Joel McCrea: A Star of American Westerns and More

Joel McCrea: A Star of American Westerns and More

Joel McCrea was an American actor and producer who had a long and versatile career in Hollywood. He appeared in over 100 films, starring in over 80, across different genres such as comedy, drama, romance, thrillers, adventures, and Westerns. He worked with some of the most acclaimed directors of his time, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges, George Stevens, William Wyler, and Sam Peckinpah. He was also a rancher and a philanthropist who donated land and money to various causes. He was married to actress Frances Dee for 57 years and had three sons. Here are some more details about his life and work:

Joel McCrea: A Star of American Westerns
FieldInformation
Full NameJoel Albert McCrea
ProfessionActor and Producer
BirthdayNovember 5, 1905
Birth PlaceSouth Pasadena, California, U.S.
Birth SignScorpio
Height6 ft 2½ in (189 cm)
WeightNot known
Age84 (at the time of death)
Family MembersFrances Dee (wife), Jody McCrea (son), Peter McCrea (son), David McCrea (son)
Net Worth$10 million (estimated)
NationalityAmerican
MoviesSome of his notable movies are: The Most Dangerous Game (1932), Foreign Correspondent (1940), Sullivan’s Travels (1941), The Palm Beach Story (1942), The More the Merrier (1943), Ride the High Country (1962)

Where was Joel McCrea born?

Joel McCrea was born on November 5, 1905, in South Pasadena, California, U.S. He was the son of Thomas McCrea, an executive with the L.A. Gas & Electric Company, and Louise “Lou” Whipple. He had a brother, David, who also became an actor.

How was Joel McCrea’s early life?

Joel McCrea had a fascination with the movies from a young age. As a boy, he had a paper route delivering the Los Angeles Times to Cecil B. DeMille and other people in the film industry. He also had the opportunity to watch D. W. Griffith filming Intolerance, and was an extra in a serial starring Ruth Roland He developed a love and understanding of horses, and later he was considered one of the best riders in Western films He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping with his family.

Where did Joel McCrea receive his education?

Joel McCrea studied at Hollywood High School and then graduated from Pomona College (class of 1928). There he had acted on stage and took courses in drama and public speaking, while also appearing regularly at the Pasadena Playhouse. In 1928 he also met Wyatt Earp in Hollywood – later in 1955, McCrea would portray Earp in the film.

What is distinctive feature of Joel McCrea?

Joel McCrea had a distinctive feature that made him stand out among other actors of his time: his resonant American twang. His voice was clear, confident, and authentic, and suited him to play a variety of roles ranging from romantic comedies to serious dramas and action-adventure films. He was often praised for his natural and understated acting style, which made him appear honest and sincere on screen.

How did Joel McCrea begin his career?

Joel McCrea began his career as an extra, stuntman, and bit player in Hollywood in 1927. He signed a contract with MGM in 1928, and got his first leading role that same year in The Silver Horde. He appeared in 38 more films during the 1930s, starring in over 80, across different genres such as comedy, drama, romance, thrillers, adventures, and Westerns. He worked with some of the most acclaimed directors of his time, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges, George Stevens, William Wyler, and Howard Hawks. He was also a friend and protégé of Will Rogers, who helped him elevate his career.

He hoped to concentrate on Westerns, but several years passed before he could convince the studio heads to cast him in one. When he proved successful in that genre, more and more Westerns came his way. He became one of the great stars of American Westerns, and a very popular leading man in non-Westerns as well. He appeared in over 100 films during his career spanned 50 years.

He retired from acting in 1976, after making his last major film appearance in Mustang Country (1976). He was content to maintain his life as a gentleman rancher and a philanthropist who donated land and money to various causes. He was married for 57 years to actress Frances Dee, who survived him. They had three sons: Jody McCrea (who also became an actor), Peter McCrea (who became a rancher), and David McCrea (who became a real estate developer).

What are the achievements of Joel Mccrea?

Joel McCrea was one of the most versatile and prolific actors in Hollywood, who had a career that spanned 50 years and appearances in over 90 films. He achieved success and recognition in various genres, such as comedy, drama, romance, thrillers, adventures, and Westerns. He worked with some of the most acclaimed directors of his time, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges, George Stevens, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, and Sam Peckinpah. He starred in a total of three Best Picture Oscar nominees: Dead End (1937), Foreign Correspondent (1940), and The More the Merrier (1943). He was also one of the great stars of American Westerns, and a very popular leading man in non-Westerns as well.

