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Richard Crenna

Richard Crenna

Show Count: 109
Series Count: 2
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: November 30, 1926
Old Time Radio, Los Angeles, California, U.S
Died: January 17, 2003, Los Angeles, California, U.S

Richard Donald Crenna (November 30, 1926 – January 17, 2003) was an American motion picture, television, and radio actor and occasionaltelevision director. He starred in such motion pictures as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Un Flic, Body Heat, the first three Rambo movies, Hot Shots! Part Deux, the remake of Sabrina and The Flamingo Kid. Crenna played "Walter Denton" in the CBS radio network and CBS-TV network series Our Miss Brooks, and "Luke McCoy" in ABC's TV comedy series, The Real McCoys, (1957–63), which moved to CBS-TV in September 1962.

Early life

Crenna was born in Los Angeles, the only child of Edith J. (née Pollette), who was a hotel manager in Los Angeles, and Domenick Anthony Crenna, apharmacist. His parents were both of Italian ancestry. Crenna attended Virgil Junior High School, followed by Belmont High School in Los Angeles. Following High School, Crenna served in the US Army during World War II. Crenna participated in World War II serving in the infantry as a Radioman - where he saw combat duty in the European theater at the Battle of the Bulge. Crenna also served in the Pacific theater decoding Japanese intercepts. Following World War II, Crenna attended the University of Southern California where he Majored in English.

Acting career

Richard Crenna got his acting start on radio. In 1937, he had gained his first role that of "the kid who did everything wrong" on Boy Scout Jamboree, a show on which, he continued to appear occasionally in numerous roles until 1948. In the following year, he started playing Walter "Bronco" Thompson on The Great Gildersleeve, and played it until the show's end in 1957. He appeared as a delivery boy in My Favorite Husband episode "Liz Cooks Dinner for 12", was Oogie Pringle on A Date With Judy episode "The Competitive Diet" and several other episodes from the show and as a teenager on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show episode "Watching the Neighbor's Daughter". From 1948 to 1952, he was Walter Denton on Our Miss Brooks and remained with the cast when they moved it to a television show. He guest starred on the I Love Lucy episode, "The Young Fans" withJanet Waldo and on NBC's 1955-56 anthology series, Frontier, in the lead role of the episode entitled "The Ten Days of John Leslie".

When the Our Miss Brooks TV series, which starred Eve Arden, underwent a change in format, his character Walter Denton was written off this series. Then, Crenna joined the cast of the comedy series, The Real McCoys as Luke McCoy. Kathleen Nolan was cast as his young wife, Kate McCoy in this series. Later, Crenna became one of the four directors of the series during its six-year run.

Crenna and Kathleen Nolan in The Real McCoys, 1960

Crenna portrayed the state senator James Slattery of California in the TV series Slattery's People (1965–66), and for his acting in this series, he was twice nominated for Emmy Awards with slightly different names: for "Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment", in 1965, and for "Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series", in 1965. Crenna was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for "Best TV Star - Male" in 1965, for this same role. During the 1970s Crenna continued his acting in such Western dramas such as Catlow, Breakheart Pass, and A Man Called Noon. He made a notable performance in Jean-Pierre Melville's final film Un Flic in 1972.

Crenna was rewarded with an Emmy Award, and a nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, for his performance as the main character in the movie The Rape of Richard Beck.

Crenna and Bernadette Peters in All's Fair, 1976

Crenna portrayed the character of New York City Police Lieutenant of Detectives Frank Janek in a series of seven popular made for television films starting in 1988 and ending in 1994.

Crenna is perhaps best known today for his role as John Rambo's ex-commanding Officer Colonel Sam Trautman in the first three Rambo films, a role for which he was hired after the actor Kirk Douglas left the production just one day into the filming of the first movie of the series. Crenna himself also spoofed this character in the movie Hot Shots! Part Deux, in 1993.

Crenna was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6714 Hollywood Boulevard. Crenna's performances were also reportedly the inspiration for the character "Colonel Roy Campbell" in the Metal Gear series of games.

