italy, and Camillo Borgnino, who had emigrated from Ottiglio (AL), Italy. As an only child, Ernest enjoyed most sports, especially boxing, but took no real interest in acting...
“ Very good in "The Wild Bunch" and "Marty" ” - arcturus6
William Holden was born William Franklin Beedle, Jr. in O'Fallon, Illinois, to Mary Blanche (Ball), a schoolteacher, and William Franklin Beedle, Sr., an industrial chemist. He came from a wealthy family (the Beedles) that moved to Pasadena, California, when he was three. In 1937, while studying chemistry at Pasadena Junior College...
“ Really did great in "Stalag 17" ” - arcturus6
Alec Guinness de Cuffe was born on April 2, 1914 in Marylebone, London, England, and was raised by his mother, Agnes Cuffe. While working in advertising, he studied at the Fay Compton
Studio of Dramatic Art, debuting on stage in 1934 and played classic theater with the Old Vic from 1936. In 1941...
“ So many fine performances, loved him in "The Scapegoat" and "Cromwell" and of course, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." ” - arcturus6
In Britain, special Christmas plays called pantomimes are produced for children. Jack Hawkins made his London theatrical debut at age 12, playing the elf king in "Where The Rainbow Ends". At 17, he got the lead role of St. George in the same play. At 18, he made his debut on Broadway in "Journey's End"...
“ Another fine performer who did a great job in "Ben Hur" He was also very good in "The Bridge Over the River Quai." ” - arcturus6
There are very few character actors from the 1930s, '40s or '50s who rose to the rank of stardom. Only a rare man or woman reached the level of renown and admiration, and had enough audience appeal, to be the first name in a cast's billing, a name that got marquee posting. Charles Coburn
comes to mind, but there aren't many others. However, one who made it was Edmund Gwenn...
“ His performance in "Miracle on 34th Street" is one of his best. ” - arcturus6
Donald Crisp was born George William Crisp at the family home in Bow, London. Donald's parents were James Crisp and Elizabeth Crisp, his birth was registered by his mother on 4th September 1882. Donald's sisters were Elizabeth, Ann, Alice (known as Louisa) and Eliza and his brothers were James, John and Mark...
“ Very memorable in "How Green Was My Valley" ” - arcturus6
Burt Lancaster, one of five children, was born in Manhattan, to Elizabeth (Roberts) and James Henry Lancaster, a postal worker. All of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. He was a tough street kid who took an early interest in gymnastics. He joined the circus as an acrobat and worked there until he was injured...
“ Very good in "Seven Days in May" ” - arcturus6
Edward Montgomery Clift (nicknamed 'Monty' his entire life) was born on October 17, 1920 in Omaha, Nebraska, just after his twin sister Roberta and eighteen months after his brother Brooks Clift
. He was the son of Ethel "Sunny" Anderson (Fogg) and William Brooks Clift. His father made a lot of money in banking but was quite poor during the depression...
“ Great performance in "Red River" and "From Here To Eternity." ” - arcturus6
Burl Ives was one of six children born to a Scottish-Irish farming family. He first sang in public for a soldiers' reunion when he was age 4. In high school, he learned the banjo and played fullback, intending to become a football coach when he enrolled at Eastern Illinois State Teacher's College in 1927. He dropped out in 1930 and wandered, hitching rides, doing odd jobs, street singing...
“ Excellent in "The Big Country" and "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof." ” - arcturus6
American character actor of gruff voice and appearance who was a fixture in Hollywood pictures from the earliest days of the talkies. The fifth of seven children, he was born in the first minute of 1891. He was a boisterous child, and at nine was tried and acquitted for attempted murder in the shooting of a motorman who had run over his dog...
“ Excellent in "The Big Country." and "The Song of Bernadette." ” - arcturus6
Lee J. Cobb
Lee J. Cobb, one of the premier character actors in American film for three decades in the post-World War II period, was born Leo Jacoby in New York City's Lower East Side on December 8, 1911. The son of a Jewish newspaper editor, young Leo was a child prodigy in music, mastering the violin and the harmonica...
