Saturday, August 28, 2010

Joseph Crehan (1883 - 1966)

After spending some time scanning actors and actresses on IMDb, it amazes me that so many Bit Players would appear on early TV series' multiple times, playing different characters.  I was born in 1950 so I spent a lot of my youth watching a small black and white TV (in a large cabinet).  Take a look at this TV history site.  My TV wasn't pictured.

I guess I wasn't old enough to realize it was the same people playing those parts, and it didn't matter to me at the time.  Now I see them and try to store that info...but I usually have to look them up to jog my old memory!

Now on to Joseph Crehan.  I briefly mentioned him in my Mr. Lucky post.  He has 364 roles listed on IMDb, starting in 1916 in his only silent film, Under Two Flags starring Theda Bera.  Several of his films (IMDb lists seven) are "scenes deleted" so his appearances are a few less than 364.

His next movie wasn't until 1931, and he would have been 48 years old.  That's a late start to work in 360 more roles!  In 1934 he plays a detective in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night with Clark Gable, his first of five films with Gable.  That same year he was in Jimmy the Gent with James Cagney, his first of eight films with Cagney.

He shows up in Gold Diggers of 1937 with Dick Powell and Joan Blondell.  He made ten films with Humphrey Bogart, including Kid Galahad (1937) and The Big Sleep (1946).  He was even in three films with Rondo Hatton!

Six films with Bette Davis and nine with Edward G. Robinson...I am beginning to think Crehan wasn't so much an actor as an autograph seeker.  In 1941 he is in They Died with their Boots On with Errol Flynn.  Crehan plays Ulysses S. Grant in that one, a role he played in at least six other movies and TV shows.

During the Second World War (1941 - 1945) he made close to 70 films.  His first TV appearance listed is in "Racket Squad" in 1952.  He is in four episodes of "The Lone Ranger" playing four different parts.

His last three films (1964 and 1965) were Seven Days in May, Requiem for a Gunfighter and The Bounty Killer.  These films starred Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Dan Duryea, Rod Cameron, etc...all big stars.

What a career.  I wonder who has Joe Crehan's autograph book.

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