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Dane Clark Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (15) | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died in Santa Monica, California, USA
Nicknames Brooklyn
Joe Average
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Dane Clark was born Bernard Elliot Zanville in Brooklyn, New York City, to Rose (Korostoff) and Samuel Zanville, who were Russian Jewish immigrants. He graduated from Cornell University and St. John's Law School (Brooklyn). When he had trouble finding work in the mid-1930s he tried boxing, baseball, construction, sales and modeling, among other jobs. From there he went into acting on Broadway ("Dead End", "Stage Door", "Of Mice and Men"), which finally brought him to Hollywood. He acted under his own name until 1943 when, as Dane Clark (a name he said was given him by Humphrey Bogart), he took the role of sailor Johnnie Pulaski in Warner's Action in the North Atlantic (1943), a wartime tribute to the Merchant Marine. He was a regular in World War II movies, playing the part of a submariner in Destination Tokyo (1943), an airman in God Is My Co-Pilot (1945) and a Marine in Pride of the Marines (1945).

Though he co-starred with such luminaries as Bogart, Cary Grant, Bette Davis and Raymond Massey, it was his self-described "Joe Average" image that got him his parts: "They don't go much for the 'pretty boy' type [at Warner Brothers]. An average-looking guy like me has a chance to get someplace, to portray people the way they really are, without any frills." He was also proud of his role as Abe Saperstein, who founded the Harlem Globetrotters black basketball team, in Go Man Go (1954), a film he believed pioneered in opposing race hatred.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu> (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (2)

Geraldine Zanville (1971 - 11 September 1998) (his death)
Margot Yoder (1941 - 1970) (her death)

Trivia (15)

His father owned a sporting goods store in New York City.
Made his Broadway debut in Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre production of "Panic" in 1935.
Was considered at one point to play Al Jolson in a remake of "The Jazz Singer" but the whole idea was scrapped for years later until Danny Thomas was given a title role in the early 1950s remake.
In the September 1946 edition of Movie Life Magazine he was dubbed "the most stylish actor in Hollywood".
In 1955, he was starring in a stage production of "The Shrike" at the old Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles with actress Isabel Bonner who died unexpectedly in his arms during a love scene from a sudden brain hemorrhage.
Both of his marriages were childless.
His widow was a real estate agent.
Was given a 1948 Buick Roadmaster by Jack L. Warner as a birthday present.
Upon the death of his first wife, Clark had every painting she ever created sent from New York to California where he had them displayed throughout his home for the remainder of his life.
He was considered for the male leads, but never screen tested, in such films as The Asphalt Jungle (1950), 99 River Street (1953), The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), and Picnic (1955).
In 1996 director James Cameron called Clark at his California home asking him if he'd be interested to come of out retirement to star as Captain Edward John Smith in Titanic (1997) but he declined the offer based on health issues.
When he wasn't acting or bowling, Clark loved to cook and was well known for his version of chicken cacciatore.
Was close friends with Glenn Ford and Dick Powell.
He has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located on South Side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard.
He was an avid bowler who was known to seldom miss a strike. He was so successful at this sport that in his home he used two spare rooms to hold his large trophy collection.

Personal Quotes (2)

[In 1946, about being signed by Warner Brothers] That was the best break of my life, hooking up with the Warners. They don't go much for the "pretty boy" type there. An average-looking guy like me has a chance to get someplace, to portray people the way they really are, without any frills.
The only thing I want to do in films is be Mr. Joe Average as well as I know how. Of course, anyone whose face appears often enough on the screen is bound to have bobby-soxers after him for autographs. But what I really get a kick out of is when cab drivers around New York lean out and yell 'Hi Brooklyn' when I walk by. They make me feel I'm putting it across O.K. when I try to be Joe Average.

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