Horror Actors

by karljhickey14 | created - 09 Oct 2017 | updated - 10 Oct 2017 | Public

from the 30s and 40s

1. Lon Chaney

Actor | The Phantom of the Opera

Although his parents were deaf-mutes, Leonidas Chaney became an actor and also owner of a theatre company (together with his brother John). He made his debut at the movies in 1912, and his filmography is vast. Lon Chaney was especially famous for his horror parts in movies like e.g. Quasimodo in ...

2. Boris Karloff

Actor | Bride of Frankenstein

Along with fellow actors Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi and Vincent Price, Boris Karloff is recognized as one of the true icons of horror cinema, and the actor most closely identified with the general public's perception of the "monster" from the classic Mary Shelley book, "Frankenstein". William Henry ...

3. Bela Lugosi

Actor | Dracula

Bela Lugosi was born Béla Ferenc Dezsö Blaskó on October 20, 1882, Lugos, Hungary, Austria-Hungary (now Lugoj, Romania), to Paula de Vojnich and István Blaskó, a banker. He was the youngest of four children. During WWI, he volunteered and was commissioned as an infantry lieutenant, and was wounded ...

4. 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...

5. Lon Chaney Jr.

Actor | High Noon

American character actor whose career was influenced (and often overshadowed) by that of his father, silent film star Lon Chaney. The younger Chaney was born while his parents were on a theatrical tour, and he joined them onstage for the first time at the age of six months. However, as a young man,...

6. Basil Rathbone

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Basil Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1892, but three years later his family was forced to flee the country because his father was accused by the Boers of being a British spy at a time when Dutch-British conflicts were leading to the Boer War. The Rathbones escaped to England, ...

7. John Carradine

Actor | The Grapes of Wrath

John Carradine, the son of a reporter/artist and a surgeon, grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York. He attended Christ Church School and Graphic Art School, studying sculpture, and afterward roamed the South selling sketches. He made his acting debut in "Camille" in a New Orleans theatre in 1925. ...

8. Peter Lorre

Actor | Casablanca

Peter Lorre was born László Lowenstein on Rózsahegy, 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 ...

9. J. Carrol Naish

Actor | Sahara

One of the most versatile character actors in the business, Joseph Patrick Carrol Naish (pronounced Nash) was born of Irish descent in New York City. His illustrious ancestors hailed from county Limerick and were listed in Burke's Peerage. He had a Catholic education at St. Cecilia's Academy, but ...

10. Rondo Hatton

Actor | House of Horrors

Was an only child, Rondo Hatton was born to Stewart and Emily Hatton in Hagerstown, Maryland. The family moved to Tampa, Florida, in 1912, when he was a high-school senior, and his father joined a family-owned business there. Rondo was apparently popular and a good athlete, especially in football.

...

11. Warner Oland

Actor | Charlie Chan's Secret

Warner Oland was born Johan Verner Olund in the small village of Nyby in Bjurholm parish in the county of Vasterbotten, Sweden, on October 3, 1879. Bjurholm is situated about 60 kilometers outside the town of Umea. His family emigrated to the US on October 15, 1892. His father Jonas was a ...

12. George Zucco

Actor | The Cat and the Canary

At 22, George Zucco decided to begin his stage career in earnest in the Canadian provinces in 1908. In the course of the following decade, he also performed in an American vaudeville tour with his young wife, Frances, in a routine called "The Suffragette." As World War I grew in scale, Zucco ...

13. Lionel Atwill

Actor | Captain Blood

Lionel Atwill was born into a wealthy family and was educated at London's prestigious Mercer School to become an architect, but his interest turned to the stage. He worked his way progressively into the craft and debuted at age 20 at the Garrick Theatre in London. He acted and improved regularly ...

14. Colin Clive

Actor | Frankenstein

Who could forget Colin Clive's "It's Alive! It's Alive!" as he melted to the floor mumbling the same over and over in ecstasy after his success at animating the Monster in the first sound version of Frankenstein (1931). Film history - horror film history - but part of a short history for actor ...

