Zachary Scott

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Zachary Scott
Zachary Scott 1948.JPG
Scott in a 1948 New York Sunday News issue
Born (1914-02-21)February 21, 1914
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Died October 3, 1965(1965-10-03) (aged 51)
Austin, Texas. U.S.
Alma mater University of Texas
Years active 1941–1965
Spouse(s) Elaine Anderson (1934–1950)
Ruth Ford (1952–1965)
Parent(s) Mr. and Mrs. Zachary Scott Sr.

Zachary Scott (February 21, 1914 – October 3, 1965)[1] was an American actor, most notable for his roles as villains and "mystery men".

Biography

Early life

Born in Austin, Texas, he was of Greek descent; his surname was Skotidis. His grandfather had been a very successful cattle rancher, and Scott was a distant cousin of George Washington.[citation needed]

Scott intended to be a doctor like his father, Zachary Scott Sr. (1880–1964),[2] but after attending the University of Texas at Austin, he dropped out at age 19 and worked on a freighter that took him to England. There he appeared in almost two dozen repertory theatre productions in 18 months.[3] When he returned to Texas, he began to act in local theater productions.

Broadway

Alfred Lunt discovered Scott in Texas and convinced him to move to New York City,[citation needed] where he appeared on Broadway. He made his debut in a revival of Ah, Wilderness! in 1941[4] with a small role as a bartender.

Scott was also in The Damask Cheek (1942), The Rock (1943), and Those Endearing Young Charms (1943).[4]

Warner Bros.

Jack L. Warner saw Scott perform in Those Endearing Young Charms and afterwards signed him to his first film contract,[3] which led to his initial screen appearance in The Mask of Dimitrios (1944).[5]

Scott was one of the many Warners stars who had small roles in Hollywood Canteen (1944). He was loaned out to United Artists to play the lead in The Southerner (1945) directed by Jean Renoir.

Back at Warners, Scott was cast in Mildred Pierce (1945) and received much acclaim for his performance. In the film he portrays Joan Crawford's somewhat sleazy love interest, whose mysterious murder forms the basis of the plot. (In the novel on which the movie is based, the character is just as sleazy but is not killed.)

Scott co-starred with Faye Emerson in Danger Signal (1945) and was with Janis Paige and Dane Clark in Her Kind of Man (1946). In 1946 exhibitors voted Scott the third most promising "star of tomorrow".[6]

During this period, Scott and his first wife Elaine socialized regularly with Angela Lansbury and her first husband, Richard Cromwell. Elaine Scott had met Zachary Scott back in Austin and she made a name for herself behind the scenes on Broadway as stage manager for the original production of Oklahoma!. The Scotts had one child together, Waverly Scott.

Scott supported Ann Sheridan in The Unfaithful (1947) and Ronald Reagan and Alexis Smith in Stallion Road (1947). MGM borrowed him to support Lana Turner and Spencer Tracy in Cass Timberlane (1947).

He had the lead in a noir for Eagle Lion, Ruthless (1948), then returned to Warners for Whiplash (1948) with Clark. He supported Virginia Mayo in Flaxy Martin (1949) and Joel McCrea in the independent South of St. Louis (1949). He was reunited with Crawford in Flamingo Road (1949).

Warners tried Scott in a comedy with Alexis Smith, One Last Fling (1949). He starred in some films outside the studio, Guilty Bystander (1950) and Shadow on the Wall (1950). At Warners he supported Randolph Scott in Colt .45 (1950). He did Born to Be Bad (1950) for Nicholas Ray and Pretty Baby (1950) for Warners.

Scott appeared on a variety of television series such as Armstrong Circle Theatre (1950) and Pulitzer Prize Playhouse (1951). He did Lightning Strikes Twice (1951) for King Vidor and The Secret of Convict Lake (1951).

In 1950, Scott was involved in a rafting accident. Also during that year, he and Elaine divorced, and she later married writer John Steinbeck. Possibly as a result of these developments or due to a box-office slump, he succumbed to a depression which affected his acting for Warner Bros. The studio did not continue to promote his films, so he turned back to the stage and began to accept roles on television.

Leaving Warners

Scott's first film after he left Warners was Stronghold (1951) with Veronica Lake.[7] He followed it with Let's Make It Legal (1951). He was on TV in Tales of Tomorrow (1951) and Betty Crocker Star Matinee (1952) and went to England to make Wings of Danger (1952).

In Hollywood he was in Studio One in Hollywood (1953), and Medallion Theatre (1953) on TV, and Appointment in Honduras (1953). He was in The Revlon Mirror Theater (1953), Chevron Theatre (1953), Suspense (1954), Schlitz Playhouse (1954), The Motorola Television Hour (1954), Campbell Summer Soundstage (1954), The United States Steel Hour (1954), Omnibus (1954), Climax! (1955), General Electric Theater (1955), Robert Montgomery Presents (1956, playing Philip Marlowe in a version of The Big Sleep), Science Fiction Theatre (1955), The Star and the Story (1956), Celebrity Playhouse (1956), Theatre Night (1957) and Pursuit (1958).

