Joel Mccrea


Actor
Joel Mccrea

About

Also Known As
Joel Albert Mccrea
Birth Place
South Pasadena, California, USA
Born
November 05, 1905
Died
October 20, 1990
Cause of Death
Pulmonary Complications (Flu Developed Into Pneumonia)

Biography

Likable, ruggedly handsome figure, a durable star who first made his name in adventures and melodramas of the 1930s. McCrea gave one of his finest performances in Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent" (1940) and brought an amiable, relaxed charm to his comic roles, especially when directed by Preston Sturges in "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) and "The Palm Beach Story" (1942) and by George Ste...

Photos & Videos

One Man's Journey - Pressbook
One Man's Journey - Publicity Stills
Adventure in Manhattan - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Frances Dee
Wife
Actor. Married October, 1933; met while filming "The Silver Cord" (1933); subsequently appeared together in "One Man's Journey" (1933), "Wells Fargo" (1937) and "Four Faces West" (1948).

Bibliography

"Last of the Cowboy Heroes: The Westerns of Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Audie Murphy"
Robert Nott, McFarland (2000)

Notes

"I liked doing comedies, but as I got older I was better suited to do Westerns. Because I think it becomes unattractive for an older fellow trying to look young, falling in love with attractive girls in those kinds of situations...Anyway, I always felt so much more comfortable in the Western. The minute I got a horse and a hat and a pair of boots on, I felt easier. I didn't feel like I was an actor anymore. I felt like I was the guy out there doing it." --Joel McCrea in 1978 interview.

Biography

Likable, ruggedly handsome figure, a durable star who first made his name in adventures and melodramas of the 1930s. McCrea gave one of his finest performances in Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent" (1940) and brought an amiable, relaxed charm to his comic roles, especially when directed by Preston Sturges in "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) and "The Palm Beach Story" (1942) and by George Stevens in "The More the Merrier" (1943). His offhand yet sincere style also kept him much in demand as a lead in "women's pictures" (as they were then called), and McCrea played romantically opposite female divas including Constance Bennett ("Rockabye" 1932), Irene Dunne ("The Silver Cord" 1933), Barbara Stanwyck ("Gambling Lady" 1934), Merle Oberon ("These Three" 1936) and Ginger Rogers ("Primrose Path" 1940)

