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They started as Actors


Richard Kimble
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Idea suggested in the First Impressions thread. People who started out as actors but made their name in other fields (Please no Ronald Reagan or other future politicians. Only you can prevent political arguments on the board).

 

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Elia Kazan with Jimmy Cagney in City For Conquest.

 

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A really bad rug, beneath which is Ross Hunter (future producer of Airport) as Judy Canova's leading man in Louisiana Hayride.

 

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Ernst Lubitsch (left) in Shoe Palace Pinkus (1918).

 

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Sherry Lansing, presumably the sexiest studio chief in Hollywood history, in Rio Lobo.

 

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Some women come to mind:

 

Ida Lupino, who switched from acting to directing then back to acting.

 

Gail Kobe has 81 credits as an actress on the IMDb (between 1955 to 1975). But in 1972, she took her first job as a producer on a daytime soap opera. And until 1988, she produced six different soaps.

 

Nancy Malone, who appeared on TV's Naked City became a highly regarded TV director-- responsible for some of the best episodes of Cagney & Lacey and Dynasty.

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Sherry Lansing the sexiest studio exec? Louis B. Mayer will be SO offended!

 

William Wyler's Counsellor-at-Law gives us a look at two future directors: Vincent Sherman as the Communist agitator who's been arrested and Richard Quine as John Barrymore's snotty stepson.

 

Sidney Lumet was a child star on Broadway.

 

Bryan Forbes has supporting roles in a ton of British WWII movies. For instance, he's the only prisoner short enough to try a particular escape route in The Colditz Story. He plays William Holden's second in command in The Key. Another good role is the gigolo in The League of Gentlemen. His friend Richard Attenborough turned to directing after a long career as an actor.

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William Wyler's Counsellor-at-Law gives us a look at two future directors: Vincent Sherman as the Communist agitator who's been arrested and Richard Quine as John Barrymore's snotty stepson.

 

Never seen C-a-L or Sherman as an actor. Saw Quine in some MGM musical, wasn't impressed. Much better was Norman Foster who appears to advantage as the son in State Fair. But he was probably an aging juvenile, and was smart in turning to directing.

 

 

Sidney Lumet was a child star on Broadway.

 

IIRC he appears in the film version of One Third Of A Nation.

 

 

Bryan Forbes has supporting roles in a ton of British WWII movies. For instance, he's the only prisoner short enough to try a particular escape route in The Colditz Story. He plays William Holden's second in command in The Key. Another good role is the gigolo in The League of Gentlemen.

 

He also had a very brief Hollywood career. After making The World In His Arms, director Raoul Walsh took him out, got him drunk, told him, "Kid, if you stay in this town you'll become a bum", and put him on a plane for England.

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A lot of them went into directing, like Jackie CooperRay Danton and Rob Reiner

 

I was going more for people who weren't well known as actors

 

Veronica Lake had become a waitress in a cocktail lounge during the 1960s. 

 

 

Definitely wasn't going for this sort of thing. Let's not even talk about Barbara Payton.

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Definitely wasn't going for this sort of thing. Let's not even talk about Barbara Payton.

 

Veronica Lake might have been a very good cocktail waitress. She was earning an honest living. Let's hear it for all the underpaid waitresses out there!

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Robert Osborne was in Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz' Desilu Workshop program for young actors. Osborne, I believe was set to appear in a film or on television at some point. Lucy found out about his passion for Hollywood and writing about Hollywood and encouraged him to pursue it.

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Gail Patrick

1c85454bfd60451e5b3aa1291c135106.jpg

 

Best remembered as an actress in the late-'30s and early-'40s for films such as MY MAN GODFREY, STAGE DOOR and MY FAVORITE WIFE, she would later retire from acting and become the executive producer of the popular and long-running late-'50s through mid-'60s television series "Perry Mason". 

 

(...and THEN after the Mason show ended its run, would run for the California Governorship as a one of those far right wingnuts, hmmm, OR was it as one of the those far left goofballs, but would garner only a total of 17 votes in the California general election of 1968, and even THEN the exit polls at the time said that 16 of those 17 votes she got were from men of BOTH political stripes who ONLY voted for her because they always thought she was sultry as hell in those old movies of hers!...naaah, just kiddin' Doc...I JUST couldn't resist, THAT'S all!!!) LOL

 

;)

Edited by Dargo
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Robert Osborne was in Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz' Desilu Workshop program for young actors. Osborne, I believe was set to appear in a film or on television at some point. Lucy found out about his passion for Hollywood and writing about Hollywood and encouraged him to pursue it.

If you check his credits on the IMDb, you will see he had a few minor roles on television. One of them is in an episode of the original One Step Beyond and another was in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. Both of these can be viewed on Hulu.

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If you check his credits on the IMDb, you will see he had a few minor roles on television. One of them is in an episode of the original One Step Beyond and another was in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies.

 

The pilot, as it happens

 

Ol' Bob definitely made the right career decision

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The pilot, as it happens

 

Ol' Bob definitely made the right career decision

 

When TCM did the special Private Screenings episode that focused on Bob (with Alec Baldwin asking him questions about his career), they showed a clip of him from the Hillbillies episode. I believe the pilot and most of the first season episodes are in the public domain.

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Corinne Griffith was a star in silent films and was considered for an Academy Award for her performance in The Divine Lady. With the arrival of sound movies, she retired from acting and became a successful writer. One of her books, Papa's Delicate Condition was filmed in the 1960s. Call Me Irresponsible is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Sheldon Leonard started as an actor and continued his acting career most of his life, but he also became a respected and prolific television producer.

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Corinne Griffith was a star in silent films and was considered for an Academy Award for her performance in The Divine Lady. With the arrival of sound movies, she retired from acting and became a successful writer.  

 

Ruth Chatterton also became a writer after she retired from acting.

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Gail Patrick

1c85454bfd60451e5b3aa1291c135106.jpg

 

Best remembered as an actress in the late-'30s and early-'40s for films such as MY MAN GODFREY, STAGE DOOR and MY FAVORITE WIFE, she would later retire from acting and become the executive producer of the popular and long-running late-'50s through mid-'60s television series "Perry Mason".

 

(...and THEN after the Mason show ended its run, would run for the California Governorship as a one of those far right wingnuts, hmmm, OR was it as one of the those far left goofballs, but would garner only a total of 17 votes in the California general election of 1968, and even THEN the exit polls at the time said that 16 of those 17 votes she got were from men of BOTH political stripes who ONLY voted for her because they always thought she was sultry as hell in those old movies of hers!...naaah, just kiddin' Doc...I JUST couldn't resist, THAT'S all!!!) LOL

 

;)

 

 

Gail Patrick was truly a female pioneer in the television industry.

 

Gail actually was the only female executive producer in classic television at the time. The first woman to serve as a vice president of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She was a college graduate who attended 2 years of law school in the 1920s-- no doubt that two years put her in good stead with Erle Stanley Gardner, the writer of the Perry Mason mystery books, who was himself a famous lawyer and a stickler for detail in the TV series.

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