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John Wray

John Wray

American character actor of film and stage
John Wray
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American character actor of film and stage
A.K.A. John Griffith Malloy
Was Actor Stage actor Film actor
From United States of America
Type Film, TV, Stage & Radio
Gender male
Birth 13 February 1887, Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 5 April 1940, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA (aged 53 years)
Star sign Aquarius
The details

Biography

John Wray (13 February 1887 – 5 April 1940) was an American stage and film actor active in the 1930s. He appeared in over 80 films, noted for his roles in The Czar of Broadway (1930), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936).

Early life

John Wray was born as John Griffith Malloy on February 13, 1887, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

Career

Wray started his acting career on stage in the early 1910s and appeared regularly on Broadway in New York. In the 1920s, when the movie industry was transitioning from silent to sound films, he relocated to Los Angeles, to pursue an acting career in Hollywood. 

Wray made his film debut in 1929, playing the role of "Joe Prividi", the main villain, in director Lewis Milestone's crime drama New York Nights, starring Norma Talmadge and Gilbert Roland. In the following year, he was seen starring as "Himmelstoss," a sadistic drill instructor, in All Quiet on the Western Front, alongside Louis Wolheim and Lew Ayres (also directed by Lewis Milestone) — the film won an Oscar for Best Picture at the 1930 Academy Awards. Also in 1930, he played one of the leading roles, as the gangster "Morton Bradstreet," in director William James Craft's crime drama Czar of Broadway, alongside Betty Compson and John Harron.

Two years later, in 1932, Wray was seen portraying the con-artist "The Frog" in the remake of The Miracle Man, with Sylvia SidneyChester Morris, and Robert Coogan. In the first version of the film in 1919, directed by George Loane Tucker, the character was played by Lon Chaney.

After appearing in a wide variety of roles in many big-ticket films such as Miss Pinkerton (1932), The Death Kiss (1932), Lone Cowboy (1933), Bombay Mail (1934), Green Eyes (1934), The Whole Town's Talking(1935), and Frisco Kid (1935), Wray was seen playing the part of a starving farmer threatening to kill "Longfellow Deeds" (played by Gary Cooper) in Frank Capra's classic Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936). In 1937, he portrayed prison warden "Wheeler" in Fritz Lang's film-noir You Only Live Once (1937,) starring Henry Fonda and Sylvia Sidney.

After You Only Live Once, Wray's career was in a decline and most of his roles in the late 1930s were minor and often uncredited. He continued to act until 1940, with his last screen appearance being that of Joe, the farmer, in director Alexander Hall's romance comedy The Doctor Takes a Wife, which starred Loretta Young and Ray Milland. He also had a minor uncredited role in the Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh's Oscar-winning 1939 romance drama Gone with the Wind.

Personal life

Wray was married to his wife Florence Miller. They had one son, Jack (born circa 1915).

Death

John Wray died on April 5, 1940, in Los Angeles, California. He was 53.

