Actors at the Pasadena Playhouse

by quartertwain | created - 07 Dec 2012 | updated - 07 Dec 2012 | Public

Actors whose rise to fame includes experience at the Pasadena Playhouse.

1. George Reeves

Actor | Adventures of Superman

George Reeves was born George Keefer Brewer in Woolstock, Iowa, to Helen Roberta (Lescher) and Donald C. Brewer. He was of German, English, and Scottish descent. Reeves was raised in Pasadena, California, and educated at Pasadena Junior College. He was a skilled amateur boxer and musician. He ...

Pasadena's own

2. John Alvin

Actor | Destination Tokyo

John Alvin was born on October 24, 1917 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as John Alvin Hoffstadt. He was an actor, known for Destination Tokyo (1943), Objective, Burma! (1945) and Climax! (1954). He was married to Betty June Lewis. He died on February 27, 2009 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

John moves from Chicago to Pasadena, to study at the playhouse. There, he would meet his wife of 61 years.

3. Morris Ankrum

Actor | Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

A graduate of the University of Southern California School of Law, Morris Ankrum was an attorney and an economics professor before switching careers and joining the theater. He was a veteran stage actor by the time he entered the film industry in the 1930s. His film career spanned from 1933 to 1965...

A long time teacher and director at the playhouse

4. Dana Andrews

Actor | Laura

American leading man of the 1940s and 1950s, Dana Andrews, was born Carver Dana Andrews on a farm by Collins, Covington County, Mississippi. He was the son of Annis (Speed) and Charles Forrest Andrews, a Baptist minister. He was one of thirteen children, including actor Steve Forrest.

Andrews ...

Trained at the playhouse

5. Eve Arden

Actress | Our Miss Brooks

Eve was born just north of San Francisco in Mill Valley and was interested in show business from an early age. At 16, she made her stage debut after quitting school to joined a stock company. After appearing in minor roles in two films under her real name, Eunice Quedens, she found that the stage ...

Better known as Our Miss Brooks. I haven't found the connection yet.

6. Angela Bassett

Actress | Strange Days

Captivating, gifted, and sensational, Angela Bassett's presence has been felt in theaters, stages, and television screens throughout the world. Angela Evelyn Bassett was born on August 16, 1958 in New York City, to Betty Jane (Gilbert), a social worker, and Daniel Benjamin Bassett, a preacher's son...

While the playhouse may not have contributed to her stardom, she made a notable run there in 2006.

7. Charles Bronson

Actor | C'era una volta il West

The archetypal screen tough guy with weatherbeaten features--one film critic described his rugged looks as "a Clark Gable who had been left out in the sun too long"--Charles Bronson was born Charles Buchinsky, one of 15 children of struggling parents in Pennsylvania. His mother, Mary (Valinsky), ...

I haven't found the connection yet.

8. Raymond Burr

Actor | Rear Window

Born Raymond William Stacy Burr on 21 May 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Burr spent most of his early life traveling. As a youngster, his father moved his family to China, where the elder Burr worked as a trade agent. When the family returned to Canada, Raymond's parents separated. He ...

Supporting role my favorite movie, Rear Window. Began his acting career at the Pasadena Playhouse.

9. Ruth Buzzi

Actress | Laugh-In

Ruth Buzzi was Born July 24, 1936 in South County (Westerly), Rhode Island to Rena Pauline and Angelo Peter Buzzi, a nationally recognized stone sculptor. She Raised in Wequetequock, Connecticut, and attended Stonington High School. She Gained experience as a cheerleader performing before crowds at...

Enrolled at Pasadena Playhouse at 17

10. Youssef Chahine

Director | El Naser Salah el Dine

Youssef Chahine (born in Alexandria, Egypt, 1926) started studying in a friars' school, and then turned to English College until the High School Certificate. After one year in the University of Alexandria, he moved to the U.S. and spent two years at the Pasadena Play House, taking courses on film ...

Egyptian director, credited with launching the career of Omar Sharif, moved to United States to study acting at the playhouse

11. Maxine Cooper

Actress | Kiss Me Deadly

This svelte, sultry-eyed brunette made a mark in one significant (some consider "ultimate") film noir classic helmed by Robert Aldrich in the mid-1950s -- and then, within a short time, she vanished. Another in the long line of pretty and promising actresses who traded in their career for marriage ...

Famous for Kiss me Deadly, she finished her dramatic studies at the playhouse.

12. Frances Dee

Actress | I Walked with a Zombie

Brunette Frances Dee was born in Los Angeles, where her Army officer father was stationed, and grew up in Chicago after her father was transferred there. In 1929, he was re-assigned to L.A., and, as a lark, Dee began working in motion pictures as an extra. Her debut was in Words and Music (1929) ...

