Roy Barcroft

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Roy Barcroft
BornHoward Harold Ravenscroft
(1902-09-07)September 7, 1902
Crab Orchard, Nebraska, USA
DiedNovember 28, 1969(1969-11-28) (aged 67)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
Other namesBig Roy, Roy Bancroft, Howard Clifford Ravenscroft
OccupationFilm, stage, television actor
Years active1937-1969
SpouseHortense Flanagan (1930)
Vera Thompson (1932-1969) (his death)
 
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Roy Barcroft
BornHoward Harold Ravenscroft
(1902-09-07)September 7, 1902
Crab Orchard, Nebraska, USA
DiedNovember 28, 1969(1969-11-28) (aged 67)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA
Other namesBig Roy, Roy Bancroft, Howard Clifford Ravenscroft
OccupationFilm, stage, television actor
Years active1937-1969
SpouseHortense Flanagan (1930)
Vera Thompson (1932-1969) (his death)

Roy Barcroft (September 7, 1902 – November 28, 1969) was an American character actor famous for playing villains in B-Westerns and other genres. Noted film critic Leonard Maltin acclaimed Barcroft as "Republic Pictures' number one bad guy".[1]

Contents

Early life

Barcroft was born Howard Harold Ravenscroft[2] to a farming family in Nebraska in 1902. In 1917 be joined up with the United States Army to fight in France in World War I, where he was wounded in action. After leaving the army he drifted through several jobs (including ranch hand, roughneck, railroad worker and seaman) before re-enlisting and being stationed in Hawaii.

Career

In 1929, he moved to California and worked as an extra and a salesman. He was discovered while acting in an amateur theatre production (a hobby he took up to improve his speaking voice as a salesman) and cast in the serial S.O.S. Coast Guard. He worked for many studios in the years that followed until 1943 when he signed an exclusive 10-year contract with Republic. Under this contract, he starred in almost 150 films and serials, becoming instantly recognisable as the villain to the audiences of the day.

His career slowed with the decline of B-Westerns but he found work in television and B-Movies during the 1950s and 1960s. Between 1955–1957, he became familiar to a new generation of youthful audiences, not as a villain but as "Col. Jim Logan", the kindly owner of the Triple-R boys' ranch in the hit television serials Spin and Marty, seen on Walt Disney's celebrated Mickey Mouse Club. A DVD version of the 1955 season, The Adventures of Spin & Marty, was released in 2005 as part of the Walt Disney Treasures series.

In marked contrast to his villainous movie persona, Barcroft off-screen "had a reputation as one of the nicest guys in Hollywood," said Leonard Maltin in 2005.[1] Barcroft died of kidney cancer at the Motion Picture Country Hospital in 1969, survived by his wife, Vera Thompson, and his three children. His remains were donated to medical science.

The Internet Movie Database records 365 roles over his career.

References

  1. ^ a b Leonard Maltin (December 2005). The Adventures of Spin and Marty (DVD). Walt Disney Treasures. 
  2. ^ Roy Barcroft Biography (1902-1969)

Further reading

External links