Joseph Calleia


Actor
Joseph Calleia

About

Also Known As
Joseph Spurin-Calleja, Joe Spurin Calleia
Birth Place
Malta
Born
August 14, 1897
Died
October 31, 1975

Biography

A veteran theater performer and character actor so famous that Malta honored his death with commemorative stamps, Joseph Calleia went from touring Europe with a harmonica band to acting alongside some of the greatest Hollywood actors of his time. Calleia came to the United States in 1926 after traveling through post-World War I Europe, and he soon became a major presence on Broadway. He ...

Photos & Videos

After the Thin Man - Lobby Card Set
The Glass Key - Publicity Stills
Sundown - Scene Stills

Biography

A veteran theater performer and character actor so famous that Malta honored his death with commemorative stamps, Joseph Calleia went from touring Europe with a harmonica band to acting alongside some of the greatest Hollywood actors of his time. Calleia came to the United States in 1926 after traveling through post-World War I Europe, and he soon became a major presence on Broadway. He traded heavily on his dark features, and his 1931 contract signing with MGM found him playing mobsters, villains, and outlaws in numerous films, including the Jean Harlow/Spencer Tracy crime drama "Riff Raff" and the exotic mystery "Algiers." After establishing himself as a sought-after character actor in the '30s, Calleia became a heavyweight bad guy in the 1940s, using his ethnic looks to memorably portray a Spanish guerilla leader in the 1943 adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and an Argentinian government agent in the classic noir film "Gilda." However, one of Calleia's greatest roles came in 1958 as American police officer Pete Menzies in Orson Welles's bewildering and beloved "Touch of Evil." The film, about a tangled web of blackmail, deception, and manipulation in a small Mexican town, was one of his last Hollywood appearances--after several more roles, including that of a heroic politician in 1960's "The Alamo," he left the United States and returned to Malta, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Johnny Cool (1963)
Tourist
The Alamo (1960)
Juan Seguin
Cry Tough (1959)
"Papa" Estrada
Touch of Evil (1958)
Pete Menzies
Wild Is the Wind (1958)
Alberto
The Light in the Forest (1958)
Chief Cuyloga
Serenade (1956)
Maestro Marcatello
Hot Blood (1956)
Papa Theodore Caldash
The Treasure of Pancho Villa (1955)
Capt. Pablo Morales
Underwater! (1955)
Rico Arrera
The Littlest Outlaw (1955)
The Padre
The Caddy (1953)
Papa Anthony
The Iron Mistress (1952)
Juan Moreno
Yankee Buccaneer (1952)
Count Domingo Del Prado
When in Rome (1952)
Aggiunto Bodulli
Branded (1951)
[Mateo] Rubriz
The Light Touch (1951)
Lt. Massiro
Valentino (1951)
Luigi Verducci
The Palomino (1950)
Miguel Gonzales
Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950)
Dr. Lunati
Vendetta (1950)
Guido Barracini
The Noose Hangs High (1948)
Mike Craig
Four Faces West (1948)
Monte Marquez
The Beginning or the End (1947)
Dr. Enrico Fermi
Lured (1947)
Dr. Moryani
Deadline at Dawn (1946)
Val Bartelli
Gilda (1946)
Obregon
The Conspirators (1944)
Captain Pereira
The Cross of Lorraine (1944)
[Antonio] Rodriguez
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1943)
El Sordo
The Glass Key (1942)
Nick Varna
Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book (1942)
Buldeo
The Monster and the Girl (1941)
Deacon
Sundown (1941)
Pallini
Wyoming (1940)
John Buckley
My Little Chickadee (1940)
Jeff Badger
The Gorilla (1939)
Stranger [Detective Colletti]
Juarez (1939)
Alejandro Uradi
Five Came Back (1939)
Vasquez
Golden Boy (1939)
Eddie Fuseli
Full Confession (1939)
Father Loma
Algiers (1938)
Slimane
Marie Antoinette (1938)
Drouet
Man of the People (1937)
Jack Moreno
The Bad Man of Brimstone (1937)
[Portuguese] Ben
After the Thin Man (1936)
"Dancer"
Tough Guy (1936)
Joe [Calerno]
Sinner Take All (1936)
[Frank] Penny
Sworn Enemy (1936)
Joe Emerald
His Brother's Wife (1936)
"Fish-Eye"
Riffraff (1936)
Nick [Lewis]
Exclusive Story (1936)
Ace Acello
Public Hero No. 1 (1935)
Sonny [Black]
The Divorce Racket (1932)
His Woman (1931)
Agent
My Sin (1931)
Juan

Writer (Feature Film)

Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936)
Screenwriter

Life Events

Photo Collections

After the Thin Man - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from MGM's After the Thin Man (1936), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. 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 Glass Key - Publicity Stills
Here are a number of publicity stills from The Glass Key (1942), starring Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake and Brian Donlevy. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Sundown - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from Walter Wanger's Sundown (1941), starring Gene Tierney, Bruce Cabot, and George Sanders.
Sundown - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for the 1948 reissue of Walter Wanger's Sundown (1941). Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.

Videos

Movie Clip

Hot Blood (1956) - Suspicion Of Being Gypsies Los Angeles gypsy Marco (Luther Adler) and gang at the police station where they spring guests Papa (Joseph Calleia), betrothed Annie (Jane Russell) and Xano (Russell's brother Jamie), then groom Sephano/Steve (Cornel Wilde) with his concurrent girlfriend (Helen Westcott), early in Nicholas Ray's Hot Blood, 1956.
Hot Blood (1956) - So, She Dances At her arranged wedding to L-A gypsy Stefan (Cornel Wilde), in-from-Chicago Annie (Jane Russell) has, of her own accord, abandoned their agreed-upon plan to call off the ceremony, instead beginning a traditional dance, with a whip, a wild scene from Nicholas Ray's Hot Blood, 1956.
Beginning Or The End, The (1947) - Atom Bomb Special A wholly fictional prologue, as the ceremony covered in this fake newsreel never took place, and all the identified historical figures are portrayed by actors (Brian Donlevy, Hume Cronyn prominent), in MGM’s government-approved story of the atom bomb, The Beginning Or The End, 1947.
Golden Boy (1939) - Monarch Of The Masses! Joe Bonaparte (William Holden), with morally compromised supporters Adolphe Menjou and Barbara Stanwyck in the crowd, wins his fight with Chocolate Drop (James "Cannonball Green) then gets bad news from fight commissioner Driscoll (Stanley Andrews) in Columbia's Golden Boy, 1939.
Gilda (1946) - He Can't Afford It Buenos Aires casino boss Ballin (George MacReady) leaves new wife Rita Hayworth (title character) and employee Johnny (Glenn Ford) alone for the first time, their previous relations now confirmed, Delgado (Gerald Mohr) and Obregon (Joseph Calleia) cutting-in, in Charles Vidor's Gilda, 1946.
Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book (1942) - Open, All India Opening credits and first scene from the Korda Brothers' lavish 1942 Hollywood production of Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book, starring Sabu and Joseph Calleia.
Five Came Back (1939) - Your Prayers Or Mine? Co-pilot Joe (Kent Taylor) visits marshal Crimp (John Carradine) and his charge Vasquez (Joseph Calleia), gangster Pete (Allen Jenkins) with his boss's son (Casey Johnson) and Peggy (Lucille Ball) with pilot Bill (Chester Morris), en route to Panama in John Farrow's Five Came Back, 1939.
Five Came Back (1939) - Don't Argue! Shortly after the crash, worries in the control room, Pilot Bill (Chester Morris), Professor and Mrs. Spengler (C. Aubrey Smith, Elisabeth Risdon), convict Vasquez (Joseph Calleia), Peggy (Lucille Ball) and marshal Crimp (John Carradine) arguing, in John Farrow's Five Came Back, 1939.
Caddy, The (1953) - I Get My Harpoon Gun! We’ve just learned that semi-hapless Harvey (Jerry Lewis) rents a room from the parents of his girlfriend Lisa (Barbara Bates), just gone to bed when her handsome but aimless brother Joe (Dean Martin) returns to San Francisco, thus their character’s first meeting, in The Caddy, 1953.
Caddy, The (1953) - That's Amore The very first staging of Dean Martin’s colossal hit and enduring signature song, by Harry Warren and Jack Brooks, at a San Francisco Italian birthday party for his character Joe, with his buddy (Jerry Lewis as “Harvey”) joining, though he didn’t on the record, in Paramount’s The Caddy, 1953.
Juarez (1939) - You Are An Indian Wise Juarez (Paul Muni, title character) snuffs out impetuous (and fictional) aide Uradi (Joseph Calleia) expressing capricious concern about the president's ethnicity, in Warner Bros' Juarez, 1939.
Juarez (1939) - The People's Blind Faith Messenger Manuel (Frank Lackteen) briefs Presidente Juarez (Paul Muni) and aides including Porfirio Diaz (John Garfield) and Uradi (Joseph Calleia), about the new emperor installed by the French, in Warner Bros' Juarez, 1939.

Trailer

Bibliography