Early talkie star, I haven't found the connection yet.

13. Don DeFore

Actor | Too Late for Tears

Don DeFore toured the country in stock companies for several years before making his Broadway debut in 1938. In films since 1941, he occasionally played leads in B pictures, but was more often cast as the good-natured buddy of the hero or a likable but gullible character whom the hero has to bail ...

14. Bill Erwin

Actor | Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Bill Erwin was born on December 2, 1914 in Honey Grove, Texas, USA as William Lindsey Erwin. He was an actor, known for Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), Home Alone (1990) and Somewhere in Time (1980). He was married to Lucy Frances MacLachlan. He died on December 29, 2010 in Studio City, ...

The mean old-guy from Seinfeld? He completed his acting degree at the playhouse.

15. Jamie Farr

Actor | M*A*S*H

Jamie Farr was born on July 1, 1934 in Toledo, Ohio, USA as Jameel Joseph Farah. He is an actor, known for M*A*S*H (1972), The Cannonball Run (1981) and Scrooged (1988). He has been married to Joy Ann Richards since February 16, 1963. They have two children.

Discovered for his role in The Blackboard Jungle while studying at the playhouse

16. Dabbs Greer

Actor | The Green Mile

Dabbs Greer was a very familiar face in films and especially on TV. He was a sort of "everyman" in his roles and played merchants, preachers, businessmen, and other "pillars of the community" types as well as assorted villains. With his plain looking face, wavy hair and mellow, distinctive voice he...

Moved to Pasadena in 1943, passed away at Huntington Hospital in 2009

17. Gene Hackman

Actor | The French Connection

Eugene Allen Hackman was born in San Bernardino, California, the son of Anna Lyda Elizabeth (Gray) and Eugene Ezra Hackman, who operated a newspaper printing press. He is of Pennsylvania Dutch (German), English, and Scottish ancestry, partly by way of Canada, where his mother was born. After ...

Joined the playhouse in 1956

18. William Henry

Actor | The Thin Man

American leading actor who began his career as a juvenile in the 1930s. The son of a stock broker, he attended Los Angeles and Hollywood High Schools. Upon graduation, he trained for stagecraft at the Pasadena Playhouse School having by then already debuted on screen, aged eight, in an uncredited ...

Child actor and, mostly, B-movie star

19. Samuel S. Hinds

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

Samuel S. Hinds, a Harvard graduate, was a lawyer in Hollywood until the stock market crash of 1929, in which he lost most of his money. Hinds, who had an interest in theater acting, decided to embark on a career in acting, albeit it age 54. The tall, dignified-looking Hinds appeared in over 200 ...

Died in Pasadena, 1948

20. Dustin Hoffman

Actor | Rain Man

Dustin Lee Hoffman was born in Los Angeles, California, to Lillian (Gold) and Harry Hoffman, who was a furniture salesman and prop supervisor for Columbia Pictures. He was raised in a Jewish family (from Ukraine, Russia-Poland, and Romania). Hoffman graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1955, ...

Amazing that Hoffman and Hackman began their careers at the same time in the same place. Number of versions of Straw Dogs the world needs, 0.

21. Earl Holliman

Actor | Forbidden Planet

Louisiana-born actor Earl Holliman, after a stint in the Navy, studied at UCLA and the Pasadena Playhouse before earning his break in the Martin/Lewis comedy Scared Stiff (1953). He gained clout after portraying a variety of young, manly characters in rugged westerns and war drama, ranging from dim...

Left the Navy for the Playhouse

22. Carolyn Jones

Actress | Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Carolyn Jones was born April 28, 1930, in Amarillo, Texas. Her mother was Jeannette and her sister was Bette (Moriarty). She was an imaginative child, much like her mother. In 1934, her father abandoned the family and her mother moved them in with her parents, also in Amarillo. As a child Carolyn ...

Morticia moved to California to study acting at the playhouse

23. Victor Jory

Actor | Gone with the Wind

Victor Jory was born in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. His burly physique made him a wrestling and boxing champion during his military service in the United States Coast Guard. After a few appearances on Broadway, he made his way into Hollywood in the early 1930s. His acting career spanned exactly 50 ...

24. Celia Milius

Actress | Island of the Blue Dolphins

Celia Milius was born in 1942 in Carthage, Missouri, USA as Celia Kay Burkholder. She is an actress, known for Island of the Blue Dolphins (1964), Big Wednesday (1978) and The Green Hornet (1966).

Graduated from Playhouse in 1961

25. Mako

Actor | Conan the Barbarian

Born in Japan, Mako was living there with his grandparents while his parents studied art in the United States, when Japan and the U.S. went to war in 1941. His parents remained in the U.S., working for the Office of War Information, and, at the cessation of the conflict, were granted U.S. residency...

