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John Qualen (1899–1987)

One of the best and most familiar character actors of the first four decades of sound films, although few who knew his face also knew his name. John Qualen was born in Canada to Norwegian parents. His father was a minister. The family moved to the United States and Qualen (whose real name was Kvalen) grew up in Elgin, Illinois. He won an oratory ... See full bio »

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Known For

Casablanca Berger
The Searchers
The Searchers Lars Jorgensen
The Grapes of Wrath
The Grapes of Wrath Muley Bates
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance


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Hide Hide Show Show Actor: Movie (138 credits)
 1973 Frasier, the Sensuous Lion
Old Man on Porch
 1969 Hail, Hero!
Billy Hurd
 1968 Firecreek
 1968 P.J.
Poppa Gonowski
 1967 The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin
Barber (uncredited)
 1966 A Big Hand for the Little Lady
Jesse Buford
 1965 The Sons of Katie Elder
Charlie Biller
 1965 I'll Take Sweden
 1964 Cheyenne Autumn
Svenson (uncredited)
 1964 7 Faces of Dr. Lao
Luther Lindquist
 1963 The Prize
 1963 Donovan's Reef
Deckhand Who Cries 'Man Overboard' (uncredited)
 1961 Two Rode Together
Ole Knudsen
 1960 North to Alaska
Logger Judge
 1960 Elmer Gantry
Sam - Storekeeper (uncredited)
 1960 Hell Bent for Leather
Old Ben
 1958 The Gun Runners
 1958 My World Dies Screaming
Jonah Snell
 1957 The Big Land
Sven Johnson
 1956 Johnny Concho
 1956 The Searchers
Lars Jorgensen
 1955 At Gunpoint
 1955 The Sea Chase
Chief Engineer Schmitt
 1955 Unchained
Leonard Haskins
 1954 The Other Woman
 1954 Passion
Gaspar Melo
 1954 The Student Prince
Willie Klauber
 1954 The High and the Mighty
Jose Locota
 1953 I, the Jury
Dr. R.H. Vickers
 1953 Francis Covers the Big Town
Defense Attorney Cavendish (uncredited)
 1953 Ambush at Tomahawk Gap
Jonas P. Travis
 1952 Hans Christian Andersen
 1951 Goodbye, My Fancy
Professor Dingley
 1951 Belle Le Grand
Corky McGee
 1950 The Flying Missile
Lars Hansen
 1950 Woman on the Run
 1950 The Jackpot
Mr. Ferguson (uncredited)
 1950 Buccaneer's Girl
Vegetable Man
 1950 Captain China
 1949 The Big Steal
Julius Seton
 1948 Hollow Triumph
 1948 My Girl Tisa
 1948 Alias a Gentleman
No End
 1948 On Our Merry Way
Mr. Atwood (deleted sequence) (uncredited)
 1948 Reaching from Heaven
The Stranger
 1947 The Fugitive
A Refugee Doctor
 1947 High Conquest
Peter Oberwalder Sr.
 1947 Song of Scheherazade
 1945 Adventure
Model T
 1945 Captain Kidd
Bart Blivens
 1945 Roughly Speaking
Svend Olsen
 1944 Dark Waters
Uncle Norbert
 1944 An American Romance
Anton Dubechek
 1944 Strange Confession
 1943 Swing Shift Maisie
Horatio Curley
 1942 Tortilla Flat
Jose Maria Corcoran
 1942 Larceny, Inc.
Sam Bachrach
 1941 The Devil and Daniel Webster
Miser Stevens
 1941 New Wine
Hasslinger's Clerk
 1941 The Shepherd of the Hills
Coot Royal
 1941 Out of the Fog
Olaf Johnson
 1941 Million Dollar Baby
Dr. Patterson
 1941 Model Wife
The Janitor
 1940 Youth Will Be Served
Clem Howie
 1940 Knute Rockne All American
Lars Knutson Rockne
