Morris Ankrum was born August 27, 1984, in Danville, Illinois. Before becoming a successful actor, Ankrum worked as an attorney after graduating from the University of Southern California School of Law, and as an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California-Berkeley. When his acting career began, Ankrum spent a great deal of time acting in stage plays. Eventually, Ankrum crossed over to film in the 1930s. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Ankrum worked mostly in westerns playing all types of characters including Indian chiefs, crooks and villains. However, in the 1950s, Ankrum finally began to be cast in the roles that he is most memorable for, low-budget science fiction films. His most popular role was in the 1953 low-budget science-fiction classic Invaders from Mars as Col. Fielding. Morris Ankrum died from trichinosis on September 2, 1964. At the time of his death, he had over 150 film and stage roles to his name.