E. G. Marshall


Actor
E. G. Marshall

About

Also Known As
Edda Gunnar Marshall, Everett G. Marshall
Birth Place
Owatonna, Minnesota, USA
Born
June 18, 1910
Died
August 24, 1998

Biography

One of New York's premier actors and an original member of the storied Actor's Studio, E.G. Marshall earned his reputation on Broadway in "The Skin of Our Teeth" (1942-43), "Jacobowsky and the Colonel" (1944-45), and "The Iceman Cometh" (1946-47). Movie roles followed, but it would be a decade before he really made his name, thanks to films like "The Caine Mutiny" (1954) and, particularl...

Photos & Videos

Family & Companions

Helen Wolf
Wife
Married on April 26, 1939; divorced in 1953.
Judith Marshall
Wife
Second wife; survived him.

Notes

Most sources give 1910 as the year of Mr. Marshall's birth but in a 1997 interview he insisted he was born in 1914 as did his family at the time of his death.

Mr. Marshall never publicly revealed what his initials stood for. Although reference books claim the 'E' was for Everett, Mr. Marshall's son-in-law was quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES obituary as saying that even family members were not sure what the initials represented. the London TIMES obituary (August 28, 1998) claimed his initials stood for Edda Gunnar; the first name from a Norse myth and the second after a Norse king.

Biography

One of New York's premier actors and an original member of the storied Actor's Studio, E.G. Marshall earned his reputation on Broadway in "The Skin of Our Teeth" (1942-43), "Jacobowsky and the Colonel" (1944-45), and "The Iceman Cometh" (1946-47). Movie roles followed, but it would be a decade before he really made his name, thanks to films like "The Caine Mutiny" (1954) and, particularly, "12 Angry Men" (1957). The classic legal drama cast the actor as Juror No. 4, who provided the prime opposition to Henry Fonda's dissenting opinion in a murder case. One of Marshall's strengths as a performer was the intelligent authority he brought to parts and that quality was on display on "The Defenders" (CBS, 1961-65), where he and Robert Reed portrayed father and son attorneys who often took on controversial cases that challenged the television norms of the era. When the program finished its run, Marshall continued to act in motion pictures and was beloved amongst radio fans for his hosting duties on "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" (CBS, 1974-1982). While "The Defenders" had a comparatively short four-season run, it remained in the public consciousness to the point where Marshall was brought back for a pair of TV movie revivals almost four decades later. Widely respected for his work in four mediums, Marshall was both a commanding and enduring figure during the majority of his six-decade career and ranked among the more beloved character actors of all time.

Although he insisted in interviews that E.G. Marshall was his actual birth name, Marshall was actually born either Everett Eugene Grunz or Edda Gunnar Grunz on June 18, 1914 in Owatonna, MN. As with that bit of subterfuge, the details of his early life were also somewhat sketchy. Marshall reportedly had his first acting experience as a child in school and church plays and claimed to have attended the University of Minnesota and Carlton College. However, the historical record stated that Marshall's higher education experience was restricted to St. Paul's Mechanic Arts High School and he apparently did not stay long enough to earn a diploma. During the 1930s, he performed Shakespeare for a time with the American Art Theatre before heading to New York City in hopes of finding local acting work. After several lean years and various jobs - including employment at the 1939 World's Fair - Marshall made his first appearance on Broadway as an elderly seaman in the play "Jason" (1942) and also acted in "The Skin of Our Teeth" (1942-43) and "Jacobowsky and the Colonel" (1944-45). Summer stock also helped Marshall pay the bills and his perseverance and obvious ability eventually led to movie offers.

Marshall made his screen debut via an uncredited appearance in "The House on 92nd Street" (1945), which was filmed on the streets of New York City, but his main focus remained stage work, including a part in the Broadway hit "The Iceman Cometh" (1946-47). In 1948, Marshall was one of the earliest members of the Actors Studio, the New York-based group that emphasized "Method" acting and counted Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger amongst its distinguished alumni. Marshall next appeared in a quartet of Broadway plays with abbreviated runs, but like other veteran stager performers, he found many opportunities on the fledgling medium of television. In addition to appearing on several live dramatic anthologies, including "Actor's Studio" (ABC/CBS, 1948-1950), the group's television offshoot, and "The Philco Television Playhouse" (NBC, 1948-55), he embodied such noteworthy figures as Thomas Jefferson and George Washington on the historical dramatic series "You Are There" (CBS, 1953-57). Additional stage work came Marshall's way with "The Crucible" (1953) and "The Gambler" (1953), but his motion picture career also began to flourish during this period and he graced such major pictures as "The Caine Mutiny" (1954), starring Humphrey Bogart, "Broken Lance" (1954), and "The Mountain" (1956).

