John Carradine


Actor
John Carradine

About

Also Known As
Richmond Reed Carradine, John Peter Richmond, Peter Richmond
Birth Place
New York City, New York, USA
Born
February 05, 1906
Died
November 27, 1988

Biography

John Carradine had his roots were in Shakespeare, whose tragedies and histories he memorized as a schoolboy. Hitchhiking west to break into films, Carradine wrestled a contract out of 20th Century Fox, but generally did his best work for other studios, notably with director John Ford in "Stagecoach" (1939), "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1940), and the Academy Award-winning "The Grapes of Wra...

Photos & Videos

Hillbillys in a Haunted House - Movie Poster
The Grapes of Wrath - Movie Posters
Mary of Scotland - Scene Stills

Family & Companions

Ardanelle McCool Cosner
Wife
Married 1935, divorced 1944; had son Bruce, from first marriage.
Sonia Sorel
Wife
Actor. Married 1945, divorced 1955; fought a three-year custody battle for their three sons; John Carradine won custody; co-starred with Carradine; mother of Keith, Robert, and Christopher Carradine.
Doris Irving Rich
Wife
Married 1957 until her death in 1971.
Emily Cisneros
Wife
Married 1975 until his death.

Bibliography

"John Carradine: The Films"
Tom Weaver, McFarland (1999)

Biography

John Carradine had his roots were in Shakespeare, whose tragedies and histories he memorized as a schoolboy. Hitchhiking west to break into films, Carradine wrestled a contract out of 20th Century Fox, but generally did his best work for other studios, notably with director John Ford in "Stagecoach" (1939), "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1940), and the Academy Award-winning "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940). A free agent during World War II, Carradine played Nazi thugs and mad scientists with equal aplomb while inheriting the Dracula cape from Bela Lugosi for "House of Frankenstein" (1944) and "House of Dracula" (1945), cementing a lifelong association with fright films. In his later years, Carradine appeared in Joe Dante's whip-smart horror satire "The Howling" (1981) and Francis Ford Coppola's lyrical "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986). By the time of his death in 1988, Carradine had long been immortalized in the hearts of horror film fans for making light of humanity's dark side.

Richmond Reed Carradine was born in New York City on Feb. 5, 1906. Scion of an affluent and accomplished family and son of Associated Press writer William Reed Carradine, young Peter, as he was called by his mother, Genevieve Winifred Richmond, grew up believing the roots of his family tree extended to Spain and one San Pedro Carradegna, purported patron saint of Barcelona, but these claims reflected less true lineage than a familial penchant for emphasizing the colorful over the factual. Raised in upstate New York after the death of his father, Carradine was educated at the private Christ Church School in Kingston and the Episcopal Academy of Philadelphia. Though he entertained the notion of becoming a lawyer, and enjoyed classroom debate and oratory, Carradine's life was changed forever when he saw a stage production of Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice," starring theatre and silent film actor Robert B. Mantell. Studying Shakespeare's collected works and committing to memory many of the Bard's great speeches, the 16-year-old Carradine also attended multiple performances of John Barrymore's "Hamlet" in 1922.

Following up his formal education with jobs as a summer camp counselor, as an assistant at the New York Public Library, and as an apprentice to sculptor Daniel Chester French, Carradine hit the road in search of experience, pointing himself ultimately to the port city of New Orleans, LA. Putting aside his ambitions as a painter and sculptor, he made his stage debut in 1925 at the St. Charles Theatre, in a production of "Camille," adapted from the novel by Émile Zola. Billing himself initially as Peter Richmond or John Peter Richmond, Carradine affixed himself to a local Shakespeare troupe, playing roles in repertory while supporting himself as a cafe portraitist in the French Quarter. Encouraged by his fellow actors to try his luck in Hollywood, Carradine struck out for the West Coast, hitchhiking most of the way and feeding himself with handouts from church groups, for whom he sang, and by sketching caricatures for businessman in office buildings. The fledgling film actor eventually made his way to Hollywood as a member of the crew of a freight train bearing bananas to the City of Angels.