15. Henry Daniell

Actor | The Great Dictator

Henry Daniell began his career on the British stage, and continued it on the Broadway stage when he emigrated to the US. He entered films in 1929, and excelled at playing the suave, well-bred villain who could kill an enemy or start a war with a certain air of upper-class disdain, as if all of this...

16. Erich von Stroheim

Actor | Sunset Blvd.

Erich von Stroheim was born Erich Oswald Stroheim in 1885, in Vienna, Austria, to Johanna (Bondy), from Prague, and Benno Stroheim, a hatter from Gleiwitz, Germany (now Gliwice, Poland). His family was Jewish.

After spending some time working in his father's hat factory, he emigrated to America ...

17. Leslie Banks

Actor | The Man Who Knew Too Much

Leslie Banks was born on June 9, 1890 in West Derby, England as Leslie James Banks. He was an actor, known for The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The Most Dangerous Game (1932) and Haunted Honeymoon (1940). He was married to Gwendoline Haldane Unwin. He died on April 21, 1952 in London, England.

18. Charles Laughton

Actor | Witness for the Prosecution

Charles Laughton was born in Scarborough, Yorkshire, England, to Eliza (Conlon) and Robert Laughton, hotel keepers of Irish and English descent, respectively. He was educated at Stonyhurst (a highly esteemed Jesuit college in England) and at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (received gold medal). ...

19. Lionel Barrymore

Actor | Key Largo

Famed actor, composer, artist, author and director. His talents extended to the authoring of the novel "Mr. Cartonwine: A Moral Tale" as well as his autobiography. In 1944, he joined ASCAP, and composed "Russian Dances", "Partita", "Ballet Viennois", "The Woodman and the Elves", "Behind the Horizon...

20. Raymond Massey

Actor | Arsenic and Old Lace

Educated at the University of Toronto & Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the Canadian Field Artillery in World War I, served in France & was wounded. His first appearance was in a stage production in Siberia, during its occupation by American Forces in 1918. Raymond returned to Canada & the farm ...

21. Gale Sondergaard

Actress | The Mark of Zorro

Sly, manipulative, dangerously cunning and sinister were the key words that best described the roles that Gale Sondergaard played in motion pictures, making her one of the most talented character actresses ever seen on the screen. She was educated at the University of Minnesota and later married ...

22. Maria Ouspenskaya

Actress | Conquest

The daughter of a lawyer, Ouspenskaya studied singing at the Warsaw Conservatory and acting at Adasheff's School of the Drama in Moscow. She received her practical training as an actress touring in the Russian provinces. She later joined the Moscow Art Theatre. It was here that she first worked ...

23. Elsa Lanchester

Actress | Witness for the Prosecution

Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the ...

24. Fay Wray

Actress | King Kong

Canadian-born Fay Wray was brought up in Los Angeles and entered films at an early age. She was barely in her teens when she started working as an extra. She began her career as a heroine in westerns at Universal during the silent era. In 1926 the Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers ...

25. Myrna Loy

Actress | The Best Years of Our Lives

Myrna Loy was born Myrna Adele Williams on August 2, 1905 in Helena, Montana, to Adelle Mae (Johnson) and David Franklin Williams. Her paternal grandparents were Welsh, and her mother was of Scottish and Swedish descent. Myrna was raised in Helena and nearby Radersburg. Her father, a rancher, was ...

26. Fredric March

Actor | The Best Years of Our Lives

Fredric March began a career in banking but in 1920 found himself cast as an extra in films being produced in New York. He starred on the Broadway stage first in 1926 and would return there between screen appearances later on. He won plaudits (and an Academy Award nomination) for his send-up of ...

27. Spencer Tracy

Actor | Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Spencer Tracy was born four years after his brother Carroll to truck salesman John Edward and Caroline Brown Tracy. He attended Marquette Academy along with Pat O'Brien and the two left school to enlist in the Navy at the start of World War I. He was still at Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia at the ...

