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Mike Mazurki Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (10)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 25 December 1907Tarnopol, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Ternopil, Ukraine]
Date of Death 9 December 1990Glendale, California, USA
Birth NameMichail Mazuruski
Height 6' 4¾" (1.95 m)

Mini Bio (1)

With an intimidating face like craggy granite and a towering 6'5" solid frame, Mike Mazurki (born Mikhail Mazuruski or Mikhail Mazurkiewicz) was one of cinema's first serial thugs and specialized in playing strongarm men, gangsters and bullies for over 50 years on screen. Nearly always portrayed as a lowbrow muscle, in real life Mazurski was highly intelligent, very well read and a witty conversationalist. He was also an accomplished sportsman, having been a football player and a professional wrestler. He first appeared onscreen in uncredited roles in films such as Gentleman Jim (1942) and About Face (1942); however, his daunting bruiser looks were soon noticed and he became phenomenally busy in the 1940s, appearing in nearly 50 movies during the decade, including his well remembered performance as ex-con "Moose Malloy" in the film noir thriller Murder, My Sweet (1944) and as the gruesome "Splitface" in Dick Tracy (1945).

He continued his menacing onscreen presence throughout the 1950s and 1960s, often showing he could be quite adept at deadpan comedy in films including Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in Hollywood (1945), It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), Donovan's Reef (1963) and The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967). Demand for his talents slowed down in the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, as younger villains came to the fore; however, he still turned up in support roles and was still acting at the age of 83 when he passed away in December, 1990.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44

Spouse (3)

Sylvia Weinblatt (10 February 1968 - 9 December 1990) (his death)
Jeanette Briggs (1943 - 1950) (divorced) (2 children)
? (? - ?) (divorced)

Trade Mark (1)

Towering height

Trivia (10)

Contrary to his image as a brawny, not very smart tough guy, Mazurki graduated at the top of his class from Manhattan College, class of 1930, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Wrestler turned actor in tough guy roles.
Best remembered as the lumbering, intense yet soft-hearted Moose Malloy in the classic 1945 film-noir adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel 'Farewell, My Lovely', called Murder, My Sweet (1944) in the US (while retaining the novel's title overseas).
American actor of Ukrainian origin.
Father of actress Michelle Mazurki.
In 1936 he played minor=league football with the Wessington Passaic (NJ) Red Devils, a team in the American Football Association.
Awarded the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame's New York State Award, which was presented to an individual who made significant contributions to the sport of Professional Wrestling in the PWHF's home state of New York.
Well known to generations of wrestling fans as "Iron" Mike Mazurki, he delighted them with several world-class battles during his long career. Outside the squared circle he was dedicated to serving those in his wrestling brotherhood, and in the 1960s he founded the "Cauliflower Alley Club", a non-profit organization that awarded scholarships and financial assistance to retired or injured wrestlers and their families.
Karen Burroughs Hannsberry has a short biography of him in her book "Bad Boys: The Actors of Film Noir".
Always a character and supporting actor, he did have one starring role, as Trapper in the film "Challenge to be Free," for which he received very favorable reviews.

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