Partial filmography

  • New York Nights (1929) - Joe Prividi
  • All Quiet On The Western Front (1930) - Himmelstoss
  • The Czar of Broadway (1930) - Morton Bradstreet
  • Quick Millions (1931) - Kenneth Stone
  • Silence (1931) - Harry Silvers
  • Safe in Hell (1931) - Egan
  • The Woman from Monte Carlo (1932) - Cmdr. Brambourg
  • High Pressure (1932) - Jimmy Moore
  • The Miracle Man (1932) - The Frog
  • The Mouthpiece (1932) - Mr. Barton
  • The Rich Are Always with Us (1932) - Clark Davis
  • Miss Pinkerton (1932) - Hugo
  • Doctor X (1932) - Dr. Haines
  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932) - Nordine (uncredited)
  • The Death Kiss (1932) - Detective Lieut. Sheehan
  • Central Park (1932) - Robert Smiley
  • The Match King (1932) - Foreman of Janitors
  • After Tonight (1933) - Mitika, the Gypsy Contact
  • Lone Cowboy (1933) - Bill O'Neal
  • Bombay Mail (1934) - Giovanni Martini
  • The Big Shakedown (1934) - Higgins
  • The Crosby Case (1934) - Giovanni Martini
  • The Most Precious Thing in Life (1934) - Carter
  • The Love Captive (1934) - Jules Glass
  • Green Eyes (1934) - Inspector Crofton
  • The Defense Rests (1934) - Michael Cooney
  • Fifteen Wives (1934) - Jason Getty
  • The Cat's-Paw (1934) - Man on Street (uncredited)
  • Embarrassing Moments (1934) - Slug
  • The Captain Hates the Sea (1934) - Mr. Jeddock
  • I'll Fix It (1934) - Fletcher
  • I Am a Thief (1934) - Antonio Porricci
  • The Whole Town's Talking (1935) - Henchman Harry (uncredited)
  • The Great Hotel Murder (1935) - Feets Moore
  • Stranded (1935) - Mike Gibbons
  • Men Without Names (1935) - Sam 'Red' Hammond
  • Atlantic Adventure (1935) - Mitts Coster
  • Ladies Love Danger (1935) - Lieutenant Roberts
  • Bad Boy (1935) - Fred Larkin
  • Frisco Kid (1935) - The Weasel
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) - Farmer
  • Poor Little Rich Girl (1936) - Flagin
  • A Son Comes Home (1936) - Gas Station Owner
  • Sworn Enemy (1936) - Lang, a Gangster
  • The Devil Is a Sissy (1936) - Priest (uncredited)
  • The President's Mystery (1936) - Shane
  • Valiant Is the Word for Carrie (1936) - George Darnley
  • A Man Betrayed (1936) - Sparks
  • We Who Are About to Die (1937) - Jerry Daley
  • You Only Live Once (1937) - Warden Wheeler
  • Outcast (1937) - Hank Simmerson
  • Circus Girl (1937) - Roebling
  • The Devil Is Driving (1937) - Joe Peters
  • On Such a Night (1937) - Guard Rumann
  • The Women Men Marry (1937) - Brother Nameless
  • The Black Doll (1938) - Walling
  • Making the Headlines (1938) - Herbert Sandford
  • Gangs of New York (1938) - Maddock
  • Reformatory (1938) - Guard (uncredited)
  • Professor Beware (1938) - Head Lawyer (uncredited)
  • Tenth Avenue Kid (1938) - Joe Turner
  • Spawn of the North (1938) - Dr. Sparks
  • Boys Town (1938) - Weasel (uncredited)
  • Crime Takes a Holiday (1938) - Howell
  • A Man to Remember (1938) - Tom Johnson
  • Pacific Liner (1939) - Metcalfe
  • Risky Business (1939) - Silas
  • Almost a Gentleman (1939) - 'Crack' Williams
  • Each Dawn I Die (1939) - Pete Kassock
  • Winter Carnival (1939) - Poultry Truck Driver (uncredited)
  • Smuggled Cargo (1939) - Chris Hays
  • Golden Boy (1939) - Chocolate Drop's Manager (uncredited)
  • Blackmail (1939) - Diggs
  • The Cat and the Canary (1939) - Hendricks
  • The Amazing Mr. Williams (1939) - Stanley
  • Gone with the Wind (1939) - prison gang overseer (uncredited)
  • Remember the Night (1940) - Hank
  • Swiss Family Robinson (1940) - Ramsey
  • The Man from Dakota (1940) - Mr. Carpenter
  • Outside the Three-Mile Limit (1940) - Ship's Captain (uncredited)
  • The Doctor Takes a Wife (1940) - Joe - Farmer (uncredited) (final film role)
To cite the article
Citation
We strive for accuracy and fairness. If you notice a mistake, please contact us. Below the article, you will find links to the references used.
Article Title: John Wray: American character actor of film and stage - Biography and Life
Author(s): PeoplePill.com Editorial Staff
Website Title: PeoplePill
Publisher: PeoplePill
Article URL: https://peoplepill.com/people/john-wray-1/
Publish Date: 20 Dec 2016
Date Accessed: 21 Oct 2020
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Reference sources
References
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0942046/
https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/6920
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11736324
http://catalogo.bne.es/uhtbin/authoritybrowse.cgi?action=display&authority_id=XX1660554
https://catalogue.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb14240149h
https://data.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/cb14240149h
https://d-nb.info/gnd/129297569
https://isni.org/isni/0000000083916655
https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n85273916
https://snaccooperative.org/ark:/99166/w6p39rb2
https://viaf.org/viaf/69142419
https://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n85273916
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