28. Preston Foster

Actor | I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

Actor, composer, songwriter, guitarist and author. He moved from Broadway acting (1928-1932) into films, touring America with his wife and daughter, and did some recordings. He was the executive producer at the El Camino Playhouse in California. Joining ASCAP in 1953, his chief musical collaborator...

29. Ralph Bellamy

Actor | His Girl Friday

Ralph Bellamy was a veteran actor who was so well-liked and respected by his peers that he was the recipient of an honorary Oscar in 1987 for his contributions to the acting profession.

Ralph Rexford Bellamy was born June 17, 1904 in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Lilla Louise (Smith), originally ...

30. 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 ...

31. Turhan Bey

Actor | The Mummy's Tomb

Popular leading man in 1940's Hollywood who, with his suave demeanor, exotically handsome looks and well-modulated voice, was first called upon to portray mysterious or villainous characters. Soon he would be teamed with other "exotics" (e.g. Maria Montez and Sabu) in a series of escapist ...

32. Henry Hull

Actor | High Sierra

Henry Hull, the actor who created the role of Jeeter on Broadway in "Tobacco Road," was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 13, 1890, the son of a drama critic. Originally intending to become an engineer, Hull became an actor and made his Broadway debut in "Green Stockings" less than two weeks...

33. E.E. Clive

Actor | Bride of Frankenstein

Edward E. Clive was a Welsh-born actor/manager, initially, it seemed, slated for a medical career. After four years, he suddenly elected to abandon his studies at the University of Wales. For the next ten years, he trod the boards in diverse theatrical productions across Britain, becoming adept at ...

34. Ernest Thesiger

Actor | Bride of Frankenstein

Although he made nearly 60 films in a 50-year acting career, it is for the two he made with director James Whale that Ernest Thesiger will be best remembered. Born Ernest Frederic Graham Thesiger in London on January 15, 1879, he was the grandson of the first Baron of Chelmsford. Educated at ...

35. Dwight Frye

Actor | Dracula

An extremely versatile character actor and originator of several memorable characterizations in the horror film genre, Dwight Frye had a notable theatrical career in the 1920s, moving from juvenile parts to leads before entering film. A favorite actor of Broadway theatrical producer-director Brock ...

36. Mischa Auer

Actor | My Man Godfrey

Mischa Auer, the American screen's supreme exponent of the "Mad Russian" stereotype so dear to Yankee hearts before and after World War II, was born Mischa Ounskowsky on November 17, 1905, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the grandson of violinist Leopold Auer, whose surname he took when he became a ...

37. Cedric Hardwicke

Actor | The Ten Commandments

Sir Cedric Hardwicke, one of the great character actors in the first decades of the talking picture, was born in Lye, England on February 19, 1893. Hardwicke attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made his stage debut in 1912. His career was interrupted by military service in World War I, ...

38. Edward Van Sloan

Actor | Frankenstein

US character actor; he of the close-cropped gray hair, thick spectacles and clipped, ominous tones who would serve most memorably as the nemesis of evil-doers and monsters in 30's and 40's horror movies and suspensers, antagonizing first the likes of Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff and then, years ...

39. Helen Chandler

Actress | Dracula

Helen Chandler was born in Charleston, South Carolina on February 1, 1906. By the late 1920s she had become a hugely popular actress on the New York stage. That Hollywood should beckon was inevitable, but unfortunately whatever quality made Chandler a success on the stage did not survive the ...

40. Mae Clarke

Actress | Frankenstein

Vivacious, blonde Mae Clarke was exposed to cinema from an early age, her father being an organist in a motion picture theatre. Growing up in Atlantic City, New Jersey, she learned how to dance and, at the tender age of 13, was already performing in nightclubs and amateur theatricals. In 1924 she ...

41. 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 ...

42. Marguerite Churchill

Actress | The Big Trail

Marguerite Churchill was born on December 26, 1910 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA. She was an actress, known for The Big Trail (1930), Dracula's Daughter (1936) and The Walking Dead (1936). She was married to George O'Brien. She died on January 9, 2000 in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, USA.

