Jody McCrea

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Jody McCrea
Jody and Joel McCrea Wichita Town 1959.jpg
Jody McCrea (left) with father, Joel, in Wichita Town, 1959
BornJoel Dee McCrea
(1934-09-06)September 6, 1934
Los Angeles, California, US
DiedApril 4, 2009(2009-04-04) (aged 74)
Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.
Other namesJoel D. McCrea
Joel Dee McCrea
OccupationActor
Years active1955–1985
Spouse(s)Dusty Ironwing McCrea (m. 1976; died 1996)
Parents
RelativesStepchildren: Jaquet Ironwing, David Ironwing
Website
www.jodymccrea.com
 
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Jody McCrea
Jody and Joel McCrea Wichita Town 1959.jpg
Jody McCrea (left) with father, Joel, in Wichita Town, 1959
BornJoel Dee McCrea
(1934-09-06)September 6, 1934
Los Angeles, California, US
DiedApril 4, 2009(2009-04-04) (aged 74)
Roswell, New Mexico, U.S.
Other namesJoel D. McCrea
Joel Dee McCrea
OccupationActor
Years active1955–1985
Spouse(s)Dusty Ironwing McCrea (m. 1976; died 1996)
Parents
RelativesStepchildren: Jaquet Ironwing, David Ironwing
Website
www.jodymccrea.com

Joel Dee McCrea, known as Jody McCrea (September 6, 1934 – April 4, 2009),[1] was an American film and television actor; son of veteran film actors Joel McCrea and Frances Dee. He was married to Dusty Ironwing McCrea from 1976, until her death in 1996. He is survived by the stepchildren he raised, Jaquet Ironwing and David Ironwing.

Career[edit]

Jody McCrea served in the United States Army, Special Services. He later briefly hosted Country Style, USA, an Army-produced recruiting television program filmed in Nashville, Tennessee, featuring various country entertainers. He began acting on the 1959–1960 television series Wichita Town with his father. He went on to star in films (mainly westerns), including the World War I drama Lafayette Escadrille, The Broken Land (with Jack Nicholson), Law of the Lawless, and Cry Blood, Apache, which he also produced.

In 1959, McCrea costarred with his father in the short-lived NBC western Wichita Town, set in Wichita, Kansas. Joel McCrea appeared as Marshal Mike Dunbar. Jody McCrea did not portray the role of Joel's son on the program but as the deputy marshal, Ben Matheson.

He was most notable for his comedic role as dumb-minded "Deadhead" ("Bonehead") in the 1960s Beach Party films made by American International Pictures. Other beach movies in which he has appeared include Muscle Beach Party, Bikini Beach, and Beach Blanket Bingo.

He made several television appearances, including Wagon Train, Vacation Playhouse, and The Greatest Show on Earth. He played Lieutenant Brannin, a cocky cavalry officer based loosely on George Armstrong Custer, in Sam Peckinpah's Major Dundee (1965), but his scene was deleted from the final cut.

In the early 1960s, Jody made an amusing appearance on the popular TV show "I've Got a Secret" as part of a group of entertainers related to famous Hollywood personalities.

When cast in the beach pictures, McCrea realized his comedic potential. When first offered the role of "Deadhead", for example, he was quoted at the time as saying that he "wasn't sure what the character would become". McCrea felt that the audience enjoyed Deadhead as they felt superior to him.[2]

McCrea was an avid body builder, and the only actor appearing in the American International Pictures beach movies who could actually surf.[citation needed]

He recorded a 45 rpm single in 1964 for Canjo Records to coincide with the film Bikini Beach (Side A: "Chicken Surfer"/Side B: "Looney Gooney Bird")

Later career and death[edit]

Although he occasionally acted in community theater, McCrea retired from acting in 1970 after his final film Cry Blood, Apache. He became a rancher in Roswell, New Mexico, where he died in 2009 of a heart attack at age 74.

Filmography[edit]

Film
YearFilmRoleNotes
1955Lucy GallantTom DunningUncredited
Alternative title: Oil Town
1956The First TexanLt. Baker
Naked GunYoung manAlternative title: The Hanging Judge
1957The Monster That Challenged the WorldSeaman Fred Johnson
Trooper HookTrooper WhittakerUncredited
Gunsight RidgeGroom
1958Lafayette EscadrilleTom HitchcockAlternative titles: C'est la guerre
Hell Bent for Glory
With You in My Arms
The Restless YearsBruce MitchellAlternative title: The Wonderful Years
1961All Hands on DeckLt. J.G. Schuyler
Force of ImpulsePhil Anderson
1962The Broken LandDeputy Ed Flynn
Young Guns of TexasJeff Shelby
1963Operation BikiniSeaman William ShermanAlternative title: The Seafighters
Beach PartyDeadhead
Law of the LawlessPete StoneAlternative title: Invitation to a Hanging
1964Muscle Beach PartyDeadhead
Bikini BeachDeadhead
Pajama PartyBig Lunk
1965Young FuryStone
Major DundeeLt. BranninUncredited
Beach Blanket BingoBonehead
How to Stuff a Wild BikiniBonehead
1966The Girls from Thunder StripPike
1967SamAlternative title: The Hottest Fourth of July in the History of Brewster County
1968The Glory StompersDarryl
1969Scream Free!Agent No. 1Credited as Joel Dee McCrea
Alternative titles: Free Grass
Street Drugs
1970Cry Blood, ApachePitcalinProducer
1977Nightmare County
1985Lady StreetfighterCredited as Joel D. McCrea
Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1956Chevron Hall of StarsDanny1 episode
1957Studio OneBobby Applegate1 episode
1958Sergeant Preston of the YukonJerry Turner1 episode
Kraft Television Theatre1 episode
1959Wichita TownDeputy Ben Matheson4 episodes
1961Guestward, Ho!Danny "Brave Eagle"1 episode
1962Death Valley DaysLt. John F. Pershing1 episode
1964The Greatest Show on EarthPatrick Kelly1 episode
1965Wagon TrainCalvin1 episode
Vacation PlayhouseJulius "Bulldog" Sweetley1 episode

References[edit]

External links[edit]