In addition to his film achievements, Joel McCrea also received several awards and honors for his contribution to the industry and the society. He received a career achievement award from the L.A. Film Critics Association in 1968. He was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1969. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard. He was a philanthropist who donated land and money to various causes, such as the Conejo Valley YMCA, the Joel McCrea Wildlife Preserve, and the Motion Picture & Television Fund.

Who is Joel Mccrea married to?

Joel McCrea was married to Frances Dee, an actress who starred in films such as Little Women (1933), Of Human Bondage (1934), Becky Sharp (1935), and I Walked with a Zombie (1943). They met on the set of The Silver Cord (1933) and married on October 20, 1933. They had one of the longest and happiest marriages in Hollywood history, lasting for 57 years until McCrea’s death on October 20, 1990. They had three sons: Jody McCrea (who also became an actor), Peter McCrea (who became a rancher), and David McCrea (who became a real estate developer).

Is Joel Mccrea socially active?

Joel McCrea was not very socially active in terms of participating in political or social movements. He preferred to keep his private life away from the public eye and focus on his family and his ranching activities. He was not a member of any political party or organization, although he supported some conservative causes and candidates. He was also not involved in any scandals or controversies that would tarnish his reputation or image. He was known for his honesty, integrity, professionalism, and generosity. He was respected and admired by his colleagues, friends, fans, and critics.

What is the net worth of Joel Mccrea?

Joel McCrea had a net worth of $10 million at the time of his death in 1990. He made most of his money from his acting career, but he also invested wisely in real estate and other ventures. He followed the advice of his friend and mentor Will Rogers, who told him to put the money he made from acting into land. He bought a ranch in Thousand Oaks, California in 1933 for $11,000 and expanded it to over 3,000 acres over the years. He also owned properties in Beverly Hills and Hawaii. He sold some of his land for development but kept most of it for ranching and conservation purposes. He donated part of his ranch to establish the Conejo Valley YMCA camp and another part to create the Joel McCrea Wildlife Preserve.

What are the movies Joel Mccrea has worked in?

Joel McCrea has worked in over 90 movies during his career spanned 50 years. He appeared in different genres such as comedy, drama, romance, thrillers, adventures, and Westerns. Some of his notable movies are:

  • The Most Dangerous Game (1932): A classic adventure film based on Richard Connell’s short story about a big-game hunter who becomes the prey of a madman on a remote island. McCrea plays the hero Bob Rainsford, who must survive the deadly hunt orchestrated by the villainous Count Zaroff, played by Leslie Banks.
  • Foreign Correspondent (1940): A spy thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, set in Europe on the eve of World War II. McCrea plays Johnny Jones, an American reporter who uncovers a Nazi conspiracy involving a peace organization and a kidnapped diplomat. The film also stars Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, and Albert Bassermann.
  • Sullivan’s Travels (1941): A comedy classic directed by Preston Sturges, satirizing the Hollywood film industry and social issues. McCrea plays John L. Sullivan, a successful director of comedies who wants to make a serious film about the plight of the poor. He disguises himself as a hobo and goes on the road to experience real life, but ends up in more trouble than he bargained for. The film also stars Veronica Lake as a struggling actress who joins him on his journey.
  • The Palm Beach Story (1942): Another comedy masterpiece directed by Preston Sturges, featuring a zany plot involving marital troubles, mistaken identities, eccentric millionaires, and a hunt club. McCrea plays Tom Jeffers, an inventor who is married to Gerry Jeffers, played by Claudette Colbert. Gerry decides to divorce Tom and find a rich man who can finance his invention, but Tom follows her to Florida and tries to win her back. The film also stars Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee, Sig Arno, and William Demarest.
  • The More the Merrier (1943): A romantic comedy directed by George Stevens, set in Washington D.C. during World War II. McCrea plays Joe Carter, an Army sergeant who is looking for a place to stay in the crowded city. He shares an apartment with Connie Milligan, played by Jean Arthur, and Benjamin Dingle, played by Charles Coburn. Dingle tries to play matchmaker between Joe and Connie, but his schemes cause more complications than expected. The film also stars Richard Gaines, Bruce Bennett, and Frank Sully.
  • Ride the High Country (1962): A Western directed by Sam Peckinpah, considered one of his best films and one of the greatest Westerns of all time. McCrea plays Steve Judd, an aging ex-lawman who is hired to transport gold from a mining camp to a bank. He is joined by his old friend Gil Westrum, played by Randolph Scott, and his young protégé Heck Longtree, played by Ron Starr. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and conflicts, including bandits, corrupt miners, and a runaway bride, played by Mariette Hartley. The film explores themes such as friendship, loyalty, honor, and morality in the changing West.