“ Great performance in "Twelve Angry Men." ” - arcturus6
Gregory Peck first film, Days of Glory, was released in 1944. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor five times, four of which came in his first five years of film acting: for The Keys of the Kingdom (1944), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman's Agreement (1947), and Twelve O'Clock High (1949)...
“ Grerat performer in "Twelve O'Clock High" and "The Guns of Navarone" ” - arcturus6
One of Hollywood's finest character actors and most accomplished scene stealers, Barry Fitzgerald was born William Joseph Shields in 1888 in Dublin, Ireland. Educated to enter the banking business, the diminutive Irishman with the irresistible brogue was bitten by the acting bug in the 1920s and joined Dublin's world-famous Abbey Players...
“ Very memorable in "The Quiet Man" and "Going My Way" ” - arcturus6
Laurence Olivier could speak William Shakespeare
's lines as naturally as if he were "actually thinking them", said English playwright Charles Bennett
, who met Olivier in 1927. Laurence Kerr Olivier was born in Dorking, Surrey, England, to Agnes Louise (Crookenden) and Gerard Kerr Olivier, a High Anglican priest. His surname came from a great-great-grandfather who was of French Huguenot origin...
“ Masterful performance in "Spartacus" and "Hamlet." ” - arcturus6
A genuine star of cinema on screen and a fiery hell raiser off screen, Richard St John Harris was born on October 1, 1930 in Limerick, Ireland, to a farming family. He was the son of Mildred Josephine (Harty) and Ivan John Harris, and was an excellent rugby player, with a strong passion for literature...
“ Great in "Cromwell" ” - arcturus6
Probably more frequently remembered for his turbulent personal life and multiple marriages, Richard Burton was nonetheless regarded as one of the great British actors of the post-WWII period. Burton was born Richard Walter Jenkins in Pontrhydyfen, Wales, to Edith Maude (Thomas) and Richard Walter Jenkins...
“ Like him "The Wild Geese" and "Ice Palace" ” - arcturus6
Bing Crosby was born Harry Lillis Crosby, Jr. in Tacoma, Washington, the fourth of seven children of Catherine Helen "Kate" (Harrigan) and Harry Lowe Crosby, a brewery bookkeeper. He was of English and Irish descent. Crosby studied law at Gonzaga University in Spokane but was more interested in playing the drums and singing with a local band...
“ Very memorable performance in "The Country Girl" ” - arcturus6
Fred MacMurray was likely the most underrated actor of his generation. True, his earliest work is mostly dismissed as pedestrian, but no other actor working in the 1940s and 50s was able to score so supremely whenever cast against type. Frederick Martin MacMurray was born in Kankakee, Illinois, to Maleta Martin and Frederick MacMurray...
“ Very good in "Double Indemmity" ” - arcturus6
Edward G. Robinson
Edward G. Robinson arrived in the United States at age ten, and his family moved into New York's Lower East Side. He took up acting while attending City College, abandoning plans to become a rabbi or lawyer. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts awarded him a scholarship, and he began work in stock...
“ Memorable actor in "Key Largo" and "The Stranger" and Soylent Green." ” - arcturus6
Certainly there have been many phrases coined about Thomas Mitchell as one of the most recognizable and exemplary character actors of Hollywood's golden years, but behind that elfish demeanor was a talent to fit many hats. He was a first-generation American of Irish immigrants who settled in New Jersey...
“ Masterful performer in "Stagecoach" (1939) ” - arcturus6
Legendary actor Glenn Ford was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Quebec, Canada, to Hannah Wood (Mitchell) and Newton Ford, a railroad executive. His family moved to Santa Monica, California when he was eight years old. His acting career began with plays at high school, followed by acting in West Coast, a traveling theater company...
“ Very good in "Gilda" ” - arcturus6
Herbert Marshall had trained to become a certified accountant, but his interest turned to the stage. He lost a leg while serving in World War I, he was rehabilitated with a wooden leg. This did not stop him from making good his decision to make the stage as his vocation. He used a very deliberate square-shouldered and guided walk - largely unnoticeable - to cover up his disability...
