Charles McGraw

Active - 1942 - 1977  |   Born - May 10, 1914   |   Died - Jul 30, 1980   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Western, Thriller, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Gravel-voiced, granite-faced stage actor Charles McGraw made his first film The Moon is Down in 1943. At first it seemed as though McGraw would spend his movie career languishing in villainy, but while working at RKO in the late 1940s-early 1950s, the actor developed into an unorthodox but fascinating leading man. His shining hour (actually 72 minutes) was the role of the embittered detective assigned to protect mob witness Marie Windsor in the 1952 noir classic The Narrow Margin. McGraw continued being cast in the raffish-hero mold on television, essaying the lead in the 1954 syndicated series Adventures of Falcon and assuming the Bogartesque role of café owner Rick Blaine in the 1955 weekly TV adaptation of Casablanca (1955) (his last regular TV work was the supporting part of Captain Hughes on the 1971 Henry Fonda starrer The Smith Family). Active until the mid-1970s, Charles McGraw growled and scowled his way through such choice character roles as gladiator trainer Marcellus in Spartacus (1960), Sebastian Sholes in Hitchcock's The Birds (1963), and The Preacher in the cult favorite A Boy and His Dog (1975).

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