What are the famous roles played by Joel Mccrea?

Joel McCrea was a versatile actor who played many famous roles in different genres of movies. He was especially known for his roles in Westerns, where he portrayed various characters such as lawmen, outlaws, ranchers, and adventurers. Some of his famous roles are:

What are the movies Joel Mccrea has worked in
  • Bob Rainsford in The Most Dangerous Game (1932): A classic adventure film based on Richard Connell’s short story about a big-game hunter who becomes the prey of a madman on a remote island. McCrea plays the hero Bob Rainsford, who must survive the deadly hunt orchestrated by the villainous Count Zaroff, played by Leslie Banks. The film also stars Fay Wray as the heroine Eve Trowbridge.
  • Johnny Jones/Huntley Haverstock in Foreign Correspondent (1940): A spy thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock, set in Europe on the eve of World War II. McCrea plays Johnny Jones, an American reporter who uncovers a Nazi conspiracy involving a peace organization and a kidnapped diplomat. The film also stars Laraine Day, Herbert Marshall, George Sanders, and Albert Bassermann. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
  • John L. Sullivan in Sullivan’s Travels (1941): A comedy classic directed by Preston Sturges, satirizing the Hollywood film industry and social issues. McCrea plays John L. Sullivan, a successful director of comedies who wants to make a serious film about the plight of the poor. He disguises himself as a hobo and goes on the road to experience real life, but ends up in more trouble than he bargained for. The film also stars Veronica Lake as a struggling actress who joins him on his journey. The film is considered one of the best comedies of all time and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
  • Tom Jeffers in The Palm Beach Story (1942): Another comedy masterpiece directed by Preston Sturges, featuring a zany plot involving marital troubles, mistaken identities, eccentric millionaires, and a hunt club. McCrea plays Tom Jeffers, an inventor who is married to Gerry Jeffers, played by Claudette Colbert. Gerry decides to divorce Tom and find a rich man who can finance his invention, but Tom follows her to Florida and tries to win her back. The film also stars Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee, Sig Arno, and William Demarest.
  • Joe Carter in The More the Merrier (1943): A romantic comedy directed by George Stevens, set in Washington D.C. during World War II. McCrea plays Joe Carter, an Army sergeant who is looking for a place to stay in the crowded city. He shares an apartment with Connie Milligan, played by Jean Arthur, and Benjamin Dingle, played by Charles Coburn. Dingle tries to play matchmaker between Joe and Connie, but his schemes cause more complications than expected. The film also stars Richard Gaines, Bruce Bennett, and Frank Sully. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and won one for Best Supporting Actor for Coburn.
  • Steve Judd in Ride the High Country (1962): A Western directed by Sam Peckinpah, considered one of his best films and one of the greatest Westerns of all time. McCrea plays Steve Judd, an aging ex-lawman who is hired to transport gold from a mining camp to a bank. He is joined by his old friend Gil Westrum, played by Randolph Scott, and his young protégé Heck Longtree, played by Ron Starr. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and conflicts, including bandits, corrupt miners, and a runaway bride, played by Mariette Hartley. The film explores themes such as friendship, loyalty, honor, and morality in the changing West. The film was McCrea’s last major film appearance and Scott’s final film role.

These are just some of the famous roles that Joel McCrea played in his long and illustrious career. He demonstrated his talent and charisma in every genre he tackled and left behind a legacy of memorable performances that will continue to entertain and inspire generations of viewers.

Which brands does Joel McCrea endorse?

Joel McCrea was not very active in endorsing brands or products during his career. He preferred to keep his private life away from the public eye and focus on his family and his ranching activities. He was not a member of any political party or organization, although he supported some conservative causes and candidates.

However, he did appear in some advertisements or promotions for various causes or organizations that he believed in or supported. For example, he was featured in a 1948 ad for the American Red Cross, urging people to donate blood and help save lives. He also appeared in a 1952 ad for the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, promoting the museum and its mission to preserve the heritage of the American West. He also lent his voice and image to a 1964 ad for the National Rifle Association, defending the right to bear arms and encouraging people to join the NRA.

Joel McCrea was not interested in endorsing brands or products for personal gain or fame. He was more concerned with endorsing causes or organizations that he felt were important or beneficial to the society or the environment. He was a philanthropist who donated land and money to various causes, such as the Conejo Valley YMCA, the Joel McCrea Wildlife Preserve, and the Motion Picture & Television Fund. He was also a rancher and a conservationist who preserved his land from development. He was known for his honesty, integrity, professionalism, and generosity. He was respected and admired by his colleagues, friends, fans, and critics.

