Joel McCrea

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    There are 30 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by may2.

    • Joel McCrea


      Information From IMDb

      Date of Birth
      5 November 1905, South Pasadena, California, USA

      Date of Death
      20 October 1990, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA (pulmonary complications)

      Birth Name
      Joel Albert McCrea


      6' 3" (1.91 m)

      Frances Dee (20 October 1933 - 20 October 1990) (his death) 3 sons

      Father, with actress Frances Dee, of actor Jody McCrea.

      Had blue eyes.

      Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1969.

      A big sight gag in Sullivan's Travels (1941) was the juxtaposition of the big McCrea with his leading lady, Veronica Lake, who apparently was 16 inches shorter. For some shots of the film, however, Lake had to stand on a box so their heads could be seen in the same shot.

      He was infamously modest about his own acting abilities, often bordering on a soft-spoken contempt.

      Attended high school with future director Jacques Tourneur who would later direct him in Stars in My Crown (1950) (one of McCrea's personal favorites) and a pair of 1955 releases, Wichita (1955) and Stranger on Horseback (1955).

      Besides Jody McCrea, he and Frances Dee had two more sons: David and Peter.

      Katharine Hepburn was a friend of McCrea's and McCrea's wife Frances Dee. Hepburn also felt that McCrea was one of the best actors she had ever worked with and was always disappointed that his career wasn't more successful (she thought he should have been ranking alongside Spencer Tracy or Humphrey Bogart).

      Very well-respected as a horseman, he was regarded as one of the two best riders in Western films along with Ben Johnson, who had been a real cowboy.

      In 1930, he lived with his parents at 243 S. Rockingham Avenue, Los Angeles.

      In 1920, he lived with his parents at 7755 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.

      His father, Thomas P. McCrea , was a secretary for the Los Angeles gas and electric company. His mother, Lou Whipple McCrea, was a professional Christian Science practitioner.

      Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 574-575. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.

      The grandson of a western stagecoach driver who had fought against the Apaches, McCrea raised his own horses, was a passionate outdoors man and large-scale rancher, invested wisely in livestock and real estate, was a staunch Republican and frugal millionaire.

      Personal Quotes
      "I have no regrets, except perhaps one: I should have tried harder to be a better actor."

      "People say I'm a one-note actor, but the way I figure it, those other guys are just looking for that one right note."

      Mini Biography
      One of the great stars of American Westerns, and a very popular leading man in non-Westerns as well. He was born and raised in the surroundings of Hollywood and as a boy became interested in the movies that were being made all around. He studied acting at Pomona College and got some stage experience at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, where other future stars such as Randolph Scott, Robert Young, and Victor Mature would also get their first experience. He worked as an extra after graduation from the University of Southern California in 1928 and did some stunt work. In a rare case of an extra being chosen from the crowd to play a major role, McCrea was given a part in The Jazz Age. A contract at MGM followed, and then a better contract at RKO. Will Rogers took a liking to the young man (they shared a love of ranching and roping) and did much to elevate McCrea's career. His wholesome good looks and quiet manner were soon in demand, primarily in romantic dramas and comedies, and he became an increasingly popular leading man. He hoped to concentrate on Westerns, but several years passed before he could convince the studio heads to cast him in one. When he proved successful in that genre, more and more Westerns came his way. But he continued to make a mark in other kinds of pictures, and proved himself particularly adept at the light comedy of Preston Sturges, for whom he made several films. By the late Forties, his concentration focused on Westerns, and he made few non-Westerns thereafter. He was immensely popular in them, and most of them still hold up well today. He and Randolph Scott, whose career strongly resembles McCrea's, came out of retirement to make a classic of the genre, Sam Peckinpah's Ride the High Country (1962). Scott stayed retired thereafter; McCrea made a couple of appearances in small films afterwards, but was primarily content to maintain his life as a gentleman rancher. He was married for fifty-seven years to actress Frances Dee, who survived him.
      IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver


