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 Broderick Crawford

Broderick Crawford

Birth
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 26 Apr 1986 (aged 74)
Rancho Mirage, Riverside County, California, USA
Burial Johnstown, Fulton County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 1740 · View Source
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Actor. He was a classic example of "overnight success" in Hollywood. The 1949 release of "All the King's Men," turned him into one of the most popular character leads in Hollywood after winning the Best Actor Oscar and lead to his starring role in another hit film, "Born Yesterday" (1950). However, it was 10 years working in routine supporting roles in more than 20 films that lead to his Oscar triumph. He was born into a performing family – his mother, Helen Broderick, was a Broadway and film actress and his father, Lester Crawford, was a vaudeville performer. Crawford traveled with his parents on tour as a child and later joined them on stage. He entered show business as an adult through vaudeville, joining his parents in working for producer Max Gordon. With the decline of vaudeville, Crawford entered Harvard College, but dropped out and went to work as a stevedore on the New York docks and later worked as a seaman on a tanker ship. He returned to acting through radio and made his Broadway debut in 1934 in the play "She Loves Me Not." After a string of unsuccessful plays, Crawford went to Hollywood and got a part as the butler in the comedy, "Woman Chases Man," produced by Samuel Goldwyn. Crawford's theatrical breakthrough came in 1937 when he played the half-witted Lennie in John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men". His performance won him critical acclaim, but the film role went to Lon Chaney, Jr. WWII intervened and Crawford served in the Army Air Corps and saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. After the war, Crawford resumed his film career with a number of small, supporting roles, but got his big break when director-producer Robert Rossen selected him to portray Willie Stark in "All the King's Men." His portrayal of the megalomaniac political boss of a small state, based on the life of Louisiana Governor and Senator Huey Long, won Crawford the Oscar for Best Actor. He continued to work as a lead in a number of films into the 1950's, typically playing tough guy characters, and was one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the era to jump to television in 1955, when he signed with Ziv TV to do the syndicated series, Highway Patrol. The series ran for three seasons and was a success, but following Highway Patrol, Crawford was unable to get movies or roles of the same quality that he had been offered in the early 50's. Crawford continued to work into the 1970's and one of his most memorable television appearances came in a 1977 episode of CHiPS, that played off of his role in Highway Patrol, with Crawford making a gag appearance as himself, being pulled over for a moving violation by the series' motorcycle officers. Crawford has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for motion pictures and one for television.

Bio by: Craig Johnson


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 1740
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Broderick Crawford (9 Dec 1911–26 Apr 1986), Find A Grave Memorial no. 1740, citing Ferndale Cemetery, Johnstown, Fulton County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .