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John Dennis possessed a familiar face and a prolific career; he appeared in nearly 175 films and TV series, and played everything from wise bartenders to hardened sheriffs. He landed a major role as a vindictive Army sergeant in the 1953 Oscar-winning film "From Here to Eternity" and then worked steadily through the decade in minor films and TV series, most notably appearing as real-life New York gangster Dutch Schultz in the Prohibition crime series "The Lawless Years." Dennis landed a recurring role as a by-the-book police lieutenant on several episodes of the primetime mystery series "Perry Mason," and portrayed lawmen of various rank on shows like the modernized "Dragnet 1967" and the military sitcom "Gomer Pyle, United StatesM.C.." Though his work through the '70s was mainly in TV series like the gritty cop show "Baretta" and the medical drama "Quincy M.E.," Dennis did manage two memorable big-screen roles; he appeared as a straitlaced policeman in "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes," the fourth film in the popular sci-fi series, and portrayed an overworked city employee in the dystopian horror film "Soylent Green."
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