In 1957, Marshall had his most famous big screen turn as Juror No. 4 in the classic courtroom drama "12 Angry Men." The superb ensemble cast included such other veteran New York thespians as Jack Warden, Lee J. Cobb and Martin Balsam, with Marshall providing the staunchest opposition to sole holdout Henry Fonda, who is convinced that the man on trial is innocent. The picture's acclaim kept Marshall busy with movie assignments, including Anthony Quinn's sole directorial outing "The Buccaneer" (1958) and the Leopold-Loeb murder thriller "Compulsion" (1959), which found him playing an attorney, a profession that would soon figure prominently on his résumé. Back on the small screen, Marshall landed yet another of his signature parts on "The Defenders" (CBS, 1961-65). Though the pilot did not perform well, CBS decided to greenlight the series, which soon found critical and audience support. Marshall starred with future "Brady Bunch" veteran Robert Reed as a team of father and son lawyers, whose cases sometimes involved hot-button social issues of the time, including abortion, censorship and euthanasia. Viewer controversy also arose from the use of female and African American judges in some episodes. During its successful four-season run, Marshall received a pair of Emmy Awards, though he stated later in the life that such prizes were really only important in that they boosted the program's ratings.

After the show wrapped, Marshall restarted his film career with a starkly different assignment as a vicious racist in "The Chase" (1966) and was back on Broadway in the Neil Simon smash "Plaza Suite" (1968-1970) as a replacement for George C. Scott. However, it was not long before Marshall returned to series television duties in another time-honored profession as a regular cast member of "The Bold Ones: The New Doctors" (NBC, 1969-1973). In between his obligations on that program, he essayed military men in the large scale World War II actioners "The Bridge at Remagen" (1969) and "Tora! Tora! Tora!" (1970). During this time, he also began a multi-year stint as the host of the suspense program "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" (CBS, 1974-1982) and stepped in for original star Hume Cronyn in the Broadway hit "The Gin Game" (1977-78). In addition to various made-for-television features, Marshall tackled a diverse selection of film parts, making appearances in everything from the mostly unreleased "Billy Jack Goes to Washington" (1977) to Woody Allen's "Interiors" (1978) to playing the President of the United States briefly in "Superman II" (1980). The actor made his Broadway swan song in the title role of Henrik Ibsen's "John Gabriel Borkman" (1980-81) and entertained horror fans as a cleanliness-obsessed businessman whose sterile abode is invaded by an army of cockroaches in "They're Creeping Up on You," the closing segment of the E.C. Comics-inspired anthology "Creepshow" (1982).

He returned to the New York stage in "She Stoops to Conquer" (1984) and helped to elevate the uneven Richard Gere thriller "Power" (1986). Meanwhile, cable viewers were able to see him in Robert Altman's keen political satire "Tanner '88" (HBO, 1988) as the disagreeable father of Michael Murphy's candidate. By now very accustomed to portraying military leaders, Marshall proved to be well cast as General Dwight D. Eisenhower in the blockbuster miniseries "War and Remembrance" (ABC, 1988). Parts also came for Marshall in more offbeat fare, including a turn as Chevy Chase's father-in-law in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989), and he reunited with "Creepshow" director George A. Romero for the American/Italian co-production "Two Evil Eyes" (1990) In the final years of his life, Marshall briefly joined the cast of "Chicago Hope" (CBS, 1994-2000) and had supporting assignments in Oliver Stone's "Nixon" (1995) and the Clint Eastwood thriller "Absolute Power" (1997), which turned out to be Marshall's last motion picture. His final onscreen acting credit was in "The Defenders: Choice of Evils" (Showtime, 1998), one of two "Defenders" revival features produced many years after the show's original run. Marshall succumbed to lung cancer on Aug. 24, 1998.