Trained at the Playhouse

26. Kerwin Mathews

Actor | The 7th Voyage of Sinbad

Before there was a George Lucas and Harrison Ford running around creating special-effects excitement, there was a virile, boyishly handsome actor named Kerwin Mathews who was entertaining audiences battling a variety of creatures courtesy of pioneer special effects guru Ray Harryhausen. ...

Met the head of casting for Columbia Pictures while acting at the playhouse

27. Victor Mature

Actor | Samson and Delilah

American leading man Victor John Mature was born in Louisville, Kentucky, to Clara P. (Ackley) and Marcellus George Mature, a cutler and knife sharpener. His father, born Marcello Gelindo Maturi in Pinzolo, Trentino, was Italian, and his mother was of Swiss-German and German descent. Mature worked ...

Discovered at Pasadena Playhouse

28. Tyler MacDuff

Actor | Fury at Showdown

Tyler MacDuff was born on September 12, 1925 in Hollywood, California, USA as Tyler Glenn Duff Jr. He was an actor, known for Fury at Showdown (1957), Cyborg 2087 (1966) and The Boy from Oklahoma (1954). He was married to Beverlie Mae Anderson. He died on December 23, 2007 in Pasadena, California.

Graduated from playhouse

29. Rue McClanahan

Actress | The Golden Girls

A New York stage actress in the 1950s, McClanahan was plucked from the stage by Norman Lear for roles on All in the Family (1971) and later Maude (1972). For two years (1982 - 1984), she played "Aunt Fran" on Mama's Family (1983) until her character was killed off and she joined the cast of Golden ...

30. Joyce Meadows

Actress | The Brain from Planet Arous

Joyce Meadows was born on April 13, 1933 in Arrowwood, Alberta, Canada. She is an actress, known for The Brain from Planet Arous (1957), The Christine Jorgensen Story (1970) and Two Faces West (1960). She was previously married to Merrill Harrington.

Earned a scholarship to playhouse, before travelling to New York to finish her education

31. Douglass Montgomery

Actor | Waterloo Bridge

Montgomery, on stage by his teens, was scouted by MGM. The studio changed his name to Kent Douglass and cast him in dashing or romantic roles opposite some of MGM's powerhouse actresses, such as Joan Crawford (in Paid (1930) ) and Katharine Hepburn (in Little Women (1933), in which he played the ...

32. Wayne Morris

Actor | Kid Galahad

American actor who had early success as a sunny juvenile, but whose career declined following World War II, in which he was a highly-decorated hero. A native of Los Angeles, Morris played football at Los Angeles Junior College, then worked as a forest ranger. Returning to school, he studied acting ...

33. Lloyd Nolan

Actor | Julia

It would no doubt be a real shock to most people to discover that the rich baritone Bronx-like accent of great veteran character actor Lloyd Nolan was a product of the San Francisco streets--not the urban jungle of New York City. Nolan was born in the City by the Bay, and his father, James Nolan, ...

34. Moroni Olsen

Actor | Notorious

Even his more courteous, somewhat friendlier types gave one pause for concern. The tall, beefy, balding, icy-eyed character actor Moroni Olsen was one of Hollywood's more popular and imposing performers of film during the late 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s.

The versatile player was born Moroni Olsen ...

35. Eleanor Parker

Actress | Caged

Eleanor Jean Parker was born on June 26, 1922, in Cedarville, Ohio, the last of three children born to a mathematics teacher and his wife. Eleanor caught the acting bug early and began performing in school plays. She was was so serious about becoming a thespian that she attended the Rice Summer ...

36. Tyrone Power

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Tyrone Power was one of the great romantic swashbuckling stars of the mid-twentieth century, and the third Tyrone Power of four in a famed acting dynasty reaching back to the eighteenth century. His great-grandfather was the first Tyrone Power (1795-1841), a famed Irish comedian. His father, known ...

37. Robert Preston

Actor | The Music Man

American leading man of vast charisma, Robert Preston was the son of a garment worker and a record store clerk and grew up in Los Angeles. He was a trained musician, playing several instruments, and in high school became interested in theatre. He joined the Pasadena Community Playhouse, taking ...

One of the first actors I can remember, from his last movie The Last Starfighter

38. Barbara Rush

Actress | It Came from Outer Space

The epitome of poise, charm, style and grace, beautiful brunette Barbara Rush was born in Denver, Colorado in 1927 and enrolled at the University of California before working with the University Players and taking acting classes at the Pasadena Playhouse. It didn't take long for talent scouts to ...

To all those media conspiracy theorists out there, her daughter works at Fox News.

39. Onslow Stevens

Actor | Them!