Although McCrea had starred in a number of Westerns and action pictures in the 30s (e.g., Cecil B. DeMille's "Union Pacific" 1939), beginning with William Wellman's "Buffalo Bill" (1944), McCrea starred primarily in Westerns for the rest of his career. His many horse operas, the best of which included "Colorado Territory" (1949), "Trooper Hook" (1957) and "Ride the High Country" (1962), mirrored his own frontier roots as well as his personal life. A passionate outdoorsman, he listed his occupation as "rancher" and his hobby as "acting." McCrea was married to actress Frances Dee from 1933 until his death; their son Jody McCrea (b. 1934) appeared with him on his TV series "Wichita Town" (1959-60) and in the film "Cry Blood, Apache" (1970).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Mustang Country (1976)
Dan Treego
Great American Cowboy (1973)
Narration
Cry Blood, Apache (1970)
Older Pitcalin
Free Grass (1969)
Agent no. 1
Ride the High Country (1962)
Steve Judd
The Crowning Experience (1960)
Prologue narrator
The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959)
Bat Masterson
Fort Massacre (1958)
Vinson
Cattle Empire (1958)
John Cord
Trooper Hook (1957)
Sgt. Clovis Hook
The Oklahoman (1957)
John [Brighton]
The Tall Stranger (1957)
Ned Bannon
Gunsight Ridge (1957)
Mike Ryan
The First Texan (1956)
Sam Houston
Stranger on Horseback (1955)
Judge Rick Thorne
Wichita (1955)
Wyatt Earp
Border River (1954)
Clete Mattson [also known as Jim Lake]
Black Horse Canyon (1954)
Del ["Rock"] Rockwell
The Lone Hand (1953)
Zachary Hallock
Shoot First (1953)
[Lt. Col. Robert] Taine
The San Francisco Story (1952)
Rick Nelson
Cattle Drive (1951)
Dan Mathews
Frenchie (1951)
Tom Banning
Hollywood Story (1951)
Himself
Saddle Tramp (1950)
Chuck Conner
Stars in My Crown (1950)
Josiah Doziah Gray
The Outriders (1950)
Will Owen
Colorado Territory (1949)
Wes McQueen
South of St. Louis (1949)
Kip Davis
Four Faces West (1948)
Ross McEwen
Ramrod (1947)
Dave Nash
The Virginian (1946)
The Virginian
The Unseen (1945)
David Fielding
Buffalo Bill (1944)
William Frederick Cody, also known as Buffalo Bill
The Great Moment (1944)
William Thomas Green Morton
The More the Merrier (1943)
Joe Carter
The Great Man's Lady (1942)
Ethan Hoyt
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Tom Jeffers
Sullivan's Travels (1942)
John L. Sullivan
Reaching for the Sun (1941)
Russ Eliot
Primrose Path (1940)
Editor Wallace
He Married His Wife (1940)
T. H. ["Randy"] Randall
Foreign Correspondent (1940)
John Jones/[Huntley Haverstock]
Union Pacific (1939)
Jeff Butler
Espionage Agent (1939)
Barry Corvall
They Shall Have Music (1939)
Peter [McCarthy]
Youth Takes a Fling (1938)
Joe Meadows
Three Blind Mice (1938)
Van Dam Smith
Dead End (1937)
Dave [Connell]
Woman Chases Man (1937)
Kenneth Nolan
Internes Can't Take Money (1937)
[Dr.] Jimmie Kildare
Wells Fargo (1937)
Ramsay MacKay
Banjo on My Knee (1936)
Ernie Holley
Adventure in Manhattan (1936)
George Melville
Two in a Crowd (1936)
Larry Stevens
Come and Get It (1936)
Richard Glasgow
These Three (1936)
Dr. Joseph Cardin
Private Worlds (1935)
Doctor Alex McGregor
Woman Wanted (1935)
Tony [Baxter]
Splendor (1935)
Brighton Lorrimore
Barbary Coast (1935)
Jim Carmichael
Our Little Girl (1935)
Dr. Donald Middleton
The Richest Girl in the World (1934)
Tony [Travers]
Gambling Lady (1934)
Garry Madison
Half a Sinner (1934)
John Adams
Scarlet River (1933)
Himself
Bed of Roses (1933)
Dan
Chance at Heaven (1933)
Blackstone "Blacky" Gorman
The Silver Cord (1933)
David [Phelps]
One Man's Journey (1933)
Jimmy Watt
The Lost Squadron (1932)
Red
Rockabye (1932)
Jacobs [Jake] Van Riker Pell
Bird of Paradise (1932)
Johnny [Baker]
The Sport Parade (1932)
Sandy Brown
The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
Bob [Rainsford]
Business and Pleasure (1932)
Lawrence Ogle
The Common Law (1931)
John Neville
Girls About Town (1931)
Jim Baker
Once a Sinner (1931)
Tommy Mason
Born to Love (1931)
[Captain] Barry Craig
Kept Husbands (1931)
Richard "Dick" Brunton
Lightnin' (1930)
John Marvin
The Silver Horde (1930)
Boyd Emerson
The Jazz Age (1929)
Tod Sayles
Dynamite (1929)
Marco, her boyfriend
So This Is College (1929)
Bruce
A Self-Made Failure (1924)
Verman

Cast (Special)

Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer (1990)
George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984)
Himself

Misc. Crew (Special)

George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey (1984)
Other

Cast (Short)

Screen Actors (1950)
Himself
Stars on Horseback (1943)
Himself

Life Events

1922

Worked as extra, stuntman, and bit player in silent pictures

1928

Signed contract with MGM

1929

Film acting debut in "The Jazz Age"

1929

First leading film role in "The Silver Horde"

1930

Signed contract with RKO

1933

Purchased first 1,000 acres of his eventual 3,000-acre spread in Thousand Oaks, CA

1934

Made first of five films co-starring Miriam Hopkins, "The Richest Girl in the World"

1934

Made first of six films co-starring Barbara Stanwyck, "Gambling Lady"

1937

First actor to play Dr. Kildare on screen in "Internes Can't Take Money"

1941

Made first of three key films with writer-director Preston Sturges, "Sullivan's Travels"

1944

Made primarily Westerns after starring in "Buffalo Bill"

1953

Travelled to England to make one of his few late-career non-Westerns, "Shoot First/Rough Shoot"

1962

Made last feature film for many years, "Ride the High Country"

1969

Inducted into the Hall of Fame of Great Western Actors in Oklahoma City

1976

Last acting appearance, "Mustang Country"

1985

Appeared as himself in the feature documentary, "George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey"

1990

Last public appearance at a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Wilson in Beverly Hills CA (October 3)