“ Memorable performance in "The Razor's Edge" ” - arcturus6
Already trained in dance and theater, he quit school at age 13 to study music and painting. By 19 he was a professional ballroom dancer in New York, and by his mid-twenties he was performing in musicals, dramas on Broadway and in London, and in silent movies. His first real success in film came in middle age as the classy villain Waldo Lydecker in Laura
“ Very good in "The Man Who Never Was" ” - arcturus6
George C. Scott
Best known for his stage work, as well as his portrayal of General George S. Patton in the film Patton, as General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, and as Ebenezer Scrooge in Clive Donner's 1984 film A Christmas Carol. He was the first actor to refuse the Academy Award for Best Actor (for Patton in 1970)...
“ Magnificent in "Patton" ” - arcturus6
Unlike many actors, John Dehner's career didn't begin on the stage or on radio. He started out as an animator for Walt Disney Studios, then worked as a disc jockey and a professional pianist. He made his film debut in the 1940s, and has appeared in dozens of films. A tall and distinguished looking man with a rich voice and somewhat flamboyant demeanor...
“ Great character actor and was really good in "The Winds of War" ” - arcturus6
Martin Henry Balsam was born on November 4, 1919 in the Bronx, New York City, to Lillian (Weinstein) and Albert Balsam, a manufacturer of women's sportswear. He was the first-born child. His father was a Russian Jewish immigrant, and his mother was born in New York, to Russian Jewish parents. Martin caught the acting bug in high school where he participated in the drama club...
“ Memorable performance in "Tora Tora Tora" ” - arcturus6
Fredric March began a career in banking but in 1920 found himself cast as an extra in films being produced in New York. He starred on the Broadway stage first in 1926 and would return there between screen appearances later on. He won plaudits (and an Academy Award nomination) for his send-up of John Barrymore
in The Royal Family of Broadway
“ Really good performer in "The Best Years of Our Lives" ” - arcturus6
Henry Jaynes Fonda was born in Grand Island, Nebraska, to Elma Herberta (Jaynes) and William Brace Fonda, who worked in advertising and printing. His recent ancestry included Dutch, English, and Scottish. Fonda started his acting debut with the Omaha Community Playhouse, a local amateur theater troupe directed by Dorothy Brando...
“ Great performance in "The Grapes of Wrath" ” - arcturus6
Veteran actor and director Robert Selden Duvall was born on January 5, 1931, in San Diego, CA, to Mildred Virginia (Hart), an amateur actress, and William Howard Duvall, a career military officer who later became an admiral. Duvall majored in drama at Principia College (Elsah, IL), then served a two-year hitch in the army after graduating in 1953...
“ While he was good in "The Godfather" I liked him also in "Open Range" and "Secondhand Lions." ” - arcturus6
William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Cadiz, Ohio, to Adeline (Hershelman) and William Henry Gable, an oil-well driller. He was of German, Irish, and Swiss-German descent. When he was seven months old, his mother died, and his father sent him to live with his maternal aunt and uncle in Pennsylvania...
“ Gave a fine performance in "The Misfits," "Betrayed" and "It Happened One Night." ” - arcturus6
Brian Cox is an Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor. He was born on June 1, 1946 in Dundee, Scotland, to Mary Ann Guillerline (McCann), a spinner, and Charles McArdle Campbell Cox, a shopkeeper and butcher. His father was of Irish ancestry and his mother was of Irish and Scottish descent. Cox first came to attention in the early 1970s with performances in numerous television films...
“ Plays a convincing bad guy, and ave a good performance of Trotsky in "Nicholas and Aleandria." ” - arcturus6
Michael Caine was born Maurice Joseph Micklewhite in London, to Ellen Frances Marie (Burchell), a charlady, and Maurice Joseph Micklewhite, a fish-market porter. He left school at 15 and took a series of working-class jobs before joining the British army and serving in Korea during the Korean War, where he saw combat...
