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Joel McCrea ACTOR
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JOEL MCCREA BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:

Joel Albert McCrea was born on November 5, 1905 in South Pasadena, California. He was an American actor and film star whose career spanned 50 years with appearances in over 90 films. McCrea came from a California family with roots reaching back to the pioneer days. As a youth, McCrea fulfilled his fascination with movies by appearing as an extra in a show starring Ruth Roland. Joel McCrea graduated from Hollywood High School and then Pomona College, class of 1928. During high school, McCrea worked as a stunt double. In college, McCrea acted on stage and took courses in drama and public speaking, and appeared regularly at the Pasadena Playhouse. McCrea was working as an extra, stunt man and bit player from 1927 to 1928 when he signed a contract with MGM where he was cast in a major role in the film “The Jazz Age” (1929). McCrea got his first leading role in “The Silver Horde” (1930). It would be the same film that McCrea would meet his future wife Frances Dee.
 
McCrea moved to RKO in 1930 where he established himself as a handsome leading man who was considered versatile enough to star in both dramas and comedies. He matriculated into one of the most popular action stars of the 1930's, making lasting friendships with such people as director Cecil B. DeMille and comedian Will Rogers. It was Rogers who instilled in McCrea a strong business sense, as well as a love of ranching; before the 1940's had ended, McCrea was a multi-millionaire, as much from his land holdings and ranching activities as from his film work. According to David Ragan's Stars of the '30s, the McCreas were prodigious savers, accumulating a large estate, which included working-ranch properties. McCrea was an outdoorsman who had once listed his occupation as 'rancher' and his hobby as 'acting'.
 
He had begun buying property as early as 1933, when he purchased his first 1,000 acres in what was then an unincorporated area of eastern Ventura County, California, but later became Thousand Oaks, California. This was the beginning of what became a 3,000-acre estate on which McCrea and his wife Frances lived, raised their children, and rode their horses.  Joel McCrea's work ethic was in part attributed to his Scottish heritage and it also may have stemmed from his friendship in the 1930's with fellow personality and sometime actor, Will Rogers. McCrea recounted that "the Oklahoma Sage" gave him a profound piece of advice: "Save half of what you make, and live on just the other half."
 
During the 1930's, McCrea starred in “Bird of Paradise” (1932), a movie that caused some controversy because of his nude scenes with Dolores del Río. In 1934, he made his first appearances with two leading ladies he would be paired with often: with Miriam Hopkins he made “The Richest Girl in the World” (1934), the first of their five films together, and with Barbara Stanwyck he appeared in “Gambling Lady” (1934), the first of their six films. Later in the decade, he was the first actor to play "Dr. Kildare", in the film “Internes Can't Take Money” (1937), and he starred in two large-scale westerns, “Wells Fargo” (1937) with his wife Francis Dee, and Cecil B. DeMille's “Union Pacific” (1939).
 
McCrea reached the peak of his career in the early 1940's, with films such as Alfred Hitchcock's “Foreign Correspondent” (1940), “The More the Merrier” (1943), directed by George Stevens, and two by Preston Sturges, “Sullivan's Travels” (1941), and “The Palm Beach Story” (1942). McCrea also starred in two William Wellman westerns, “The Great Man's Lady” (1942), and “Buffalo Bill” (1944). After the success of “The Virginian” (1946), McCrea made westerns exclusively for the rest of his career, with the exception of British-made “Rough Shoot” (1953). In an interview, McCrea once said of making Western films: “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. 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…” In the 1950's, McCrea appeared on radio in the Western procedural police drama, “Tales of the Texas Rangers”.

In 1959, Joel McCrea and his son Jody McCrea starred together in the NBC-TV western series “Wichita Town”, which lasted only one season. A few years later, McCrea stared in another western, “Ride the High Country” (1962) along with fellow western star Randolph Scott, which was to be his last feature film for four years, until “The Young Rounders” (1966).
 
