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John Archer Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (9)  | Personal Quotes (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Osceola, Nebraska, USA
Died in Redmond, Washington, USA  (lung cancer)
Birth NameRalph Bowman
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born Ralph Bowman, the future film and TV star moved to California with his family when he was five; he attended Hollywood High and the University of Southern California. He first set his sights on a job behind the camera, taking a cinematography course at USC, but then couldn't even land an entry-level position. He later drifted into acting, on stage at the Ben Bard Playhouse and in serials at Universal and Republic. He then entered a radio contest, "Jesse Lasky's Gateway to Hollywood", where aspiring actors competed for a studio contract. The top prize, an RKO contract made out in the name of "John Archer", was won by Bowman after 13 weeks of competition (edging out Hugh Beaumont for the prize and the "Archer" name). The actor quips, "I went from being a Bowman to an Archer!" He has four children, two by wife number one Marjorie Lord (one of whom is Anne Archer) and two by his second wife Ann Leddy (whom he married in 1956).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tom Weaver <TomWeavr@aol.com>

Spouse (2)

Ann Leddy (21 December 1956 - 3 December 1999) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Marjorie Lord (30 December 1941 - 16 October 1953) ( divorced) ( 2 children)

Trivia (9)

Replaced Bret Morrison as the voice of "The Shadow" on the popular radio series in 1944. He left after a year when his Broadway career kicked up. He was, in turn, replaced briefly by Stephen Courtleigh before Morrison, who most consider the definitive voice of "The Shadow," returned in late 1945.
Father of Anne Archer, Gregg Bowman (from his first marriage), Jon Archer and Lisa Archer (from his second marriage).
In 1994 The Shadow (1994), a role which he played on radio from 1944-45, was made into a film starring Alec Baldwin. Baldwin was the first actor to play "Jack Ryan" in The Hunt for Red October (1990). For the sequels Patriot Games (1992) and Clear and Present Danger (1994), he was replaced by Harrison Ford, and the character's wife was played by John's daughter, Anne Archer.
Interviewed by Tom Weaver in the book, "They Fought in the Creature Features" (McFarland & Co., 1994).
Father-in-law of Terry Jastrow.
Grandfather of Tommy Davis.
Lost the lead role in the film The Egg and I (1947) to Fred MacMurray.
Met his first wife, Marjorie Lord, when both appeared in an L.A. stage production of "The Male Animal".
Found much work on radio in the 1940s, with his most popular role being the title voice of "The Shadow," which he played for about a year.

Personal Quotes (2)

[about working at "B" studio Monogram Pictures] I enjoyed Monogram. They were fast B pictures, but the people were all good. Working at Monogram, the techniques were all the same, except that they would just shoot a lot faster. They didn't rehearse as much, and they'd shoot the whole picture in a week. In a larger studio, it would take three or four weeks to do a B picture. For instance, if you were in a B picture, actors didn't say "God damn it!" or whatever if they flubbed a line. They just kept going, and created their own scene, and the director would let 'em go as long as they wanted. Actually, that was good experience for us, too.
I didn't give the business up, it gave me up. I had a nice career and I felt that I should move along, so I went into something else which I enjoyed very much. In the '60s I went into the trucking business with my brother and we built that sucker up to quite an important arena in Los Angeles. I'd always go back and do a TV show if anybody hollered, but then I lost my agent and I just became disenchanted.

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