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John Carradine

John Carradine

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Also Known As: Richmond Reed Carradine, John Peter Richmond, John Peter Richmond, Peter Richmond Died: November 27, 1988
Born: February 5, 1906 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, painter, director, sketch artist, sculptor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Boasting a cadaverous countenance and a mesmeric gaze, John Carradine seemed born to star in horror films, but his roots were in Shakespeare, whose tragedies and histories he memorized as a schoolboy. Hitchhiking west to break into films, Carradine wrestled a contract out of 20th Century Fox but did his best work for other studios, notably with director John Ford in "Stagecoach" (1939), "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1940), and the Academy Award-winning "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). A free agent during World War II, Carradine played Nazi thugs and mad scientists with equal aplomb while inheriting the Dracula cape from Bela Lugosi for "House of Frankenstein" (1944) and "House of Dracula" (1945), cementing a lifelong association with fright films. Marrying often, often unwisely, Carradine was plagued for decades by alimony, child support and IRS debts, forcing him to work indiscriminately in such dreck as "The Black Sleep" (1956), "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula" (1966), and "Blood of Dracula's Castle" (1969) while he provided for a veritable acting dynasty that included sons David, Keith, and Robert Carradine. Hobbled by arthritis in old age, Carradine labored exhaustively with few quality films to his credit,...

Boasting a cadaverous countenance and a mesmeric gaze, John Carradine seemed born to star in horror films, but his roots were in Shakespeare, whose tragedies and histories he memorized as a schoolboy. Hitchhiking west to break into films, Carradine wrestled a contract out of 20th Century Fox but did his best work for other studios, notably with director John Ford in "Stagecoach" (1939), "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1940), and the Academy Award-winning "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). A free agent during World War II, Carradine played Nazi thugs and mad scientists with equal aplomb while inheriting the Dracula cape from Bela Lugosi for "House of Frankenstein" (1944) and "House of Dracula" (1945), cementing a lifelong association with fright films. Marrying often, often unwisely, Carradine was plagued for decades by alimony, child support and IRS debts, forcing him to work indiscriminately in such dreck as "The Black Sleep" (1956), "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula" (1966), and "Blood of Dracula's Castle" (1969) while he provided for a veritable acting dynasty that included sons David, Keith, and Robert Carradine. Hobbled by arthritis in old age, Carradine labored exhaustively with few quality films to his credit, with the exceptions being Joe Dante's whip-smart horror satire "The Howling" (1981) and Francis Ford Coppola's lyrical "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986). At the time of his death in 1988, Carradine was effectively homeless and forgotten by Hollywood, but had long been immortalized in the hearts of horror film fans for making light of humanity's dark side.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Buried Alive (1990) Jacob
3.
 Evil Spawn (1987) Dr Zeitman
4.
 Monster in the Closet (1987) Old Joe
5.
 Tomb, The (1986) Mr Androheb
6.
 Revenge (1986) Senator Bradford
7.
 Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) Leo
8.
 Evils of the Night (1985) Leader
9.
 Prison Ship (1984) The Justice
10.
 Ice Pirates, The (1984) Supreme Commander
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1925:
Stage acting debut in "Camille" (New Orleans)
1930:
Film debut (under the name Peter Richmond) in "Tol'able David"
1935:
Acted as John Peter Richmond or Peter Richmond; changed professional name to John Carradine
1940:
Had memorable supporting role in "The Grapes of Wrath"
1945:
NY stage debut, "My Dear Children"
1945:
First played Dracula in "House of Frankenstein"
1949:
TV debut on "NBC Repertory Theatre"
1950:
Starred in title role on TV pilot, "The Adventures of Fu Manchu"
1951:
Hosted syndicated TV series, "Trapped"
1953:
Was a regular on TV series, "My Sister Irma"
1962:
Appeared on Broadway in the Stephen Sondheim musical, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
1969:
Made TV movie debut in "Daughter of the Mind" (ABC)
1974:
Stage directing debut, "A Man for All Seasons" at the Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia
1976:
Played Father Hale on TV mini-series, "Captains and the Kings"
1981:
Starred on Broadway in short-lived musical, "Frankenstein" (opened and closed in one night)
1986:
Made final screen appearance in "The Tomb"
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Education

Philadelphia Graphics Art School: Philadelphia , Pennsylvania -
Christ Church School: Kingston , New York -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Ardanelle McCool Cosner. Married 1935, divorced 1944; had son Bruce, from first marriage.
wife:
Sonia Sorel. Actor. Married 1945, divorced 1955; fought a three-year custody battle for their three sons; John Carradine won custody; co-starred with Carradine; mother of Keith, Robert, and Christopher Carradine.
wife:
Doris Irving Rich. Married 1957 until her death in 1971.
wife:
Emily Cisneros. Married 1975 until his death.
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Family close complete family listing

father:
William Reed Carradine. Attorney, poet, AP correspondent.
mother:
Genevieve Winifred Carradine. Surgeon.
son:
Bruce Carradine. Actor. Mother Ardanelle McCool Cosner; adopted.
son:
David Carradine. Actor. Mother Ardanelle McCool Cosner.
son:
Christopher John Carradine. Architect. Born c. 1947 mother Sonia Sorel.
son:
Keith Ian Carradine. Actor. Mother Sonia Sorel.
son:
Robert Reed Carradine. Actor. Mother Sonia Sorel.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"John Carradine: The Films" McFarland

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