By John Charles

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

The Defenders: Choice of Evils (1998)
Lawrence Preston
Absolute Power (1997)
Miss Evers' Boys (1997)
Senate Chairman
Defenders, The: Payback (1997)
Nixon (1995)
Russian Holiday (1993)
Consenting Adults (1992)
Two Evil Eyes (1991)
Ironclads (1991)
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
Hijacking Of The Achille Lauro (1989)
Stan Kubacki
La Gran Fiesta (1987)
Judge Cropper
My Chauffeur (1986)
Witherspoon
Power (1986)
Senator Sam Hastings
John Steinbeck's "The Winter of Our Discontent" (1983)
Saigon - Year of the Cat (1983)
Creepshow (1982)
Eleanor, First Lady of the World (1982)
The Phoenix (1981)
Dr Wardrobe Frazier
Superman II (1981)
Disaster On The Coastliner (1979)
Vampire (1979)
Harry Kilcoyne
Interiors (1978)
Billy Jack Goes to Washington (1976)
Independence (1976)
Narrator
Collision Course (1976)
President Harry S Truman
The Abduction of Saint Anne (1975)
Bishop Francis Paul Logan
Money to Burn (1973)
Jed Finnegan
Pursuit (1972)
The Pursuit of Happiness (1971)
Daniel Lawrence
Ellery Queen: Don't Look Behind You (1971)
Dr Cazalis
The City (1971)
Sheridan Hugotor
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Lieut. Col. Rufus S. Bratton
The Bridge at Remagen (1969)
Brigadier General Shinner
Is Paris Burning? (1966)
Intelligence Officer Powell [see note]
The Chase (1966)
Val Rogers
Town Without Pity (1961)
Maj. Jerome Pakenham
Cash McCall (1960)
Winston Conway
Compulsion (1959)
State's Attorney Harold Horn
The Buccaneer (1959)
Governor [William] Claiborne
12 Angry Men (1957)
Juror 4
The Bachelor Party (1957)
Walter
Man on Fire (1957)
Sam Dunstock
The Mountain (1956)
Solange
The Scarlet Hour (1956)
Lt. Jennings
The Bamboo Prison (1955)
Father Francis Dolan
The Silver Chalice (1955)
Ignatius
The Left Hand of God (1955)
Dr. Dave Sigman
Pushover (1954)
Lt. Carl Eckstrom
The Caine Mutiny (1954)
Lt. Cmdr. Challee
Broken Lance (1954)
The governor
Diplomatic Courier (1952)
MP driving jeep
Anything Can Happen (1952)
Immigration officer
Call Northside 777 (1948)
Rayska
Untamed Fury (1947)
Pompano
13 Rue Madeleine (1947)
Emile
The House on 92nd Street (1945)
Attendant at morgue

Cast (Special)

Walker Evans/America (2000)
Narrator
50 Years of Television: A Celebration of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Golden Anniversary (1997)
Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud (1996)
Voice
The Way West (1995)
Voice
Messengers From Moscow (1995)
Narrator
A CAPITOL FOURTH -- 1993 (1993)
This Was America... 1963 (1993)
Host
This Was America... 1968 (1993)
Host
NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT (1993)
Earth and the American Dream (1993)
Voice
George Marshall and the American Century (1993)
Narration
A CAPITOL FOURTH -- 1992 (1992)
Lincoln (1992)
Voice
Realm of the Serpent (1992)
Narration
A CAPITOL FOURTH -- 1991 (1991)
Arctic Wars (1990)
Narrator
National Memorial Day Concert (1990)
A Capitol Fourth 1990 (1990)
Elephant (1989)
Narrator
Black Forest Journey (1989)
Host
A Capitol Fourth 1989 (1989)
Tanner '88: Something Borrowed, Something New (1988)
Jack'S Father
The Explorers: A Century of Discovery (1988)
Narration
Tanner '88: Moonwalker and Bookbag (1988)
A Capitol Fourth -- 1987 (1987)
The Blessings of Liberty (1987)
Ike (1986)
Dwight D Eisenhower
A Capitol Fourth -- 1986 (1986)
Born of Fire (1983)
Narrator
The Thames (1982)
The Show Must Go On (1982)
Host
The Sharks (1982)
Polar Bear Alert (1982)
Egypt: Quest for Eternity (1982)
Gorilla (1981)
Narrator
The Little Foxes (1956)
Oscar Hubbard

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All (1994)
Professor Taw
Stephen King's The Tommyknockers (1993)
Emma: Queen of the South Seas (1988)
At Mother's Request (1987)
Kennedy (1983)
Vanished (1971)
The Poppy Is Also a Flower (1966)
Jones

Life Events

1932

Began professional career on radio in St. Paul, Chicago, and Minneapolis

1933

Left his home in Minneapolis to join the Oxford Players, a traveling Shakespearean company that toured the South and Southwest