What are the viral stories of Joel McCrea?

Joel McCrea was a popular and beloved actor who had many stories and anecdotes about his life and career that have been shared and circulated by his fans and admirers. Some of these stories are:

  • How he met his wife Frances Dee: Joel McCrea met Frances Dee, an actress who starred in films such as Little Women (1933), Of Human Bondage (1934), Becky Sharp (1935), and I Walked with a Zombie (1943), on the set of The Silver Cord (1933). They had an instant attraction and chemistry, but they were both engaged to other people at the time. They decided to break off their engagements and elope on October 20, 1933. They had one of the longest and happiest marriages in Hollywood history, lasting for 57 years until McCrea’s death on October 20, 1990. They had three sons: Jody McCrea (who also became an actor), Peter McCrea (who became a rancher), and David McCrea (who became a real estate developer). They also had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
  • How he became friends with Will Rogers: Joel McCrea became friends with Will Rogers, the famous humorist, actor, and cowboy, when they worked together on the film Lightnin’ (1930). Rogers took a liking to McCrea and gave him some valuable advice on how to invest his money wisely. He told him to put the money he made from acting into land, especially in California where it was cheap and plentiful at the time. He also told him to avoid gambling, drinking, and women (except for his wife). McCrea followed Rogers’ advice and bought a ranch in Thousand Oaks, California in 1933 for $11,000 and expanded it to over 3,000 acres over the years. He also owned properties in Beverly Hills and Hawaii. He sold some of his land for development but kept most of it for ranching and conservation purposes. He donated part of his ranch to establish the Conejo Valley YMCA camp and another part to create the Joel McCrea Wildlife Preserve. He also gave generously to various charities and organizations, such as the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which provides assistance to people in the entertainment industry.
  • How he turned down Gone with the Wind: Joel McCrea was one of the actors considered for the role of Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939), one of the most iconic roles in film history. However, he turned down the offer because he felt that he was not right for the part and that Clark Gable was more suitable. He also did not want to work with David O. Selznick, the producer of the film, whom he disliked. He later said: “I probably would have taken it if they’d offered me enough money.”

What are the scandals of Joel McCrea?

Joel McCrea was not involved in any major scandals or controversies that would tarnish his reputation or image. He was known for his clean-cut persona and his wholesome family life. He was faithful to his wife Frances Dee for 57 years and never had any affairs or divorces. He was also not involved in any legal troubles or disputes that would cause him any problems or difficulties.

FAQs about Joel McCrea:

Q: When and where was Joel McCrea born?

A: Joel McCrea was born on November 5, 1905, in South Pasadena, California, U.S

Q: What was Joel McCrea’s profession?

A: Joel McCrea was an actor and producer who had a career that spanned a wide variety of genres over almost five decades, including comedy, drama, romance, thrillers, adventures, and Westerns, for which he became best known. He appeared in over 100 films, starring in over 80, among them Alfred Hitchcock’s espionage thriller Foreign Correspondent (1940), Preston Sturges’ comedy classics Sullivan’s Travels (1941), and The Palm Beach Story (1942), the romance film Bird of Paradise (1932), the adventure classic The Most Dangerous Game (1932), Gregory La Cava’s bawdy comedy Bed of Roses (1933), George Stevens’ six-time Academy Award nominated romantic comedy The More the Merrier (1943), William Wyler’s These Three, Come and Get It (both 1936) and Dead End (1937), Howard Hawks’ Barbary Coast (1935), and a number of western films, including Wichita (1955) as Wyatt Earp and Sam Peckinpah’s Ride the High Country (1962), opposite Randolph Scott. He starred in a total of three Best Picture Oscar nominees: Dead End (1937), Foreign Correspondent (1940), and The More the Merrier (1943). With the exception of the British thriller Rough Shoot (1953) and film noir Hollywood Story (1951), McCrea appeared in Western films exclusively from 1946 until his retirement in 1976.

Q: Who was Joel McCrea married to?

A: Joel McCrea was married to Frances Dee, an actress who starred in films such as Little Women (1933), Of Human Bondage (1934), Becky Sharp (1935), and I Walked with a Zombie (1943). They met on the set of The Silver Cord (1933) and married on October 20, 1933. They had one of the longest and happiest marriages in Hollywood history, lasting for 57 years until McCrea’s death on October 20, 1990. They had three sons: Jody McCrea (who also became an actor), Peter McCrea (who became a rancher), and David McCrea (who became a real estate developer). They also had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Q: What were Joel McCrea’s achievements?

