Edit
George O'Brien Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (8) | Salary (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 19 April 1899San Francisco, California, USA
Date of Death 4 September 1985Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA  (stroke)
Nickname "The Chest"
Height 5' 10¾" (1.8 m)

Mini Bio (2)

George was the son of the San Francisco Chief of Police who became a college athlete. He was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the Pacific Fleet during World War I. In the early 1920s, George wound up in Hollywood where he worked as a stuntman and part time actor. In 1924, Director John Ford picked virtually unknown George to star in his first picture, The Iron Horse (1924). Over the next two years, he would appear in four more Ford films and would co-star with Janet Gaynor in The Blue Eagle (1926) and Sunrise (1927). "Sunrise," a winner of two Academy Awards, was the story of a simple farmer who lets another woman talk him into murdering his wife. George remained popular until sound came along. By that time, his popularity was sliding, but he did make the transition to sound. With his rugged looks and physical size, he was soon a Western Cowboy Star. He was in some of the best stories ever written, Riders of the Purple Sage (1931), and in some of the worst. But he was consistently in the Top Ten money-making Western Stars. He would appear in a few films outside the horse set, such as Ever Since Eve (1934), but those roles would be few. By the end of the 1930s, George was still a popular 'B' movie Cowboy Star, but he would not take the parts as seriously as he did a decade before. During World War II, he hung up his spurs, and he re-enlisted in the Navy where he fought in the Pacific and was decorated many times. After the war, when he would not find work in acting, John Ford, his old Director, would give him work with the cavalry in three of his films.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Handsome American leading man of classic silent films who became a different kind of star in B-Western talkies. The son of a policeman who later became police chief of San Francisco and then California Director of Penology, O'Brien was raised around police stables and quickly became adept at horsemanship. He was a star athlete in school and intended to study medicine, but with the advent of World War I, he joined the Navy and volunteered to serve as a stretcher-bearer with the Marines. Following his discharge, a chance encounter with Tom Mix led to a job as camera assistant with Mix's production company. This in turn led to small jobs as a prop man, extra, stuntman, and finally bit player. John Ford spotted the husky young man and cast him in the lead role of his early Western The Iron Horse (1924). He continued to work for Ford and became a popular leading man for a number of top-flight directors. With the coming of sound, he moved almost exclusively into Westerns and became a popular star of low-budget oaters. At the outbreak of World War II, O'Brien reenlisted in the Navy, served for a time as a recruit trainer, then participated in numerous island invasions in the Pacific Theater and was highly decorated. He played a few roles, particularly for Ford, after the war, but returned to naval duty in the Korean conflict and again during the Vietnam war. He left service with the rank of captain, having four times been recommended for the rank of admiral. He spent his later years ranching, but following a heart attack, was confined to bed for the last few years of his life. He died in 1985.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Spouse (1)

Marguerite Churchill (15 July 1933 - 1948) (divorced) (2 children)

Trivia (8)

Father, with Churchill, of Orin O'Brien who has played bass with the New York Philharmonic since 1966.
Son of San Francisco police chief Daniel J. O'Brien and his wife Margaret Donohue.
Attended Santa Clara (California) College
U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet light-heavyweight boxing champion, 1918.
Father, with actress Marguerite Churchill, of writer Darcy O'Brien.
O'Brien served in the US Navy in World War I, and was decorated several times for bravery under fire.
Grandfather of Molly O'Brien
Was a guest at the 1980 Memphis Film Festival.

Salary (1)

The Iron Horse (1924) $125 /wk

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page