John Ireland (actor)

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John Ireland
John Ireland in Vengeance Valley trailer.jpg
from the trailer for
Vengeance Valley (1951)
BornJohn Benjamin Ireland
(1914-01-30)January 30, 1914
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
DiedMarch 21, 1992(1992-03-21) (aged 78)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Resting place
Santa Barbara Cemetery, Santa Barbara
OccupationActor
Years active1945–1992
Spouse(s)Elaine Sheldon Rosen (1940-48) (divorced) 2 children
Joanne Dru (1949-57) (divorced)
Daphine Myrick Cameron (1962-92) (his death) 1 child
 
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John Ireland
John Ireland in Vengeance Valley trailer.jpg
from the trailer for
Vengeance Valley (1951)
BornJohn Benjamin Ireland
(1914-01-30)January 30, 1914
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
DiedMarch 21, 1992(1992-03-21) (aged 78)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Resting place
Santa Barbara Cemetery, Santa Barbara
OccupationActor
Years active1945–1992
Spouse(s)Elaine Sheldon Rosen (1940-48) (divorced) 2 children
Joanne Dru (1949-57) (divorced)
Daphine Myrick Cameron (1962-92) (his death) 1 child

John Benjamin Ireland (January 30, 1914 – March 21, 1992) was a Canadian actor and film director.

Biography[edit]

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada[1][2] he lived in New York City from the age of 18. He started out in minor stage roles on Broadway. A tall, lean former professional swimmer who once performed in a water carnival, he appeared on Broadway and toured in Shakespeare in the late 1930s and early 1940s before entering film in the mid-1940s.

He made his screen-debut as Private Windy, the thoughtful letter-writing GI, in the 1945 war film A Walk in the Sun. This was followed by Wake Up and Dream in 1946. A supporting actor in several notable Westerns including John Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946) and Howard Hawks' 1948 film Red River (the scene between Ireland and Montgomery Clift, where they compare guns and take each other's measure by "walking" a can across the ground with their revolver shots, is a film classic). Having a lead in small noirs like Railroaded! (1947), Ireland was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his forceful performance as Jack Burden, the hard-boiled newspaper reporter who evolves from devotee to cynical denouncer of demagogue Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) in All the King's Men (1949), making him the first Vancouver-born actor to receive an Academy Award nomination.

Occasionally his name was mentioned in tabloids of the times, in connection with much younger starlets, namely Natalie Wood, Barbara Payton, and Sue Lyon. He attracted controversy by dating 16-year-old actress Tuesday Weld when he was 45.[citation needed]. Ireland also had an affair with co-star Joan Crawford while on the set of 1955's Queen Bee. They would later co-star again a decade later in the B-movie and William Castle horror flick I Saw What You Did.

A prolific performer in films and early television, Ireland had made the transition to supporting roles by the mid-1950s, playing cynical villains in films like Vengeance Valley (1951), Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). He had a large supporting part in 55 Days at Peking (1963) under Charlton Heston. He also starred as an innocent man-on-the-run in the 1955 original The Fast and the Furious and had a key role as the gladiator Crixus in the Stanley Kubrick 1960 spectacle Spartacus, co-starring with Kirk Douglas.

In 1959, Ireland appeared as Chris Slade, with Karl Swenson as Ansel Torgin, in the episode "The Fight Back" of the NBC western series, Riverboat. In the storyline, Tom Fowler (Tom Laughlin), the boss of the corrupt river town of Hampton near Vicksburg, Mississippi, blocks farmers from shipping their crops to market. In a dispute over a wedding held on the Enterprise, a lynch-mob led by Fowler comes after series lead-character Grey Holden (Darren McGavin). Karl Swenson also was cast in this episode.[3]

In 1960, Ireland starred as Winch in the CBS western series, Rawhide episode "Incident of the Garden of Eden". In 1962, he portrayed the character Frank Trask in the episode "Incident of the Portrait" on CBS's Rawhide.

From 1960–1962 he starred in the British television series The Cheaters, playing John Hunter, a claims investigator for an insurance company who tracked down cases of fraud. By the mid-1960s, he was seen as the star of B-movies such as I Saw What You Did, In 1965, he played role of Jed Colby, a trail scout in Rawhide on American television. This was the last season for Rawhide.