Photo Collections

One Man's Journey - Pressbook
Here is the original campaign book (pressbook) for the RKO film One Man's Journey (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.
(Pressbook images courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences)
One Man's Journey - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of Publicity Stills from the RKO film One Man's Journey (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore, Dorothy Jordan, and Joel McCrea. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Adventure in Manhattan - Scene Stills
Adventure in Manhattan - Scene Stills
Border River - Scene Stills
Border River - Scene Stills
Cattle Drive - Scene Stills
Cattle Drive - Scene Stills
Adventure in Manhattan - Publicity Stills
Adventure in Manhattan - Publicity Stills
Border River - Publicity Stills
Border River - Publicity Stills
Border River - Movie Posters
Border River - Movie Posters
Mustang Country - Movie Poster
Mustang Country - Movie Poster
The Virginian - Movie Posters
The Virginian - Movie Posters
Border River - British Front-of-House Stills
Border River - British Front-of-House Stills
The Virginian - Behind-the-Scenes Photo
The Virginian - Behind-the-Scenes Photo
The Virginian - Lobby Cards
The Virginian - Lobby Cards
Border River - Lobby Card Set
Border River - Lobby Card Set
Border River - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Border River - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Mustang Country - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Mustang Country - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Sullivan's Travels - Lobby Card Set
Sullivan's Travels - Lobby Card Set
Battleground - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Battleground (1949), directed by William Wellman and starring Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, James Whitmore, George Murphy, and many others.
Foreign Correspondent - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster for Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Coorespondent (1940), starring Joel McCrea and Laraine Day. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Ride the High Country - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are some photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Ride the High Country (1962), starring Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea.
Ride the High Country - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Ride the High Country (1962), starring Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Cattle Drive - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills from Cattle Drive (1951), starring Joel McCrea, Dean Stockwell and Chill Wills.
Cattle Drive - Movie Posters
Here are a few original movie posters from Cattle Drive (1951), starring Joel McCrea and Dean Stockwell.
The Most Dangerous Game - Movie Poster
Here is the original movie poster art for RKO Pictures' The Most Dangerous Game (1932), starring Joel McCrea, Fay Wray, and Leslie Banks.
Adventure In Manhattan - Lobby Cards
Here are a few Lobby Cards from Adventure in Manhattan (1936). 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.
Adventure in Manhattan - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of Columbia Pictures' Adventure in Manhattan (1936), starring Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea.
One Man's Journey - Movie Posters
Here are a couple of original Movie Posters for the RKO film One Man's Journey (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore. The one-sheet is on view along with a window card from the film.
One Man's Journey - Scene Stills
Here are a number of scene stills from the RKO film One Man's Journey (1933), starring Lionel Barrymore, Dorothy Jordan, and Joel McCrea.

Videos

Movie Clip

Silver Cord, The (1933) - Let Me Look At You Now Snapping forward as German-born Christina scientist (Irene Dunne) and her architect husband (Joel McCrea) arrive from Heidelberg at his family country home, meeting his brother’s fianceè (Frances Dee) then Robert (Eric Linden), and Laura Hope Crews their mother, in her celebrated Broadway role, in The Silver Cord, 1933.
Wichita (1955) - My Name's Earp, Wyatt Earp Having been spied in silhouette in the opening scene, the star (Joel McCrea) introduces himself to the cattlemen, Walter Sande as the boss Wallace, Robert Wilke as Ben Thompson, Rayford Barnes as gun-curious Clements and Lloyd Bridges as Gyp, in Wichta, 1955, from producer Walter Mirisch, original story and screenplay by Daniel B. Ullman.
Wichita (1955) - Pretty Good Sized Man Packed scene after the opening of the railroad, Joel McCrea as visitor Wyatt Earp is making a deposit (Sam Peckinpah his teller!) when railroad chief McCoy (Walter Coy) arrives with wife, daughter, reporter Bat Masterson and the mayor (Mae Clarke, Vera Miles, Keith Larsen, Carl Benton Reid), and trouble ensues, George Sherwood the risk-averse sheriff, in Wichta, 1955.
Wichita (1955) - Babylon On The Arkansas River None of the principals appear here, as two guys we haven’t seen (Peter Graves and John Smith, whom we’ll learn play the brothers of the star, Joel McCrea as Marshal Wyatt Earp) arrive, meeting the bartender (William Newell) and the scheming saloon owner Black (Edgar Buchanan), in Wichta, 1955.
Union Pacific (1939) - Pay Or No Pay Just a suggestion of the scale producer-director C.B. De Mille's has in mind, trouble shooter Jeff (Joel McCrea) discussing railroad progress with foreman Dusky (William Haade), mail girl Mollie (Barbara Stanwyck) working the crowd, in Union Pacific, 1939.
Stars In My Crown (1950) - Sharing The Parson's Heart Rejoining narration in the voice of the mature John (Dean Stockwell), exposition on the circumstances of his living with preacher Josiah Gray (Joel McCrea) and his wife and church organist Harriet (Ellen Drew), Jacques Tourneur directing in the MGM version of the novel by Alabama’s Joe David Brown, Stars In My Crown, 1950.
Stars In My Crown (1950) - I'm Always A Boy In Walesburg With narration by Marshall Thompson, the screenplay derived from the somewhat autobiographical novel by Alabamian Joe David Brown, we meet Dean Stockwell as young John, Joel McCrea the preacher, plus Polly Bailey, Amanda Blake, Adeline de Walt Reynolds, Wilson Wood, Ed Begley and Arthur Hunnicutt, in MGM’s Stars In My Crown, 1950.
Stars In My Crown (1950) - I'm Not Interested In Souls Southern gun-toting preacher Gray (Joel McCrea) is called to the bedside of a parishoner, crossing paths with James Mitchell (known-best for theater and as Palmer Courtland on All My Children) as Dr. Harris Jr., who plans to leave his hometown, because the locals don’t trust his modern methods, in the face of a typhus outbreak, in Stars In My Crown, 1950.
One Man's Journey (1933) - To My Son's Future Wife Frances Dee is Joan, fianceè to ambitious young doctor Jimmy (Joel McCrea), who is inspired to introduce herself to his humbler father Eli (Lionel Barrymore, title character), in RKO's One Man's Journey, 1933.
One Man's Journey (1933) - It Must Be The Water Passage of time as humble New England single-father Dr. Watt (Lionel Barrymore) carries on his selfless work and his son grows up to be Joel McCrea, and smallpox breaks out, in One Man’s Journey, 1933, the RKO melodrama restored by TCM, from a story by Katharine Haviland-Taylor.
Foreign Correspondent (1940) - May I Have Your Picture? Reporter "Haverstock" (Joel McCrea) is baffled when Dutch diplomat Van Meer (Albert Bassermann) doesn't know him, Charles Waggenheim as the assassin, and pursuit with friend Carol (Laraine Day) and fellow reporter ffolliott (George Sanders), in Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent, 1940.
Sullivan's Travels (1942) - O Brother, Where Art Thou? Sullivan (Joel McCrea) is reunited with "The Girl" (Veronica Lake) and his staff, and reconsiders filming "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," in the final scene from Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels, 1942.

