John Carradine – Second Best Dracula

John Carradine

John Carradine

John Carradine - Second Best Dracula

John Carradine is a fantastic American actor that had 321 television and film credits. He was very tall and slim and had a wonderfully deep voice that made him ideal playing horror roles.

John Carradine was born on February 5, 1906, in New York City. When Carradine was two years old his father died. When his mother remarried they moved to Philidelphia. Apparently, his new stepfather treated him brutally. Carradine ran away from home when he was 14 but later returned. For a time he attended Philadelphia’s Graphic Arts Institute. Later he moved to New York and lived with his uncle Peter Richmond. At some point, he studied under a sculptor in Richmond, Virgina. For a time he worked as painter and sketch artist. He eventually ended up in New Orleans in 1925. Remember Lugosi showed up there in late 1920. I believe this is where you go to learn to be a vampire and I think I turned into on one Maudlin Monday night myself. During this travel period, he was arrested for vagrancy and had his nose broken while in jail.

Carradine made his stage debut in New Orleans in 1925. He worked in theater, until 1927, when a banana shipping job took him to Los Angles. He began working in theater in LA and was eventually hired to work on sets for Cecil B. DeMille. He lasted around two weeks until DeMille heard him reciting lines. DeMille hired him for voice over work and he became a member of DeMille’s stock company.

Carradine’s first credited movie was Tol’able David (1930), but he claimed 70 more pictures before getting billing. He also said that he tested for the role of Dracula that went to Bela Lugosi. However, this cannot be supported with documentation. Carradine continued to take small parts but he showed a talent for horror from the very beginning with films like The Invisible Man (1933), The Black Cat Cult (1934), and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935).

John Carradine

John Carradine

This is not to say that he was not successful with other genres. By 1936, he was part of Director John Ford’s stock company. He turned in performances in movies such as Mary of Scotland (1936), The Garden of Allah (1936 ), The Prisoner of Shark Island (1936) White Fang (1936 ), Captains Courageous (1936 ), Captain Fury (1939), Drums Along the Mohawk (1939 ), Jesse James (1939 ), The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), The Three Musketeers (1939), Stagecoach (1939), Brigham Young (1940), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Return of Frank James (1940), and Western Union (1941).

The 1940s saw Carradine turn in horror performances for Universal Studios Dracula sequels House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945). Wartime dramas include 1943 Hitler’s Madman and 1943 I Escaped from the Gestapo. Other horrors in this period include Revenge of the Zombies (1943), 1944 Bluebeard, 1944 Return of the Ape Man, 1944 The Invisible Man’s Revenge, 1944 The Mummy’s Ghost, 1944 Voodoo Man Toby, and House of Frankenstein (1944).

Carradine has a small but powerful role in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) as Maj. Cassius Starbuckle. He was also appearing in junkers to pay his bills like Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (1966) where he again played Count Dracula. Late in life, Carradine played melancholy werewolf Erle Kenton in The Howling (1981). The character name was a nod to John’s House of Frankenstein (1944) and House of Dracula (1945) director Erle C. Kenton.

Carradine continued to work in film and television through 1988 but his material was released as late as 1995. With four wives, Carradine managed to father five sons.  Four of these, David, Robert, Keith, and Bruce are actors. David Carradine is these best known with several successful movies such as Bound for Glory (1976), Circle of Iron (1978), The Long Riders (1980), Lone Wolf McQuade (1983), Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004). However, his is best known for his hugely popular television show “Kung Fu” 1972-1975.  Brother Robert Carradine is known for the Revenge of the Nerds (1984), The Big Red One (1980), and most recently for Django Unchained (2012). Keith Carradine is known for The Duellist (1977), The Long Riders (1980), and Southern Comfort (1981).

John Carradine

John Carradine

In his first year of retired, John Carradine passed away from multiple organ failures while traveling in Milan, Italy on November 27, 1988.

