Film Noir Files: Men in the Shadows

by richieprimo | created - 21 Jan 2014 | updated - 08 Aug 2017 | Public

Some have starred in their own titles, most have been supporting players, and a few are known from one defining role, but all are essentially synonymous to Film Noir. Here is a list of the men, instrumental in their contribution to the art form.

1. Richard Basehart

Actor | Moby Dick

Richard Basehart came to Hollywood in 1947, after beginning an acting career on Broadway. He made his mark in the gritty film-noir classic He Walked by Night (1948), among others, and proved his versatility in several international productions, most notably in Federico Fellini's poignant masterpiece...

2. Broderick Crawford

Actor | All the King's Men

Broderick Crawford is best remembered for two roles: his Oscar-winning turn as Willie Stark in All the King's Men (1949), and as Chief Dan Mathews on the syndicated TV series Highway Patrol (1955). He was also memorable as Judy Holliday's boisterous boyfriend in Born Yesterday (1950).

He was born ...

3. John Payne

Actor | Miracle on 34th Street

Perhaps not so surprisingly, John Payne maintained that his favorite movie of all time was one of his own -- Miracle on 34th Street (1947) -- simply because it reflected his own strong and spiritual belief system. Today, of course, the film, which co-stars beautiful Maureen O'Hara, Oscar-winning ...

4. Dane Clark

Actor | Destination Tokyo

Dane Clark was born Bernard Elliot Zanville in Brooklyn, New York City, to Rose (Korostoff) and Samuel Zanville, who were Russian Jewish immigrants. He graduated from Cornell University and St. John's Law School (Brooklyn). When he had trouble finding work in the mid-1930s he tried boxing, baseball,...

5. Charles McGraw

Actor | Spartacus

Gravel-voiced, stony-faced & grizzled-looking actor Charles McGraw notched up dozens of TV and film appearances, often portraying law enforcement figures or military officers, plus the odd shifty gangster. Notable appearances include as dogged cop Det. Sgt. Walter Brown protecting a mob witness in ...

6. William Conrad

Actor | Cannon

William Conrad became a television star relatively late in his career. In fact, the former Army Air Corps World War II fighter pilot began his screen career playing heavies. He was Max, one of The Killers (1946) hired to finish off Burt Lancaster in his dingy lodgings. He was the corrupt state ...

7. William Bendix

Actor | The Blue Dahlia

William Bendix was not a son of Brooklyn, New York, although because of his stereotypical "Brooklyn accent" it has been widely supposed that he was. Bendix was actually born in the Borough of Manhattan (New York City proper), in a midtown flat hard by the tracks of the long-since defunct ...

8. Lawrence Tierney

Actor | Reservoir Dogs

Legendary Hollywood "tough guy", on screen and off. Remembered as the title character in Dillinger (1945) and as the consummately brutal lover of Claire Trevor in Born to Kill (1947). Notorious also for his frequent, well-publicized past involvements in public altercations - like barroom brawls - ...

9. Peter Lorre

Actor | Casablanca

Peter Lorre was born Laszlo Lowenstein on Roszahegy, Hungary. He was educated in elementary and secondary schools in Vienna, Austria. As a youth, he ran away from home, worked as a bank clerk and, after stage training in Vienna, made his acting debut in Zurich. He remained unknown, traveling for ...

10. Zachary Scott

Actor | Mildred Pierce

American leading man of suave or sinister roles. A collateral relative of George Washington and William Barclay 'Bat' Masterson, Scott was the son of a wealthy surgeon. Intending to follow his father into medicine, Scott studied at the University of Texas, but found he preferred the theater. He ...

11. Raymond Burr

Actor | Ironside

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 ...

12. Dennis O'Keefe

Actor | The Fighting Seabees

Tall, cheerful, outdoorsy leading man of Hollywood B movies who started in show business as an infant accompanying his vaudevillian parents ("Flanagan and Edwards, the Rollicking Twosome") on the stage. In his teens, Dennis started to write film scripts while attending college. He then tried to ...

13. Sydney Greenstreet

Actor | The Maltese Falcon

Sydney Greenstreet's father was a leather merchant with eight children. Sydney left home at age 18 to make his fortune as a Ceylon tea planter, but drought forced him out of business and back to England. He managed a brewery and, to escape boredom, took acting lessons. His stage debut was as a ...

14. William Talman

Actor | Armored Car Robbery

William Talman is best known for his role as Hamilton Burger, the district attorney who perpetually lost to Perry Mason in the long-running series Perry Mason (1957). Talman was an accomplished screenwriter and stage and screen actor, and appeared in numerous roles on television as a character ...

15. Louis Calhern

Actor | Duck Soup

Tall, distinguished, aristocratic Louis Calhern seemed to be the poster boy for old-money, upper-crust urban society, but he was actually born Carl Vogt, to middle-class parents in New York City. His family moved to St. Louis when he was a child, and it was while playing football in high school ...

16. Lee J. Cobb

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Lee J. Cobb, one of the premier character actors in American film for three decades in the post-World War II period, was born Leo Jacoby in New York City's Lower East Side on December 8, 1911. The son of a Jewish newspaper editor, young Leo was a child prodigy in music, mastering the violin and the...

17. Henry Jones

Actor | Vertigo

Henry Burk Jones was born in New Jersey and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Helen (Burk) and John Francis Xavier Jones, and the grandson of Pennsylvania Representative Henry Burk, a Prussian immigrant. He graduated from St. Joseph's College. His Broadway debut was in 1938 in ...

18. George Macready

Actor | Gilda

George Macready--the name probably doesn't ring any bells for most but the voice would be unmistakable. He attended and graduated from Brown University and had a short stint as a New York newspaperman, but became interested in acting on the advice of colorful Polish émigré classical stage director ...

19. Lee Marvin

Actor | The Dirty Dozen

Prematurely white-haired character star who began as a supporting player of generally vicious demeanor, then metamorphosed into a star of both action and drama projects, Lee Marvin was born in New York City, the son of Courtenay Washington (Davidge), a fashion writer, and Lamont Waltman Marvin, an ...

20. Elisha Cook Jr.

Actor | Rosemary's Baby

Although this pint-sized actor started out in films often in innocuous college-student roles in mid-30s rah-rahs, playing alongside the likes of a pretty Gloria Stuart or a young, pre-"Oz" Judy Garland, casting directors would soon enough discover his flair for portraying intense neurotics or ...

21. Morris Carnovsky

Actor | Cyrano de Bergerac

Morris Carnovsky was one of the more prominent victims of the Hollywood blacklist, being named as a Communist party member by both Elia Kazan -- the most infamous of the informers who sang before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the era blacklistee Lillian Hellman called the "Scoundrel...

22. Tom Neal

Actor | Detour

Tom Neal is best remembered for his off-screen exploits, which involved scandal, mayhem and a charge of murder. Before his 1938 screen debut in MGM's Out West with the Hardys (1938), Neal had been a member of the boxing team at Northwestern University, had debuted on the Broadway stage in 1935 and ...

23. Neville Brand

Actor | Stalag 17

Neville Brand joined the US Army in 1939, bent on a career in the military. It was while he was in the army that he made his acting debut, in Army training films, and this experience apparently changed the direction of his life. Once a civilian again, he used his GI Bill education assistance to ...

24. Gene Raymond

Actor | Smartest Girl in Town

Gene Raymond was born on August 13, 1908, in New York City as Raymond Guion. He was a child performer and a Broadway veteran by the age of 12. Gene, a blond, husky, handsome actor, had his greatest popularity in the '30s and early '40s. His big break came in Personal Maid (1931). He was soon cast ...

25. 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, ...

26. Conrad Veidt

Actor | Casablanca

Conrad Veidt attended the Sophiengymnasium (secondary school) in the Schoeneberg district of Berlin, and graduated without a diploma in 1912, last in his class of 13. Conrad liked animals, theater, cinema, fast cars, pastries, thunderstorms, gardening, swimming and golfing. He disliked heights, ...

27. Trevor Howard

Actor | The Third Man

The son of an insurance underwriter, who represented Lloyd's of London in Ceylon, Trevor Wallace Howard-Smith was born in Margate, Kent. He spent his early childhood globetrotting with his mother, frequently left in the care of strangers. After attending private school, he subsequently trained at ...

28. Barton MacLane

Actor | The Maltese Falcon

Barton MacLane graduated from Wesleyan University, where he displayed a notable aptitude for sports, in particular football and basketball. Not surprisingly, his physical prowess led to an early role in The Quarterback (1926) with Richard Dix. MacLane once commented that, as an actor, he needed to ...

29. Ward Bond

Actor | The Quiet Man

Gruff, burly American character actor. Born in 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska (confirmed by Social Security records; sources stating 1905 or Denver, Colorado are in error.) Bond grew up in Denver, the son of a lumberyard worker. He attended the University of Southern California, where he got work as ...

30. Tim Holt

Actor | The Magnificent Ambersons

As they say, like father, like son. Cowboy hero Tim Holt avidly followed in the boots of his famous character-actor dad, the granite-jawed Jack Holt (b. Charles John Holt), who appeared in hundreds of silents and talkies (many of them westerns) over the years. The two actually appeared together as ...

31. Sam Jaffe

Actor | The Day the Earth Stood Still

Born Shalom Jaffe in New York City, he became known to the world as Sam Jaffe. From a Jewish family as a child he appeared in Yiddish theater productions with his mother, a well-known regional stage actress. He graduated from the City College of New York and then studied engineering at Columbia ...

32. John Ireland

Actor | All the King's Men

Born in Canada, John Ireland was raised in New York. Performing as a swimmer in a water carnival, he moved into the legitimate theater, often appearing in minor roles in Broadway plays. His first big break in pictures came in 1945 when he appeared as Windy the introspective letter-writing G.I. in ...

33. Jerome Cowan

Actor | Miracle on 34th Street

Jerome Cowan was one of Hollywood's most prolific and instantly recognisable character actors. His trademark pencil-thin moustache and slicked back hair, immaculate suits and sophisticated manner were his stock-in-trade for impersonating an assortment of rejected husbands, shifty politicians, ...

34. Barry Sullivan

Actor | The Bad and the Beautiful

Barry Sullivan was born Patrick Barry Sullivan on August 29, 1912 in New York City. He was the seventh son of a seventh son, a birth order with mystical significance in Celtic families. While never a major movie star, he established himself as a well-known and highly regarded character lead and ...

35. Steve Cochran

Actor | White Heat

Born Robert Alexander Cochran, son of a California lumberman, he worked mostly in the theatre before landing a contract with Samuel Goldwyn in 1945. His debut was Wonder Man (1945) with Virginia Mayo and Danny Kaye. From 1949 to 1952, he was signed to Warner Brothers, then started up his own ...

36. Steve Brodie

Actor | Out of the Past

Primarily known as a "B" movie bad guy of hundreds of films, husky actor Steve Brodie was born John Daugherty Stephens on November 25, 1919, in El Dorado, Kansas. Raised in Wichita, he dropped out of school and raced cars, boxed and worked on oil rigs to get by. He initially entertained a criminal ...

37. Karl Malden

Actor | On the Waterfront

Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago as Mladen Sekulovich, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden did not speak English until he was in kindergarten. After graduating from high school in the nearby steel town of Gary, Indiana, Malden worked in the industry for three years until 1934, when...

38. Brian Donlevy

Actor | Impact

It seems that Brian Donlevy started out life as colorfully as any character he ever played on the stage or screen. He lied about his age (he was actually 14) in 1916 so he could join the army. When Gen. John J. Pershing sent American troops to invade Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa--Mexican ...

39. Claude Rains

Actor | Casablanca

William Claude Rains, born in the Clapham area of London, was the son of the British stage actor Frederick Rains. The younger Rains followed, making his stage debut at the age of eleven in "Nell of Old Drury." Growing up in the world of theater, he saw not only acting up close but the down-to-earth...

40. Brian Keith

Actor | The Parent Trap

Son of character actor Robert Keith and stage actress Helena Shipman. He grew up on the road with his parents while they toured in plays. First appeared at age 3 in film Pied Piper Malone (1924) with his father. Began acting in radio programs and on stage before World War II. Joined the Marines and ...

41. Arthur Kennedy

Actor | Lawrence of Arabia

Arthur Kennedy, one of the premier character actors in American film from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, achieved fame in the role of Biff in Elia Kazan's historic production of Arthur Miller's Pultizer-Prize winning play "Death of a Salesman." Although he was not selected to recreate the ...

42. Paul Stewart

Actor | Citizen Kane

Esteemed character actor Paul Stewart had a pair of the coldest orbs in town and made his living for decades playing dark, callous, shiftless villains, including a vast number of mobsters. Not a well-known name per se, he was nevertheless a reliable actor who seemed to have been born for the film ...

