Dick Foran

Dick Foran

Flemington, Hunterdon County, New Jersey, USA
Death 10 Aug 1979 (aged 69)
Panorama City, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Section: BB, Tier: 17, Grave: 10
Memorial ID 8737048 · View Source
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Actor, Vocalist. Dick Foran was very versatile in his movie roles appearing in a wide category of movies from horror, comedies, drama, musicals and westerns spanning from the 1930's thru the 60's performing in over 200 movies with such stars as James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne and Shirley Temple. Although always billed as a prolific "B" actor, he received an Oscar nomination "Best Supporting Actor" for his role in "The Petrified Forest" filmed in 1936. Hoping to cash into the Western craze of the times, Warner Bros. featured him as their answer to Republic's Gene Autry, Champion, Roy Rogers and Trigger in a series of "B" westerns featuring a horse called Smoke or Smokie, billed as the Wonder Horse and he as the "Singing Cowboy." An excellent vocalist, prior to his movie career, he achieved singing prominence as the lead singer with an eastern band and sang on national radio billed as Nick Foran. Motion Picture Herald and Box office polls showed Foran as one of the top ten cowboy film stars. John Nicholas was born in Flemington, New Jersey the son of Arthur and Elizabeth Foran. His father was a political figure in the state commencing with the post Mayor of Flemington. The family would ultimately number five boys. He was a bright student while growing up in Flemington, a good athlete in high school with a fine singing voice and often sang in the church choir. After graduation he attended the Hun School a college preparatory school in nearby Princeton and then enrolled at Princeton University pursuing a degree in geology. He played on the football team while taking courses in the arts where he develop an interest in the theatre. After college, indecision led him to a number of jobs all unsatisfying until his singing led him to a show business career. He came west and after a screen test was signed by Warner Bros. The first order of business was to change his name to "Dick." After leaving Warners, the rest of his movie career was as a character actor with some major roles but mostly small parts. Among the better roles were in "The Fighting 69th," "Fort Apache," and "Donovan's Reef." As age crept up, his career waned but he continued to make guest television and film appearances almost to the end of his life. His last endeavors were as television commercials. Hospitalized at Kaiser Foundation Hospital in Panorama City, he would spend a week before his passing at age 69. A public mass was officiated in Van Nyes at St. James de Chantel Catholic Church with a private burial at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery. Some footnotes...He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His family was of a political nature from his father a New Jersey Senator, Mayor of Flemington, New Jersey, Highway Commissioner, Customs Official, Port of New York. His brother Walter (Moose) Foran served as a New Jersey State Assemblyman, its Majority Leader and was then elected to the state Senate where he died in office.

Bio by: Donald Greyfield

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: MC
  • Added: 10 May 2004
  • Find a Grave Memorial 8737048
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Dick Foran (18 Jun 1910–10 Aug 1979), Find a Grave Memorial no. 8737048, citing San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .