Whit Bissell was born in New York City in 1909. Whit Bissell came to Hollywood in the 1940s, and by the time he retired he had appeared in over 300 movies and TV series. Sometimes it seems like he is in every movie. Just there moving steadily along and never standing out. However, his performance was always solid. He may be best known for playing the mad scientist who turned Michael Landon into a monster in the 1957 cult classic film I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957). He was also in I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1967). Whit Bissell specialized in playing authority figures such as doctors, military officers, and other authority figures. One of his standout roles was as a lovesick convict in the harsh film noir movie Brute Force (1947). He was familiar on television in “Bachelor Father” 1957-1960 and “The Time Tunnel” 1966-1967. He was in only in one “Star Trek” episode but it was “The Trouble with Tribbles” 1967.
Whit Bissell served on the Screen … Continue reading
Burt Lancaster was born in Manhattan. All four of his grandparents were immigrants from Northern Ireland. Lancaster grew up on the streets and was a tuff character. He became interested in gymnastics and was a high school athlete. Following his mother’s death, he dropped out of college and later joined the circus at age 19 where he could use his considerable physical skills.
He met his lifelong friend Nick Cravet during his circus period. In 1939, a hand injury forced Lancaster to quit his beloved circus. For a time he worked at department stores as a singing waiter.
When World War II broke out he joined the Army and ended up in the USO entertaining troops. He served in the Italian theater of operation. Following the war, he was not excited to become an actor but he tried out for a stage role and landed the part. With his intense blue eyes, athletic physique, and devilish smile it is not hard to see how he got the role.
Although the play … Continue reading
Hugh Marlowe was born in Pennsylvania in 1911. Marlowe had a radio, stage, and film career. I will confine myself to just the films at this point.
Marlow began his stage career in the early 1930’s at the Pasadena Playhouse in California. His first appeared on the New York stage in a 1936 production of ”Arrest That Woman.”
Marlowe’s best work was in sci-fi. Marlowe’s first film was Married Before Breakfast (1937). His films included Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Twelve O’Clock High (1949) as a critical character in this fine story along with Gregory Peck, All About Eve (1950), Night and the City (1950), The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), Rawhide (1951), Howard Hawks’ Monkey Business (1952), Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956) as the lead Earth scientist, World Without End (1956), Elmer Gantry (1960), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and Seven Days in May (1964).
When Marlowe’s film days were over he was on the soap opera “Another World” from 1969 until his death in … Continue reading