43. Jean Hersholt

Actor | Greed

If ever there was a Great Dane in Hollywood it was Jean Hersholt - and one of its great hearts as well. He was from a well-known Danish stage and entertainment family that had toured throughout Europe performing with young Jean as an essential cast member. He graduated from the Copenhagen Art ...

44. Melvyn Douglas

Actor | Being There

Two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas was one of America's finest actors. In addition to his two Oscars, he also won a Tony Award and an Emmy. Douglas would enjoy cinema immortality if for no other reason than his being the man who made Greta Garbo laugh in Ernst Lubitsch's classic comedy Ninotchka ...

45. Eva Moore

Actress | The Old Dark House

Eva Moore was born on February 9, 1870 in Brighton, East Sussex, England. She was an actress, known for The Old Dark House (1932), A Cup of Kindness (1934) and Scotland Yard Investigator (1945). She was married to H.V. Esmond. She died on April 27, 1955 in Maidenhead, Berkshire, England.

46. Ilona Massey

Actress | Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

Sultry, opulent blonde Hungarian singer Ilona Massey survived an impoverished childhood in Budapest, Hungary to become a glamorous talent both here and abroad. As a dressmaker's apprentice she managed to scrape up money together for singing lessons and first danced in chorus lines, later earning ...

47. Patric Knowles

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Fourteen-year-old Reginald Lawrence Knowles was being readied to take his place with other relatives in the family bookbinding business (in Leeds) when he ran off to become an actor. He was inevitably brought back home, but he made good his second escape a few years later - his willful Knowles ...

48. Anne Gwynne

Actress | House of Frankenstein

Vivid, strikingly beautiful actress Anne Gwynne arrived in Hollywood a typical starry-eyed model looking to become a big film star and ended up one of Universal Studio's favorite screamers in "B" horror films. Born in Waco, Texas, but raised in Missouri, she first modeled Catalina swimwear and ...

49. Elena Verdugo

Actress | Marcus Welby, M.D.

Most baby-boomers remember actress Elena Verdugo from her pleasant, plain but rather dowdy Emmy-nominated role as "Consuelo Lopez", the altruistic assistant and sometime aide-de-camp to Robert Young's general practitioner for several seasons on the popular Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969) dramatic series....

50. 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 ...

51. Glenn Strange

Actor | Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein

At various times in his life a rancher, deputy sheriff and rodeo performer, this huge, towering (6' 5") beast of a man was born George Glenn Strange in Weed, New Mexico, on August 16, 1899, but grew up a real-life cowboy in Cross Cut, Texas. He taught himself (by ear) the fiddle and guitar at a ...

52. Martha O'Driscoll

Actress | Blonde Alibi

Another gorgeous "B" movie blonde who came and went uneventfully in the 1940s, the beautiful Tulsa-born Martha O'Driscoll started off modeling as a child. Her parents were nonprofessionals. Trained in singing and dancing, Martha was discovered by choreographer Hermes Pan in a local theater ...

53. Valerie Hobson

Actress | Bride of Frankenstein

Elegant, quintessentially English (although born in Northern Ireland) Valerie Hobson was the daughter of a British army officer. She studied dancing at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and appeared on the stage for the first time at age 16, but she contracted a case of scarlet fever and ...

54. Zita Johann

Actress | The Mummy

Zita Johann was born on July 14, 1904 in Temesvar, Austria-Hungary. She was an actress, known for The Mummy (1932), The Sin of Nora Moran (1933) and Luxury Liner (1933). She was married to Bernard Edward Shedd (Schetnitz), John McCormick and John Houseman. She died on September 20, 1993 in Nyack, ...

55. Peter Coe

Actor | Vigilante Force

Peter Coe was born on November 11, 1918 in Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia as Peter Knego. He was an actor, known for Vigilante Force (1976), The Mummy's Curse (1944) and Road to Bali (1952). He was married to Rosalee Calvert. He died on June 9, 1993 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

56. Martin Kosleck

Actor | Agent for H.A.R.M.