Illnesses and death

Crenna suffered from pancreatic cancer during his later years, but he reportedly died of heart failure in 2003. His remains were cremated. At the time of his death, Crenna was portraying the recurring character of "Jared Duff" in Judging Amy. Crenna's death necessitated the death of "Jared Duff" as well.

Source: Wikipedia

Burns & AllenBurns & Allen
Show Count: 160
Broadcast History: 15 February 1932 to 13 June 1934, 19 September 1934 to 24 March 1937, 12 April 1937 to 1 August 1938, 30 September 1938 to 23 June 1939, 4 October to 1939 to 26 June 1940, 1 July 1940 to 24 March 1941, 7 October 1941 to 30 June 1942, 6 October 1942 to 25 June 1945, 20 September 1945 to 23 June 1949 and 21 September 1949 to 17 May 1950
Sponsor: Robert Burns Panatella, White Owl Cigars, Campbell Soups, Grape Nuts, Chesterfield Cigarettes, Hinds Cream, Hormel Meats, Lever Brothers, Swan Soap, Maxwell House Coffee Time, Block Drugs
Cast: Gracie Allen, George Burns, Elvia Allman, Mel Blanc, Margaret Brayton, Sara Berner, Clarence Nash, Elliott Lewis, Mary Lee Robb, Richard Crenna, Joseph Kearns, Eric Snowden, Bea Benaderet, Hal March, Gerald Mohr, Marvin Miller, Wally Maher, Doris Singleton, Dawn Bender, Tommy Bernard, Gale Gordon, Hans Conried
Director: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Producer: Ed Gardner, Ralph Levy, Al Kaye
Date With Judy, ADate With Judy, A
Show Count: 39
Broadcast History: 24 June 1941 to 16 September 1941, 23 June 1942 to 15 September 1942, 18 January 1944 to 4 January 1949 and 13 October 1949 to 25 May 1950
Cast: Lois Corbett, Ann Gillis, Paul McGrath, Margaret Brayton, Tommy Bond, Lurene Tuttle, Dellie Ellis, Stanley Farrar, Louse Erickson, Joseph Kearns, John Borwn, Bea Benaderet, Georgia Backus, Myra Marsh, Dix Davis, Harry Harvey, Richard Crenna, Sandra Gould
Director: Tom McAvity, Helen Mack
Producer: Tom McAvity, Helen Mack, Robert Holmes, Clara Groves
Broadcast: 3rd March 1957
Added: Mar 06 2008
Broadcast: 24th September 1950
Added: Oct 25 2012
Broadcast: 11th June 1952
Added: Jul 18 2011
Broadcast: 23rd February 1951
Added: Feb 24 2009
Broadcast: November 25, 1951
Added: Nov 09 2014
Broadcast: 24th April 1955
Added: Apr 12 2012
Broadcast: 25th January 1950
Added: Jan 30 2010
Broadcast: 1st February 1950
Added: Feb 01 2010
Broadcast: 29th May 1952
Added: Feb 25 2013
Broadcast: 10th January 1960
Added: Mar 24 2009
Broadcast: 5th February 1950
Added: Sep 04 2012
Broadcast: 27th March 1955
Added: Mar 22 2012
Broadcast: 3rd December 1950
Added: Jul 11 2013
Broadcast: 11th January 1959
Added: Feb 10 2011
Broadcast: 31st May 1951
Added: Apr 16 2009
Broadcast: 8th May 1960
Added: May 07 2012
Broadcast: 17th October 1954
Added: Nov 17 2011
Broadcast: 4th October 1953
Added: Oct 19 2012
Broadcast: 24th March 1957
Added: May 17 2012
Broadcast: 8th February 1950
Added: Feb 08 2010
Broadcast: May 29, 1955
Added: Nov 12 2015
Broadcast: 22nd May 1955
Added: Apr 28 2012
Broadcast: 15th October 1958
Added: Oct 15 2010
Broadcast: 10th April 1955
Added: Apr 05 2012
Broadcast: November 19, 1950
Added: Nov 26 2009
Broadcast: May 10, 1950
Added: May 10 2010
Broadcast: 18th October 1950
Added: Oct 28 2010
Broadcast: 22nd September 1957
Added: Sep 22 2012