      1. Mustang Country (1976) .... Dan
      2. Cry Blood, Apache (1970) .... Pitcalin as an Older Man
      3. Sioux Nation (1970)
      4. The Young Rounders (1966)
      5. Ride the High Country (1962) .... Steve Judd
      ... aka Guns in the Afternoon (UK)
      6. "Wichita Town" .... Marshal Mike Dunbar (3 episodes, 1959-1960)
      - The Frontiersman (1960) TV episode .... Marshal Mike Dunbar
      - Bullet for a Friend (1959) TV episode .... Marshal Mike Dunbar
      - The Night the Cowboys Roared (1959) TV episode .... Marshal Mike Dunbar
      7. The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959) .... Bat Masterson
      8. Fort Massacre (1958) .... Sgt. Vinson
      9. Cattle Empire (1958) .... John Cord
      10. The Tall Stranger (1957) .... Ned Bannon
      ... aka Walk Tall (USA: alternative title)
      11. Gunsight Ridge (1957) .... Mike Ryan
      12. Trooper Hook (1957) .... Sgt. Clovis Hook
      13. The Oklahoman (1957) .... Dr. John Brighton
      14. The First Texan (1956) .... Sam Houston
      15. Wichita (1955) .... Wyatt Earp
      16. Stranger on Horseback (1955) .... Judge Richard 'Rick' Thorne
      17. Black Horse Canyon (1954) .... Del Rockwell
      ... aka Echo Canyon (USA)
      ... aka Wild Horse Canyon (USA)
      18. Border River (1954) .... Major Clete Mattson
      19. Lone Hand (1953) .... Zachary Hallock
      20. Rough Shoot (1953) .... Lt. Col. Robert Tanie
      ... aka Shoot First (USA)
      21. The San Francisco Story (1952) .... Rick Nelson
      22. Cattle Drive (1951) .... Dan Mathews
      23. Hollywood Story (1951) .... Joel McCrea - Modern-day Movie Star
      24. Frenchie (1950) .... Sheriff Tom Banning
      25. Saddle Tramp (1950) .... Chuck Conner
      26. Stars in My Crown (1950) .... Josiah Doziah Gray
      27. The Outriders (1950) .... Will Owens
      28. Colorado Territory (1949) .... Wes McQueen
      ... aka North of the Rio Grande (USA: alternative title)
      29. South of St. Louis (1949) .... Kip Davis
      30. Four Faces West (1948) .... Ross McEwen
      ... aka They Passed This Way (UK)
      31. Ramrod (1947) .... Dave Nash
      32. The Virginian (1946) .... The Virginian
      33. The Unseen (1945) .... David Fielding
      34. The Great Moment (1944) .... William Thomas Green Morton
      35. Buffalo Bill (1944) .... William Frederick 'Buffalo Bill' Cody
      36. The More the Merrier (1943) .... Joe Carter
      37. The Palm Beach Story (1942) .... Tom Jeffers ('Capt. McGlew')
      38. The Great Man's Lady (1942) .... Ethan Hoyt
      39. Sullivan's Travels (1941) .... John L. Lloyd 'Sully' Sullivan
      40. Reaching for the Sun (1941) .... Russ Eliot
      41. Foreign Correspondent (1940) .... Johnny Jones / Huntley Haverstock
      42. Primrose Path (1940) .... Ed Wallace
      43. He Married His Wife (1940) .... T.H. 'Randy' Randall
      44. Espionage Agent (1939) .... Barry Corvall
      45. They Shall Have Music (1939) .... Peter McCarthy
      ... aka Melody of Youth (UK)