Arriving in Hollywood on April 1, 1927, Carradine found employment with film director Cecil B. DeMille, who utilized the newcomer's artistic abilities as a scenic designer. Fired from his first industry job after only two weeks, Carradine created a small buzz around himself by strolling Hollywood Boulevard in a slouch hat and cape, reciting Shakespeare's monologues to anyone within earshot, and billing himself as the Bard of the Boulevard. With paying work not immediately forthcoming, Carradine kept his acting skills sharpened by projecting dramatic speeches in the empty Hollywood Bowl during off-hours until a local resident grew tired of the distraction and summoned the police; the angry homeowner turned out to be film director, John Ford, who would later retain Carradine as a member of his repertory. Carradine eventually found acting work with The Vine Street Theatre and Egan Theatre, and played Judas in the 1930 Hollywood Pilgrimage Play. During this time Carradine also formed his own Shakespearean company and befriended idol John Barrymore.

Through the intercession of his landlady, whose son-in-law was film director John Blystone, Carradine made his film debut in "Tol'able David" (1930), a remake of the 1921 silent classic, in which he billed himself as Peter Richmond to play heinous hillbilly Buzzard Hatburn. Inking a contract with Universal Pictures, Carradine continued in minor roles, playing another hayseed in "Heaven on Earth" (1931) and appearing in multiple roles in "Sign of the Cross" (1932), directed by former boss Cecil B. DeMille. The maverick filmmaker kept Carradine on the payroll, plugging him into "This Day and Age" (1933) and "Cleopatra" (1934), while director James Whale cast him as an English villager bedeviled by Claude Rains in "The Invisible Man" (1933). Carradine's cadaverous countenance was also put to good use by Edgar G. Ulmer, who cast him as a Satanist in "The Black Cat" (1934), starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. Carradine enjoyed better billing as Shakespeare's "King John" at the Pasadena Playhouse in 1933 and in various roles in a pageant of Shakespeare's historical plays in 1935.

That same year, the itinerant actor formally adopted the stage name John Carradine, by which he billed himself to play a rebel leader in "Les Misérables" (1935), starring Charles Laughton and Fredric March. He popped up in an unbilled bit as a hunter in James Whale's "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935) and provided the voice of Leopold of Austria in DeMille's "The Crusades" (1935). Appearing in 10 films that year, Carradine also married for the first time, wedding single mother Ardanelle McCool Cosner and adopting her two year-old son Bruce. As if repaying the actor for once having had him arrested, John Ford gave Carradine a plum role as a merciless Tortugan prison screw making life difficult for convict Warner Baxter in "The Prisoner of Shark Island" (1936). Attending a Hollywood showing of the film with his new bride, Carradine was booed by the ticket buyers who identified him with his unpalatable character. A new contract with Fox kept him busy but a punishing schedule wreaked havoc on his home life.

After playing heavies in "White Fang" (1936) and the Technicolor "Ramona" (1936), Carradine went on loan to RKO to play Katharine Hepburn's balladeer aid-de-camp in John Ford's "Mary of Scotland" (1936) and a Tory dastard in "Daniel Boone" (1936), for which he was third-billed behind leads George O'Brien and Heather Angel. In December 1936, Carradine fathered a son, John Arthur Carradine, who would follow his father into the actor's trade, billing himself as David Carradine. On loan to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Carradine played sailor Spencer Tracy's shipboard antagonist Long Jack in Victor Fleming's "Captains Courageous" (1937), which also offered him a paying vacation on Catalina Island. MGM kept the jobbing thespian around long enough to play Abraham Lincoln in "Of Human Hearts" (1938), for which Films in Review averred he stole the film from co-stars James Stewart, Walter Huston and Charles Coburn. Returning to Fox, Carradine was the cowardly Bob Ford, assassin of Tyrone Power's "Jesse James" (1939).

