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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 15 April 1918Haleyville, Alabama, USA
Date of Death 4 August 1975New York City, New York, USA

Mini Bio (1)

Of the "tall, dark and handsome" variety on 50s Broadway and in Hollywood, actor John Baragrey found steady work on TV soaps and in guest spots, but found regrettably few film offers...and those he did find were for the most part highly unmemorable. Born in Haleyville, Alabama in 1919, he attended the University of Alabama and decided to make a go of it in acting, moving to New York for study. He toured the South Pacific with the USO play "Petticoat Fever" from 1943 to 1945 and met actress Louise Larabee, whom he later married.

Making his Broadway debut with "A Flag Is Born" (1946, he went on to appear in a host of plays on the big stage including "The Enchanted" (1950), in which he played an amorous ghost, "Pride's Crossing" (1950) with Mildred Dunnock, "The Devils" (1965) starring Anne Bancroft and Jason Robards, and "Murderous Angels" (1971). Other stage presentations he appeared in were "Richard III," "Elizabeth the Queen" and "The Crucible."

As to his filming, Baragrey began promisingly, working with an impressive variety of actors and actresses including Rita Hayworth in The Loves of Carmen (1948), Cornel Wilde in Shockproof (1949) and, in a lighter vein, Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis in Pardners (1956). Unfortunately, one of the last movies he appeared in has been widely regarded as possibly the worst sci-fi movie ever made. Suffice it to say, the Gammera the Invincible (1966) storyline has a fire-breathing flying turtle hovering over and torching Tokyo. The actor also starred in another sci-Fi thriller that still divides audiences. The Colossus of New York (1958) handed Baragrey top billing as the son of a scientist who transplants his other son's brain into a robot that goes on a murderous rampage--others think it's pretty much on par with "Gamera."

It was television that gave Baragrey wider recognition and he appeared on practically every showcase series in the 1950s, including "Studio One," "U.S. Steel Hour," "Campbell Sound Stage," "Motorola TV Hour," "Omnibus," and "Robert Montgomery Presents." His roster of TV leading ladies included Tallulah Bankhead, Bette Davis, Jane Wyman, Judith Anderson, Dolores del Rio, and Jane Powell. From 1962 to 1964 he appeared on the daytime soap The Secret Storm (1954) as Arthur Rysdale. In 1966, he churned out three episodes of the cult gothic soap Dark Shadows (1966) as a shady character in league with bad guy Burke Devlin (played by Mitch Ryan).

In 1975, Baragrey died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage at age 57, in his New York City home. His actress wife passed away in 1988

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (1)

Louise Larabee (? - 4 August 1975) (his death)

Trivia (1)

According to Baragrey's "Variety" obituary, the actor had a brush with greatness in the early '60s. At a patriotic ceremony on July 4, 1963, at which President John F. Kennedy was the principal speaker, Baragrey read the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. When they were introduced during the preliminaries, the President told the actor, "I'm one of your admiring fans. When I was hospitalized with a bad back, I used to watch you on television.".

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