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John Ireland

John Ireland

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Also Known As: John Benjamin Ireland Died: March 21, 1992
Born: January 30, 1914 Cause of Death: leukemia
Birth Place: Vancouver, British Columbia, CA Profession: actor, director, professional swimmer, barker

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Tall, lean former professional swimmer who appeared on Broadway and toured in Shakespeare in the late 1930s and early 40s before entering film in the mid-40s. A supporting actor in several notable Westerns including "My Darling Clementine" (1946) and "Red River" (1948) and a lead in small noirs likes "Railroaded" (1947), Ireland was nominated for an Oscar for his forceful performance as the newspaper reporter who evolves from devotee to cynical denouncer of demagogue Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) in "All the King's Men" (1949). A prolific performer in films and early TV, Ireland had made the transition to supporting roles by the mid-50s, playing cynical villains in films like "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (1956), "Spartacus" (1960) and "55 Days at Peking" (1962). By the late 60s he was turning up as the star of B-films and second-rate Italian productions like "The House of the Seven Corpses" (1974), "Salon Kitty" (1976) and "Satan's Cheerleaders" (1977), as well as appearing in big-budget fare such as "The Adventurers" (1970). Ireland regularly returned to the stage throughout his career and co-directed two features in the 1950s: "Outlaw Territory/Hannah Lee" (1953) and "The Fast and the Furious"...

Tall, lean former professional swimmer who appeared on Broadway and toured in Shakespeare in the late 1930s and early 40s before entering film in the mid-40s. A supporting actor in several notable Westerns including "My Darling Clementine" (1946) and "Red River" (1948) and a lead in small noirs likes "Railroaded" (1947), Ireland was nominated for an Oscar for his forceful performance as the newspaper reporter who evolves from devotee to cynical denouncer of demagogue Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) in "All the King's Men" (1949).

A prolific performer in films and early TV, Ireland had made the transition to supporting roles by the mid-50s, playing cynical villains in films like "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (1956), "Spartacus" (1960) and "55 Days at Peking" (1962). By the late 60s he was turning up as the star of B-films and second-rate Italian productions like "The House of the Seven Corpses" (1974), "Salon Kitty" (1976) and "Satan's Cheerleaders" (1977), as well as appearing in big-budget fare such as "The Adventurers" (1970). Ireland regularly returned to the stage throughout his career and co-directed two features in the 1950s: "Outlaw Territory/Hannah Lee" (1953) and "The Fast and the Furious" (1954). He was married to actresses Elaine Sheldon (1940-49), Joanne Dru (1949-56) and Daphne Myrick Cameron (from 1962).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
2.
  Hannah Lee (1953) Director

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Graveyard Story (1990)
3.
 In Vino Veritas (1990) Frank Cerreta
4.
 Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989) Jefferson
5.
 Messenger Of Death (1988) Zenas Beecham
6.
 Bordello (1988) The Judge
8.
 Thunder Run (1986) George Adams
9.
 Tesoro del Amazones, El (1985) Priest
10.
 Martin's Day (1984) Brewer
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Family moved to US when Ireland was a child; grew up in Harlem
:
Branded a deliquent and was sent to reform schools and summer camps
:
Won Canadian swimming Marathon
1935:
Performed underwater stunts and worked as a barker at the Aqua Carnival
1939:
Apprenticed at Robin Hood, Arden, Delaware
1940:
Toured with the Shakespearean Repertory Company
:
Toured with the Irish Repertory Players and Clare Tree Major's Children Theatre
1941:
Broadway stage debut as the First Murderer in "Macbeth"; production starred Maurice Evans and Judith Anderson
1943:
Appeared on Broadway in "Counter Attack", "Doctors Disagree" and "A New Life"
1944:
Signed by Fox, briefly under personal contract to Howard Hawks
1945:
Film debut in "A Walk in the Sun"
1951:
TV debut in "Confession" on Philco Playhouse
1951:
Co-founded Primrose Productions
:
Sued two television producers for breach of contract and slander; accused them of reneging on starring him in the Ellery Queen series during the McCarthy period; Ireland accepted substantial cash settlement
1953:
First film as co-director and co-producer (with Lee Garmes), "Outlaw Territory/Hannah Lee"
1960:
Formed Gamin Productions
1961:
First TV series as regular, "The Cheaters"
1965:
Played Jed Colby on TV series, "Rawhide"
1975:
Opened Ireland's Restaurant in Santa Barbara CA
1982:
Played Lyman "Shack" Shackelford on "Cassie & Company"
1987:
Paid $2,000 for an ad in "Variety" that read, "I'm an actor. PLEASE let me work"; ad netted him a role as Jonathan Cartwright, the younger brother of Ben Cartwright in TV movie, "Bonanza: The Next Generation" (1988)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

"Ugliest of heroes, most attractively-voiced of villains, Ireland had a photogenic physical ambivalence which gave tension to his performances at any point on the moral spectrum."--Tom Rutherford (FILM DOPE, Number 27, July 1983)

Wrote the lyrics to the song "No Head on My Pillow"

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Elaine Sheldon. Actor. Married 1940, divorced 1949; two sons together.
wife:
Joanne Dru. Actor. Second wife; married 1949 divorced 1956.
wife:
Daphne Myrick. Married 1962.

Family close complete family listing

father:
John Ireland. Rancher.
mother:
Katherine Ireland. Educator.
half-brother:
Tommy Noonan. Actor, comedian. Born 1922, died 1968.
half-sister:
Katherine Noonan.
half-brother:
Michael Noonan.
son:
John Ireland Jr. Actor, screenwriter, producer. Born 1942; mother Elaine Sheldon; appeared as an actor in "C'mon, Let's Live a Little" (1967); produced "Slumber Party '57" (1976).
son:
Peter Ireland. Actor. Born 1945; mother Elaine Sheldon.
son:
Cameron Cameron. Mother Daphne Myrick.
daughter:
Daphne Ireland.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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