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Biography

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Overview (4)

Date of Birth 7 December 1895Portland, Oregon, USA
Date of Death 16 August 1964Manhattan Beach, California, USA
Birth NameRonald Jack Pennick
Height 6' 4½" (1.94 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Jack Pennick was an American film actor, a familiar face, primarily in the movies of John Ford. He was born in Portland, Oregon, the son of gold miner Albert R. and Bessie (Murray) Pennick. After himself working as a gold miner, Pennick joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served, with the Pekin Legation Guard, in China in 1912 and in World War I. He and his first wife, Grechin, had two children by the time he was 20. He had a third child with his second wife, Nona Lorraine. After the First World War, Pennick worked as a horse wrangler and got work as such in various film productions. His rather unforgettably unattractive face caught the attention of filmmakers, particularly Ford, and Pennick began to get work as an actor, as well as occasionally a military technical adviser. Pennick re-enlisted in the navy in 1942, at the age of 46. He served as Chief Petty Officer under Commander John Ford in the Field Photographic Unit and, according to Ford, was decorated with the Silver Star medal for action in which he was wounded at Majaz al Bab, Tunisia during World War II. He continued to appear in films after the war, his career waning simultaneously with Ford's. He died in Manhattan Beach, California, at the age of 68.

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

Spouse (3)

Grechin ? (? - ?) (2 children)
Nona Lorraine (? - ?) (1 child)
Bessie Monks (? - 16 August 1964) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (7)

Worked in nearly every sound picture directed by John Ford as part of "The John Ford Stock Company".
Originally a horse wrangler, he played small parts in many westerns.
Was known to be an expert in the "manual of arms" for existing and some extinct military units. Can be seen marching as "right guard" at the very beginning of Stars and Stripes Forever (1952), uncredited.
Appears at the end of She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949) (at the party) choreographing the escort squad, in a scene that someone in Continuity should have caught. Clearly knew his military drill.
A former Marine, Pennick served not only in WW I and WW II, but also fought in "The Banana Wars", a series of US occupations of such Central American and Caribbean countries as Nicaragua, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and Haiti in the 1920s and 1930s. Re-enlisting in the Marines at nearly 50 years of age during WW II, he received a Silver Star after being wounded in battle.
Was an acknowledged expert in military weapons, drills and customs. While filming a picture at West Point, Pennick pointed out that a pair of crossed swords hung in a display at the Army Museum, which had been there for countless years, were upside down. Army officials checked and found out that Pennick was right.
Jack sometimes worked as a bodyguard for Shirley Temple. He taught her to march for one of her films. She mentions Jack in her biography.

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