      ... aka Ragged Angels (USA: reissue title)
      46. Union Pacific (1939) .... Capt. Jeff Butler
      47. Youth Takes a Fling (1938) .... Joe Meadows
      48. Three Blind Mice (1938) .... Van Dam Smith
      49. Wells Fargo (1937) .... Ramsay MacKay
      50. Dead End (1937) .... Dave Connell
      ... aka Dead End: Cradle of Crime (USA: reissue title)
      51. Woman Chases Man (1937) .... Kenneth Nolan
      52. Internes Can't Take Money (1937) .... James Kildare
      ... aka You Can't Take Money (UK)
      53. Banjo on My Knee (1936) .... Ernie Holley
      54. Come and Get It (1936) .... Richard Glasgow
      ... aka Roaring Timbers (USA: reissue title)
      55. Adventure in Manhattan (1936) .... George Melville
      ... aka Manhattan Madness (UK)
      56. Two in a Crowd (1936) .... Larry Stevens
      57. These Three (1936) .... Dr. Joseph "Joe" Cardin
      58. Splendor (1935) .... Brighton Lorrimore
      ... aka Splendour
      59. Barbary Coast (1935) .... Jim Carmichael
      ... aka Port of Wickedness (USA: reissue title)
      60. Woman Wanted (1935) .... Anthony 'Tony' Baxter
      61. Our Little Girl (1935) .... Dr. Donald Middleton
      62. The Devil Is a Woman (1935) (scenes deleted) .... Antonio Galvan
      63. Private Worlds (1935) .... Dr. Alex MacGregor
      64. The Richest Girl in the World (1934) .... Anthony 'Tony' Travers
      65. Half a Sinner (1934) .... John Adams
      ... aka Alias the Deacon (USA: alternative title)
      66. Gambling Lady (1934) .... Garry Madison
      67. Chance at Heaven (1933) .... Blackstone 'Blacky' Gorman
      68. One Man's Journey (1933) .... Jimmy Watt
      69. Bed of Roses (1933) .... Dan
      70. The Silver Cord (1933) .... David Phelps
      71. Rockabye (1932) .... Jacobs 'Jake' Van Riker Pell
      72. The Sport Parade (1932) .... Sandy Brown
      73. The Most Dangerous Game (1932) .... Bob Rainsford
      74. Bird of Paradise (1932) .... Johnny Baker
      75. The Lost Squadron (1932) .... Red
      76. Business and Pleasure (1932) .... Lawrence Ogle
      ... aka The Plutocrat
      77. Girls About Town (1931) .... Jim Baker
      78. The Common Law (1931) .... John Neville, Jr.
      79. Born to Love (1931) .... Captain Barry Craig
      80. Kept Husbands (1931) .... Richard 'Dick' Brunton
      81. Once a Sinner (1931) .... Tommy Mason
      82. Lightnin' (1930) .... John Marvin
      83. The Silver Horde (1930) .... Boyd Emerson
      84. Dynamite (1929) .... Marco, the 'Sheik'
      85. So This Is College (1929) (uncredited) .... Bruce Nolan
      86. The Thirteenth Chair (1929) (scenes deleted)
      ... aka The 13th Chair (USA: promotional title)
      87. The Single Standard (1929) (uncredited) .... Blythe, one of the Philandering Men
      88. The Jazz Age (1929) .... Todd Sayles
      89. Freedom of the Press (1928)
      90. Dead Man's Curve (1928)
      91. The Five O'Clock Girl (1928) .... Oswald
      92. The Enemy (1927) (uncredited) .... Extra
      93. The Fair Co-Ed (1927) (uncredited) .... Student

