Lloyd Benedict Nolan (August 11, 1902 – September 27, 1985) was an American film and television actor. Among his many roles, Nolan is remembered for originating the role of private investigator Michael Shayne in a series of 1940s B movies.
Lloyd Benedict Nolan
August 11, 1902
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Died||September 27, 1985 (aged 83)|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Mell Efrid (1933–1981) (her death) 2 children|
Virginia Dabney (1983–1985) (his death)
Nolan was born in San Francisco, California, the youngest of three children of Margaret, who was of Irish descent, and James Nolan, an Irish immigrant who was a shoe manufacturer. He attended Santa Clara Preparatory School and Stanford University, flunking out of Stanford as a freshman "because I never got around to attending any other class but dramatics." His parents disapproved of his choice of a career in acting, preferring that he join his father's shoe business, "one of the most solvent commercial firms in San Francisco."
Nolan served in the United States Merchant Marine before joining the Dennis Players theatrical troupe in Cape Cod. He began his career on stage and was subsequently lured to Hollywood, where he played mainly doctors, private detectives, and policemen in many film roles.
Nolan's obituary in the Los Angeles Times contained the evaluation, "Nolan was to both critics and audiences the veteran actor who works often and well regardless of his material." Although Nolan's acting was often praised by critics, he was, for the most part, relegated to B pictures. Despite this, Nolan co-starred with a number of well-known actresses, among them Mae West, Dorothy McGuire, and former Metropolitan Opera mezzo-soprano Gladys Swarthout. Under contract to Paramount and 20th Century Fox studios, he essayed starring roles in the late '30s and early-to-mid '40s and appeared as the title character in the Michael Shayne detective series. Raymond Chandler's novel The High Window was adapted from a Philip Marlowe adventure for the seventh film in the Michael Shayne series, Time to Kill (1942); the film was remade five years later as The Brasher Doubloon, truer to Chandler's original story, with George Montgomery as Marlowe.
Most of Nolan's films were light entertainment with an emphasis on action. His most famous include Atlantic Adventure, costarring Nancy Carroll; Ebb Tide; Wells Fargo; Every Day's a Holiday, starring Mae West; Bataan; and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, with Dorothy McGuire and James Dunn. He also gave a strong performance in the 1957 film Peyton Place with Lana Turner.
Nolan also contributed solid and key character parts in numerous other films. One, The House on 92nd Street, was a startling revelation to audiences in 1945. It was a conflation of several true incidents of attempted sabotage by the Nazi regime (incidents which the FBI was able to thwart during World War II), and many scenes were filmed on location in New York City, unusual at the time. Nolan portrayed FBI Agent Briggs, and actual FBI employees interacted with Nolan throughout the film; he reprised the role in a subsequent 1948 movie, The Street with No Name.
Later in Nolan's career, he returned to the stage and appeared on television to great acclaim in The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, for which he received a 1955 Emmy award for portraying Captain Queeg, the role made famous by Humphrey Bogart. Nolan also made guest appearances on television shows, including NBC's The Ford Show, Starring Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Bing Crosby Show, a sitcom on ABC and the Emmy-winning NBC anthology series The Barbara Stanwyck Show.
Nolan appeared three times on NBC's Laramie Western series, as sheriff Tully Hatch in the episode "The Star Trail (1959), as outlaw Matt Dyer in the episode "Deadly Is the Night" (1961) and then as former Union Army General George Barton in the episode "War Hero" (1962). On December 8, 1960, Nolan was cast as Dr. Elisha Pittman, in "Knife of Hate" on Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre. In the story line, Dr. Pittman removed one of the legs of Jack Hoyt (Robert Harland) after Hoyt sustained a gunshot wound from which infection was developing. Hoyt wants to marry Susan Pittman (Susan Oliver), but her father is at first unyielding on the matter.
Nolan starred in The Outer Limits episode "Soldier" written by Harlan Ellison. He appeared in the NBC Western Bonanza as LaDuke, a New Orleans detective. In 1967, Strother Martin and he guest-starred in the episode "A Mighty Hunter Before the Lord" of NBC's The Road West series, starring Barry Sullivan. Also in 1967, Nolan was a guest star in the popular Western TV series The Virginian, in the episode "The Masquerade" and in the first episode of Mannix.
One of his last appearances was a guest spot as himself in the 1984 episode "Cast in Steele" on the TV detective series Remington Steele.
In his later years, Nolan appeared in commercials for Polident.
Nolan married his first wife Mell Efrid in 1933. They had a daughter, Melinda, and a son, Jay, who died in an accident in 1969, aged 25. The couple remained married until Mell's death in 1981. In 1983, Nolan married his second wife Virginia Dabney, whom he remained with until his death.
