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Jack Warden
Jack Warden.jpg
Warden in the 1950s
John Warden Lebzelter Jr.

(1920-09-18)September 18, 1920
Died July 19, 2006(2006-07-19) (aged 85)
Cause of death Heart and kidney failure
Other names Jack Lebzelter
Jack Warden Lebzelter
Johnny Costello
Occupation Actor
Years active 1948–2000
Vanda Dupre
(m. 1958; his death 2006)
Children 1

Jack Warden (born John Warden Lebzelter Jr., September 18, 1920 – July 19, 2006) was an American character actor of film and television. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor - for Shampoo (1975), and Heaven Can Wait (1978). He received a BAFTA nomination for the former movie, and won an Emmy for his performance in Brian's Song (1971).

Early life

Warden was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Laura M. (née Costello) and John Warden Lebzelter, who was an engineer and technician.

He was of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) and Irish ancestry. Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, he was expelled from high school for fighting and eventually fought as a professional boxer under the name Johnny Costello. He fought in 13 bouts as a welterweight, but earned little money.

World War II

Warden worked as a nightclub bouncer, tugboat deckhand and lifeguard before joining the United States Navy in 1938. He was stationed for three years in China with the Yangtze River Patrol.

In 1941, he joined the United States Merchant Marine but he quickly tired of the long convoy runs, and in 1942, he moved to the United States Army, where he served as a paratrooper in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, with the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. In 1944, on the eve of the D-Day invasion (in which many of his friends would die), Warden, now a Staff Sergeant, shattered his leg when he landed in a tree during a night-time practice jump in England. He spent almost eight months in the hospital recuperating, during which time he read a Clifford Odets play and decided to become an actor. Warden would later portray a paratrooper from the 101st's rivals – the 82nd Airborne Division – in That Kind of Woman.

After leaving the military, he moved to New York City, and studied acting and performed on stage for five years. In 1948 he made his television debut. His first film role, un-credited, was in the 1951 film You're in the Navy Now, a film which also featured the screen debuts of Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson.


NYPD 1968
Warden (left) as Mike Haines with Frank Converse as Det. Johnny Corso in ABC's N.Y.P.D. (1968)

Warden appeared in his first credited film role in the 1951 in The Man with My Face. From 1952 to 1955, Warden appeared in the television series Mister Peepers with Wally Cox. In 1953, Warden was cast as a sympathetic corporal in From Here to Eternity. Warden's breakthrough film role was Juror No. 7, a salesman who wants a quick decision in a murder case, in 12 Angry Men.

Warden guest-starred in many television series over the years, and was twice nominated for his starring role in the 1980s comedy/drama series Crazy Like a Fox.

Personal life and death

Warden married French actress Vanda Dupré in 1958 and had one son, Christopher. Although they separated in the 1970s, the couple never divorced.

Warden suffered from declining health in his last years which resulted in his retirement from acting in 2000. He died of heart and kidney failure in a New York hospital on July 19, 2006, at the age of 85.



Year Title Role Notes
1950 The Asphalt Jungle Bit Role Uncredited
1951 You're in the Navy Now Tommy Morse Uncredited
1951 The Frogmen Crew Member Uncredited
1951 The Man with My Face Walt Davis
1952 Red Ball Express Undetermined Role Uncredited
1953 From Here to Eternity Corporal Buckley
1957 Edge of the City Charles Malik Alternate title: A Man Is Ten Feet Tall
1957 The Bachelor Party Eddie Watkins, the Bachelor
1957 12 Angry Men Juror #7
1958 Darby's Rangers Master Sergeant Saul Rosen
1958 Run Silent, Run Deep Yeoman 1st Class "Kraut" Mueller
1959 The Sound and the Fury Ben Compson
1959 That Kind of Woman George Kelly
1960 Wake Me When It's Over Dave "Doc" Farrington
1961 The Lawbreakers Captain/Acting Police Commissioner Matthew Gower Film adaptation of The Asphalt Jungle television episode "The Lady and the Lawyer"
1962 Escape from Zahrain Huston
1963 Donovan's Reef Doctor William Dedham
1964 The Thin Red Line First Sergeant Welsh
1965 Blindfold General Prat
1968 Bye Bye Braverman Barnet Weinstein
1971 The Sporting Club Earl Olive
1971 Summertree Herb
1971 Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? Dr. Solomon F. Moses
1971 Welcome to the Club General Strapp
1973 The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing Dawes
1974 Billy Two Hats Sherriff Henry Gifford
1974 The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz Max
1975 Shampoo Lester Karpf First Academy Award nomination
1976 All the President's Men Harry M. Rosenfeld
1977 Raid on Entebbe Lt. Gen. Mordechai Gur
1977 The White Buffalo Charlie Zane
1978 Heaven Can Wait Max Corkle Second Academy Award nomination
1978 Death on the Nile Doctor Ludwig Bessner
1979 The Champ Jackie
1979 Dreamer Harry
1979 Beyond the Poseidon Adventure Harold Meredith
1979 ...And Justice for All Judge Francis Rayford
1979 Being There President "Bobby" of the United States
1980 Used Cars Roy L. Fuchs
Luke Fuchs
1981 The Great Muppet Caper Mr. Tarkenian, the News Editor
1981 Carbon Copy Nelson Longhurst
1981 Chu Chu and the Philly Flash The Commander
1981 So Fine Jack Fine
1982 The Verdict Mickey Morrissey
1984 Crackers Garvey
1985 The Aviator Moravia
1985 Alice in Wonderland Owl
1986 The Cosmic Eye Rocko Voice
1987 September Lloyd
1988 Dead Solid Perfect Hubert 'Bad Hair' Wimberly
1988 The Presidio Sergeant Major Ross Maclure
1990 Everybody Wins Judge Harry Murdoch
1990 Problem Child "Big" Ben Healy
1991 Problem Child 2 "Big" Ben Healy
1992 Passed Away Jack Scanlan
1992 Night and the City Al Grossman
1992 Toys Old General Zevo
1993 Guilty as Sin Moe
1994 Bullets over Broadway Julian Marx
1995 While You Were Sleeping Saul
1995 Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Joe Heff
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Tiresias
1996 Ed Chubb
1997 The Island on Bird Street Boruch
1997 The Volunteers Richie
1998 Chairman of the Board Armand McMillan
1998 Bulworth Eddie Davers
1998 Dirty Work 'Pops' McKenna
1999 A Dog of Flanders Jehan Daas
2000 The Replacements Edward O'Neil (final film role)


