Compact, reliable, likable leading man of the 1930s and 40s, often as a cop, detective or gangster, primarily in low-budget action films, many of them quite good. Once dubbed "Hollywood's most popular forgotten man" by "This Week" magazine in 1949, Nolan--handsome, but not of the glamourous, pretty-boy type--gave good value for one's money in fine B-films like "King of Gamblers" (1937), "Michael Shayne, Private Detective" (1940) and "Buy Me That Town" (1941). He also played important supporting roles in more expensive films including "The House on 92nd Street" and "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" (both 1945), and was especially fine as the father in a study of drug addiction, "A Hatful of Rain" (1957). Often taken for granted, Nolan finally enjoyed sizable acclaim on both Broadway and television in the mid-50s as the neurotic, dictatorial Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial." Later in life the prolific Nolan played many character roles; whether sympathetic or villainous, he retained the forceful, no-nonsense persona which marked most of his work. He co-starred with Diahann Carroll from 1968 to 1971 as the cantankerous but kindly Dr. Morton Chegley on the gentle sitcom "Julia," and, at the end of his distinguished career, contributed a striking performance as Mia Farrow's father in Woody Allen's "Hannah and Her Sisters" (1986).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Made film debut in "Stolen Harmony"
Acted in last film, "Hannah and Her Sisters"