Called back to duty for John Ford, Carradine brought elegance and vainglory to his role as a displaced Southern gentleman banished to the western frontier in "Stagecoach" (1939) and raised gooseflesh as a one-eyed Tory insurgent in "Drums Along the Mohawk" (1939). Critical kudos for his work as a Dustbowl preacher in Ford's "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) raised the actor's stock at Fox, who decided to stop loaning the actor out - but not before Carradine played a consumptive Botany Bay convict for Hal Roach in the swashbuckler "Captain Fury" (1939) and a city lawman who loses his cool in the jungle Hell of "Five Came Back" (1939) for RKO. Offered a better variety of roles at Fox, Carradine reprised his Bob Ford character for Fritz Lang's "The Return of Frank James" (1940), earning a well-deserved comeuppance in the gun fight of Henry Fonda's vengeful Frank James. Carradine was cast in support of Fonda again in Henry King's "Chad Hanna" (1941) and in Lang's Technicolor "Blood and Sand" (1941) he enjoyed an atypically tender role as the naïf-like friend of bullfighter Tyrone Power.

During World War II, Carradine performed for the troops and played a success of Nazi rats in Lang's "Man Hunt" (1941), Harold Young's "I Escaped from the Gestapo" (1941), and Douglas Sirk's "Hitler's Madman" (1943). Having satisfied his contract with Fox, he went free agent, commanding $2,500 per week for his services. He played mad scientists in "Captive Wild Woman" (1943) and "Revenge of the Zombies" (1943), marking the start of his long association with the horror genre. Carradine stepped into Bela Lugosi's cutaway coat and opera cape to play Bram Stoker's natty revenant in "House of Frankenstein" (1944) and "House of Dracula" (1945), imbuing his performance with a mesmeric quality that would have an impact on his future film assignments. Returning to the stage to play a succession of Shakespeare's tragic heroes and villains, Carradine fell in love with his 21-year-old "Hamlet" costar Sonia Sorel, divorcing his wife to marry her in Las Vegas in August 1944.

Striking a Faustian divorce agreement with his first wife forced Carradine to work exhaustively through the ensuing years, accepting work in regional theatre, on the radio, and in films. He was an evil Egyptian priest in "The Mummy's Ghost" (1944) but had the flashier role of the wife strangler "Bluebeard" (1945) for Edgar Ulmer. Unable to pay back alimony, the actor fled California ahead of a bench warrant, settling in New York's Greenwich Village and performing in both stage plays and on early live television. He made his Broadway debut as The Cardinal in George Rylands' revival of "The Duchess of Malfi" in 1946, and the following year was Ebenezer Scrooge in the DuMont Television Network's adaptation of "A Christmas Carol," which marked the professional debut of actress Eva Marie Saint. Carradine would father three more children with his second wife before their 1957 divorce, among them future actors Keith and Robert Carradine.

Despite his demanding work schedule, Carradine's life descended into a rut of penury, aggravated by IRS and alimony debts, from which he never fully escaped. He traveled widely and indiscriminately for work of greatly varying quality, standing tall among the ensemble casts of Nicholas Ray's "Johnny Guitar" (1954), Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" (1956), and John Ford's "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962), but humbling himself for the hackwork of Reginald Le Borg's "The Black Sleep" (1956), Boris Petroff's "The Unearthly" (1957) and Edward L. Cahn's "Invisible Invaders" (1959). The American distributors of Ishiro Honda's Abominable Snowman romp "Half Human" (1958) cut Carradine into the action in new footage, as Raymond Burr had been insinuated into the U.S. release of Honda's "Godzilla" (1954). Carradine reprised the character of Dracula on the small screen for a 1956 broadcast of "Matinee Theater" (NBC, 1955-58) directed by Lamont Johnson, and at age 60, played the character again in William Beaudine's progressively inept "Billy the Kid vs. Dracula" (1966).

