|Date of Birth||29 August 1899 , Providence, Rhode Island, USA|
|Date of Death||2 July 1973 , Los Angeles, California, USA (emphysema)|
|Birth Name||George Peabody Macready Jr.|
|Height||6' 1" (1.85 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
George Macready - the name probably does not ring any bells - but the voice would be unmistakable. Macready attended and graduated from Brown University and went on to take a short stint as a New York newspaperman. He was drawn to theater acting with the advice of colorful Polish émigré classical stage director Richard Boleslawski, who would go on to Hollywood to direct some important films, including getting the Barrymore's together for Rasputin and the Empress (1932), as well as Clive of India (1935) with Ronald Colman. Perhaps acting was fate, for Macready claimed that he was descended from 19th-century Shakespearean actor William Macready. By 1926 Macready made his Broadway debut in "The Scarlet Letter". His Broadway career would extend from then to 1958, entailing 15 plays, drama but also some comedy, the lion share of roles during the 1930s. His Shakespearean run included the lead as Benedick in "Much Ado About Nothing" (1927), "Macbeth" (1928), and "Romeo and Juliet" (1934) with Broadway star Katharine Cornell. He co-starred with her again in "The Barretts of Wimpole Street". And he co-starred with Helen Hayes in "Victoria Regina" - twice (1936 and 1937).
Macready's aquiline features coupled with a distinctive high brow bottom-voiced diction and superior, nose-in-the-air delivery that could be quickly tinged with a gothic menace made him perfect as the cultured bad guy. Added to his whole demeanor was a significant curved scar on his right cheek, remnant of a car accident in about 1919 - better PR that it was a saber slash wound from his dueling days as a youth. He did not turn to films until 1942 and did not weigh in fully committed until 1944 with a host of both well crafted and just fair movies until the end of World War II. But Macready was game to excel as strong-willed authoritarian and villainous characters to form-fit whatever the film: good efforts all around included, The Seventh Cross (1944), The Missing Juror (1944), Counter-Attack (1945) and My Name Is Julia Ross (1945) with a young Nina Foch. Busy with some six or more films per year, Macready found himself also in the sword and cape gamut, in addition to some westerns through the remainder of the 40s. But his standout role of the period was the silver-haired, dark-suited, and mysteriously rich Ballin Mundson in Gilda (1946), who malevolently poised himself over the lives of smoldering Rita Hayworth and moody Glenn Ford.
Already into the 1950s, amid more nemesis roles in film, Macready had sampled the waters of early television by 1952. He had multiple guest appearances on the TV playhouse programs: a recurring role in "Four Star Playhouse", "The Ford Television Theatre", "General Electric Theatre", and Alfred Hitchcock Presents" among several others. And he became a welcomed, professional fixture on episodic TV starting in 1954. In this regard Macready made the circuit of the majority of hit shows, especially that grand spectrum of Westerns, including some not so well known: "The Texan" and "The Rough Riders". He was familiar to crime drama watchers - "Perry Mason" - and certainly sci-fi and horror
- as "Outer Limits" and "Thriller" - later "Night Gallery". He did some
Into the 1960s Macready was a busy man - as noted with his ongoing TV roles. And to those add his three years as Martin Peyton in the five year run of the popular "Peyton Place", the first prime time soap opera and launching vehicle for many a young rising star of the time. The films were fewer - but some good ones: Taras Bulba (1962) and the gripping Seven Days in May (1964), and his next to last film appearance as a very human Cordell Hull, Secretary of State, in the Universal somewhat uneven story of Pearl Harbor Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970).
Another role stands out as unusual as well but not as the usual drama-rather for the fact that it was an uproarious comedy-something in which one would not expect to see George Macready. But Macready could play comedy as well, and here he had a chance with the best of them in the Blake Edwards extravaganza and spoof on melodrama (and the real 1908 New York-to-Paris car race) The Great Race (1965). Macready shows up in the very clever subplot of having the auto racers stuck in a German-like principality where Edwards provides his own version of "The Prisoner of Zenda". In this case - show stealer without a doubt - Jack Lemmon as pseudo-villain Professor Fate looks like the thoroughly silly and slightly fay Prince Hapnick, giving Ross Martin as Baron von Stuppe and Macready as General Kuhster the idea to take over by switching the two. The Professor is reluctant to say the least, especially with the general asking him to mimic the prince's inane laugh: "Can you laugh?" he asks as he proceeds with a hilarious mimic of Lemmon-as-Hapnick laughing. Later, chasing after Fate as the now crowned bogus king, they end up in the royal bakery, and Macready gets the first pie in the face of what is hands-down the best pie fight in film history. It must have been great fun!
George Macready was as cultured as he seemed. In private life he was a well regarded connoisseur of art. And friend and fellow actor Vincent Price was of the same mind. They opened a very successful Los Angeles gallery together during World War II. As far as the villain roles went, Macready was grateful for the depth they allowed him through his years as both film and television actor. "I like heavies," and to that he added with a philosophic twinkle, "I think there's a little bit of evil in all of us."
- IMDb Mini Biography By: William McPeak
|Elizabeth Dana Patterson||(22 December 1931 - 31 July 1943) (divorced) (3 children)|