Selected Filmography

1995 Jack-O  Walter Machen
1990 Buried Alive Jacob Julian
1987 Evil Spawn Dr. Emil Zeitman
1986 Peggy Sue Got Married Leo
1986 Monster in the Closet Old Joe Shempter
1986 The Tomb Mr. Andoheb
1986 Prison Ship The Justice
1985 Evils of the Night Dr. Kozmar
1984 The Ice Pirates Supreme Commander
1983 House of the Long Shadows Lord Elijah Grisbane
1983 The Vals Mr. Stanton – Head of the Orphanage
1982 The Secret of NIMH Great Owl (voice)
1982 Satan’s Mistress Father Stratten
1982 Klynham Summer Hubert Salter
1982 Aladdin and the Magic Lamp The Wizard (English version, voice)
1981 Frankenstein Island Dr. Frankenstein
1981 The Nesting Col. LeBrun
1981 The Monster Club R.Chetwynd-Hayes – Writer
1981 The Howling Erle Kenton
1980 The Boogey Man Dr. Warren
1980 Monster Priest
1979 Nocturna Count Dracula
1979 Missile X: The Neutron Bomb Incident Professor Nikolaeff
1978 The Bees Dr. Sigmund Hummel
1978 Vampire Hookers Richmond Reed
1978 Sunset Cove Judge Harley Winslow
1978 Doctor Dracula Hadley Radcliff
1977 Golden Rendezvous Fairweather
1977 Shock Waves Captain Ben Morris
1977 The Mouse and His Child The Tramp (voice)
1977 Satan’s Cheerleaders The Bum
1977 The White Buffalo Amos Briggs (Undertaker)
1977 The Sentinel Father Halliran
1976 Crash! Dr. Welsey Edwards
1976 The Last Tycoon Tour Guide
1976 The Killer Inside Me Dr. Jason Smith
1976 The Shootist Beckum
1976 Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood Drunk
1975 Mary, Mary, Bloody Mary The Man
1974 Moonchild Mr. Walker
1974 The House of Seven Corpses Edgar Price
1973 Superchick Igor Smith
1973 Bad Charleston Charlie Fritz Frugal – Reporter
1973 Terror in the Wax Museum  Claude Dupree
1972 Silent Night, Bloody Night Charlie Towman
1972 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex * But Were Afraid to Ask Doctor Bernardo
1972 Richard Plastic Surgeon
1972 Boxcar Bertha H. Buckram Sartoris
1971 The Seven Minutes Sean O’Flanagan
1971 The Gatling Gun Rev. Harper
1971 Will to Die Christopher Dean
1971 Honey Britches
1970 Bigfoot Jasper B. Hawks
1970 The McMasters Preacher
1970 Myra Breckinridge Surgeon
1970 Blood of the Iron Maiden Dr. Goolie
1970 Horror of the Blood Monsters Dr. Rynning
1970 Cain’s Way Preacher Simms
1970 Hell’s Bloody Devils Pet Shop Owner
1969 The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals Prof. Cummings
1969 Five Bloody Graves Boone Hawkins
1969 The Good Guys and the Bad Guys Ticker
1969 The Vampires Count Branos Alucard
1969 Blood of Dracula’s Castle George – the butler
1969 The Trouble with Girls Mr. Drewcolt
1969 Diabolical Pact Dr. Halback
1968 Autopsia de un fantasma Satán
1968 The Astro-Zombies Dr. DeMarco
1968 They Ran for Their Lives Laslo
1968 The Helicopter Spies Third-Way Priest
1967 Psycho à Go-Go Dr. Howard Vanard
1967 The Hostage Otis Lovelace
1967 Hillbillys in a Haunted House Dr. Himmil
1967 Gallery of Horror Narrator / Tristram Halbin
1966 The Emperor’s New Clothes King Luvimself
1966 Night Train to Mundo Fine Mr. Wilson
1966 Munster, Go Home! Cruikshank
Billy the Kid Versus Dracula (1966) – Count Dracula / James Underhill
1965 House of the Black Death Andre Desard
1965 The Wizard of Mars The Wizard of Mars
1965 Curse of the Stone Hand The Old Drunk
1964 Cheyenne Autumn Jeff Blair
1964 The Patsy Bruce Alden
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) – Maj. Cassius Starbuckle
1960 Sex Kittens Go to College Prof. Watts
1960 Tarzan the Magnificent Abel Banton
1960 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Slave Catcher
1959 The Incredible Petrified World Prof. Millard Wyman
1959 The Oregon Trail Zachariah Garrison
1959 Invasion of the Animal People Narrator (English version, voice)
1959 Invisible Invaders Dr. Karol Noymann
1959 The Cosmic Man Cosmic Man
1958 Half Human Dr. John Rayburn – Narrator
1958 The Last Hurrah Amos Force
1958 The Proud Rebel Traveling Salesman
1958 Showdown at Boot Hill Doc Weber
1957 Hell Ship Mutiny Malone
1957 The Story of Mankind Khufu
1957 The True Story of Jesse James Rev. Jethro Bailey
1956 Around the World in Eighty Days Col. Stamp Proctor – San Francisco Politico
1956 The Ten Commandments Aaron
1956 Female Jungle Claude Almstead
1956 The Black Sleep Borg aka Bohemond
1956 Hidden Guns Snipe Harding
1956 Dark Venture Gideon
1955 The Court Jester Giacomo
1955 Desert Sands Jala the Wine Merchant
1955 The Kentuckian Ziby Fletcher
1955 Stranger on Horseback Col. Buck Streeter
1954 Thunder Pass Bergstrom
1954 The Egyptian Grave Robber
1954 Johnny Guitar Old Tom