Increasingly hobbled by arthritis, which left his fingers and toes curled like driftwood, Carradine was often trucked into low budget horror films for shock value that evoked his past work experience as a sub-specialist in the horror genre. He played his most unambitious mad scientist yet in "Hillbillies in a Haunted House" (1967), a down-market Devil in the Mexican "Autopsy of a Ghost" (1968), an electronic necromancer in "The Astro-Zombies" (1968), and Dracula's butler in Al Adamson's grade-Z shocker "Blood of Dracula's Castle" (1969). He had a minor role in Burt Kennedy's "The Good Guys and the Bad Guys" (1969), which featured son David as a villainous young gun, and played unorthodox surgeons in "Myra Breckinridge" (1970) and "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask)" (1972). He co-starred with son David again in Martin Scorsese's "Boxcar Bertha" (1972) but his scenes were removed from "Hex" (1973), which provided Keith Carradine with an early starring role.

Carradine's tempestuous third marriage to actress Doris Rich ended with her death in a fire in 1971. A fourth marriage was short-lived and the actor lost all of his possessions and mementos in a 1978 apartment fire. Used as little more than a special effect as a blind priest in Michael Winner's "The Sentinel" (1977), Carradine brought true pathos to the mostly comic relief role of an elderly werewolf in Joe Dante's "The Howling" (1981) and enjoyed a spirited cameo as a Shriner with seemingly metaphysical abilities in Francis Ford Coppola's "Peggy Sue Got Married" (1986). His 1985 Daytime Emmy Award for the youth-oriented telefilm "Umbrella Jack" (1984) would be Hollywood's only official recognition for a job well done. Suffering from leukemia and rendered effectively homeless, John Carradine died in Italy, in the pauper's ward of Milan's Fatebenefratelli Hospital, on Nov. 27, 1988.