“ Loved him in "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "Secondhand Lions" ” - arcturus6
The legendary Lionel Barrymore, one of the great cinema character actors, was the oldest of the three Barrymmore siblings. Along with Ethel Barrymore
and John Barrymore
, he shares a prominent place in American acting in the first half of the 20th Century. In addition to winning a Best Actor Academy Award (for A Free Soul
“ Very good in "You Can't Take It With You," and I enjoyed his rather short role in "Malaya." He played a cantankerous land baron in "Duel in the Sun" with convincing skill. ” - arcturus6
The favorite leading man of star actress Bette Davis
, was born George Brendan Nolan, near Dublin, and became an orphan at the tender age of eleven. For a while, he stayed with an aunt in New York, but returned to Ireland to study at the University of Dublin. After leaving university in 1919, George became a courier for Sinn Fein leader Michael Collins...
“ Great character actor and leading man. Gave good performances in Jezelbel, Tomorrow is Forever and other films. ” - arcturus6
Rodney Stephen Steiger was born in Westhampton, New York, to Augusta Amelia (Driver) and Frederick Jacob Steiger, both vaudevillians. He was of German and Austrian ancestry. After his parents' divorce, Steiger was raised by his mother in Newark, New Jersey. He dropped out of Westside High school at age 16 and joined the Navy...
“ An actor of great ability, he played convincing roles of both good and bad guys! Really liked his performance in "Seven Thieves." ” - arcturus6
Sir Ralph Richardson was one of the greatest actors of the 20th Century English-language theater, ascending to the height of his profession in the mid-1930s when he became a star in London's West End. He became the first actor of his generation to be knighted. He became Sir Ralph in 1947, and was quickly followed Laurence Olivier
“ Was in many memorable films such as "The Heiress," "Exodus," and "Dr.Zhivago." ” - arcturus6
David Niven was named after the Saint's Day on which he was born, St. David, patron Saint of Wales. He attended Stowe School and Sandhurst Military Academy and served for two years in Malta with the Highland Light Infantry. At the outbreak of World War II, although a top-line star, he re-joined the army (Rifle Brigade)...
“ Another versatile and talented actor whose list of films are as good as his acting ability. Very good in "The Bishop's Wife," and "The Guns of Navarone." ” - arcturus6
Jack Warden was born John Warden Lebzelter, Jr. on September 18, 1920 in Newark, New Jersey, to Laura M. (Costello) and John Warden Lebzelter. His father was of German and Irish descent, and his mother was of Irish ancestry. Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, at the age of seventeen, young Jack Lebzelter was expelled from Louisville's DuPont Manual High School for repeatedly fighting...
“ He was great in "The Verdict" and "Presidio" and "The White Buffalo". which showed his acting versatility! ” - arcturus6
Connery's breakthrough came in the role of secret agent James Bond. He was reluctant to commit to a film series, but understood that if the films succeeded his career would greatly benefit. He played the character in the first five Bond films: Dr. No
, From Russia with Love
“ Although known for his James Bond films, Connery is a good actor as evidenced by his performance in "The Molly McGuires," and "Entrapment." ” - arcturus6
American leading man Victor John Mature was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Clara P. (Ackley) and Marcellus George Mature, a cutler and knife sharpener. His father, born Marcello Gelindo Maturi in Pinzolo, Trentino, was Italian, and his mother was of Swiss-German and German descent. Mature worked as a teenager with his father as a salesman for butcher supplies...
“ Did a great job in Kiss of Death and Betrayal. ” - arcturus6
It seems that Brian Donlevy started out life as colorfully as any character he ever played on the stage or screen. He lied about his age (he was actually 14) in 1916 so he could join the army. When Gen. John J. Pershing
sent American troops to invade Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa
--Mexican rebels under Villa's command raided Columbus...
