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Charles McGraw
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    (May 10, 1914-July 30, 1980)
    Born in Des Moines, Iowa
    Birth name was Charles Butters
    Acted in 'The Killers,' 'The Narrowed Ridge,' 'The Gangster,' 'Armored Car Robbery,' 'The Defiant Ones,' 'In Cold Blood,' 'Roadblock,' 'Border Incident,' 'Ma and Pa Kettle Go to Town,' 'The Bridges at Toko-Ri,' 'Spartacus,' 'The Birds,' 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,' and 'A Boy and His Dog'
    Made memorable guest appearances on 'The Virginian,' The Untouchables, Bonanza, Wagon Train, 'Laramie,' Gunsmoke, and 'The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp'
    Portrayed the title character in 'The Adventures of the Falcon' (1954-1955)
    Portrayed 'Rick Jason' (Rick Blaine) in the short-lived NBC series, 'Casablanca' (1955)
    He was typecast as policemen or gangsters in film noirs.
    He had the ideal 'tough guy name' which obscured that his real name was 'Butters.'
    His stage name had previously been 'Charles Crisp,' but he changed it to 'McGraw' because too many people asked if he was related to Donald Crisp.
    He died by slipping in the shower and falling through the glass shower door.
    His scenes in 'The Birds' were edited down to almost nothing because Alfred Hitchcock disliked his sense of humor.
    His war record was embellished by RKO publicists in his studio bio, which claimed he was injured in the knee while serving under General Patton (he served for 11 months and never left the States).
    He was tasked with keeping the alcoholic Spencer Tracy 'off the wagon' during the filming of 'Mad World.' This proved to be a case of putting the crook in charge of the prison, as McGraw was later spotted with Tracy at a nearby bar.
    His excessive drinking drove his long suffering wife of thirty years to finally divorce him in 1967, after which his drinking problem worsened (although they remained close).
    His career spanned over thirty years on film and television, but he is only remembered for his small roles in Hitchcock's 'The Birds' and Kubrick's 'Spartacus' as a crusty fisherman and the abrasive gladiator trainer respectively.
    He made the successful transition from leading man to character actor as he grew older.
    He made an unexpected comeback in the late sixties as Robert Blake's seedy father in the film adaptation of Capote's 'In Cold Blood.'
    He suffered a broken jaw during the filming of 'Spartacus.'
    He inspired the design for Marvel's Agent Nick Fury in the SHIELD comics.
    He was a middle-weight prizefighter with 20 professional bouts.
    He frequently took time out of filming to lead Boy Scout troops on hikes in the Hollywood Hills.
    He and Woody Strode were both infamously passed over for Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for their work in 'Spartacus' (in favor of Peter Ustinov, who won for the same film).
    He was one of the few Hollywood actors who could hold his own roughhousing with boozer bruiser Robert Mitchum in a drunken brawl.
    He became good friends with Mitchum, who later joked 'He kept going twenty hours per day and drank two cases of beer in the same period!'
    He was investigated by the FBI for alleged Communist ties on the basis of his friendships with blacklisted filmmakers Dalton Trumbo and Howard Da Silva (they turned up with nothing).

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair

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