By Richard Harland Smith

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Buried Alive (1990)
Star Slammer, the Escape (1988)
Evil Spawn (1987)
Dr Zeitman
Monster in the Closet (1987)
Revenge (1986)
Senator Bradford
The Tomb (1986)
Mr Androheb
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
Evils of the Night (1985)
Leader
The Ice Pirates (1984)
Prison Ship (1984)
The Justice
The Scarecrow (1982)
Hubert Salter
The Vals (1982)
Boogeyman II (1982)
House of the Long Shadows (1982)
Lord Grisbane
The Secret Of Nimh (1982)
Voice
Satan's Mistress (1982)
Father Stratten
The Howling (1981)
The Monster Club (1981)
The Nesting (1981)
Colonel Lebrun
The Boogeyman (1980)
Dr Warren
The Vampire Hookers (1978)
Christmas Miracle In Caufield, Usa (1978)
Grampa
Sunset Cove (1978)
The Bees (1978)
Nocturna (1978)
Tail Gunner Joe (1977)
Golden Rendezvous (1977)
Satan's Cheerleaders (1977)
The Mouse and His Child (1977)
Voice Of Tramp
The White Buffalo (1977)
The Sentinel (1977)
The Shootist (1976)
Death at Love House (1976)
The Last Tycoon (1976)
The Killer Inside Me (1976)
Dr Smith
Almost Human (1975)
Ben
Stowaway to the Moon (1975)
Jacob Avril
Terror In The Wax Museum (1974)
Dupree
The House of Seven Corpses (1974)
Moon Child (1974)
Silent Night, Bloody Night (1974)
Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary (1974)
Mary'S Father
The Night Strangler (1973)
The Cat Creature (1973)
Hotel Clerk
Bad Charleston Charlie (1973)
Reporter
Richard (1972)
Plastic surgeon
Boxcar Bertha (1972)
[H. Buckram] Sartoris
"Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex"* but Were Afraid to Ask (1972)
Dr. Bernardo
Portnoy's Complaint (1972)
Voice of judge
The Gatling Gun (1972)
"The reverend" [Harper]
Shinbone Alley (1971)
[Voice of] Tyrone T. Tattersall
The Seven Minutes (1971)
O'Flanagan
Crash (1971)
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
Surgeon
The McMasters (1970)
Preacher
Hell's Bloody Devils (1970)
Shop owner
Bigfoot (1970)
Jasper B. Hawks
Cain's Way (1970)
Preacher Sims
Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970)
Dr. Rynning
Is This Trip Really Necessary? (1970)
Myra Breckinridge (1970)
Surgeon
Bigfoot: Man or Beast? (1970)
Jasper B Hawks
The Good Guys and the Bad Guys (1969)
Ticker
The Trouble with Girls (1969)
Mr. Drewcolt
Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)
George
Five Bloody Graves (1969)
Boone Hawkins
The Astro-Zombies (1968)
Dr. DeMarco
They Ran for Their Lives (1968)
Laslow
The Helicopter Spies (1968)
Dr. Terror's Gallery of Horrors (1967)
Warlock/narrator for "The Witch's Clock"
Hillbillys in a Haunted House (1967)
Dr. Himmil
Munster, Go Home! (1966)
Cruikshank
Billy the Kid vs. Dracula (1966)
Count Dracula
The Hostage (1966)
Otis Lovelace
Night Train to Mundo Fine (1966)
Train engineer
Psycho A Go-Go! (1965)
Dr. Vanard [see note]
Curse of the Stone Hand (1965)
Hypnotist
Cheyenne Autumn (1964)
Maj. Jeff Blair
The Patsy (1964)
Bruce Alden
Wizard of Mars (1964)
Wizard of Mars
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Cassius Starbuckle
Invasion of the Animal People (1962)
[See note]
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1960)
Slave catcher
Tarzan the Magnificent (1960)
Abel Banton
Sex Kittens Go to College (1960)
Prof. Watts
The Incredible Petrified World (1960)
Dr. Wyman
The Oregon Trail (1959)
Zachariah Garrison
Invisible Invaders (1959)
Carl [Karol] Noymann
The Cosmic Man (1959)
Cosmic Man
The Last Hurrah (1958)
Amos Force
Showdown at Boot Hill (1958)
Doc Weber
The Proud Rebel (1958)
Traveling salesman
The True Story of Jesse James (1957)
Rev. Jethro Bailey
The Story of Mankind (1957)
Khufu
Hell Ship Mutiny (1957)
Malone
Half Human (1957)
Dr. John Rayburn
The Unearthly (1957)
Dr. Charles Conway
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Aaron
The Court Jester (1956)
Giacomo
Female Jungle (1956)
Claude Almstead
Dark Venture (1956)
Gideon
Hidden Guns (1956)
Snipe Harding
The Black Sleep (1956)
Borg
Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
Col. Proctor, San Francisco politico
Stranger on Horseback (1955)
Col. Buck Streeter