“ Another good actor with versatility. Good job in "Command Decision," and "Kiss of Death." ” - arcturus6
Comedian, actor, composer and conductor, educated in New York public schools. He was a master of ceremonies in amateur shows, a carnival barker, daredevil driver and a disc jockey., and later a comedian in night clubs. By the mid-1950s he had turned to writing original music and recording a series of popular and best-selling albums with his orchestra for Capitol Records...
“ Great in "The Hustler," and charming in "The Sting II" ” - arcturus6
“ Excellent in "Harry and Tonto." ” - arcturus6
One of Hollywood's preeminent male stars of all time (eclipsed, perhaps, only by "King" Clark Gable
and arguably by Gary Cooper
or Spencer Tracy
), and the cinema's quintessential "tough guy", James Cagney was also an accomplished--if rather stiff--hoofer and easily played light comedy. James Francis Cagney was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City...
“ Very memoerable in "13 Rue Madeleine" and "White Heat." ” - arcturus6
As a child, Robert Montgomery enjoyed a privileged life, as his father was the president of the New York Rubber Co. When he died, the fortune was gone and Robert worked at a number of jobs. He later went to New York to be a writer, and on the advice of a friend tried acting. He worked with George Cukor
on the stage and his first film...
“ I really liked him in They Were Expendable. ” - arcturus6
Although he came to be called "Hollywood's Irishman in Residence"--and, along with good friends James Cagney
, Allen Jenkins
, Frank McHugh
and a few others were called "The Irish Mafia"--and he often played Irish immigrants, Pat O'Brien was US-born and -bred. As a young boy the devoutly Roman Catholic O'Brien considered entering the seminary to study for the priesthood...
“ Did a great job as Knute Rockne and played many other memorable roles especially with Jimmy Cagney. ” - arcturus6
The archetypal screen tough guy with weatherbeaten features--one film critic described his rugged looks as "a Clark Gable
who had been left out in the sun too long"--Charles Bronson was born Charles Buchinsky, one of 15 children of struggling parents in Pennsylvania. His mother, Mary (Valinsky)...
“ Great action star in my opinion. Really liked him in "Death Wish," Breakheart Pass," and "Telefon," ” - arcturus6
Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, North Riding of Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent. He was educated at Stonyhurst, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). His first appearance on stage was in 1926. Laughton formed own film company...
“ Accomplished actor, enjoyed him in "Spartacus," "Advise and Consent," "Witness for the Prosecution," and other memorable films. ” - arcturus6
James Gleason was born in New York City to William Gleason and Mina Crolius, who were both in the theatre. He was married to Lucile Gleason
(born Lucile Webster), and had a son, Russell Gleason
. As a young man James fought in the Spanish-American War. After the war he joined the stock company at the Liberty Theater in Oakland...
“ This great character actor was in so many good films, "The Bishop's Wife," "Come Fill the Cup," "Meet John Doe," etc. etc. ” - arcturus6
Though his number of film roles amount to a bit over 30, Paul Scofield has cast a giant shadow in the world of stage and film acting. He grew up in West Sussex, the son of a schoolmaster. He attended the Varndean School for Boys in Brighton. The love of acting came early. While still high school age...
“ A great actor in several films, and I really liked his performance in A Man For All Seasons. ” - arcturus6
Son of Greek immigrants. Soldier during World War II. Studied psychology. Worked as journalist for ABC News. The bald-headed actor played character roles, often as sadistic or psychotic types. He became a TV favorite in the 1970s when his role as Det. Theo Kojak in the TV movie The Marcus-Nelson Murders
was expanded into the gritty Kojak
TV series, lasting from 1973-78.
Born Raymond William Stacy Burr on 21 May 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Burr spent most of his early life traveling. As a youngster, his father moved his family to China, where the elder Burr worked as a trade agent. When the family returned to Canada, Raymond's parents separated. He and his mother moved to Vallejo...
“ Cast as a villan in "Rear Window," he also excelled in good guy roles as the relentless Perry Mason. ” - arcturus6
Wendell Corey was a hard-working American character actor who appeared in numerous movies and television productions in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Born on March 20, 1914 in Dracut, Massachusetts, in the northeastern part of the Commonwealth near the New Hampshire border, Corey was the son of a Congregationalist clergyman...
