Broderick Crawford

Biography

Date of Birth 9 December 1911, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA Date of Death 26 April 1986, Rancho Mirage, California, USA (after a series of strokes) Birth Name William Broderick Crawford Nickname Brod Height 6' (1.83 m) Mini Biography Broderick Crawford is best remembered for two roles: his Oscar-winning turn as Willie Stark in All the King's Men (1949), and as Chief Dan Matthews on the syndicated TV series "Highway Patrol" (1955). He was also memorable as Judy Holliday's boisterous boyfriend in Born Yesterday (1950). He was born William Broderick Crawford on December 9, 1911, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Lester Crawford and Helen Broderick, two vaudeville performers. His mother eventually had a small movie career acting in comedies shot in Hollywood. Her son, the large and burly Broderick Crawford, was no one's idea of a leading man due to his rough-and-tumble looks, but he broke through as an actor playing John Steinbeck's simple-minded giant Lenny in the Broadway adaptation of Steinbeck's novella "Of Mice and Men". After his Broadway success, Crawford moved to Hollywood and made his cinema debut in the comedy Woman Chases Man (1937), in a supporting role to stars Joel McCrea and Miriam Hopkins. When producer-director Lewis Milestone was casting the movie version of Steinbeck's classic (Of Mice and Men (1939)), he passed over Crawford and chose Lon Chaney Jr. to play Lenny. Chaney gave a wonderful performance, and Crawford was in peril of being overlooked, as there were not many good roles for a man with his hulking bulk and gravelly voice. After many supporting roles (including a memorable turn as a big but kind-hearted lug in the comedy Larceny, Inc. (1942)) and a stint in the military during World War II, Crawford had his breakthrough role in Robert Rossen's adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "All the King's Men". Crawford gave a masterful performance as the Southern politician modeled on Louisiana's Huey Long. In addition to the Oscar, he also won the New York Film Critics' Award as Best Actor. "All the King's Men" was a hit, as was "Born Yesterday" (Crawford replaced Paul Douglas, who had originated the role on Broadway, in this cast). However, he was unable to keep up his career due to typecasting as a crude, boorish brute. The fact that he was a hard drinker and was occasionally belligerent on-set didn't help his career prospects. Five years after copping the Academy Award, TV producer Frederick W. Ziv hired Crawford to play the lead role in his syndicated police drama, "Highway Patrol". The show ran for four seasons, and imprinted Crawford's character of Dan Matthews into a generation of Baby Boomers' minds in its first and subsequent runs in syndication on the boob tube. After being moribund in the early 1950s, Crawford's career was revived, and he generally eschewed making movies for TV for the rest of his life. Broderick Crawford continued to act almost up until his death in Rancho Mirage, California, on April 26, 1986. He passed at the age of 74, after a series of strokes. Though he had a career that spanned 50 years, he never again got roles that brought out the true talent of the thespian under the gruff exterior. Spouse Mary Alice Moore (8 August 1973 - 26 April 1986) (his death) Joan Tabor (4 January 1962 - 26 April 1967) (divorced) Kay Griffith (20 November 1940 - 19 August 1958) (divorced) 2 children Trade Mark Probably best known for the "10-4" sign off on his patrol car radio in the TV series "Highway Patrol" (1955) of the '50s. Machine gun delivery of dialogue in Born Yesterday (1950) and "Highway Patrol" (1955) Trivia Son of actress Helen Broderick and Lester Crawford. Sons: Kelly and Kim. Father of Kelly G. Crawford Appeared on Broadway for the second (and last) time as "Lennie" in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" in 1937, which established him as an actor. One of his co-stars was Will Geer. Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives." Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 210-211. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999. During World War 2, he was a regular radio announcer for the Armed Forces Network, introducing broadcasts of live musical performances for such artists as Glenn Miller's Air Force Band. Personal Quotes My trademarks are a hoarse, grating voice and the face of a retired pugilist: small narrowed eyes set in puffy features which look as though they might, years ago, have lost on points.

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Known For
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All the King's Men

Willie Stark

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Il Bidone

Augusto

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Born Yesterday

Harry Brock

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The mob

Johnny Damico

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Scandal Sheet

Mark Chapman aka George Grant

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Convicted

George Knowland

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Big House U.S.A.

Rollo Lamar

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Not as a Stranger

Dr. Aarons

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Between Heaven and Hell

Capt. 'Waco' Grimes, CO Co.G

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Night People

Charles Leatherby

Starring In
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Boulevard! A Hollywood Story

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Fellini degli Spiriti

Augusto (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!

Himself (archive footage)

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Liar's Moon

Col. Tubman

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The Uppercrust

Mike Carrady

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Dark Forces

Doc Wheelan

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A Little Romance

Himself

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The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover

J. Edgar Hoover

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Ningen no shômei

Police Captain O'Brien

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Mayday at 40,000 Feet!

Marshal Riese

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Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood

Special Effects Man

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Look What's Happened to Rosemary's Baby

Sheriff Holtzman

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Terror in the Wax Museum

Amos Burns

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Embassy

Frank Dunniger

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The Candidate

Voice of Jarmon, Narrator (uncredited)

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Adventures of Nick Carter

Otis Duncan

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A Tattered Web

Willard Edson

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Maharlika

Gen. Hadley

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The Challenge

Gen. Lewis Meyers

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Hell's Bloody Devils

Gavin

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Gregorio and His Angel

Gregorio

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Red Tomahawk

Columbus Smith

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Mutiny at Fort Sharpe

Colonel Lenox

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The Oscar

Sheriff

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The Texican

Luke Starr

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Up from the Beach

MP Major

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A House Is Not a Home

Harrigan

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No temas a la ley

Man in hotel (uncredited)

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Tre Passi dalla Sedia Elettrica

Warden

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Die Rache des Herkules

Re Eurito / King Eurystheus

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The Decks Ran Red

Henry Scott

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Between Heaven and Hell

Capt. 'Waco' Grimes, CO Co.G

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The Fastest Gun Alive

Vinnie Harold

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Not as a Stranger

Dr. Aarons

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Il Bidone

Augusto

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Big House U.S.A.

Rollo Lamar

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New York Confidential

Charlie Lupo

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Night People

Charles Leatherby

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Down Three Dark Streets

FBI Agent John 'Rip' Ripley

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Human Desire

Carl Buckley

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Der Letzte Suchtrupp

Sheriff John Frazier

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Last of the Comanches

Sgt. Matt Trainor

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Stella Solitaria

Thomas Craden

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Scandal Sheet

Mark Chapman aka George Grant

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Stop, You're Killing Me

Remy Marko

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The mob

Johnny Damico

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Born Yesterday

Harry Brock

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Convicted

George Knowland

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All the King's Men

Willie Stark

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A Kiss in the Dark

Mr. Botts

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Badmen of Tombstone

William Morgan

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The Time Of Your Life

Krupp (a bewildered policeman)

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The Flame

Ernie Hicks

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Black Angel

Police Captain Flood

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Larceny, Inc.

Jug Martin

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Breakdowns of 1942

Self (uncredited)

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The Black Cat

Hubert A. Gilmore 'Gil' Smith

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Badlands of Dakota

Bob Holliday

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Seven Sinners

Little Ned

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Slightly Honorable

Russel Sampson

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When the Daltons Rode

Bob Dalton

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The Real Glory

Lieut. Larson

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Beau Geste

Hank Miller

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Eternally Yours

Don

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Island of Lost Men

Tex Ballister

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Woman Chases Man

Hunk

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