He made the occasional film such as Treasure of Ruby Hills (1955), Shotgun (1955), Flame of the Islands (1956), The Counterfeit Plan (1957), and Man in the Shadow (1957).

Scott returned to Broadway with Requiem for a Nun (1959).

Later career

Scott was in The Young One (1960) directed by Luis Bunuel. He guest starred on The Chevy Mystery Show (1960), Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960) and Diagnosis: Unknown (1960). In 1961, he portrayed the part of White Eyes, a Native American Chief, in the episode "Incident Before Black Pass" on Rawhide.

During this period, he remarried, and he and his second wife, actress Ruth Ford, had a child together (he also adopted her daughter from a previous marriage).[3]

He was in the films Natchez Trace (1960) and had roles in The DuPont Show of the Month (1961), Play of the Week (1961), The New Breed (1961), The Defenders (1961) and The DuPont Show of the Week (1962).

Scott's last roles included It's Only Money (1962) with Jerry Lewis, The Expendables (1962) (a TV movie), and episodes of The Doctors and the Nurses (1962) and The Rogues (1965). He went back to Broadway for A Rainy Day in Newark (1963) by Howard Teichmann.

Scott moved back to Austin.

Personal life

Before marrying Ford, Scott was married to Elaine Anderson. They later divorced.[3]

Death

On October 3, 1965, Scott died from a malignant brain tumor at the home of his mother in Austin, Texas, at the age of 51.[3]

Legacy

In 1968, Austin renamed its civic center Zachary Scott Theatre Center in memory of the city's native son.

His family also endowed two chairs at the University of Texas's theatre department in his name. Two streets in the Austin area are named in his memory as well: one street at the old airport Mueller Redevelopment and the other one in unincorporated southeast Travis County.

Recognition

Scott has a star at 6349 Hollywood Boulevard in the Motion Pictures section of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It was dedicated on February 8, 1960.[8]

Filmography

Scott in the trailer for the film Mildred Pierce (1945)
Year Title Role Notes
1944 The Mask of Dimitrios Dimitrios Makropoulos
1944 Hollywood Canteen Zachary Scott
1945 The Southerner Sam Tucker
1945 Mildred Pierce Monte Beragon
1945 Danger Signal Ronnie Mason
1946 Her Kind of Man Steve Maddux
1947 Stallion Road Stephen Purcell
1947 The Unfaithful Bob Hunter
1947 Cass Timberlane Bradd Criley
1948 Ruthless Horace Woodruff Vendig
1948 Whiplash Rex Durant
1949 Flaxy Martin Walter Colby
1949 South of St. Louis Charlie Burns
1949 Flamingo Road Fielding Carlisle
1949 One Last Fling Larry Pearce
1950 Guilty Bystander Max Thursday
1950 Shadow on the Wall David I. Starrling
1950 Colt .45 Jason Brett
1950 Born to Be Bad Curtis Carey
1950 Pretty Baby Barry Holmes
1951 Lightning Strikes Twice Harvey Fortescue Turner
1951 The Secret of Convict Lake Johnny Greer
1951 Stronghold Don Miguel Navarro
1951 Let's Make It Legal Victor Macfarland
1952 Wings of Danger Richard Van Ness Alternate title: Dead on Course
1953 Appointment in Honduras Harry Sheppard
1955 Treasure of Ruby Hills Ross Haney
1955 Shotgun Reb
1956 Flame of the Islands Wade Evans
1956 Bandido! Kennedy
1957 The Counterfeit Plan Max Brant
1957 Man in the Shadow John Lewis Sullivan Alternate title: Violent Stranger
1960 The Young One Miller
1960 Natchez Trace John A. Morrow / John Murrell
1962 It's Only Money Gregory DeWitt

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1945 Suspense "Murder Off Key"[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Obituary Variety, October 6, 1965.
  2. ^ Variety obituary of Zachary Scott Sr., February 19, 1964.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Actor Zachary Scott, Leading Man For 3 Decades, Dies of Brain Tumor". The Akron Beacon Journal. Ohio, Akron. Associated Press. October 4, 1965. p. A-9. Retrieved September 2, 2018 – via Newspapers.com. open access publication – free to read
  4. ^ a b "Zachary Scot". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  5. ^ DRAMA AND FILM: Charles Coburn' Wins Col. Effingham Role Carol Stone of Broddway Stage Sought by Producer Bernerd for Screen Duty Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times (1923-Current File) [Los Angeles, Calif] 02 Dec 1943: A8
  6. ^ "The Stars of To-morrow". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 10 September 1946. p. 11 Supplement: The Sydney Morning Herald Magazine. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  7. ^ Schallert, Edwin (25 August 1950). "Melodious 'Huck Finn' En Route; Tay Garnett Guides 'Soldiers Three'". Los Angeles Times. p. 13.
  8. ^ "Zachary Scott". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Escape and Suspense!: Suspense - Murder Off Key". www.escape-suspense.com.

External links

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