43. Howard Duff

Actor | No Way Out

Tough, virile, wavy-haired and ruggedly handsome with trademark forlorn-looking brows that added an intriguing touch of vulnerability to his hard outer core, actor Howard Duff and his wife-at-the-time, actress Ida Lupino, were one of Hollywood's premiere film couples during the 1950s "Golden Age". ...

44. Gene Nelson

Actor | Tea for Two

Gene Nelson was barely a teen when he saw the Fred Astaire movie Flying Down to Rio (1933), which would change his life. It was then that he decided he would be a dancer. After graduating from high school, Nelson joined the Sonja Henie Ice Show and toured for 3 years before joining the Army in ...

45. Paul Douglas

Actor | Executive Suite

A rare breed this guy. Paul Douglas became an unlikely middle-aged cinema star by simply capitalizing on his big, burly, brash and boorish appeal to the nth degree.

The 5'11", 200 lb. actor was a bold, unabashed risk taker. He forsook an extremely successful career as one of the country's top radio/...

46. James Whitmore

Actor | The Shawshank Redemption

Born on October 1, 1921, in White Plains, New York, gruff veteran character actor James Whitmore earned early and widespread respect with his award-winning dramatic capabilities on Broadway and in films. He would later conquer TV with the same trophy-winning results.

The son of James Allen Whitmore ...

47. Vincent Price

Actor | The Abominable Dr. Phibes

Actor, raconteur, art collector and connoisseur of haute cuisine are just some of the attributes associated with Vincent Price. He was born of Welsh ancestry to prosperous parents ("not rich enough to evoke envy but successful enough to demand respect"). His uniquely cultivated voice and persona ...

48. Gene Barry

Actor | The War of the Worlds

With effortless class and elegant charm Gene Barry took 50's and 60's TV by storm, after a rather lackluster start on the musical stage and in films. Born Eugene Klass in New York City on June 14, 1919, to Martin (an amateur violinist), and Eva (an amateur singer), he showed a gift at an early age ...

49. Frank Lovejoy

Actor | In a Lonely Place

Square-jawed, intense, no-nonsense Frank Lovejoy played a succession of detectives, street cops, reporters, soldiers and such over his career. Born in the Bronx, New York, in 1912, he worked on Wall Street as a teenager, but the Great Stock Market Crash of 1929 cost him his job, and to make ends ...

50. Louis Hayward

Actor | And Then There Were None

From his birthplace in South Africa, Louis Charles Hayward was brought to England and was educated there and on the Continent. He spent a short time managing a London nightclub, displayed some acting talent and decided on acting, and was quickly tapped by playwright Noël Coward, who became his ...

51. Albert Dekker

Actor | Kiss Me Deadly

A stage actor from 1927, Albert Dekker was an established Broadway star when he made his film debut ten years later. Tall and with rugged good looks, he often played aggressive character roles, a prime example being his double-crossing gang leader in the classic The Killers (1946). From 1944-46 he ...

52. Wendell Corey

Actor | Rear Window

Wendell Corey was a hard-working American character actor who appeared in numerous movies and television productions in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Born on March 20, 1914 in Dracut, Massachusetts, in the northeastern part of the Commonwealth near the New Hampshire border, Corey was the son of a ...

53. Brad Dexter

Actor | The Magnificent Seven

American supporting player specializing in tough guys. Of Serbian extraction, he was born in Nevada in 1917. As a young man, he boxed in amateur bouts and had early training in theatre at the Pasadena Playhouse. He joined the Air Corps during World War II and was assigned to the troupe performing ...

54. Jack Webb

Writer | Dragnet

John Randolph Webb was born in Santa Monica, California, to Margaret (Smith) and Samuel Chester Webb. His father left home before he was born; Webb would never know him. He was raised by his mother and maternal grandmother in dire poverty that preceded the Depression. Making things worse, Webb ...

55. Clifton Webb

Actor | Laura

Already trained in dance and theater, he quit school at age 13 to study music and painting. By 19 he was a professional ballroom dancer in New York, and by his mid-twenties he was performing in musicals, dramas on Broadway and in London, and in silent movies. His first real success in film came in ...

56. Walter Slezak

Actor | Born to Kill

Tall, portly Viennese character actor Walter Slezak simultaneously pursued two different careers after his arrival in America in 1930: one, as a star of musical comedy on the stage, and another, as a portrayer of villains, impish rogues or pompous buffoons on screen.

Walter was born in May 1902 in ...

57. Thomas Gomez

Actor | Key Largo

After graduating from high school in 1923, Thomas Sabino Gomez answered a help wanted ad, which resulted in his joining the Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne theater group. Prior to that time he had not considered acting as a career. He continued working as an actor with the Lunts, traveling across ...

58. Franchot Tone

Actor | Mutiny on the Bounty

President of the Dramatic Club at Cornell University, Franchot Tone gave up the family business for acting, making his Broadway debut in "The Age of Innocence".

Tone then went into movies for MGM, making his film debut in The Wiser Sex (1932). With his theatrical background, Tone became one of the ...

59. Laird Cregar

Actor | I Wake Up Screaming

Seemingly suave, cultivated actor by nature, definitely huge in both talent and girth, and capable of playing much older than he was, Hollywood of the early '40s tragically lost Laird Cregar before it could fully comprehend on how to best utilize his obvious gifts. He was born Samuel Laird Cregar ...

60. Ted de Corsia

Actor | 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

A big, brawny villain of many 1940s and 1950s films, Ted de Corsia was an actor in touring companies and on radio before making a memorable film debut as the killer in The Lady from Shanghai (1947). Although he occasionally played such sympathetic roles as a judge or prison warden, de Corsia's ...

61. Vince Edwards

Actor | The Killing

Born in Brooklyn, the son of Italian immigrant parents, Vince Edwards early aspired to the theater. He was a swimming champion in high school, attended Ohio State University on an athletic scholarship, and was on their National Championship swimming team. Olympics were on the horizon, but an ...

62. John McIntire

Actor | Psycho

John McIntire possessed the requisite grit, craggy features and crusty, steely-eyed countenance to make for one of television and film's most durable supporting players of western settings. Born in Spokane, Washington in 1907 and the son of a lawyer, he grew up in Montana where he learned to raise ...

63. Ed Begley

Actor | 12 Angry Men

Charismatic character star Edward James Begley was born in Hartford, Connecticut of Irish parents and educated at St.Patrick's school. His interest in acting first surfaced at the age of nine, when he performed amateur theatricals at the Hartford Globe Theatre. Determined to make his own way, he ...

64. Hume Cronyn

Actor | Cocoon

Hume Cronyn was born on July 18, 1911 in London, Ontario, Canada as Hume Blake Cronyn Jr. He was an actor and producer, known for Cocoon (1985), *batteries not included (1987) and Shadow of a Doubt (1943). He was married to Susan Cooper, Jessica Tandy and Emily Woodruff. He died on June 15, 2003 in...

65. Bruce Bennett

Actor | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Herman Brix was a star shot-putter in the 1928 Olympics. After losing the lead in MGM's Tarzan the Ape Man (1932) due to a shoulder injury, he was contracted by Ashton Dearholt for his independent production of The New Adventures of Tarzan (1935), a serial and the only Tarzan film between the ...

66. Edward Arnold

Actor | Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Edward Arnold was born as Gunther Edward Arnold Schneider in 1890, on the Lower East Side of New York City, the son of German immigrants, Elizabeth (Ohse) and Carl Schneider. Arnold began his acting career on the New York stage and became a film actor in 1916. A burly man with a commanding style ...

67. Richard Boone

Actor | The Richard Boone Show

Richard Allen Boone was born in Los Angeles, California, to Cecile Lillian (Beckerman) and Kirk Etna Boone, a wealthy corporate lawyer. His maternal grandparents were Russian Jewish immigrants, while his father was descended from a brother of frontiersmen Daniel Boone and Squire Boone.

Richard was a...

68. Barry Fitzgerald

Actor | The Quiet Man

One of Hollywood's finest character actors and most accomplished scene stealers, Barry Fitzgerald was born William Joseph Shields in 1888 in Dublin, Ireland. Educated to enter the banking business, the diminutive Irishman with the irresistible brogue was bitten by the acting bug in the 1920s and ...

69. Steven Geray

Actor | Spellbound

Diminutive, gentle-featured character actor, who specialised in playing meek, reticent or kindly gentlemen, usually of Gallic, Germanic or Eastern European backgrounds. Istvan Gyergyay was born in the old Austro/Hungarian town of Ungvar (present-day Uzhgorod) and studied at Budapest University. His...

