Friday, February 5, 2010

John Carradine

One of our most prolific character actor, during his 57 year career, John Carradine earned more than 300 film and television credits. It is dispute whether he or Donald Crisp appeared in more films than any other actor.

John Carradine was born Richmond Reed Carradine on February 5, 1906 in New York City, the son of of Genevieve Winifred, a surgeon, and William Reed Carradine, a correspondent for the Associated Press.

John Carradine made his film debut in 1930 in Bright Lights.

A favorite of director John Ford, John Carradine appeared in eleven of Ford's films: The Prisoner of Shark Island (1934), Mary of Scotland (1936), The Hurricane (1937) Submarine Patrol (1938), Four Men and a Prayer (1938), Stagecoach (1939), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Last Hurrah (1958), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964).

A few of John Carradine's most notable film credits include The Invisible Man (1933),Captains Courageous (1937), Jesse James (1939), The Three Musketeers (1939), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), Five Came Back (1939), The Return of Frank James (1940), Man Hunt (1941), The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944), The Court Jester (1955), The Ten Commandments (1956), and Around the World in Eighty Days (1956).

Four of John Carradine's five sons became actors: David Carradine, Robert Carradine, Keith Carradine, and Bruce Carradine.

John Carradine appeared in several episodes of Kung Fu with son David Carradine.

In The Long Riders (1981) he appeared with sons Keith, Robert and David.

John Carradine was known for playing dark evil sinister characters. However, in a very different role, John Carradine won a Daytime Emmy in 1985 for Outstanding Performer in a Children's Program for "Young People's Specials" for the episode "Umbrella Jack".

John Carradine also had a significant Broadway career. He made his Broadway debut in The Duchess of Malfi. His Broadway credits include Galileo, Volpone, Frankenstein, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Time of Your Life,
The Madwoman of Chaillot, The Leading Lady, and The Cup of Trembling.

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, John Carradine has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2003, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

On November 27, 1988, John Carradine died of natural causes in Milan, Italy at age 82. His final words were: "Milan: What a beautiful place to die".

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