In films from 1943, pugnacious American character actor Wally Cassell was afforded star billing for the first time in The Story of GI Joe (1945). As Private Dondaro, Cassell spent half of his time searching for his ethnic roots in war-torn Italy, and the other half seeking out wine, women and more wine. His other war-related filmic efforts included Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) and Flying Leathernecks (1951). He later appeared in westerns, then worked steadily during the late-1950s gangster-movie cycle, playing such raffish characters as Cherry Nose in I Mobster (1959). Wally Cassell was married to musical performer Marcy Maguire.