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Kevin McCarthy Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (20) | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 15 February 1914Seattle, Washington, USA
Date of Death 11 September 2010Hyannis, Massachusetts, USA  (pneumonia)
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Handsome, chisel-jawed character actor Kevin McCarthy appeared in nearly 100 movies in a career that spanned seven decades. He also had some starring roles, most notably the horror cult classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). He played the disillusioned son Biff Loman in the 1951 screen adaptation of Arthur Miller's classic Death of a Salesman (1951), for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar and won the Golden Globe Award for most promising newcomer (male).

He is the younger brother of the late author Mary McCarthy and distant cousin of former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy.

McCarthy was orphaned at the age of four when both his parents died in the great flu epidemic of 1918. He was raised by his father's parents in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and later by an uncle and aunt. He graduated from Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1932. He attended the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, in 1933, intending to enter into the diplomatic field. He also attended the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1936 and the Actors Studio New York, New York. He had roles in two short-lived TV series: The Survivors (1969), with Lana Turner, and Flamingo Road (1980) as Claude Weldon, the father of the character played by Morgan Fairchild.

The stage-trained McCarthy frequently appeared on Broadway. He starred as Jerry in "Two for the Seesaw" (1959) and as Van Ackerman in "Advise and Consent" (1960). He also played President Harry S. Truman in the one-man show "Give 'Em Hell, Harry!"

McCarthy showed no signs of retiring as late as June 2007. McCarthy acted in the film The Ghastly Love of Johnny X (2012), playing the role of the Grand Inquisitor, at age 93, which was finally released in 2011. He died of pneumonia on September 11, 2010.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: K Bernard

Spouse (2)

Kate Crane (28 April 1979 - 11 September 2010) (his death) (2 children)
Augusta Dabney (12 September 1941 - 18 February 1961) (divorced) (3 children)

Trivia (20)

Younger brother of writer Mary McCarthy.
Was close friend of Montgomery Clift
Cousin of former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy.
He performed his one-man show "Give Em Hell, Harry" (as Harry S. Truman), for over 20 years and played the role in every state but Alaska and South Dakota. In addition, he won an Obie award for playing President Truman in another play, "Harry Outside," in 1975.
Between 1974 and 1980, he appeared in 25 episodes of the "CBS Radio Mystery Theater."
His father was, distantly, of Irish descent and his mother, distantly, of Eastern European or perhaps Russian descent. Both of his parents died in the 1918 flu pandemic, when he was only 4. He was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota, by relatives.
Attended Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1933 Presidential Inauguration.
Made his Broadway debut in 1938 with "Abe Lincoln in Illinois" starring Raymond Massey.
First wife Augusta Dabney was an actress; second wife Kate Crane was a lawyer.
His famous sister was author Mary McCarthy who wrote the best-seller "The Group". Many of her works were influenced by the trauma of her and her siblings' tragic, difficult and often abusive childhood.
Of Irish descent on his father's side, he was the third of four children (the others were Mary, Preston and Sheridan). His parents, Roy Winfield and Therese (Preston) McCarthy, both died of influenza during the deadly 1918 pandemic. All four children lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota with an overly strict great-aunt and her husband.
The movie version of Death of a Salesman (1951) was not a box office hit but did earn several Oscar nominations, including ones for support actor Kevin and lead actor Fredric March.
Graduated from Campion, a Jesuit prep school in Wisconsin. Subsequently attended Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Washington D.C. in the hopes of initially being a diplomat, but left after only four semesters due to lack of money. Once he decided to try acting, he went back to college at He then studied at the University of Minnesota and majored in drama. His first play there was "Henry IV, Part II".
Served with the Army Air Forces in 1942 during WWII. He was cast in the "Winged Victory" stage show, which opened on November 20, 1943, and went on the play a small role in the movie version of Winged Victory (1944).
Was a strong proponent of the "Method" school of acting and was a founding member of The Actor's Studio, which was initially formed and taught by Elia Kazan. The first class, run by actor Robert Lewis, consisted of Kevin, Maureen Stapleton, Montgomery Clift, Tom Ewell, John Forsythe, Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Patricia Neal, Karl Malden, David Wayne E.G. Marshall and Jerome Robbins.
Theater producer and Actor's Studio founder Cheryl Crawford helped get Kevin cast as Biff in the London stage version of Death of a Salesman (1949) starring Paul Muni, which opened five months after the Broadway production. He later got the film part.
Father, with Augusta Dabney, of Lillah McCarthy, Flip McCarthy and Mary Dabney McCarthy.
Father, with Kate Crane, of Tess McCarthy (born 1980) and Patrick McCarthy (born 1982).
First husband of Augusta Dabney.
Was Artist-in-Residence at Kent State University Kent, Ohio Fall and Winter Quarter 1979. Taught Theatre and performed his one-man show "Give Em Hell, Harry".

Personal Quotes (3)

I like acting in the theater more than anywhere else because you get a little more depth and breath in most stage stories . . . But I enjoy it all.
Lee Strasberg could be very caustic and he was fairly nasty to me on several occasions -- KM, regarding his still-rewarding experience with "The Actor's Studio".
"In London, I played Biff [on stage] with a great deal of anguish and determination and desperation to the point where the part became very personal to me ... With the exception of Fredric March, the principal actors of the movie had already played their parts in the play in one place or another. So, during rehearsals, when March would be telling jokes right up until the director yelled, "Action!", I found myself resenting the way he worked. Not that he wasn't a nice guy ... It's just that he had never done the investing of his intelligence and feeling in a study of what Willy was about. In fact, Arthur Miller thought March played Loman as if he was simply nuts, and never favored what he did in the film at all.

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