John Carradine Biography

Film Actor, Actor(1906–1988)
In 1935, actor John Carradine began a non-stop film career. He appeared in 10 films by director John Ford, including The Prisoner of Shark Island.

Synopsis

John Carradine was born in New York City on February 5, 1906. He made his screen debut in 1930 in Tol'able David. In 1935, he began a non-stop acting career. Though he turned in fine performances in numerous character roles throughout the 1930s and '40s, Carradine took on an increasing number of parts in cheap horror flicks, eventually appearing in more films of that genre than virtually any other actor. He died in Italy on November 27, 1988.

Early Life

Born Richmond Reed Carradine on February 5, 1906, in New York City, John Carradine is considered to be one of Hollywood's most prolific character actors. Carradine grew up in Peekskill and Kingston, New York, and attended Christ Church School. He worked as a painter and sculptor in the South before making his acting debut in a production of Camille in New Orleans in 1925.

Commercial Success

Ready to try his luck as an actor, Carradine moved to Hollywood in 1927, but didn't make his screen debut until 1930 in Tol'able David. In 1935, he signed with Fox, changed his name from John Peter Richmond to John Carradine, and began a non-stop career both vast and varied. Early in his career, he appeared in 10 films by director John Ford, including the The Prisoner of Shark Island in 1936.

Though he turned in fine performances in numerous character roles throughout the 1930s and '40s, Carradine took on an increasing number of parts in cheap horror flicks, eventually appearing in more films of that genre than virtually any other actor. In addition, he toured in one-man Shakespeare productions and continued to play every imaginable role, including Dracula, Presidents and Nazis. His unusual credits and booming presence earned him a reputation as an eccentric, and he became known as the "Bard of the Boulevard" because he often recited Shakespeare while strolling the Hollywood streets.

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