In 1968, McCrea received a career achievement award from the L.A. Film Critics Association, and the following year he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Four years were to pass before McCrea’s next two films, “Cry Blood, Apache”, and “Sioux Nation” (1970).  McCrea made his last film appearance in “Mustang Country” (1976). Joel McCrea made his final public appearance on October 3, 1990, at a fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Pete Wilson in Beverly Hills. He died less than three weeks later on October 20th in Woodland Hills, California from pneumonia at the age of 84. McCrea has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for his contribution to the motion picture industry and another for his contribution to radio.
 

Filmography

1926  Torrent

1927  The Enemy

1929  The Jazz Age

1929  Dynamite

1930  The Silver Horde

1931  Girls About Town

1932  Business and Pleasure

1932  The Lost Squadron

1932  Bird of Paradise

1932  The Most Dangerous Game

1932  The Sport Parade

1932  Rockabye

1933  Bed of Roses

1934  Gambling Lady

1934  The Richest Girl in the World

1935  Private Worlds

1935  Barbary Coast

1936  These Three

1936  Two in a Crowd

1939  Adventure in Manhattan

1936  Come and Get It

1937  Internes Can't Take Money

1937  Dead End

1937  Wells Fargo

1939  Union Pacific

1939  They Shall Have Music

1939  Espionage Agent

1940  He Married His Wife

1940  Primrose Path

1940  Foreign Correspondent

1941  Sullivan's Travels

1942  The Great Man's Lady

1942  The Palm Beach Story

1943  The More the Merrier

1944  Buffalo Bill

1944  The Great Moment

1945  The Unseen

1946  The Virginian

1947  Ramrod

1948  Four Faces West

1949  South of St. Louis

1949  Colorado Territory

1950  The Outriders

1950  Stars in My Crown

1950  Saddle Tramp

1950  Frenchie

1951  Cattle Drive

1952  The San Francisco Story

1953  Rough Shoot

1953  Lone Hand

1952  Border River

1954  Black Horse Canyon

1955  Stranger on Horseback

1955  Wichita

1956  The First Texan

1957  The Oklahoman

1957  Trooper Hook

1957  The Tall Stranger

1958  Cattle Empire

1958  Fort Massacre

1959  The Gunfight at Dodge City

1962  Ride the High Country

1966  The Young Rounders

1970  Sioux Nation

1970  Cry Blood, Apache

1976  Mustang Country





Matinee Classics - Bird of Paradise starring Joel McCrea, Dolores Del Rio, John Halliday, Skeets Gallagher and Lon Chaney Jr.
Matinee Classics - Our Little Girl starring Shirley Temple, Rosemary Ames, Joel McCrea, Lyle Talbot, Erin O'Brien-Moore, J. Farrell MacDonald, Poodles Hanneford, Margaret Armstrong, Rita Owin and Leonard Carey
Matinee Classics - Ride the High Country starring Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, Edgar Buchanan, R.G. Armstrong, Jenie Jackson, James Drury, L.Q. Jones, John Anderson, John Davis Chandler and Warren Oates
Matinee Classics - Ride the High Country starring Randolph Scott, Joel McCrea, Mariette Hartley, Ron Starr, Edgar Buchanan, R.G. Armstrong, Jenie Jackson, James Drury, L.Q. Jones, John Anderson, John Davis Chandler and Warren Oates
Matinee Classics - Sullivan's Travels starring Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Porter Hall, Byron Foulger, Margaret Hayes, Robert Greig, Eric Blore, Torben, Victor Potel, Richard Webb, Charles Moore and Almira Sessions
Matinee Classics - Sullivan's Travels starring Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Porter Hall, Byron Foulger, Margaret Hayes, Robert Greig, Eric Blore, Torben, Victor Potel, Richard Webb, Charles Moore and Almira Sessions
Matinee Classics - Sullivan's Travels starring Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest, Franklin Pangborn, Porter Hall, Byron Foulger, Margaret Hayes, Robert Greig, Eric Blore, Torben, Victor Potel, Richard Webb, Charles Moore and Almira Sessions


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