1954 Casanova’s Big Night Minister Foressi
1949 ‘C’-Man Doc Spencer
1947 The Private Affairs of Bel Ami Charles Forestier
1946 Down Missouri Way Thorndyke ‘Thorny’ P. Dunning
1946 The Face of Marble Dr. Charles Randolph
1945 House of Dracula Count Dracula
1945 Captain Kidd Orange Povy
1945 Fallen Angel Professor Madley
1945 It’s in the Bag! Jefferson T. Pike
House of Frankenstein (1944) – Dracula
1944 Alaska John Reagan
1944 Bluebeard Gaston Morel
1944 Barbary Coast Gent Duke Cleat
1944 Return of the Ape Man Prof. John Gilmore
1944 The Mummy’s Ghost Yousef Bey
1944 Waterfront Victor Marlow
1944 The Invisible Man’s Revenge Doctor Drury
1944 The Black Parachute General von Bodenbach
1944 The Adventures of Mark Twain Bret Harte
1944 Voodoo Man Toby
1943 Gangway for Tomorrow Mr. Wellington
1943 Revenge of the Zombies Dr. Max Heinrich Von Altermann
1943 Isle of Forgotten Sins Mike Clancy
1943 Silver Spurs Lucky Miller
1943 Hitler’s Madman Reinhardt Heydrich
1943 Captive Wild Woman Dr. Sigmund Walters
1943 I Escaped from the Gestapo Martin – Gestapo Agent
1942 Reunion in France Ulrich Windler
1942 Northwest Rangers Martin Caswell
1942 Whispering Ghosts Norbert (Long Jack)
1942 Son of Fury: The Story of Benjamin Blake Caleb Green
1941 Swamp Water Jesse Wick
1941 Man Hunt Mr. Jones
1941 Blood and Sand El Nacional
1941 Western Union Doc Murdoch
1940 Chad Hanna B.D. Bisbee
1940 Brigham Young Porter Rockwell
1940 The Return of Frank James Bob Ford
1940 The Grapes of Wrath Jim Casy
1939 Drums Along the Mohawk Caldwell
1939 Frontier Marshal Ben Carter
1939 Five Came Back Crimp
1939 Captain Fury Coughy / Roger Bradford
1939 The Hound of the Baskervilles Barryman
1939 The Three Musketeers Naveau
Stagecoach (1939) – Hatfield
1939 Mr. Moto’s Last Warning Danforth
1939 Jesse James Bob Ford
1938 Submarine Patrol McAllison
1938 Gateway Leader of Refugees
1938 I’ll Give a Million Kopelpeck
1938 Kidnapped Gordon
1938 Alexander’s Ragtime Band Taxi Driver
1938 Kentucky Moonshine Reef Hatfield
1938 Four Men and a Prayer General Adolfo Arturios Gregario Sebastian
1938 Of Human Hearts President Lincoln
1938 International Settlement Murdock
1937 Thank You, Mr. Moto Pereira
1937 The Last Gangster Casper
1937 The Hurricane Warden
1937 Ali Baba Goes to Town Ishak / Broderick
1937 Danger – Love at Work Herbert Pemberton
1937 Love Under Fire Capt. Delmar
1937 This Is My Affair Ed
1937 Captains Courageous ‘Long Jack’
1937 Nancy Steele Is Missing! Harry Wilkins
1936 Laughing at Trouble Deputy Sheriff Alec Brady
1936 Winterset Bartolomio Romagna
1936 Daniel Boone Simon Girty
1936 The Garden of Allah Sand Diviner
1936 Dimples Richards
1936 Ramona Jim Farrar
1936 Mary of Scotland David Rizzio
1936 White Fang Beauty Smith
1936 The Prisoner of Shark Island Sgt. Rankin
1936 Anything Goes Bearded Ballet Master (uncredited)
1935 The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo Despondent Casino Gambler (uncredited)
1935 Bad Boy Angry Saxophone Player – Tenant (uncredited)
1935 The Crusades Leopold – Duke of Austria / A French King / A Wise Man (uncredited)
1935 She Gets Her Man Lunchroom customer (uncredited)
1935 Alias Mary Dow Griffe – Nightclub Drunk (uncredited)
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) – Hunter at Hermit’s Cottage (uncredited)
1935 Cardinal Richelieu Agitator
1935 Les Misérables Enjolras
1935 Transient Lady Ren Baxter (uncredited)
1935 Clive of India Drunken-Faced Clerk (uncredited)
1934 Cleopatra Roman Citizen / Party Guest / Soldier (voice, uncredited)
1934 The Black Cat Cult Organist (uncredited)
1934 The Meanest Gal in Town Stranded Actor (uncredited)
1933 The Invisible Man – Informer Suggesting Ink (uncredited)
1933 To the Last Man Pete Garon (uncredited)
1933 This Day and Age Assistant Principal Abernathy (as John Peter Richmond)
1933 Morning Glory Dream Apparition (uncredited)
1933 The Story of Temple Drake Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
1932 The Sign of the Cross Christian Martyr / Gladiator Leader / Voice in Coliseum Mob / … (uncredited)
1932 Forgotten Commandments First Orator (uncredited)
1931 Heaven on Earth Chicken Sam (as Peter Richmond)
1930 Tol’able David Buzzard Hatburn (as Peter Richmond)
1930 Bright Lights Telegraph Newspaper Photographer (uncredited)

John Carradine

John Carradine

John Carradine

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JEC

I am s a professional archaeologist, a bonsai guy, a classic movie reviewer, and SQL pro.

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