70. Akim Tamiroff

Actor | Touch of Evil

Though born in Russia and having a Russian-sounding name, Akim Tamiroff is actually of Armenian descent. At 19 he decided to pursue acting as a career and was chosen from among 500 applicants to the Moscow Art Theater School. There he studied under the great Konstantin Stanislavski, and launched a ...

71. George Sanders

Actor | All About Eve

George Sanders was born of English parents in St. Petersburg, Russia. He worked in a Birmingham textile mill, in the tobacco business and as a writer in advertising. He entered show business in London as a chorus boy, going from there to cabaret, radio and theatrical understudy. His film debut, in ...

72. Howard Da Silva

Actor | 1776

Howard da Silva was one of 324 actors, writers and directors who fell victim to the Hollywood blacklisting of the early 1950s, and had his career halted in the blink of an eye. Originally was a steelworker before making his stage debut at age 20 in New York. He made a name for himself on Broadway ...

73. Jay C. Flippen

Actor | Winchester '73

Jay C. Flippen could probably be characterized these days as one of those distinctive faces you know but whose name escapes you while viewing old 50s and 60s movies and TV. His distinctive bulldog mug, beetle brows, bulky features, and silver-white hair were ideally suited for roles as criminals ...

74. Timothy Carey

Actor | The Killing

Timothy Carey had one of the most unusual careers of all Hollywood character actors, obtaining full cult status for his portrayals of the doomed, the psychotic and the plain crazy. Carey's career was an "Only in America" type of story, and he retains his status as a Great American Original a decade...

75. Jay Adler

Actor | The Killing

Jay Adler was born on September 26, 1896 in New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for The Killing (1956), Cry Danger (1951) and The Big Combo (1955). He died on September 23, 1978 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

76. Mark Stevens

Actor | The Street with No Name

Mark Stevens, a second-tier star during the 1940s and 1950s, was born Richard William Stevens in Cleveland, OH, in 1916 (the dates in reference books vary between 1915-20). Of Scottish and English heritage, the freckle-faced boy with the reddish hair had a father who was an American flyer. His ...

77. Wallace Ford

Actor | Freaks

A stocky, friendly-faced character actor, Ford was born Samuel Jones in England and his childhood rivaled the brutality that Charles Dickens ever dreamed up. He lived for a while in an orphanage after being separated from his parents. While still young, he was sent to a Toronto branch of the ...

78. Richard Webb

Actor | Out of the Past

Richard Webb was born on September 9, 1915 in Bloomington, Illinois, USA as John Richard Webb. He was an actor, known for Out of the Past (1947), Captain Midnight (1954) and Star Trek (1966). He was married to Florence and Elizabeth Sterns. He died on June 10, 1993 in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, ...

79. Humphrey Bogart

Actor | Casablanca

Humphrey DeForest Bogart was born in New York City, New York, to Maud Humphrey, a famed magazine illustrator and suffragette, and Belmont DeForest Bogart, a moderately wealthy surgeon (who was secretly addicted to opium). Bogart was educated at Trinity School, NYC, and was sent to Phillips Academy ...

80. Robert Mitchum

Actor | Out of the Past

Robert Mitchum was an underrated American leading man of enormous ability, who sublimated his talents beneath an air of disinterest. He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Ann Harriet (Gunderson), a Norwegian immigrant, and James Thomas Mitchum, a shipyard/railroad worker. His father died in a ...

81. Kirk Douglas

Actor | Spartacus

Cleft-chinned, steely-eyed and virile star of international cinema who rose from being "the ragman's son" (the name of his best-selling 1988 autobiography) to become a bona fide superstar, Kirk Douglas, also known as Issur Danielovitch Demsky, was born on December 9, 1916 in Amsterdam, New York. ...

82. Dan Duryea

Actor | Scarlet Street

Dan Duryea was educated at Cornell University and worked in the advertising business before pursuing his career as an actor. Duryea made his Broadway debut in the play "Dead End." The critical acclaim he won for his performance as Leo Hubbard in the Broadway production of "The Little Foxes" led to ...

83. Richard Widmark

Actor | The Alamo

Richard Widmark established himself as an icon of American cinema with his debut in the 1947 film noir Kiss of Death (1947) in which he won a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination as the killer "Tommy Udo". Kiss of Death (1947) and other noir thrillers established Widmark as part of a new ...

84. Burt Lancaster

Actor | From Here to Eternity

Burt Lancaster, one of five children, was born in Manhattan, to Elizabeth (Roberts) and James Henry Lancaster, a postal worker. All of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. He was a tough street kid who took an early interest in gymnastics. He joined the circus as an acrobat and ...

85. Edmond O'Brien

Actor | The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Oscar-winner Edmond O'Brien was one of the most-respected character actors in American cinema, from his heyday of the mid-1940s through the late 1960s. Born on September 10, 1915, in the New York City borough of The Bronx, O'Brien learned the craft of performance as a magician, reportedly tutored ...

86. Sterling Hayden

Actor | Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Born to George & Frances Simonson Walter, and named Sterling Relyea Walter. Father died in 1925. Adopted by stepfather 'James Hayden' renamed Sterling Walter Hayden. Grew up in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., and Maine. Though very poor, attended prep school at ...

87. Alan Ladd

Actor | Shane

Alan Walbridge Ladd was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas, the only child of Ina Raleigh (aka Selina Rowley) and Alan Ladd, a freelance accountant. His mother was English, from County Durham, and his paternal grandparents were Canadian. His father died when he was four. At age five, he burned his ...

88. Robert Montgomery

Actor | Night Must Fall

As a child, Robert Montgomery enjoyed a privileged life, as his father was the president of the New York Rubber Co. When he died, the fortune was gone and Robert worked at a number of jobs. He later went to New York to be a writer, and on the advice of a friend tried acting. He worked with George ...

89. Robert Taylor

Actor | Quo Vadis

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...

90. Dick Powell

Actor | Murder, My Sweet

Few actors ever managed a complete image transition as thoroughly as did Dick Powell: in his case, from the boyish, wavy-haired crooner in musicals to rugged crime fighters in films noir. Powell grew up in the town of Little Rock, Arkansas, one of three brothers (one of them, Howard, ended up as ...

91. Otto Kruger

Actor | High Noon

The grandnephew of South African pioneer and former president Paul Krüger, Otto Kruger trained for a musical career from childhood, but after enrolling in Columbia University he switched his career choice to acting. Making his Broadway debut in 1915, at 30, he shortly became a matinée idol of the ...

92. Mike Mazurki

Actor | Some Like It Hot

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...

93. Robert Ryan

Actor | The Wild Bunch

Distinguished U.S. actor and longtime civil rights campaigner Robert Bushnell Ryan was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Mable Arbutus (Bushnell), a secretary, and Timothy Aloysius Ryan, whose wealthy family owned a real estate firm. His father was of Irish ancestry, and his mother was of English and ...

94. Robert Young

Actor | Marcus Welby, M.D.

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...

95. Hugh Beaumont

Actor | Leave It to Beaver

Beaumont began his career in show business by perfoming in theatres, nightclubs, and on the radio in 1931. He attended the University of Chattanooga, but left when his position on the football team was changed. He later attended the University of Southern California, and graduated with a Master of ...

96. Glenn Ford

Actor | Superman

Legendary actor Glenn Ford was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford in Sainte-Christine-d'Auvergne, Quebec, Canada, to Hannah Wood (Mitchell) and Newton Ford, a railroad executive. His family moved to Santa Monica, California when he was eight years old. His acting career began with plays at high school...

97. John Ridgely

Actor | The Big Sleep

John Ridgely was a versatile character actor who made over 100 films at Warner Brothers during the 1930s and 1940s. Starting out in bit roles in such films as Dark Victory (1939), They Died with Their Boots On (1941) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Ridgely eventually graduated to larger ...

98. Regis Toomey

Actor | The Big Sleep

Pittsburgh-born and -raised character actor Regis Toomey, of Irish descent, took an early interest in the performing arts and initially studied drama at the university of his home town. One of four children of Francis X. and Mary Ellen Toomey, John Regis Toomey initially pondered a law career, but ...

99. Bob Steele

Actor | The Big Sleep

Started working with his father on stage when he was two. Later he toured in a comedy act for Fanchon and Marco. His first screen experience was at age 14, in a Pathe production of "Adventures of Bill and Bob".

100. Walter Pidgeon

Actor | Forbidden Planet

Walter Pidgeon, a handsome, tall and dark-haired man, began his career studying voice at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He then did theater, mainly stage musicals. He went to Hollywood in the early 1920s, where he made silent films, including Mannequin (1926) and Sumuru (1927). ...



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