The Kentuckian (1955)
Zybee Fletcher
Desert Sands (1955)
Jala
The Egyptian (1954)
Grave robber
Thunder Pass (1954)
Bergstrom
Casanova's Big Night (1954)
Minister Foressi
Johnny Guitar (1954)
Old Tom
C-Man (1949)
"Doc" Spencer
The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947)
Charles Forestier
Down Missouri Way (1946)
Thorndyke "Thorny" P. Dunning
The Face of Marble (1946)
Professor Charles Randolph
It's in the Bag! (1945)
Jefferson T. Pike
Fallen Angel (1945)
Professor Madley
House of Dracula (1945)
Count Dracula, also known as Baron Latos
House of Frankenstein (1945)
Dracula [also known as Baron Latos]
Captain Kidd (1945)
Orange Povey
The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944)
Bret Harte
Return of the Ape Man (1944)
Prof. [John] Gilmore
Voodoo Man (1944)
Toby
Waterfront (1944)
Victor Marlow
Bluebeard (1944)
Gaston Morrell
The Mummy's Ghost (1944)
Yousef Bey
The Black Parachute (1944)
General Von Bodenbach
Barbary Coast Gent (1944)
Duke Cleat [also known as Guy Kilbane]
Alaska (1944)
John Reagan
The Invisible Man's Revenge (1944)
Doctor [Peter] Drury
Jungle Woman (1944)
Dr. Sigmund Walters
I Escaped From the Gestapo (1943)
Martin
Hitler's Madman (1943)
Reich Protector Reinhard Heydrich
Gangway for Tomorrow (1943)
Wellington
Revenge of the Zombies (1943)
Von Altermann
Captive Wild Woman (1943)
Dr. Sigmund Walters
Isle of Forgotten Sins (1943)
[Mike] Clancy
Silver Spurs (1943)
Lucky Miller
Northwest Rangers (1943)
Martin Caswell
Reunion in France (1942)
Ulrich Windler
Son of Fury (1942)
Caleb Green
Whispering Ghosts (1942)
Norbert [also known as] Long Jack
Blood and Sand (1941)
Nacional [also known as Sebastian]
Swamp Water (1941)
Jesse Wick
Man Hunt (1941)
Mr. Jones
Western Union (1941)
Doc Murdoch
Chad Hanna (1940)
Bisbee
Brigham Young--Frontiersman (1940)
Porter Rockwell
The Return of Frank James (1940)
Bob Ford
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Casy
Jesse James (1939)
Bob Ford
The Three Musketeers (1939)
Naveau
The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939)
Barryman
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
Caldwell
Captain Fury (1939)
Coughy
Frontier Marshal (1939)
Ben Carter
Mr. Moto's Last Warning (1939)
Danforth [also known as Burke]
Five Came Back (1939)
Crimp
Stagecoach (1939)
Hatfield
Four Men and a Prayer (1938)
General Sebastian
Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)
Taxi driver
Gateway (1938)
Leader of refugees
Of Human Hearts (1938)
President [Abraham] Lincoln
International Settlement (1938)
Murdock
Kidnapped (1938)
Gordon
Submarine Patrol (1938)
McAllister
I'll Give a Million (1938)
Kopelpeck
Kentucky Moonshine (1938)
Reef Hatfield
Thank You, Mr. Moto (1937)
Pieriera
Captains Courageous (1937)
"Long Jack"
Nancy Steele Is Missing! (1937)
Harry Wilkins
The Hurricane (1937)
Warden
Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937)
Ishak [/Broderick]
Love Under Fire (1937)
Captain Delmar
The Last Gangster (1937)
Caspar
Danger - Love at Work (1937)
Herbert Pemberton
This Is My Affair (1937)
Editor
Anything Goes (1936)
Ballet master
A Message to Garcia (1936)
Voice of McKinley
The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936)
Sergeant Rankin
Winterset (1936)
[Bartolomeo] Romagna
Dimples (1936)
Richards
Under Two Flags (1936)
Cafard
Laughing at Trouble (1936)
Alec Brady
Ramona (1936)
Jim Farrar
The Garden of Allah (1936)
Sand Diviner
White Fang (1936)
Beauty Smith
Mary of Scotland (1936)
[David] Rizzio
Daniel Boone (1936)
Simon Girty
Captain January (1936)
East Indian
Clive of India (1935)
Drunken-faced clerk
Alias Mary Dow (1935)
Griffe
Bad Boy (1935)
Saxophone player
She Gets Her Man (1935)
Customer
The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo (1935)
Despondent man
Les Misérables (1935)
Enjolras
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
A hunter
Cardinal Richelieu (1935)
Agitatior
Transient Lady (1935)
Ren Baxter
The Black Cat (1934)
Cultist
Morning Glory (1933)
To the Last Man (1933)
Pete Garon
Forgotten Commandments (1932)
First orator
Heaven on Earth (1931)
Chicken Sam
Tol'able David (1930)
Buzzard