Year Title Role Notes
1952 Tales of Tomorrow Steve 1 episode
1952 Mister Peepers Chicago Cabbie 1 episode
1953 The Campbell Playhouse 1 episode
1953 Man Against Crime Deck Hand 2 episodes
1954-55 Kraft Television Theatre Various roles 2 episodes
1954-55 Studio One Various roles 3 episodes
1955 Justice Two roles "Flight from Fear" and "Save Me Now"
1956 The Alcoa Hour Frank Doran 1 episode
1956 Climax! Lieutenant Ravenna "Flame-Out in T-6"
1958-59 Playhouse 90 Various roles 3 episodes
1959 Five Fingers Fitzgerald "The Moment of Truth"
1959-60 Bonanza Mike Wilson "The Paiute War"
1959-60 The Twilight Zone James A. Corry
Mouth McGarry
"The Lonely"
"The Mighty Casey"
1959-60 The Untouchables Larry Halloran
Otto Frick
The George 'Bugs' Moran Story
The Otto Frick Story
1960 The Outlaws 2 episodes
1961 Route 66 Adam Darcy The Clover Throne
Checkmate Farrell "Between Two Guns"
Bus Stop Joe Harrison "Accessory by Consent"
The Asphalt Jungle Deputy Police Commissioner Matthew Gower 13 episodes
1962 Naked City Cornelius Daggett "Face of the Enemy"
Naked City Steve Lollo "The King of Venus Will Take Care of You"
Naked City Sam Langen "The Spectre of the Rose Street Gang"
Target: The Corruptors Jerry Skala "The Organizers, Parts 1 and 2"
Tales of Wells Fargo Brad Axton "The Traveler"
Route 66 Sandor Biro "Feat of Strength"
Going My Way Carl Wiczinski "Not Good Enough for Mary"
1963 Route 66 Major Barbon "Two Strangers and an Old Enemy"
77 Sunset Strip Max Eames "Flight 307"
1964 Breaking Point Carlo Scotti "No Squares in My Family Circle"
1964 The Great Adventure Latham 1 episode
1964 Bewitched Rex Barker "It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog"
1965 Dr. Kildare Ernie Duffy 1 episode
1966 The Wackiest Ship in the Army Major Simon Butcher 29 episodes
1967 The Fugitive Alex Patton "Concrete Evidence"
1967 The Invaders Barney Cahill 1 episode
1967-69 N.Y.P.D. Lieutenant Mike Haines 49 episodes
1971 The Face of Fear Lieutenant George Coy Television film
1971 Brian's Song George Halas ABC Movie of the Week
1972 What's a Nice Girl Like You...? Lieutenant Burton ABC Movie of the Week
1972 Lieutenant Schuster's Wife Captain Patrick Lonergan Television film
1973 Wheeler and Murdoch Sam Wheeler Television film
1974 The Godchild Sergeant Dobbs Television film
1975 Journey from Darkness Fred Hartman Television film
1976 Jigsaw John "Jigsaw" John St. John 15 episodes
1979-80 The Bad News Bears Morris Buttermaker 23 episodes
1983 Hobson's Choice Henry Horatio Hobson Television film
1984 Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues Mark Twain Television film
1984-86 Crazy Like a Fox Harrison "Harry" Fox Sr. 35 episodes
1987 Hoover vs. the Kennedys: The Second Civil War J. Edgar Hoover Television film
1985 A.D. Nerva Television miniseries
1988 Police Story: The Watch Commander Joe Wilson Television film
1989 Knight & Daye Hank Knight 1 episode
1990 Judgment Claude Fortier Television film
1995 Problem Child 3 Big Ben Television film
1997 Ink Timothy Logan 1 episode
1999 The Norm Show Harry 1 episode
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