      1. Woman Chases Man (1937) ("Trees" (1922) (uncredited))
      2. Banjo on My Knee (1936) ("Where the Lazy River Goes By" (1936) (uncredited))
      3. Chance at Heaven (1933) ("London Bridge is Falling Down")
      4. The Sport Parade (1932) ("The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1896) (uncredited))
      5. The Lost Squadron (1932) ("Auld Lang Syne")
      6. Kept Husbands (1931) ("Three Little Words")

      1. Cry Blood, Apache (1970) (co-producer)

      1. Torrent (1926) (stunts) (uncredited)
      ... aka Ibáñez' Torrent (USA)

      Watch Joel McCrea Full Movie and Trailers:-

      Joel McCrea's Video Gallery

      Bird of Paradise
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 9 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Joel McCrea

      Inducted into the Hall Of Great Western Performers
      Joel McCrea was a leading actor
      who was always modest about his craft.
      He is quoted as saying:-
      I have no regrets, except perhaps one: I should have tried harder to be a better actor.

      Katherine Hepburn considered him one of the best actors she had ever worked with,
      and was disappointed he was not more successful!

      Very well-respected as a horseman, he was regarded as one of the two best riders in Western films along with Ben Johnson, who had been a real cowboy.

      Generally, it is considered that The Virginian was his greatest triumph,
      but he also starred in other great westerns,
      including Wells Fargo, Union Pacific and
      Ride The High Country, with Randolph Scott
      Best Wishes
      London- England

      The post was edited 2 times, last by ethanedwards ().

    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Joel McCrea

      As for the movie named Japan (valley of the death), it is not made to the video for a long time, and there are a lot of fans as a masterpiece of the phantom. this movie's original title is his "Colorado Territory".
      very sad but exciting western.

      Sometimes kids ask me what a pro is. I just point to the Duke.
      ~Steve McQueen~
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Joel McCrea

      H.sanada wrote:

      As for the movie named Japan (valley of the death), it is not made to the video for a long time, and there are a lot of fans as a masterpiece of the phantom. this movie's original title is his "Colorado Territory".
      very sad but exciting western.

      Colorado Territory and High Sierra telling the same story and the director of both was roul walsh - in a remake of the bogart-film jack palance playes the titlerole - the films name i dont remember.
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Joel McCrea

      The following was extracted from his biography at, another movie site to which I often refer.

      "In the late 1960s, McCrea increased his wealth by selling 1200 acres of his Moorpark (California) ranch to an oil company, on the proviso that no drilling would take place within sight of the actor's home. By the time he retired in the early 1970s, McCrea could take pride in having earned an enduring reputation not only as one of Hollywood's shrewdest businessmen, but as one of the few honest-to-goodness gentlemen in the motion picture industry."

      I especially liked the parts about him dictating terms to an oil company and the very last clause "honest-to-goodness gentlemen" (because there are so few of 'em in Hollyweird.)
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Joel McCrea

      It's funny, but last night I just watched Colorado territory for the first time. Great western and one of my favorite directors. And I like McCrea in it, but it is a pity that he was killed in the end.
      I also like hime very much in Ride The High Country. I saw only 3 films with him, but the third one - Union Pacific didn't impress me at all.
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Joel McCrea

      These are the McCrea titles I have on DVD.

      "Ride The High Country
      Buffalo Bill
      Virginian, The
      Palm Beach Story, The
      Barbary Coast
      Most Dangerous Game, The
      Four Faces West
      More The Merrier, The
      Gunfight at Dodge City, The
      Foreign Correspondent
      Sullivan's Travels"

      I think my favorite Western with Joel is "Ride The High Country". I also like "Four Faces West".
      De gustibus non est disputandum
    • Re: Western Screen Legends- Joel McCrea

      joel mccrea was one of the best actors in hollywood.he could play almost any part.
      .his my 3rd favourite western actor after john wayne and randolph scott.these are the films i have of joel mccrea

      dead end
      wells fargo
      union pacific
      foreign correspondent
      sullivan's travels
      the great mans lady
      the palm beach story
      buffalo bill
      the virginian
      four faces west
      south of st louis
      colorado territory
      the outriders
      stars in my crown
      saddle tramp
      cattle drive
      lone hand
      border river
      black horse canyon
      stranger on horseback
      the first texan
      trooper hook
      the tall stranger
      cattle empire
      fort massacre
      gunfight at dodge city
      ride the high country
      mustang county