Cast (Special)

Lugosi: The Forgotten King (1992)
Hollywood Ghost Story (1991)
Umbrella Jack (1986)
Candle in the Wind (1986)
Narration
The Horror of It All (1983)
Guest
The Prince and the Pauper (1957)

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Goliath Awaits (1981)
The Seekers (1979)
Captains and the Kings (1976)
Captains and the Kings Part 5 & 6 (1976)

Life Events

1925

Stage acting debut in "Camille" (New Orleans)

1930

Film debut (under the name Peter Richmond) in "Tol'able David"

1935

Acted as John Peter Richmond or Peter Richmond; changed professional name to John Carradine

1940

Had memorable supporting role in "The Grapes of Wrath"

1945

NY stage debut, "My Dear Children"

1945

First played Dracula in "House of Frankenstein"

1949

TV debut on "NBC Repertory Theatre"

1950

Starred in title role on TV pilot, "The Adventures of Fu Manchu"

1951

Hosted syndicated TV series, "Trapped"

1953

Was a regular on TV series, "My Sister Irma"

1962

Appeared on Broadway in the Stephen Sondheim musical, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

1969

Made TV movie debut in "Daughter of the Mind" (ABC)

1974

Stage directing debut, "A Man for All Seasons" at the Episcopal Academy, Philadelphia

1976

Played Father Hale on TV mini-series, "Captains and the Kings"

1981

Starred on Broadway in short-lived musical, "Frankenstein" (opened and closed in one night)

1986

Made final screen appearance in "The Tomb"

Photo Collections

Hillbillys in a Haunted House - Movie Poster
Hillbillys in a Haunted House - Movie Poster
The Grapes of Wrath - Movie Posters
Here are a few original-release American movie posters for The Grapes of Wrath (1940), starring Henry Fonda and directed by John Ford.
Mary of Scotland - Scene Stills
Here are some scene stills from RKO's Mary of Scotland (1936), directed by John Ford and starring Katharine Hepburn and Fredric March.

Videos

Movie Clip

Good Guys And The Bad Guys, The (1969) - Opening, Marshal Flagg Opening with the custom-written title song (by William Lava and Ned Washington, sung by Glenn Yarbrough), exploiting the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, which was what drew writer-producers Ronald Cohen and Dennis Shryack to Chama, New Mexico, and introducing Robert Mitchum, in The Good Guys And The Bad Guys, 1969.
Captains Courageous (1937) - He's A Jonah! Portugese fisherman Manuel (Spencer Tracy) takes the fall for rescued schoolboy Harvey (Freddie Bartholomew), after privately forcing him to confess to his misdeed against Long Jack (John Carradine) in Captains Courageous, 1937.
Blood And Sand (1941) - Whom Have We Served? First appearance by Tyrone Power as the now-adult Juan, returning with his mates home to Seville, "Nacional" (John Carradine) wistful, Manolo (Anthony Quinn) jealous, Maurice Cass the passenger recruited to read the newspaper, in Rouben Mamoulian's Blood And Sand, 1941.
Hitler's Madman (1943) - As Your Protector Having just realized on camera that he needs to kill partisans before they resist, Reich Protector Heydrich (John Carradine, the title character) visits a professor (Tully Marshall) and class, in Hitler's Madman, 1943.
Prisoner Of Shark Island, The (1936) - In The Sight Of The Holy God I Worship As Dr. Samuel Mudd, who treated John Wilkes Booth’s broken leg on the night he shot Lincoln, title character Warner Baxter is getting railroaded at trial, Douglas Wood his lawyer, Arthur Byron the prosecutor, Robert Dudley and others testifying, a grim turn in John Ford’s The Prisoner Of Shark Island, 1936.
Grapes Of Wrath, The (1940) - Can't Keep A Joad In Jail Paroled Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) finally finds his family, Grandma and Grandpa (Zeffie Tilbury, Charley Grapewin) tangling, Pa (Russell Simpson) suggesting California, Ma (Jane Darwell) the first to notice, camera by Gregg Toland, in John Ford's The Grapes Of Wrath, 1940, from the Steinbeck novel.
Grapes Of Wrath, The (1940) - No More Holy Spirit Oklahoma Parolee Tom Joad (Henry Fonda) comes upon the demoralized preacher Casy (John Carradine), en route to his family farm, early in John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath, 1940, from the John Steinbeck novel.
Captain Kidd (1945) - Deep Enough To Bury A Man The title character (Charles Laughton) makes an example of Blades (Abner Biberman) as his crew (including John Carradine, Gilbert Roland and Sheldon Leonard) bury loot off Madagascar, in an early scene from Captain Kidd, 1945.
Captain Kidd (1945) - Touched Off The Magazine The title character (Charles Laughton), secretly a pirate, and aide Lorenzo (Gilbert Roland) transfer the nobleman (Lumsden Hare) and daughter (Barbara Britton) and their treasure to their ship, their game soon revealed, the under-cover good guy Mercy (Randolph Scott) worried, in Captain Kidd, 1945.
Captain Kidd (1945) - Opening, Dead Men Don't Talk The opening sequence of director Rowland V. Lee's Captain Kidd, 1945, leads into some historical framing and the title character (Charles Laughton) commenting on dead men keeping secrets.
Swamp Water (1941) - The Okefenokee Swamp Opening renowned French director Jean Renoir’s first film in the U.S., on location at the Okefenokee in Georgia, Dana Andrews in a search party, with Walter Huston, Ward Bond and others, in Swamp Water, 1941, from the only novel by Georgia-born Vereen Bell, who died in action in the Philippines in World War Two.
Swamp Water (1941) - You Little Fightin' Cat Dana Andrews is backwoods Georgia teen Ben, planning to enter the Okefenokee to find his dog, at the general store with locals including Eugene Pallette, Russell Simpson, Ward Bond, Guinn Williams and Anne Baxter, as the rather wild young ward of the owner, Jean Renoir directing, in Swamp Water, 1941.