Trailer

Woman Wanted - (Original Trailer) An innocent woman (Maureen O'Sullivan) is chased by both gangsters and the police.
Gambling Lady - (Original Trailer) Barbara Stanwyck is Lady Lee, Gambling Lady (1934), in love with accused murderer Joel McCrea.
Foreign Correspondent - (Original Trailer) A camera with gun attachment, trick windmills and a mid-ocean plane crash are some of the predicaments facing Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940).
Fort Massacre - (Original Trailer) A possibly mad cavalry commander (Joel McCrea) leads his troops through dangerous Indian territory in Fort Massacre (1958).
Dead End - (Original Trailer) A killer (Humphrey Bogart) returns to the mean streets that made him in William Wyler's Dead End (1937) co-starring Sylvia Sidney and Joel McCrea.
Barbary Coast - (Re-issue trailer) A vice king's girlfriend falls for a young miner in Howard Hawks' Barbary Coast (1935) starring Edward G. Robinson, Miriam Hopkins and Joel McCrea (Telluride Film Festival honoree 1982).
Ride the High Country - (Original Trailer) Two aging gunslingers (Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea) sign on to transport gold from a remote mining town in Ride the High Country (1962).
Great Moment, The - (Original Trailer) Director Preston Sturges tells the true story of the first dentist to find a painless method of pulling teeth in The Great Moment (1944).
Gunfight at Dodge City, The - (Original Trailer) Joel McCrea plays Bat Masterson as a tougher kind of maverick in The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959).
Colorado Territory - (Original Trailer) An outlaw just released from prison is sucked back into a life of crime in Colorado Territory (1949), starring Joel McCrea.
Stars in My Crown - (Original Trailer) A parson (Joel McCrea) uses six-guns and the Bible to bring peace to a Tennessee town in Stars in My Crown (1950).
Outriders, The - (Original Trailer) Joel McCrea stars in MGM's Technicolor Western, The Outriders (1950).

Promo

Family

Thomas McCrea
Father
Utility executive. Worked for L.A. Gas & Electric Company.
Jody McCrea
Son
Actor, rancher. Born September 6, 1934; left acting to become a rancher.
David McCrea
Son
Rancher.
Peter McCrea
Son
Land planner, real estate developer. Married to Jack Lemmon's daughter Courtney.

Companions

Frances Dee
Wife
Actor. Married October, 1933; met while filming "The Silver Cord" (1933); subsequently appeared together in "One Man's Journey" (1933), "Wells Fargo" (1937) and "Four Faces West" (1948).

Bibliography

"Last of the Cowboy Heroes: The Westerns of Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Audie Murphy"
Robert Nott, McFarland (2000)

Notes

"I liked doing comedies, but as I got older I was better suited to do Westerns. Because I think it becomes unattractive for an older fellow trying to look young, falling in love with attractive girls in those kinds of situations...Anyway, I always felt so much more comfortable in the Western. The minute I got a horse and a hat and a pair of boots on, I felt easier. I didn't feel like I was an actor anymore. I felt like I was the guy out there doing it." --Joel McCrea in 1978 interview.