John McIntire

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Born

6/27/1907 , Spokane, Washington, USA

Died

1/30/1991

Birth Name

John Herrick McIntire

Gender

Male

Biography:

John McIntire had the requisite grit, craggy features and crusty, steely-eyed countenance to make for one of TV and film's most durable and well-known supporting players of western settings. Born in Spokane, Washington in 1907 the son of a lawyer, he grew up in Montana where he learned to raise and ride broncos on the family homestead. After two years at USC he spent some time out at sea before turning his attentions to the radio as an announcer and some stage work. He gained quite a following announcing on the "March of Time" broadcasts. In the late 40s John migrated west and found a niche for himself in rugged oaters and steely crimers. Normally the politicians, ranchers and lawmen he portrayed could be counted on for their integrity, no-nonsense approach and maturity such as Black Bart (1948) Down to the Sea in Ships (1949), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Saddle Tramp (1950) and The World in His Arms (1952), but director Anthony Mann gave him more interesting and shadier roles in three of his films: Winchester '73 (1950), The Far Country (1954) and The Tin Star (1957) as more corrupt-minded characters. TV gained him an even stronger foothold in the late 50s. He was killed off on "The Naked City" series but then became a familiar leathery face in two classic western series. He won the role of Christopher Hale in 1961 after "Wagon Train" series' star Ward Bond died, and then succeeded the late Charles Bickford in "The Virginian" in 1967 as Bickford's brother, Clay Grainger, for three years. John's deep, dusty, resonant voice was utilized often for narratives and documentaries. In the ensuing years, he and his longtime wife, actress Jeanette Nolan, became the Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee of the sagebrush set, appearing together as the quintessenial frontier couple. They were married for 56 years until John's death of emphysema in 1991. They both outlived their actor son, Tim McIntire, a strapping, imposing actor himself, who died in 1986 of heart problems.