John Ireland (actor)

John Ireland (actor)

Infobox actor
name = John Ireland

caption = from the trailer for
"Vengeance Valley" (1951)
imagesize = 240px
birthname = John Benjamin Ireland
birthdate = birth date|1914|1|30|mf=y
birthplace = Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
deathdate = death date and age|1992|3|21|1914|1|30|mf=y
deathplace = Santa Barbara, California, United States

John Benjamin Ireland (January 30, 1914–March 21, 1992) was an Academy Award-nominated actor and sometime film director.

Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, he was raised in New York City. He started out in minor stage roles on Broadway.

A tall, lean former Canadian professional swimmer who once performed in a water carnival, he appeared on Broadway and toured in Shakespeare in the late 1930s and early 40s before entering film in the mid-40s. He made his screen debut as Pvt. Windy, the thoughtful letter-writing GI, in the 1945 war film "A Walk in the Sun". A supporting actor in several notable Westerns including John Ford's "My Darling Clementine" (1946) and Howard Hawks' "Red River" (1948) and a lead in small noirs like "Railroaded" (1947), Ireland was nominated for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor for his forceful performance as Jack Burden, the hard-boiled newspaper reporter who evolves from devotee to cynical denouncer of demagogue Willie Stark (Broderick Crawford) in "All the King's Men" (1949), making him the first Vancouver-born actor to receive an Academy Award nomination.

Ireland's main reputation at the time was as a womanizer however, and it is reputed that Howard Hawks even included the famous scene with Ireland and Montgomery Clift in "Red River" (1948) where they compare the size of their guns as a wink to his infamous physical endowments. Occasionally his name was mentioned in tabloids of the times, in connection with much younger starlets, namely Natalie Wood, Barbara Payton and Sue Lyon. He attracted controversy by dating 16-year-old actress Tuesday Weld when he was 45.

A prolific performer in films and early TV, Ireland had made the transition to supporting roles by the mid-50s, playing cynical villains in films like "Vengeance Valley" (1951), "Gunfight at the O.K. Corral" (1956), "Spartacus" (1960) and "55 Days at Peking" (1962). Despite critical acclaim and a cult following, it seems his movie career was somewhat limited by Hollywood’s inability to stereotype his distinctively craggy, hulking appearance.

From 1960–1962 he starred in the British television series "The Cheaters", playing John Hunter, a claims investigator for an insurance company who tracked down cases of fraud. By the late 60s he was turning up as the star of B-movies and second-rate Italian productions like "The House of the Seven Corpses" (1974), "Salon Kitty" (1976) and "Satan's Cheerleaders" (1977), as well as appearing in big-budget fare such as "The Adventurers" (1970).

Ireland regularly returned to the stage throughout his career and co-directed two features in the 1950s: the acclaimed western drama "Hannah Lee" (1953) and the carjacking B-movie "Fast and the Furious". He was married to actresses Elaine Sheldon (1940-49), Joanne Dru (1949-56) by whom he had two sons, and Daphne Myrick Cameron (from 1962 until his death), with whom he had a daughter.

In his later years he owned a restaurant, Ireland's, in Santa Barbara, California.

He died of leukaemia in 1992, aged 78.

For his contribution to the television industry, John Ireland has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1610 Vine Street.



External links

*imdb name | id=0409869 | name=John Ireland
*findagrave|id=5895392|name=John Ireland

NAME= Ireland, John
ALTERNATIVE NAMES= Ireland, John Benjamin
DATE OF BIRTH= 1914-1-30
PLACE OF BIRTH= Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
DATE OF DEATH= 1992-3-21
PLACE OF DEATH= Santa Barbara, California, United States

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