Kenneth Tobey

Active - 1947 - 2005  |   Born - Mar 23, 1917   |   Died - Dec 22, 2002   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Western, Adventure, Horror

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Though seemingly born with a battered bulldog countenance and a rattly voice best suited to such lines as "We don't like you kind around these parts, stranger," tough-guy character actor Kenneth Tobey was originally groomed for gormless leading man roles when he came to Hollywood in 1949. Possessing too much roughhewn authority to be wasted in romantic leads, Tobey was best served in military roles. One of these was the no-nonsense but likeable Capt. Patrick Hendrey in the 1951 sci-fi classic The Thing From Another World, a role that typed him in films of a "fantastic" nature for several years thereafter. From 1956 through 1958, Tobey co-starred with Craig Hill on the popular syndicated TV adventure series Whirlybirds; up to that time, televiewers were most familiar with Tobey as Jim Bowie in the ratings-busting Davy Crockett miniseries. Though often consigned by Hollywood's typecasting system to workaday villain roles, Kenneth Tobey has not be forgotten by filmmakers who grew up watching his horror-flick endeavors of the 1950s; he has been afforded key cameo roles in such latter-day shockers as Strange Invaders (1983) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch, and in 1985 he reprised his Thing From Another World character in The Attack of the B-Movie Monsters.

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