John Craven Poster


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Overview (2)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Salt Point, New York, USA

Mini Bio (1)

John Craven will be remembered as the lad who dreamed of love and the moon atop a stepladder in the Broadway version of "Our Town" for a season and another on the road, while his father, Frank Craven, officiated as the genial Stage Manager and commentator of that play. Originally intending to be a surgeon, John was deflected by heredity to an assistant stage managership in "Babes in Arms." He had a busy career on Broadway and in film from the 1930s through the 1950s.

He slipped into movies quietly, with a minor role in The Human Comedy (1943), but he played an orphaned young soldier with fine simplicity. There was a quality of entirely masculine sweetness in his face missing from the screen since Richard Barthelmess starred in the silents. Actually, John was hardly an unknown: Hollywood was strangely late in discovering him, as he played leads in Broadway plays for four years. The handicap of a famous father may have slowed his start, due to such comments as, "Oh yes - Frank Craven's' boy". His father, the veteran character actor, was responsible for John's first chance on the stage - and almost for the loss of that chance. Frank had just been given the lead in the play "Our Town". John stopped at the producer's office one day, looking for his father, and was offered the juvenile lead. Frank, who didn't want the totally inexperienced youngster to begin with such a tough job, almost caused John to lose the job, but young Craven overruled him and came through like a veteran. Frank Craven was selected for the lead in the film version of Our Town (1940), but John was not. The role went to a young William Holden instead, and the rest is Hollywood history. John was a fine actor who deserved more acclaim, and who warrants a closer look by film historians.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Carole Sargent (fortuna@alumni.virginia.edu).

Trivia (2)

Son of Frank Craven. Father of Frank Craven.
Cousin of Eddie Craven.

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