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Broderick Crawford

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Also Known As: William Broderick Crawford Died: April 26, 1986
Born: December 9, 1911 Cause of Death: complications from stroke
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: actor, vaudevillian, radio performer, stevedore, seaman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Hard-drinking, fast-talking character actor legend Broderick Crawford received his start on stage and gained significant attention via his performance as the mentally challenged Lennie in "Of Mice and Men" (1937-38). Motion picture roles followed, but he would not attain genuine notoriety in that medium until 1949, thanks to a bravura, Oscar-winning turn as corrupt politician Willy Stark in "All the King's Men" (1949). Crawford was soon also able to display rarely showcased comedic talent as the gangster antagonist of the smash Judy Holliday vehicle "Born Yesterday" (1950). With his roughhewn features and gravelly voice, Crawford made for an offbeat leading man in superior, small-scale productions like "The Mob" (1951) and "Scandal Sheet" (1952), but his most popular credit of the time was the hit television series "Highway Patrol" (syndicated, 1955-59). While he continued to act for more than 20 years after that program finished its run, Crawford never regained the same degree of bankability. Paycheck jobs in a small horde of second- and third-rate movies, coupled with the actor's longstanding drinking problem, also lowered his stock in the industry. That said, he continued to score roles right into...

Hard-drinking, fast-talking character actor legend Broderick Crawford received his start on stage and gained significant attention via his performance as the mentally challenged Lennie in "Of Mice and Men" (1937-38). Motion picture roles followed, but he would not attain genuine notoriety in that medium until 1949, thanks to a bravura, Oscar-winning turn as corrupt politician Willy Stark in "All the King's Men" (1949). Crawford was soon also able to display rarely showcased comedic talent as the gangster antagonist of the smash Judy Holliday vehicle "Born Yesterday" (1950). With his roughhewn features and gravelly voice, Crawford made for an offbeat leading man in superior, small-scale productions like "The Mob" (1951) and "Scandal Sheet" (1952), but his most popular credit of the time was the hit television series "Highway Patrol" (syndicated, 1955-59). While he continued to act for more than 20 years after that program finished its run, Crawford never regained the same degree of bankability. Paycheck jobs in a small horde of second- and third-rate movies, coupled with the actor's longstanding drinking problem, also lowered his stock in the industry. That said, he continued to score roles right into his seventies and was rarely off the mark. While there were no shortage of tough guys in Golden Age Hollywood, Crawford had remarkable presence that he could augment with a tangible intelligence when portraying both violent underworld thugs and esteemed authority figures.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Liar's Moon (1982)
3.
 Harlequin (1980) Doc Wheelan
4.
 A Little Romance (1979) Himself
5.
 There Goes the Bride (1979) Gas Station Attendant
6.
 Private Files Of J. Edgar Hoover, The (1977) J Edgar Hoover
7.
 Mayday At 40,000 Feet! (1976) Marshal Riese
9.
 The Phantom of Hollywood (1974) Captain O'Neal
10.
 Terror In The Wax Museum (1974) Burns
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Became a seaman and stevedore, then a NYC radio actor and stooge for the Marx Brothers
1932:
London stage debut as football player in "She Loves Me Not"
1935:
Broadway debut in "Point Valaine" starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne
:
Performance on stage in "Punches and Judy" won him a film contract with Samuel Goldwyn
1937:
Film debut, "Woman Chases Man"
1937:
Left Hollywood for stage; starred on Broadway as Lennie in "Of Mice and Men"
1942:
Joined Army Air Force and served overseas for 18 months, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge
1952:
TV debut on Video Theatre's "Hunt the Man Down"
1955:
TV series debut as Chief Dan Matthews on "Highway Patrol"
:
Starred on TV series, "The Interns"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Harvard University: Cambridge , Massachusetts -
Dean Academy: -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Kay Griffith. Singer, radio performer. Married c. 1940; divorced in 1955; mother of Crawford's two children.

Family close complete family listing

mother:
Helen Broderick. Actor, comedienne, music performer.
father:
Lester Crawford. Vaudevillian.
son:
Kelly Griffith Crawford. Born on July 26, 1951.
child:
Kim Crawford.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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