The quintessential Western villain in the 1950s and '60s, Jack Elam has appeared in well over a hundred films. Famous for his bulgy eyes and froglike features, Elam debuted in 1949's Trailin' West and soon made a name for himself with numerous bit parts in Westerns, including High…more
Jack's son, Scott Elam, is an actor.
Jack worked as a bookkeeper for Samuel Goldwyn Studios and then as a controller for Hopalong Cassidy Productions, but he was told by a doctor that if he continued to stare at small numbers for much longer that he would lose the sight of his good eye. He made a deal with a desperate movie director friend and offered to get his movies financed if he would give him an acting part in his movies thus launching his long career in show business.
Jack was married to Jean Elam from 1937 until her death on January 24th, 1961. He was then married to Margaret Jennison from August 23rd, 1961 until his death on October 20th, 2003.
Jack's infamous immobile left eye was caused in a fight with another Boy Scout when he was twelve. The other boy threw a pencil at him and it struck Jack in his eye, permanently blinding him in that eye.
Jack is 6' tall.
Prior to becoming an actor, Jack Elam was the manager of the Bel Air Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
Jack is a member of the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy Western heritage. He was inducted in 1994.