Carleton Young

Active - 1934 - 1964  |   Born - May 26, 1907   |   Died - Jul 11, 1971   |   Genres - Western, Drama, Action, Adventure, Crime

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Biography by Hal Erickson

There was always something slightly sinister about American actor Carleton G. Young that prevented him from traditional leading man roles. Young always seemed to be hiding something, to be looking over his shoulder, or to be poised to head for the border; as such, he was perfectly cast in such roles as the youthful dope peddler in the 1936 camp classic Reefer Madness. Even when playing a relatively sympathetic role, Young appeared capable of going off the deep end at any minute, vide his performance in the 1937 serial Dick Tracy as Tracy's brainwashed younger brother. During the 1940s and 1950s, Young was quite active in radio, where he was allowed to play such heroic leading roles as Ellery Queen and the Count of Monte Cristo without his furtive facial expressions working against him. As he matured into a greying character actor, Young became a special favorite of director John Ford, appearing in several of Ford's films of the 1950s and 1960s. In 1962's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, it is Young, in the small role of a reporter, who utters the unforgettable valediction "This is the west, sir. When the legend becomes fact...print the legend." Carleton G. Young was the father of actor Tony Young, who starred in the short-lived 1961 TV Western Gunslinger.

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