In 1967, he appeared on NBC's Bonanza with Michael Landon in the episode "Judgement at Red Creek". A few years later he again appeared with Landon on Little House on the Prairie as a drunk who saves Carrie Ingalls, who had fallen down an abandoned mine shaft.[4]

Ireland was seen in Italian productions like The House of the Seven Corpses (1974), Salon Kitty (1976) and Satan's Cheerleaders (1977). He did, however, also appear in big-budget fare such as The Adventurers (1970), also as a police lieutenant in the Robert Mitchum private-eye story Farewell, My Lovely. He was seen in the War of the Worlds episode "Eye for an Eye" in 1988.

Ireland regularly returned to the stage throughout his career and co-directed two features in the 1950s: the acclaimed western drama Hannah Lee (1953) and the carjacking B-movie The Fast and the Furious.

He was married to:

In his later years, he owned a restaurant, Ireland's, in Santa Barbara, California.

Death/Hollywood Walk of Fame[edit]

He died of leukemia in 1992, aged 78. For his contribution to the television industry, John Ireland has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1610 Vine Street.

Filmography[edit]

YearTitleRoleNotes
1945A Walk in the SunPfc. Windy Craven
1946Behind Green LightsDet. Engelhofer
1946My Darling ClementineBilly Clanton
1947Railroaded!Duke Martin
1947The GangsterFrank Karty
1948I Love TroubleReno
1948Open SecretPaul Lester
1948Raw DealFantail
1948Red RiverCherry Valance
1949All the King's MenJack BurdenAcademy Award nomination for Ireland, the film won the Oscar for Best Picture
1949I Shot Jesse JamesBob Ford
1949Anna LucastaDanny Johnson
1951Vengeance ValleyHub Fasken
1951The Basketball FixPete Ferreday
1951The ScarfJohn Howard Barrington
1952The BushwackersJefferson Waring
1954The Good Die YoungEddie Blaine
1954Southwest PassageClint
1955Queen BeeJudd Prentiss
1955Fast and the FuriousFrank Webster
1955The Glass CagePel Pelham
1955Hell's HorizonCapt. John Merrill
1957Gunfight at the O.K. CorralJohnny Ringo
1958Party GirlLouis Canetto
1960SpartacusCrixus
1960Faces in the DarkMax Hammond
1961Wild in the CountryPhil Macy
1961Return of a StrangerRay Reed
1961ThrillerEddie WilsonTV series; episode "Papa Benjamin" about a voodoo curse.
1961The Asphalt JungleRichie AshmondTV series; episode "The Last Way Out"
196355 Days at PekingSgt. Harry
1964The Fall of the Roman EmpireBallomar
1965I Saw What You DidSteve Marek
1967Fort UtahTom Horn
1967Hate for HateJames Arthur Cooper
1968Villa RidesClient in barber shop
1969Una sull'altraInspector Wald
1970The AdventurersMr. James Hadley
1974The House of Seven CorpsesEric Hartman
1975Farewell, My LovelyDet. Lt. Nulty
1976Salon KittyCliff
1976Sex DiaryMilton
1979Delta FoxLucas Johnson
1979On the Air Live with Captain MidnightAgent Pierson
1979Guyana: Cult of the DamnedDave Cole
1979The Shape of Things to ComeSenator Smedley
1981The IncubusHank Walden
1981BordelloJudge
1985Martin's DayBrewer
1985The Treasure of the AmazonPriest
1986Thunder RunGeorge Adama
1987Terror NightLance Hayward
1988Messenger of DeathZenas Beecham
1988Perry Mason Movie: The Case of the Lady in the Lake
1990The Graveyard StoryDr. McGregor
1992Waxwork II: Lost in TimeKing Arthur

References[edit]

  1. ^ "John Ireland". LA Times. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  2. ^ "John Ireland". NNDB. Retrieved 17 July 2013. 
  3. ^ ""The Fight Back", Riverboat, October 18, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved February 23, 2013. 
  4. ^ Little House on the Prairie episode profile

External links[edit]