His icy demeanor and piercing stare on screen epitomized the type of Nazi menace with a blind obedience to Hitler that everyone loved to hate. Kosleck portrayed Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, 5 times, as well as various German army officers, SS troopers and concentration camp officers. He ...

57. Kay Harding

Actress | The Mummy's Curse

Kay Harding was born on January 5, 1924 in Cushing, Oklahoma, USA. She was an actress, known for The Mummy's Curse (1944), The Scarlet Claw (1944) and Weird Woman (1944). She was married to Donald Patterson. She died on March 15, 1984 in Santa Clara, California, USA.

58. Virginia Christine

Actress | Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Virginia has a long career as a character actress on the screen, but she will always be best remembered as the Swedish "Mrs. Olsen", who somehow knew everything about making coffee, and we somehow always found her in the kitchen of some hapless young housewife who just couldn't seem to make good ...

59. Ramsay Ames

Actress | The Vigilante: Fighting Hero of the West

Ramsay Ames was born on March 30, 1919 in New York City, New York, USA as Ramsay Phillips. She was an actress, known for The Vigilante: Fighting Hero of the West (1947), Beauty and the Bandit (1946) and Below the Deadline (1946). She was married to Dale Wasserman. She died on March 30, 1998 in ...

60. Robert Lowery

Actor | Batman and Robin

Robert Lowery was born Robert Larkin Hanks in Kansas City, Missouri, the only living child of Roscoe Hanks, noted Kansas City attorney and oil investor; and Leah Thompson, concert pianist and organist. He attended local Kansas City schools and graduated from Paseo High School in 1931 with a record ...

61. 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 ...

62. Dick Foran

Actor | Fort Apache

Dick Foran was the matinée idol of the B movies. He started as a band singer and then sang on the radio. He was hired by Warner Brothers as a supporting actor who could croon a tune when called upon. His good looks and good natured personality made him a natural choice for the supporting cast. His ...

63. Cecil Kellaway

Actor | Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Though a native of South Africa, Cecil Kellaway spent many years as an actor, author and director in Australian live theatre until he tried his luck in Hollywood in the 1930s. Finding he could get only gangster bit parts, he got discouraged and returned to Australia. Then William Wyler called and ...

64. Peggy Moran

Actress | The Mummy's Hand

Mary Jeanette Moran was born in Clinton, Iowa. The daughter of Louise Moran, a dancer with the famous Denishawn Dancers, and the celebrated artist Earl Moran, whose paintings graced many a barracks wall during World War II. One of Earl's favorite models was Norma Jean Baker, who later changed her ...

65. 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 ...

66. Eduardo Ciannelli

Actor | Foreign Correspondent

Eduardo Ciannelli was born on the beautiful island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, which is renowned for its thermal baths. His father, a physician, owned a health spa there and Eduardo briefly followed the same career path and studied medicine at the University of Naples, graduating as a fully ...

67. Tom Tyler

Actor | Stagecoach

Popular American star of silent and early sound Westerns and serials. Raised in Michigan, he went through a number of strenuous jobs (sailor, boxer lumberjack, coal miner, etc.) before landing in Los Angeles and getting work as a movie extra and stuntman. His good looks and athletic physique (he ...

68. Elyse Knox

Actress | A Wave, a WAC and a Marine

Elyse Knox, the actress best known for starring in The Mummy's Tomb (1942) and for being Heisman Award-winner Tom Harmon s wife and actor Mark Harmon's mother, was born Elsie Lillian Kornbrath on December 14, 1917 in Hartford, Connecticut, to Austrian parents Hermine Sophie (Muck) and Frederick ...

69. Vincent Price

Actor | Laura

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 ...

70. Nan Grey

Actress | Three Smart Girls

Born as Eschal Loleet Grey Miller in 1918, Nan Grey was an actress who worked for Universal and other studios in the 1930s. She is probably best remembered for her work in the two Deanna Durbin movies, Three Smart Girls (1936) and Three Smart Girls Grow Up (1939). Other than the Durbin vehicles, ...

