Family & Companions
Prince was a forthright stage actor with a fine string of Broadway credits who never found a niche in 1940s Hollywood but worked in TV for decades and in his senior years had kept busy in features. He made it to Broadway in the 30s and soon joined actor-impresario Maurice Evans' company for well-received versions of "Henry IV," "Richard II" and an unabridged "Hamlet." Tall and hearty-looking, he made it to leading roles in the early 40s with "Guest in the House" and Maxwell Anderson's "The Eve of St. Mark." Prince's success in the latter led to a Hollywood contract at Warner Bros., where he debuted in the war adventure "Destination Tokyo" (1943). He then played romantic leads in films toplining established names, as with the comedy "Pillow to Post" (1945), starring Ida Lupino. Prince soon found himself in a modest featured role in the noir "Dead Reckoning" (1947), though, but was part of the memorable crew of the superior war film, "Objective Burma" (1945).
Prince returned to Broadway for the hit comedy "John Loves Mary" and in 1950 did "As You Like It" opposite Katharine Hepburn. His occasional film roles were still bland, as with "Cyrano de Bergerac" (1950), as the handsome but dull lover who has his ugly friend write love letters for him. A prolific TV career included roles as the hapless Mortimer in a 1949 "Arsenic and Old Lace" and an upright small-town journalist in a 1954 "The Man Who Came to Dinner." Prince also co-starred with Gary Merrill in one of TV's first mystery programs, "The Mask" (1954). Feature work, apart from the campy William Castle favorite, "Macabre" (1958), ended in the late 50s. Broadway continued to be his most creative outlet in the 50s and 60s, with Prince relished roles as writer Christopher Isherwood in "I Am a Camera" (1952), opposite Julie Harris, and in Edward Albee's "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" (1963).
Work on TV soaps ("Another World," "Where the Heart Is," "A World Apart") and in the title role of the popular medical drama "Young Dr. Malone" (1958-63) kept Prince busy if unchallenged in the 60s and 70s. TV-movies and miniseries ("Key West" 1973, "Aspen" 1977, "George Washington" 1984, "Chain Letter" 1989) had subsequently featured the seasoned actor in small roles as authority figures. After a 12-year absence Prince returned to features with "Sacco and Vanzetti" (1970), and while the films and his roles had varied in size and quality, several had been more colorful than the ordinary consorts he once played. His many credits included "Network" (1976), "The Soldier" (1982, as the President), "Nuts" (1987) and "The Paper" (1994, as Michael Keaton's father). A fat part and especially fine work came as the crooked police commissioner who assigns Clint Eastwood a suicide mission in "The Gauntlet" (1977). And, as has always been the case, Prince found his most vivid outlets on the stage, reteaming with Albee for "The Man Who Had Three Arms" (1983).
Prince's second wife, since 1964, was actress Augusta Dabney, who played opposite him on "Young Dr. Malone," kept busy on soaps including "General Hospital" and "Loving," and played Prince's wife in "The Paper" and the TV-movie "The Portrait" (1993).
Cast (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Joined Maurice Evans' acting company; acted for two years in productions of "Henry IV" (as John of Lancaster), "Richard II" (as a servant to York) and an unabridged version of "Hamlet" (as a page), also toured with a production of "Richard II" in the same capacity
Played Richard in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's comedy-drama, "Ah! Wilderness" at the Guild Theater in NYC
Enjoyed a notable Broadway success as Private Quizz West in the production of the Maxwell Anderson play, "The Eve of St. Mark"
Signed by Warner Brothers; made feature film debut in the war drama, "Destination Tokyo", starring Cary Grant and John Garfield
Left Warner Bros.; free-lanced in films for the next few years (date approximate)
Returned to Broadway in the hit comedy, "John Loves Mary"
Played Mortimer Brewster in an hour-long TV presentation of the Broadway comedy, "Arsenic and Old Lace"
Last film for six years, "Cyrano de Bergerac"; played second lead in adaptation which starred Jose Ferrer
Acted opposite Katharine Hepburn in a production of the Shakespeare comedy, "As You Like It"
Returned to Broadway in the production, "I Am a Camera", playing the leading male role of writer Christopher Isherwood opposite Julie Harris
Played Bert Jefferson in a one-hour NBC adaptation of the Broadway comedy, "The Man Who Came to Dinner"
First TV series, "The Mask", an ABC mystery series in which he and Gary Merrill played lawyer brothers
Returned to features in the operetta adaptation, "The Vagabond King"
Again left films after playing the leading role in the cult William Castle horror thriller, "Macabre"
Acted in the Broadway production, "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe", by Edward Albee; played Henry Macy
Toured major US cities in a stage production of the hit comedy, "Mary, Mary"
Returned to feature film work: made rare non-US film credit, the Italian-made crime film, "Sacco and Vanzetti"
Returned to Broadway in one of the three roles in another Edward Albee play, "The Man Who Had Three Arms", but play closed in 12 days