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Joel McCrea

Joel McCrea

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Also Known As: Joel Albert Mccrea Died: October 20, 1990
Born: November 5, 1905 Cause of Death: pulmonary complications (flu developed into pneumonia)
Birth Place: South Pasadena, California, USA Profession: actor, stuntman, ranch hand, rancher, construction teamster, home-delivery newsboy, investor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Likable, ruggedly handsome figure, a durable star who first made his name in adventures and melodramas of the 1930s. McCrea gave one of his finest performances in Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent" (1940) and brought an amiable, relaxed charm to his comic roles, especially when directed by Preston Sturges in "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) and "The Palm Beach Story" (1942) and by George Stevens in "The More the Merrier" (1943). His offhand yet sincere style also kept him much in demand as a lead in "women's pictures" (as they were then called), and McCrea played romantically opposite female divas including Constance Bennett ("Rockabye" 1932), Irene Dunne ("The Silver Cord" 1933), Barbara Stanwyck ("Gambling Lady" 1934), Merle Oberon ("These Three" 1936) and Ginger Rogers ("Primrose Path" 1940)

Likable, ruggedly handsome figure, a durable star who first made his name in adventures and melodramas of the 1930s. McCrea gave one of his finest performances in Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent" (1940) and brought an amiable, relaxed charm to his comic roles, especially when directed by Preston Sturges in "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) and "The Palm Beach Story" (1942) and by George Stevens in "The More the Merrier" (1943). His offhand yet sincere style also kept him much in demand as a lead in "women's pictures" (as they were then called), and McCrea played romantically opposite female divas including Constance Bennett ("Rockabye" 1932), Irene Dunne ("The Silver Cord" 1933), Barbara Stanwyck ("Gambling Lady" 1934), Merle Oberon ("These Three" 1936) and Ginger Rogers ("Primrose Path" 1940)

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Mustang Country (1976) Dan Treego
2.
 Great American Cowboy (1973) Narration
3.
 Cry Blood, Apache (1970) Older Pitcalin
4.
 Free Grass (1969) Agent no. 1
5.
 Ride the High Country (1962) Steve Judd
6.
 The Crowning Experience (1960) Prologue narrator
7.
 The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959) Bat Masterson
8.
 Cattle Empire (1958) John Cord
9.
 Fort Massacre (1958) Vinson
10.
 Trooper Hook (1957) Sgt. Clovis Hook
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
While a juvenile, delivered the LOS ANGELES TIMES to Cecil B DeMille and other film people; also watched D W Griffith filming "Intolerance"
:
Broke into film industry holding horses for William S Hart and Tom Mix
:
Acted on stage at Pomona College and Pasadena Playhouse
1922:
Worked as extra, stuntman, and bit player in silent pictures
:
Made brief appearances in the films, "Penrod and Sam" and "A Self-Made Failure"
1928:
Signed contract with MGM
1929:
Film acting debut in "The Jazz Age"
1929:
First leading film role in "The Silver Horde"
1930:
Signed contract with RKO
1933:
Purchased first 1,000 acres of his eventual 3,000-acre spread in Thousand Oaks, CA
1934:
Made first of five films co-starring Miriam Hopkins, "The Richest Girl in the World"
1934:
Made first of six films co-starring Barbara Stanwyck, "Gambling Lady"
1937:
First actor to play Dr. Kildare on screen in "Internes Can't Take Money"
1941:
Made first of three key films with writer-director Preston Sturges, "Sullivan's Travels"
1944:
Made primarily Westerns after starring in "Buffalo Bill"
1953:
Travelled to England to make one of his few late-career non-Westerns, "Shoot First/Rough Shoot"
:
Starred and co-produced TV western series, "Wichita Town"
1962:
Made last feature film for many years, "Ride the High Country"
1969:
Inducted into the Hall of Fame of Great Western Actors in Oklahoma City
1976:
Last acting appearance, "Mustang Country"
1985:
Appeared as himself in the feature documentary, "George Stevens: A Filmmaker's Journey"
1990:
Last public appearance at a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Wilson in Beverly Hills CA (October 3)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Hollywood High School: Hollywood , California -
Pomona State College: Pomona , California - 1928

Notes

"I liked doing comedies, but as I got older I was better suited to do Westerns. Because I think it becomes unattractive for an older fellow trying to look young, falling in love with attractive girls in those kinds of situations...Anyway, I always felt so much more comfortable in the Western. The minute I got a horse and a hat and a pair of boots on, I felt easier. I didn't feel like I was an actor anymore. I felt like I was the guy out there doing it." --Joel McCrea in 1978 interview.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Frances Dee. Actor. Married October, 1933; met while filming "The Silver Cord" (1933); subsequently appeared together in "One Man's Journey" (1933), "Wells Fargo" (1937) and "Four Faces West" (1948).

Family close complete family listing

father:
Thomas McCrea. Utility executive. Worked for L.A. Gas & Electric Company.
son:
Jody McCrea. Actor, rancher. Born September 6, 1934; left acting to become a rancher.
son:
David McCrea. Rancher.
son:
Peter McCrea. Land planner, real estate developer. Married to Jack Lemmon's daughter Courtney.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Last of the Cowboy Heroes: The Westerns of Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, and Audie Murphy" McFarland

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