|Born||in New York City, New York, USA|
|Died||in Los Angeles, California, USA (lobar pneumonia)|
|Height||5' 10½" (1.79 m)|
Mini Bio (2)
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 Third-Avenue Elevated Railway. (Manhattan sections of the "El," as New Yorkers called it, were demolished circa 1956.)
Jut-jawed, broken-nosed and burly, Bendix began his acting career after the ravages of the Great Depression had killed his erstwhile grocery business. Having performed in nightclubs even while grocer, and having portrayed taxicab drivers in a series of Broadway flops, he enjoyed his first notable performance on the Broadway stage in 1939, portraying the cop Krupp in William Saroyan's "The Time of Your Life." His Hollywood feature debut came about in one of his few starring roles, in Hal Roach's Brooklyn Orchid (1942). But more often than not, in his movies Bendix received less than top billing, inasmuch as so many of his film assignments involved supporting roles. Despite (or perhaps on account of) his looks he was often called upon to supply comedic support, as in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court (1949), when, portraying Sir Sagramore of King Arthur's Round Table in full suit of armor and pageboy wig, he waxeth eloquent, in his Brooklyn accent but in the most incongruent of Middle English dialects! On the other hand, that same craggy appearance had him in such roles as that of the thug Jeff in The Glass Key (1942), in which he repeatedly and gleefully uses his fists to beat star Alan Ladd's face to a pulp and then sadistically challenges Ladd, once he is healed, to come back and receive further "treatment"! Although he will always be fondly remembered for his light-comedy portrayals (in *three* of the mass media!) of Chester A. Riley in The Life of Riley (1949) and The Life of Riley (1953), perhaps William Bendix's finest and most memorable dramatic performance came in Lifeboat (1944), when he touchingly interprets the role of Gus, the shipwreck survivor whose gangrenous limb has to be removed, the absence of anesthesia notwithstanding.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Popular American character actor William Bendix's burly physique and New York accent were equally suited to playing genial lugs and vicious thugs. Bendix was born in midtown Manhattan, the son of musician Oscar Bendix (not violinist/conductor Max Bendix, as is often reported). He made his film debut in 1911, at the age of five, when his father got him a small role in a Lillian Walker film being made at Vitagraph Studios, where the elder Bendix was working as a handyman. The title of this film is lost to time, and Bendix did not appear again before the cameras for 31 years. After dropping out of high school he worked as a bat boy for the New York Giants and Yankees, and claimed to have seen Babe Ruth hit over a hundred home runs. He became interested in the theatre and joined the Henry Street Players, a settlement house company. He also worked as a singing waiter. He married in 1927 and through his new father-in-law got a job managing a grocery in New Jersey. When that business failed, Bendix joined the Federal Theatre Project, which led in turn to work with the Theatre Guild. Bendix made a success in the Guild's production of "The Time of Your Life" as Officer Krupp. He was spotted in the play by Hal Roach, who signed him to a film contract. Within a year he had been nominated for an Academy Award (for Wake Island (1942)) and was firmly established as a major supporting player. He achieved great popularity with the radio show "The Life of Riley", which ran for nine years and then became an equally popular television show (The Life of Riley (1953)). Bendix worked in films, television and radio up until the end of his life, but always claimed the stage was his first love. Following a stomach ailment, Bendix died at 58 from malnutrition and subsequent pneumonia. His wife of 37 years, Theresa Stefanotti, and their two daughters survived him.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
|Teresa Stefanotty Bendix||(22 October 1927 - 14 December 1964) ( his death) ( 2 children)|