Son of character actor Houseley Stevenson, brother of designer Edward Stevenson and actor Houseley Stevenson Jr., Onslow Stevens was highly active from mid-1920s at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, where his entire family worked frequently as performers, directors and teachers. he scored a major ...

Entire family worked at playhouse

40. Sally Struthers

Actress | All in the Family

Cute as a button and with a petite, porcelain prettiness and vulnerability that endeared her to the American public, Sally Struthers nabbed a series role in the early 1970s and became a solid part of TV history as a member of a dysfunctional family quartet in the milestone sitcom, All in the Family...

41. Randolph Scott

Actor | The Tall T

Handsome American leading man who developed into one of Hollywood's greatest and most popular Western stars. Born to George and Lucy Crane Scott during a visit to Virginia, Scott was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina in a wealthy family. After service with the U.S. Army in France in World War I, ...

Attended the playhouse on the advice on Cecile B. DeMille

42. Paul Sorensen

Actor | Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

Paul Sorensen was born on February 16, 1926 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA as Paul Eric Sorensen. He was an actor, known for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), Hang 'Em High (1968) and Charlie's Angels (1976). He was married to Jacqueline May. He died on July 17, 2008 in Cardiff by-the-Sea, ...

Honored by playhouse with a lifetime achievement award

43. Harry Dean Stanton

Actor | Alien

Prolific character actor Harry Dean Stanton's drooping, weather-beaten appearance and superb acting talent have been his ticket to appearing in over 100 films, and 50 TV episodes.

Stanton was born in West Irvine, Kentucky, to Ersel (Moberly), a cook, and Sheridan Harry Stanton, a barber and tobacco ...

Studied at playhouse

44. Gloria Stuart

Actress | Titanic

Gloria Stuart was born on a dining room table on 4th Street in Santa Monica, California on July 4, 1910. Her early roles as a performing artist were in plays she produced in her home as a young girl. She was the star of her senior class play at Santa Monica High School in 1927. Attending the ...

Jumped from the playhouse to Universal Studious in 1932. Played The Invisible Man's girlfriend in 1933.

45. Robert Taylor

Actor | Waterloo Bridge

Born Spangler Arlington Brugh, Robert Taylor began displaying a diversity of talents in his youth on the plains of Nebraska. At Beatrice High School, he was a standout track athlete, but also showed a talent for using his voice, winning several oratory awards. He was a musician and played the cello...

46. George Tobias

Actor | Passage to Marseille

American character actor who specialized in none-too-bright pals of the lead, though his range included villains and ethnic types. A native of New York City, he began acting at 15. He studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse and played on Broadway with the Theatre Guild, and with the Provincetown ...

Abner Kravitz from Bewitched

47. Toni Trucks

Actress | The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2

Toni Trucks was born on September 30, 1980 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA as Antoinette Lindsay Trucks. She is an actress, known for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 (2012), Grimm (2011) and NCIS: New Orleans (2014).

48. Daniel Truhitte

Actor | The Sound of Music

Daniel Truhitte was born on September 10, 1943 in Sacramento, California, USA as Daniel Lee Truhitte.

Attended playhouse

49. Meg Wyllie

Actress | The Last Starfighter

Meg Wyllie was born on February 15, 1917 in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, USA as Margaret Gillespie Wyllie. She was an actress, known for The Last Starfighter (1984), Marnie (1964) and Nothing in Common (1986). She died on January 1, 2002 in Glendale, California, USA.

From the pilot episode of Star Trek

50. Jo Anne Worley

Actress | A Goofy Movie

This tall (with piled-on jet-black hair), attractive, tunnel-mouthed comedienne is a one-of-a-kind commodity and certainly no shrinking violet when it comes to entertaining. Unapologetically, she adores the center stage...and vice versa -- the stage loves her. Like several of her Laugh-In (1967) ...

Studied at the playhouse

51. Gig Young

Actor | They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Gig Young was born Byron Barr to parents John and Emma Barr in Minnesota, and raised in Washington, DC, where he developed a passion for theatre while appearing in high school plays. After gaining some amateur experience, he applied for and received a scholarship to the acclaimed Southern ...

Studied at the playhouse

52. Robert Young

Actor | Crossfire

Quiet, soft-spoken Robert grew up in California and had some stage experience with the Pasadena Playhouse before entering films in 1931. His movie career consisted of playing characters who were charming, good-looking--and bland. In fact, his screen image was such that he usually never got the girl...

Studied at the playhouse

53. Robert Vaughn

Actor | Bullitt

Robert Francis Vaughn was born on November 22, 1932 at Charity Hospital in New York City, the son of show business parents, Marcella Frances (Gaudel) and Gerald Walter Vaughn. His father was a radio actor and his mother starred on stage. Robert came to the public's attention first with his ...

Made several stage appearances later in his career