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John Carradine
John Carradine - The Green Hornet, Episode 23 (Alias The Scarf) - 1967.jpg
Carradine in a 1967 publicity photo
Richmond Reed Carradine

(1906-02-05)February 5, 1906
Died November 27, 1988(1988-11-27) (aged 82)
Milan, Italy
Cause of death Multiple organ failure
Resting place Body buried at sea
Other names Peter Richmond
Occupation Actor
Years active 1930–1988
Ardanelle McCool Cosner
(m. 1935; div. 1944)

Sonia Sorel
(m. 1944; div. 1956)

Doris Rich
(m. 1957; died 1971)

Emily Cisneros
(m. 1975)
Children 5, including David, Keith, and Robert Carradine
Parent(s) William Reed Carradine
Genevieve Winifred Richmond

John Carradine (born Richmond Reed Carradine; February 5, 1906 – November 27, 1988) was an American actor, best known for his roles in horror films, Westerns, and Shakespearean theatre. A member of Cecil B. DeMille's stock company and later John Ford's company, he was one of the most prolific character actors in Hollywood history. He was married four times, had five children, and was the patriarch of the Carradine family, including four of his sons and four of his grandchildren who are or were also actors.


1939 film Five Came Back featuring John Carradine

Retired, Carradine suffered from painful and crippling rheumatoid arthritis, before he died from multiple organ failure at Fatebenefratelli Hospital in Milan, Italy, on November 27, 1988. Hours before he was stricken, he had climbed the 328 steep steps of Milan's Gothic cathedral, the Duomo.

There was a Requiem Mass for John Carradine at St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church in Hollywood. Jane Fonda was among those in attendance. An Irish wake followed, and his body was later buried at sea between the California coast and Catalina Island.


1944 film The Mummy's Ghost, featuring John Carradine

For his contributions to the film industry, Carradine was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 with a motion pictures star located at 6240 Hollywood Boulevard. In 2003, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Four of Carradine's five sons became actors: David, Robert, Keith, and Bruce. David had a prolific career, amassing 227 movie and television credits by the time of his death in 2009. He also had a brief Broadway career and produced and directed a number of independent projects. His success often led to work for other members of his family, including his father. The two appeared together in a few films. John's son Christopher is an architect and vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Television roles

The following are only a few examples of the many roles John Carradine performed on television between 1947 and 1986:

  • My Friend Irma CBS Comedy (1952–1954) as Mr. Corday
  • The Twilight Zone (1959) "The Howling Man" (1960) as Brother Jerome
  • The Twilight Zone (1985) Still Life (1985) as Professor Stottel
  • The Munsters (1964–1966) as Mr. Gateman
  • Lost In Space (television series 1965–1968) Episode- "The Galaxy Gift" (1967)
  • Night Gallery "Big Surprise/Quoth the Raven/Prof. Peabody's Last Lecture" (1971)
  • The Night Strangler (1973) as Llewelyn Crossbinder
  • Kung Fu (TV series) (3 episodes); As Preacher Serenity Johnson, John played opposite his son David, who was the star of the series.

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