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Buster Crabbe
Birth: Feb. 2, 1908
Alameda County
California, USA
Death: Apr. 23, 1983
Maricopa County
Arizona, USA

Olympic Athlete and Actor. He is best remembered as one of the original action heroes of 1930s and 1940s cinema, as well as winning the 400m freestyle swimming gold medal at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California. From there, he launched his acting career, most notably in the title role of the "Flash Gordon" and "Buck Rogers" serials, as well as the Western folk hero 'Billy the Kid'. He is the only actor to play Tarzan, Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers, the top three syndicated comic strip heroes of the 1930s. He was born Clarence Linden Crabbe II in Oakland, California where his father was a real estate broker. He moved to Honolulu, Hawaii with his family where he graduated from the college preparatory Punahou School. In 1928 he won the bronze medal for the 1,500 meters freestyle at the Summer Olympics in Amsterdam, Netherlands and he won the gold medal for the 400 meters freestyle in 1932, when he beat Jean Taris of France by a tenth of a second. He attended the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, California, where he was the school's first All-American swimmer (1931) and a 1931 NCAA freestyle titlist. After graduating from USC in 1931, he married Adah Virginia Held two years later, with the intention of pursuing a law degree at USC if he did not succeed as an actor. In 1933 he made his film debut in "Tarzan the Fearless." He went on to star in several popular films at this time, including "The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi" (1933, with Betty Grable), "Search for Beauty" (1934), and played typical "jungle man" roles in the films "King of the Jungle" (1933), "Jungle Man" (1941), and the 1952 serial "King of the Congo." In 1936 he played the title role in the very successful "Flash Gordon" serial, followed by two sequels in 1938 and 1940. The series was shown later extensively on American television in the 1950s and 1960s, then edited for release on home video. In 1939 he played the title role in the "Buck Rogers" series. In 1940 he starred at the Billy Rose's Aquacade at the New York World's Fair in its second year, replacing Olympic gold medal winner and actor Johnny Weissmuller. In the 1940s he played 'Billy the Kid' in 36 different films. In the 1950s, two comic book series were named after him, 12 issues of "Buster Crabbe Comics," published by Eastern Color from 1951 to 1953, and Lev Gleason's "The Amazing Adventures of Buster Crabbe," for four issues in 1954. From 1955 until 1957 he starred in the title role of the NBC television series "Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion." He was featured frequently in archival footage of the 1950s children's television program "The Gabby Hayes Show." Prior to his playing "Captain Michael Gallant" he had hosted a local New York City, New York-based children's film wraparound television series "The Buster Crabbe Show." In the 1960s, his film and television career declined and he pursued business interests, including the vice-president of sales for the swimming pool company Cascade Industries of Edison, New Jersey. He also appeared in television commercials for Hormel Chili, Icy Hot, and the Magic Mold Bodyshirt, an upper body male girdle of sorts, which purportedly helped in weight loss. He appeared in the 1982 feature film, "The Comeback Trail," one year before his death. He died of a heart attack in his home at the age of 75. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Family links: 
  Adah Virginia Held Crabbe (1912 - 2004)
  Caren Lynn Crabbe (1937 - 1957)*
*Calculated relationship
Green Acres Memorial Park
Maricopa County
Arizona, USA
Plot: Heritage Gardens vault, not accessible to public view
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Apr 15, 2001
Find A Grave Memorial# 21280
Buster Crabbe
Added by: Anthony
Buster Crabbe
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Dave
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- frank
 Added: May. 20, 2016

- Carolyn
 Added: Apr. 23, 2016

- Sissy
 Added: Apr. 23, 2016
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