71. John Sutton

Actor | The Three Musketeers

Of British parentage, John Sutton was born in Rawalpindi, India (now part of Pakistan), on October 22, 1908. After graduating from Wellington College, he spent a decade or so working in various British colonies, including several in Africa, as a hunter, rancher and tea plantation manager. An avid ...

72. Alan Napier

Actor | Marnie

Alan Napier was born on January 7, 1903 in Kings Norton, Worcestershire, England. Tall, distinguished-looking English character actor with aristocratic bearing and precisely modulated voice. A cousin of the former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, he studied at the Royal Academy of ...

73. Jon Hall

Actor | Invisible Agent

Handsome, athletic leading man Jon Hall was the son of actor Felix Locher and a Tahitian princess. Hall was married three times, two of which were to entertainers: singer Frances Langford and actress Raquel Torres. His third wife was a psychiatrist. They married in 1969 and lived in Los Angeles ...

74. Leon Errol

Actor | Higher and Higher

Leon Errol was born on July 3, 1881 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia as Leonce Errol Simms. He was an actor, known for Higher and Higher (1943), The Girl from Mexico (1939) and The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944). He was married to Stella Bertha Nelson (aka Stella Chatelaine, dancer). He died ...

75. Alan Curtis

Actor | Phantom Lady

Attractive Hollywood leading man (and sometime villain) from the late 30s until his death following surgery, Alan Curtis (Harry Ueberroth) was born 24 July 1909 in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in that area and in the early 1930s became a model, appearing in many magazine and newspaper ...

76. Evelyn Ankers

Actress | The Wolf Man

Evelyn Ankers, a beautiful movie actress who was a staple of Universal's horror films in the 1940s, was born in Chile to English parents in 1918. Her parents repatriated the family back to England in the 1920s, and it was in Old Blighty that Ankers developed a desire to become an actress.

She began ...

77. 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 ...

78. Frances Drake

Actress | Mad Love

Frances Drake was born on October 22, 1912 in New York City, New York, USA as Frances Dean. She was an actress, known for Mad Love (1935), The Invisible Ray (1936) and Les Misérables (1935). She was married to David Brown and Lt. Cecil John Arthur Howard. She died on January 18, 2000 in ...

79. Virginia Bruce

Actress | The Invisible Woman

American leading lady of the 1930s and 1940s, Virginia Bruce was born in Minnesota but grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, and came to California to attend college. Her blond good looks got her an entry into films, and after a few extra roles and bit parts she began to make serious inroads as a leading...

80. John Barrymore

Actor | Twentieth Century

John Barrymore was born John Sidney Blyth on February 15, 1882 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An American stage and screen actor whose rise to superstardom and subsequent decline is one of the legendary tragedies of Hollywood. A member of the most famous generation of the most famous theatrical ...

81. Oskar Homolka

Actor | The Seven Year Itch

Because of his heavy generically "European" accent and Slavic-sounding surname (not an uncommon one among Czechs or Slovaks), many people assumed Oscar Homolka was Eastern European or Russian. In fact, he was born in Vienna (then Austria-Hungary), the multicultural capital of a large multi-ethnic ...

82. Josephine Hutchinson

Actress | North by Northwest

As a child she studied at Seattle's Cornish School. Still in her early twenties, after several years of stock work in New York, she joined Eva Le Gallienne's Civic Repertory Theater where she won critical praise for her title role in "Alice in Wonderland." She came to Hollywood in 1934 under ...

83. Warren William

Actor | Employees' Entrance

Warren William, the stalwart leading man of pre-Production Code talkies, was born Warren William Krech on December 2, 1894 in Aitkin, Minnesota, the son of a newspaper publisher. William originally planned to become a journalist, but he had a change of heart, and instead went to the American ...

84. Gladys Cooper

Actress | My Fair Lady

Gladys Cooper was the daughter of journalist William Frederick Cooper and his wife Mabel Barnett. As a child she was very striking and was used as a photographic model beginning at six years old. She wanted to become an actress and started on that road in 1905 after being discovered by Seymour ...

85. 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 ...

86. 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 ...