Trailer

Five Came Back - (Original Trailer) Lucille Ball plays the ultimate game of Survivor after a jungle plane crash in the thriller Five Came Back (1939).
Last Gangster, The - (Original Trailer) When a notorious gangster (Edward G. Robinson) gets out of prison, he vows revenge on the wife who left him. Also starring James Stewart.
Grapes of Wrath, The - (Original Trailer) Henry Fonda stars in John Ford's movie version of the John Steinbeck novel about Depression-era migrants, The Grapes of Wrath (1940).
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex - (Original Trailer) Woody Allen's 1972 comic adaptation of the popular sex manual.
Barbary Coast Gent - (Original Trailer) Wallace Beery plays a bandit from the gold fields who moves to San Francisco and tries to go straight in Barbary Coast Gent (1944).
Bride of Frankenstein - (Re-issue trailer) To save his wife, Baron Frankenstein must build a mate for his monster in Bride of Frankenstein (1935), starring Boris Karloff.
Captains Courageous - (Re-issue Trailer) A spoiled rich kid is lost at sea and rescued by a fishing boat, where hard work and responsibility help him become a man.
Hitler's Madman - (Original Trailer) The Nazis take revenge on a Czech village after one of their most sadistic commanders (John Carradine) is assassinated there. Directed by Douglas Sirk.
Cheyenne Autumn - (Original Trailer) A reluctant calvary Captain must track a defiant tribe of migrating Cheyennes in Cheyenne Autumn (1964).
Northwest Rangers - (Original Trailer) A Mountie (William Lundigan) tracks a childhood friend gone bad in Northwest Rangers (1943).
True Story of Jesse James, The - (Original Trailer) Robert Wagner turns infamous outlaw in Nicholas Ray's The True Story of Jesse James (1957).
Adventures of Mark Twain, The - (Original Trailer) Fredric March plays the great American humorist in his life story The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944).

Family

William Reed Carradine
Father
Attorney, poet, AP correspondent.
Genevieve Winifred Carradine
Mother
Surgeon.
Bruce Carradine
Son
Actor. Mother Ardanelle McCool Cosner; adopted.
David Carradine
Son
Actor. Mother Ardanelle McCool Cosner.
Christopher John Carradine
Son
Architect. Born c. 1947 mother Sonia Sorel.
Keith Ian Carradine
Son
Actor. Mother Sonia Sorel.
Robert Reed Carradine
Son
Actor. Mother Sonia Sorel.

Companions

Ardanelle McCool Cosner
Wife
Married 1935, divorced 1944; had son Bruce, from first marriage.
Sonia Sorel
Wife
Actor. Married 1945, divorced 1955; fought a three-year custody battle for their three sons; John Carradine won custody; co-starred with Carradine; mother of Keith, Robert, and Christopher Carradine.
Doris Irving Rich
Wife
Married 1957 until her death in 1971.
Emily Cisneros
Wife
Married 1975 until his death.

Bibliography

"John Carradine: The Films"
Tom Weaver, McFarland (1999)