James Millican

Active - 1932 - 1986  |   Born - Jan 1, 1910   |   Died - Nov 24, 1955   |   Genres - Drama, Western, Comedy, Action, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Signed up by MGM's dramatic school directly after graduating from the University of Southern California, American actor James Millican was groomed for that studio's stable of young leading men. Instead, he made his first film, Sign of the Cross (1932), at Paramount, then moved on to Columbia for his first important role in Mills of the Gods (1934). Possessor of an athletic physique and Irish good looks, Millican wasn't a distinctive enough personality for stardom, but came in handy for secondary roles as the hero's best friend, the boss' male secretary, and various assorted military adjutants. According to his own count, Millican also appeared in 400 westerns; while such a number is hard to document, it is true that he was a close associate of cowboy star "Wild Bill" Elliott, staging a number of personal-appearance rodeos on Elliott's behalf. Fans of baseball films will recall James Millican's persuasive performance as Bill Killefer in the Grover Cleveland Alexander biopic The Winning Team.

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