Tom Tully's career started out in the 1940s, with supporting roles in films headlined by the likes of Cary Grant and Shirley Temple. Early on, he appeared in movies of all sorts, ranging from comedies to Westerns to war pictures. Near the end of the decade, he landed one of his first co-headlining roles in the comedy "A Kiss for Corliss," in which he played Harry P. Archer, an attorney who believes that his daughter is dating a wealthy playboy. The 1950s brought many of the roles which Tully became notable for: stern, yet good-hearted cops or commanding officers. In 1953's"The Moon is Blue," he played a policeman who memorably knocks William Holden's lights out for seemingly taking advantage of his virtuous daughter, played by Maggie McNamara. The next year, he played a ship's captain well-liked by his crew, but destined for replacement anyway in "The Caine Mutiny," for which Tully received an Academy Award nomination. Around this time, he also started appearing on television, starring as Inspector Matt Grebb on the crime show "The Lineup" for roughly five years. Over the next decade and a half, he appeared in countless television shows and co-starred in the Western drama "Shane," which aired in 1966.