 1940 Babies for Sale
Howard Anderson
 1940 On Their Own
 1940 Ski Patrol
Gustaf Nerkuu
 1940 Saturday's Children
First Carpenter (uncredited)
 1939 Four Wives
 1939 Thunder Afloat
 1939 Honeymoon in Bali
Meek Man
 1939 Career
Jeff Trotter (uncredited)
 1939 Mickey the Kid
 1939 Let Us Live
Dan (uncredited)
 1939 Stand Up and Fight
 1938 Five of a Kind
Asa Wyatt
 1938 The Mad Miss Manton
Subway Watchman
 1938 The Chaser
 1938 The Texans
Swede (uncredited)
 1938 Joy of Living
 1937 The Bad Man of Brimstone
 1937 Nothing Sacred
Fireman (uncredited)
 1937 Fit for a King
 1937 She Had to Eat
 1937 Fifty Roads to Town
Sheriff Dow
 1937 Angel's Holiday
Waldo Everett
 1936 Reunion
Asa Wyatt
 1936 Meet Nero Wolfe
 1936 The Road to Glory
Scared Soldier
 1936 The Country Doctor
Asa Wyatt
 1936 Wife vs. Secretary
Mr. Jenkins (uncredited)
 1936 Ring Around the Moon
Bill Harvey
 1935 Man of Iron
Collins - a Factory Worker
 1935 Whipsaw
 1935 Thunder in the Night
Hotel Porter
 1935 Orchids to You
 1935 The Farmer Takes a Wife
Sol Tinker
 1935 Doubting Thomas
Von Blitzen
 1935 Silk Hat Kid
Mr. Fossbender
 1935 Chasing Yesterday
Aristide Coccoz
 1935 Black Fury
Mike (as John T. Qualen)
 1935 One More Spring
 1935 Charlie Chan in Paris
 1934 365 Nights in Hollywood
Prof. Herman Ellenbogen
 1934 Servants' Entrance
 1934 Straight Is the Way
Mr. Clapman (uncredited)
 1934 Our Daily Bread
Chris (as John T. Qualen)
 1934 He Was Her Man
Dutch, Santa Avila's Cabbie
 1934 Private Scandal
Schultz (uncredited)
 1934 Sing and Like It
Oswald (as John M. Qualen)
 1934 Upperworld
 1934 Hi, Nellie!
Steve (uncredited)
 1933 Let's Fall in Love
Svente Bjorkman (uncredited)
 1933 The Devil's Brother
Man Who Owned the Bull (unconfirmed, uncredited)
 1931 Arrowsmith
Henry Novak (uncredited)
 1931 Street Scene
Karl Olsen (as John M. Qualen)
Show Show Actor: TV (75 credits)
Show Show Actor: Short (1 credit)
Show Show Soundtrack: Movie (3 credits)
Show Show Music department: Movie (1 credit)
Show Show Self: TV (3 credits)
Show Show Self: Short (1 credit)
Show Show Archive footage (5 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: Counsellor-at-Law. Drama (revival). Written by Elmer Rice. Directed by Elmer Rice. Plymouth Theatre (moved to The 46th Street Theatre from 15 May 1933- close): 12 Sep 1932- May 1933 (closing date unknown/120 performances). Cast: Sam Bonnell (as "John P. Tedesco"), Elmer Brown (as "Francis Clark Baird"), Jack Collins, June Cox, ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

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Alternate Names:

John M. Qualen | John T. Qualen


5' 7" (1.7 m)

Did You Know?


In 1930, although working in New York, his home base was at 328 Sidney Street West, St. Paul, Minnesota. See more »


Exaggerated Scandinavian accent (although he himself was born and raised in Canada) See more »

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One of the Greatest Character Actors of all time mjbeukem
Great Sympathy, but occasionally a bit of bite. theowinthrop
GREEN ACRES, BULLWHIP GRIFFIN, ad infinitum teeport-1
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