1945

Film debut, "The House on 92nd Street"

1946

Featured performer on the radio series, "Theatre Guild on the Air"

1954

First of four film performances for director Edward Dmytryk, "Broken Lance"

1956

Appeared in the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" presentation of "The Little Foxes" on NBC

1957

Breakthrough feature supporting role, Fourth Juror in Sidney Lumet's "Twelve Angry Men"

1966

TV-movie debut, "The Poppy Is Also a Flower", an ABC drama produced by the United Nations to teach about the drug menace

1972

TV debut as a host/narrator, "American Lifestyle", a syndicated documentary series; the first of 20 such credits in as many years

1981

Narrated seven episodes of "The Gangster Chronicles", an NBC miniseries

1981

Played the recurring role of Henri Denault on the popular CBS primetime soap, "Falcon Crest" (date approximate)

1982

Starred in a segment of the anthology horror film "Creepshow"; first collaboration with horror auteur George Romero

1982

Cast as Ward Frazier on "The Phoenix", a short-lived ABC sci-fi series

1988

Portrayed the father of candidate Tanner in Robert Altman's HBO miniseries, "Tanner '88"

1994

Appeared as part of the distinguished ensemble of "Chicago Hope", a CBS medical drama

1997

Featured in "Absolute Power"; final film performance

Photo Collections

12 Angry Men - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from 12 Angry Men (1957), starring Henry Fonda. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
The Bachelor Party - Movie Poster
The Bachelor Party - Movie Poster

Videos

Movie Clip

Broken Lance (1954) - The Governor Wants To See You Emerging from a deep dark prison to 20th Century-Fox Cinemascope Technicolor, Robert Wagner as Joe Devereaux gets escorted (by John Epper) to the see the governor at the state capitol, stopping to gaze at a portrait of his dad (Spencer Tracy), opening Edward Dmytryk’s burly Western Broken Lance, 1954.
Interiors (1978) - As Direct As Possible Beginning with Renata (Diane Keaton) and her unseen analyst, we jump to father Arthur (E.G. Marshall) breaking big news to her sister Joey (Mary Beth Hurt) and their mother Eve (Geraldine Page) in Woody Allen's Bergman-influenced Interiros, 1978.
Interiors (1978) - An Enormous Abyss Coming from the opening credits, writer-director Woody Allen leaps into the existential void, with Arthur (E.G. Marshall) reflecting on his marriage, and daughters (Diane Keaton, Mary Beth Hurt), in Interiors, 1978.
Interiors (1978) - As Good As I've Seen You After their separation, Arthur (E.G. Marshall) visits Eve (Geraldine Page), who takes desperate action, leading to testy conversation with his daughter Renata (Diane Keaton) in Woody Allen's Interiors, 1978.
Left Hand Of God, The (1955) - His Immortal Soul We know only that Humphrey Bogart is packing a gun and dressed as a priest, as he arrives at a mission in China, 1947, greeted by the Sigman's (E.G. Marshall, Agnes Moorehead) and nurse "Scotty" (Gene Tierney), early in The Left Hand Of God, 1955, also starring Lee J. Cobb.
Journey, The (1959) - Russian Clocks Sometimes Very Slow After credits establishing Budapest, during the 1956 Hungarian uprising, Robert Morley the English correspondent stranded in an airport, with fellows David Kossoff, Gèrard Oury and E.G. Marshall, Russian-born Anatole Litvak producing and directing, in The Journey, 1959, starring Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner and Jason Robards Jr.
Journey, The (1959) - Wanna Play War? Excepting one earlier shot, the feature debut of Jason Robards Jr., his character’s identity not quite revealed, except that he’s traveling with English aristocrat Deborah Kerr, who’s recognized by journalist Deverill (Robert Morley), then meeting American E.G. Marshall and family (sons Flip Mark and “Ronny” Howard, wife Anne Jackson), all stranded at the Budapest airport during the 1956 Hungarian uprising, in Anatole Litvak’s The Journey, 1959.
Journey, The (1959) - We'd Better Speak English Robert Morley is the English journalist leading a group of foreigners escaping Hungary by bus during the 1956 uprising, Yul Brynner the just-introduced Russian district commander, Anne Jackson and E.G. Marshall an American couple (Ron Howard one of their sons!), Deborah Kerr as Lady Ashmore, traveling officially alone, in The Journey, 1959.
12 Angry Men (1957) - Lucky To Get A Murder The end of director Sidney Lumet's opening scene in the jury room, one take running over six minutes, Jack Klugman, Ed Begley, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Robert Webber, Henry Fonda, Jack Warden, E.G. Marshall, George Voscovec among the speakers, from 12 Angry Men, 1957.
12 Angry Men - It's The Same Knife! Juror 4 (E.G. Marshall) is making up a point leading up to the dramatic moment when Juror 8 (Henry Fonda) pulls out his identical switchblade, in a famous scene from Sidney Lumet's 12 Angry Men, 1957.
Bachelor Party, The (1957) - We're From Terre Haute Well-lubricated and rolling down 6th Avenue, the party (Philip Abbott, Larry Blyden, E.G. Marshall, Jack Weston as "Eddie" and Don Murray as "Charlie"), New Yorkers all, encounters Carolyn Jones, credited only as "the existentialist," in writer Paddy Chayefsky's The Bachelor Party, 1957.
Bachelor Party, The (1957) - These Two Frauleins Writer Paddy Chayefsky's main event now in full swing, E.G. Marshall as Walter and Larry Blyden as Ken in the first rank, Don Murray and Jack Weston as Charlie and Eddie in the second, Philip Abbott as the honoree Arnold, in The Bachelor Party, 1957, directed by Delbert Mann.