87. Hugh Herbert

Actor | Sh! The Octopus

Former stage actor and playwright - he wrote over 150 plays and vaudeville sketches - Hugh Herbert went in the early 30s to Hollywood as comedian. In the 30s he worked mostly for Warner, impersonating often eccentric millionaires, tycoons and dimwitted professors, in a few movies he collaborated on...

88. Marian Marsh

Actress | Svengali

One of the early sound era's most attractive young leading ladies, doll-faced Marian Marsh enjoyed a short yet significant film career as the star of several memorable 1930s melodramas opposite some of the cinema's best, most charismatic lead actors. Her youthful, wide-eyed innocence combined with ...

89. Katherine DeMille

Actress | Black Gold

A dark, exotic beauty, Katherine DeMille was a fascinating screen presence in the 1930s and 1940s. She was born in Canada to a Scottish schoolteacher, Edward Gabriel Lester, and his Italian-Swiss wife, Cecile Bianca Bertha (Colani) Lester. Her father was killed in France during World War I, and her...

90. 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 ...

91. Irene Ware

Actress | Chandu the Magician

One of the many "also rans" or "might-have-beens" in 1930's Hollywood was a blonde beauty queen of Swedish/Austrian ancestry, named Irene Ware. She was actually born Irene Ahlberg in Pelham, New York and first plied her trade as a stenographer before other endeavours piqued her interest. Aged ...

92. Robert Armstrong

Actor | King Kong

Robert Armstrong is familiar to old-movie buffs for his case-hardened, rapid-fire delivery in such roles as fast-talking promoters, managers, FBI agents, street cops, detectives and other such characters in scores of films--over 160--many of them at Warner Brothers, where he was part of the ...

93. Bruce Cabot

Actor | King Kong

Hollywood stalwart Bruce Cabot's main claim to fame, other than rescuing Fay Wray from King Kong (1933), is that he tested for the lead role of The Ringo Kid in John Ford's Western masterpiece Stagecoach (1939). John Wayne got the role and became the most durable star in Hollywood history, while ...

94. Frank Reicher

Actor | King Kong

Though most famous as Capt. Englehorn, the ship captain who carried the expedition to an island to capture the great ape in King Kong (1933)--and its sequel, Son of Kong (1933)--Frank Reicher had a long history as a stage actor and director, and film director, prior to his "Kong" appearances, and in...

95. Helen Mack

Actress | His Girl Friday

Helen Mack started her career in movies at the age of ten, and by the time she was 13 was performing in vaudeville. Her acting career didn't blossom until the 1930s, when she made a name for herself as one of the movie's best criers. She had many leading roles opposite such actors as Lee Tracy, ...

96. Terry Moore

Actress | Come Back, Little Sheba

Born Helen Luella Koford on January 7, 1929, the Los Angeles, California, native worked as a model before she made her film debut at age 11 in 20th Century-Fox's Maryland (1940). Throughout the 1940s she worked under a variety of names (her own, Judy Ford and January Ford) before settling on Terry ...

97. Ben Johnson

Actor | The Last Picture Show

Born in Oklahoma, Ben Johnson was a ranch hand and rodeo performer when, in 1940, Howard Hughes hired him to take a load of horses to California. He decided to stick around (the pay was good), and for some years was a stunt man, horse wrangler, and double for such stars as John Wayne, Gary Cooper ...

98. Douglas Fowley

Actor | Singin' in the Rain

He was born in the Bronx, New York. As a young man, he moved to Los Angeles and studied at Los Angeles City College. He served in the Navy during World War II. Fowley played everything from cowboys to gangsters, appearing alongside stars like Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly ...

99. Frank McHugh

Actor | All Through the Night

The parents of Frank McHugh ran their own stock company and he was on the stage as a child. When he was 10 he was part of an act that include his brother Matt McHugh and sister Kitty McHugh. After vaudeville and other stock companies, Frank debuted on Broadway "The Fall Guy" (1925). In 1930 he was ...

100. Albert Dekker

Actor | The Wild Bunch

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 ...



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