Comedian Bob Hope was born Leslie Townes Hope in Eltham, London, England, the fifth of seven sons of Avis (Townes), light opera singer, and William Henry Hope, a stonemason from Weston-super-Mare, Somerset. His maternal grandmother was Welsh. Hope moved to Bristol before emigrating with his parents to the US in 1908...
“ I loved his humor. Perhaps he did not make an Academy Award performance in any of his films, but he was still memorable and a decent chap for his support of American troops in WWII, Korea and Vietnam! ” - arcturus6
Stewart Granger was born James Leblanche Stewart in London, the grandson of the actor "Luigi Lablache". He attended Epsom College but left after deciding not to pursue a medical degree. He decided to try acting and attended Webber-Douglas School of Dramatic Art, London. By 1935, he made his stage debut in "The Cardinal" at the Little Theatre Hull ...
“ Another versatile actor who was comfortable in a western or sophisticated role! He played a sinister realist in "The Wild Geese" and was very convincing. ” - arcturus6
One of the best and most familiar character actors of the first four decades of sound films, although few who knew his face also knew his name. John Qualen
was born in Canada to Norwegian parents. His father was a minister. The family moved to the United States and Qualen (whose real name was Kvalen) grew up in Elgin...
“ Great character actor who played versatile roles in "Casablanca," "The Searchers," "The Long Way Home," and many other films. ” - arcturus6
New Yorker who, after schooling at City College, found work as a doorman before entering show business with a song-and-dance routine in vaudeville and in night clubs. He did a wartime stint with the Coast Guard and returned to acting on the New York stage after the war. Persuaded by Joan Crawford
to try his hand at film acting...
“ Another great character who could play the bad guy or good guy with equal ease! Very memorable performance in "Flamingo Road." ” - arcturus6
“ Good actor and did a great job in a seventies remake of "The Big Sleep" with Robert Mitchem and was a very convincing bad guy in "Oliver!" ” - arcturus6
Karl Malden resumed his film acting career in the 1950s, starting with The Gunfighter (1950) and Halls of Montezuma (1950). The following year, he was in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951), playing Mitch, Stanley Kowalski's best friend who starts a romance with Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh). For this role...
“ Great performance as General Omar Bradley in "Patton," also very good in "Cincinnati Kid" and "Meteor." ” - arcturus6
Hal Holbrook is an Emmy- and Tony-Award winning actor who is one of the great craftsman of stage and screen. He is best known for his performance as Mark Twain
, for which he won a Tony and the first of his ten Emmy Award nominations. Aside from the stage, Holbrook made his reputation primarily on television...
Forrest Tucker, best known to the Baby Boom generation as Sergeant O'Rourke on the classic TV sitcom F Troop
, was born on February 12, 1919, in Plainfield, Indiana. He began his performing career at age 14 at the 1933 Chicago "Century of Progress" World's Fair, pushing big wicker tourists' chairs by day and singing at night...
“ Although he had an abbreviated role in "Auntie Mame," he was great and could play serious or comedy roles. I liked him a lot. ” - arcturus6
Conrad Veidt attended the Sophiengymnasium (secondary school) in the Schoeneberg district of Berlin, and graduated without a diploma in 1912, last in his class of 13. Conrad liked animals, theater, cinema, fast cars, pastries, thunderstorms, gardening, swimming and golfing. He disliked heights, flying...
“ Convinving in sinister roles such as "A Woman's Face" and "Casablanca" and a great actor indeed. ” - arcturus6
Peter was born in Rózsahegy, Hungary, to Alois and Elvira Löwenstein. He was educated in elementary and secondary schools in Vienna, Austria. He ran away from home when he was 17 and joined an improvised theater. In 1922, he worked as a bank clerk. Did bits with a company in Breslau, then secured a part in Galsworthy's "Society" in Zurich...
“ A great performer, especially when paired with Sydney Greenstreet in "The Mask of Demtrios," and "The Malteze Falcon." ” - arcturus6