Trailer

Chase, The - (Original Trailer) A convict's escape ignites passions in his hometown in The Chase (1966) starring Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda and Robert Redford.
Buccaneer, The (1958) - (Original Trailer) French pirate Jean Lafitte (Yul Brynner) tries to redeem his name helping the U.S. in the War of 1812 in Anthony Quinn's The Buccaneer (1958).
Bamboo Prison, The - (Original Trailer) An undercover agent investigates atrocities at a Korean P.O.W. camp in The Bamboo Prison (1955).
12 Angry Men - (Original Trailer) Henry Fonda is the lone holdout against convicting a Puerto Rican youth in the jury duty drama 12 Angry Men (1957).
Interiors - (Original Trailer) Three sisters fight to adjust to their parents' divorce and their father's re-marriage in Interiors (1978), directed by Woody Allen and starring Diane Keaton, Geraldine Page, E.G. Marshall and Maureen Stapleton.
Compulsion - (Original Trailer) Two wealthy law-school students go on trial for murder in Compulsion (1959) based on the true story of the Leopold-Loeb case.
13 Rue Madeleine - (Original Trailer) Tragedy occurs when a spy chief finds out one of his agents-in-training is actually a Nazi double agent in 13 Rue Madeleine (1947).
Superman II - (Original Trailer) Superman gives up his powers just as visitors arrive, three super-powered villains from Krypton, in Superman II (1980).
Mountain, The - (Black-and-white trailer) Brother mountain climbers clash over how to deal with the survivor of a plane crash in The Mountain (1956).
Cash McCall - (Original Trailer) A corporate spoiler (James Garner) makes a play for a failing company and the owner's daughter in Cash McCall (1960).
Call Northside 777 - (Re-issue Trailer) A Chicago reporter (James Stewart) re-opens a ten year old murder case in Call Northside 777 (1948).
Tora! Tora! Tora! - (Original Trailer) The Japanese take advantage of American blunders to launch a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970).

Family

Charles G Marshall
Father
Telephone company employee.
Hazel Irene Marshall
Mother
Jill Marshall
Daughter
Mother, Helen Wolf; survived him.
Degen Marshall
Daughter
Mother, Helen Wolf; survived him.
Samuel Marshall
Son
Mother, Judith Coy; survived him.
Sarah Marshall
Daughter
Mother, Judith Coy; survived him.
Jed Marshall
Son
Mother, Judith Coy; survived him.

Companions

Helen Wolf
Wife
Married on April 26, 1939; divorced in 1953.
Judith Marshall
Wife
Second wife; survived him.

Bibliography

Notes

Most sources give 1910 as the year of Mr. Marshall's birth but in a 1997 interview he insisted he was born in 1914 as did his family at the time of his death.

Mr. Marshall never publicly revealed what his initials stood for. Although reference books claim the 'E' was for Everett, Mr. Marshall's son-in-law was quoted in THE NEW YORK TIMES obituary as saying that even family members were not sure what the initials represented. the London TIMES obituary (August 28, 1998) claimed his initials stood for Edda Gunnar; the first name from a Norse myth and the second after a Norse king.