A: Joel McCrea was one of the most versatile and prolific actors in Hollywood, who achieved success and recognition in various genres. He worked with some of the most acclaimed directors of his time, such as Alfred Hitchcock, Preston Sturges, George Stevens, William Wyler, Howard Hawks, and Sam Peckinpah. He was also one of the great stars of American Westerns, and a very popular leading man in non-Westerns as well. He appeared in over 100 films during his career spanned 50 years.

In addition to his film achievements, Joel McCrea also received several awards and honors for his contribution to the industry and the society. He received a career achievement award from the L.A. Film Critics Association in 1968. He was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 1969. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard. He was a philanthropist who donated land and money to various causes, such as the Conejo Valley YMCA, the Joel McCrea Wildlife Preserve, and the Motion Picture & Television Fund. He was also a rancher and a conservationist who preserved his land from development.

Q: When and how did Joel McCrea die?

A: Joel McCrea died on October 20, 1990, at the age of 84, from pulmonary complications. He passed away at his home in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S., surrounded by his family.

Q: How did Joel McCrea become interested in acting?

A: Joel McCrea had a fascination with the movies from a young age. As a boy, he had a paper route delivering the Los Angeles Times to Cecil B. DeMille and other people in the film industry. He also had the opportunity to watch D. W. Griffith filming Intolerance, and was an extra in a serial starring Ruth Roland He developed a love and understanding of horses, and later he was considered one of the best riders in Western films. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and camping with his family.

He studied acting at Pomona College and got some stage experience at the Pasadena Community Playhouse, where other future stars such as Randolph Scott, Robert Young, and Victor Mature would also get their first experience. He worked as an extra after graduation from the University of Southern California in 1928 and did some stunt work. In a rare case of an extra being chosen from the crowd to play a major role, McCrea was given a part in The Jazz Age (1929). A contract at MGM followed, and then a better contract at RKO. Will Rogers took a liking to the young man (they shared a love of ranching and roping) and did much to elevate McCrea’s career. His wholesome good looks and quiet manner were soon in demand, primarily in romantic dramas and comedies, and he became an increasingly popular leading man.

Q: What was Joel McCrea’s distinctive feature?

A: Joel McCrea had a distinctive feature that made him stand out among other actors of his time: his resonant American twang. His voice was clear, confident, and authentic, and suited him to play a variety of roles ranging from romantic comedies to serious dramas and action-adventure films. He was often praised for his natural and understated acting style, which made him appear honest and sincere on screen. He was also known for his wholesome good looks and quiet manner, which earned him the nickname “The Boy Scout”.

Q: What were Joel McCrea’s hobbies and interests?

A: Joel McCrea had many hobbies and interests that reflected his personality and lifestyle. He was an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, skiing, and sailing. He was also a skilled horseman who owned and bred horses on his ranch. He was interested in history and culture, especially of the American West. He collected Western art and memorabilia, such as paintings, sculptures, books, guns, saddles, spurs, and boots. He also enjoyed reading, listening to music, playing chess, gardening, and woodworking. He was a family man who devoted time and attention to his wife Frances Dee and their three sons Jody McCrea , Peter McCrea , and David McCrea . He was also a generous and compassionate person who supported various charitable causes and organizations.

Q: What are some of the best quotes by Joel McCrea?

A: Joel McCrea had a witty and wise way of expressing himself that reflected his views and values. Some of his best quotes are:

“I liked doing comedies, but as I got older I was better suited to do Westerns. Because I think it becomes unattractive for an older fellow trying to look young, falling in love with attractive girls in those kinds of situations… Anyway, I always felt so much more comfortable in the Western.”

“I have no regrets except perhaps one: I should have tried harder to be a better actor.”

“I don’t know why people like me so much; I’m just an old cowhand.”

“I’m just a lazy boy. I’d rather sit in my recliner and act.”

“I’m not sure what makes me happy; I guess it’s just being alive.”

Q: What are some of the best movies by Joel McCrea?

A: Joel McCrea appeared in over 100 movies during his career spanned 50 years. He appeared in different genres such as comedy, drama, romance, thrillers, adventures, and Westerns. Some of his best movies are:

The Most Dangerous Game (1932): A classic adventure film based on Richard Connell’s short story about a big-game hunter who becomes the prey of a madman on a remote island. McCrea plays the hero Bob Rainsford, who must survive the deadly hunt orchestrated by the villainous Count Zaroff, played by Leslie Banks. The film also stars Fay Wray as the heroine Eve Trowbridge.

Foreign Correspondent (1940): A spy thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock , set in Europe on the eve of World War II . McCrea plays Johnny Jones/Huntley Haverstock , an American reporter

Written by Vikram

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