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|Also Known As:||Died:||September 11, 1959|
|Born:||April 11, 1907||Cause of Death:|
|Birth Place:||Profession:||Cast ...|
With his husky build and gruff delivery, actor Paul Douglas was an unlikely choice for a leading man in 1950s Hollywood. A one-time professional footballer and radio sports commentator, Douglas began his acting career on the Broadway stage, earning rave reviews for his performance as tycoon Harry Brock in the original 1946 production of Garson Kanin's "Born Yesterday." He quickly made the transition to feature films in 1949, appearing as the pragmatic Porter Hollingsway in director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's witty social comedy "A Letter to Three Wives" (1949). But Douglas found his true niche in baseball films, and drew upon its explosive personalities to essay loud-mouthed yet ultimately good-natured characters such as catcher Monk Lanigan (1949's "It Happens Every Spring") and manager "Guffy" McGovern (1951's "Angels in the Outfield"). While he continued to be a popular draw for moviegoers well into the 1950s, Douglas made his biggest impact on television later in his career, with memorable guest appearances on programs like "The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," among others. On September 11, 1959, just days after being cast as Jeff Sheldrake on director Billy Wilder's classic 1960 comedy "The Apartment," Paul Douglas died of a heart attack. Douglas's part ultimately went to actor Fred MacMurray.
albatros1 ( 2008-01-18 )
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Paul Douglas (April 11, 1907 - September 11, 1959) was an American movie actor born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 5'11" actor is best remembered by some for two baseball comedy movies, Angels in the Outfield (1951) and It Happens Every Spring (1949). He also played Richard Widmark's police partner in the thriller Panic in the Streets, Porter Hollingsway in A Letter to Three Wives, Sgt. Kowalski in The Big Lift, Josiah Walter Dudley in Executive Suite, Joe Brewster, and the con man turned monk in When in Rome. In 1950, Douglas was the host of the 22nd Annual Academy Awards. Douglas was cast in the 1959 episode of The Twilight Zone called "The Mighty Casey", a role written for him by Rod Serling, based on his character in Angels in the Outfield, but Douglas died the same week the episode was to be filmed. His role was taken over by Jack Warden. He was married five times, last to actress Jan Sterling from 1950 until his death, by whom he had a son, Adams Douglas (1955-2003). Paul Douglas died on September 11, 1959 of a heart attack in Hollywood, California at the age of 52. Director Billy Wilder had just offered him the role of Jeff Sheldrake in the movie The Apartment. Billy Wilder told about this: "I saw him and his wife, Jan Sterling, at a restaurant, and I realized he was perfect, and I asked him right there in the parking lot. About two days before we were to start, he had a heart attack and died.
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