In 1964, Nolan spoke at the "Project Prayer" rally attended by 2,500 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. The gathering, which was hosted by Anthony Eisley, a star of ABC's Hawaiian Eye series, sought to flood the United States Congress with letters in support of mandatory school prayer, following two decisions in 1962 and 1963 of the United States Supreme Court which struck down mandatory school prayer as conflicting with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Joining Nolan and Eisley at the rally were Walter Brennan, Rhonda Fleming, Dale Evans, Pat Boone, and Gloria Swanson. At the rally, Nolan asked, "Do we permit ourselves to be turned into a godless people, or do we preserve America as one nation under God?" Eisley and Fleming added that John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, Roy Rogers, Mary Pickford, Jane Russell, Ginger Rogers, and Pat Buttram would also have attended the rally had their schedules not been in conflict. "Project Prayer" was ultimately unsuccessful in its campaign to keep public prayer in public schools.
A long-time cigar and pipe smoker, Nolan died of lung cancer on September 27, 1985, at his home in Brentwood, California; he was 83. He is interred at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles, California.
- G Men (1935) as Hugh Farrell
- Stolen Harmony (1935) as Chesty Burrage
- Atlantic Adventure (1935) as Dan Miller
- She Couldn't Take It (1935) as Tex
- One Way Ticket (1935) as Jerry
- You May Be Next (1936) as Neil Bennett
- Lady of Secrets (1936) as Michael
- Big Brown Eyes (1936) as Russ Cortig
- Devil's Squadron (1936) as Dana Kirk
- Counterfeit (1936) as Capper Stevens
- The Texas Rangers (1936) as Sam 'Polka Dot' McGee
- 15 Maiden Lane (1936) as Det. Sgt. Walsh
- Internes Can't Take Money (1937) as Hanlon
- King of Gamblers (1937) as Jim Adams
- Exclusive (1937) as Charles Gillette
- Ebb Tide (1937) as Attwater
- Every Day's a Holiday (1937) as John Quade
- Wells Fargo (1937) as Dal Slade
- Dangerous to Know (1938) as Inspector Brandon
- Tip-Off Girls (1938) as Bob Anders
- Hunted Men (1938) as Joe Albany
- Prison Farm (1938) as Larry Harrison
- King of Alcatraz (1938) as Raymond Grayson
- Ambush - Tony Andrews (1939) as Tony Andrews
- St. Louis Blues (1939) as Dave Geurney
- Undercover Doctor (1939) as Robert Anders
- The Magnificent Fraud (1939) as Sam Barr
- The Man Who Wouldn't Talk (1940) as Joe Monday
- The House Across the Bay (1940) as Slant
- Johnny Apollo (1940) as Mickey Dwyer
- Gangs of Chicago (1940) as Matthew J. 'Matty' Burns
- The Man I Married (1940) as Kenneth Delane
- Pier 13 (1940) as Detective Danny Dolan
- The Golden Fleecing (1940) as Gus Fender
- Charter Pilot (1940) as King Morgan
- Michael Shayne, Private Detective (1940) as Michael Shayne
- Behind the News (1940) as Stuart Woodrow
- Mr. Dynamite (1941) as Tommy N. Thornton ('Mr. Dynamite')
- Sleepers West (1941) as Michael Shayne
- Dressed to Kill (1941) as Michael Shayne
- Buy Me That Town (1941) as Rickey Deane
- Blues In The Night (1941) as Del Davis
- Steel Against the Sky (1941) as Rocky Evans
- Blue, White and Perfect (1942) as Michael Shayne
- The Man Who Wouldn't Die (1942) as Michael Shayne
- It Happened in Flatbush (1942) as Frank 'Butterfingers' Maguire
- Just Off Broadway (1942) as Michael Shayne
- Apache Trail (1942) as Trigger Bill Folliard
- Manila Calling (1942) as Lucky Matthew
- Time to Kill (1942) as Michael Shayne
- Bataan (1943) as Corp. Barney Todd
- Don't Be a Sucker (1943 short) as Commentator
- Guadalcanal Diary (1943) as Sgt. Hook Malone
- Resisting Enemy Interrogation (1944) as USAF Debriefing Officer / Narrator (uncredited)
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) as Officer McShane
- Circumstantial Evidence (1945) as Sam Lords
- Captain Eddie (1945) as Lt. Jim Whittaker
- The House on 92nd Street (1945) as Agent George A. Briggs
- Somewhere in the Night (1946) as Police Lt. Donald Kendall
- Two Smart People (1946) as Bob Simms
- Lady in the Lake (1947) as Lt. DeGarmot
- Wild Harvest (1947) as Kink
- Green Grass of Wyoming (1948) as Rob McLaughlin
- The Street with No Name (1948) as Insp. George A. Briggs
- The Sun Comes Up (1949) as Thomas I. Chandler
- Bad Boy (1949) as Marshall Brown
- Easy Living (1949) as Lenahan
- The Lemon Drop Kid (1951) as Oxford Charlie
- Island in the Sky (1953) as Captain Stutz
- Crazylegs (1953) as Win Brockmeyer
- The Last Hunt (1956) as Woodfoot
- Santiago (1956) as Clay Pike
- Toward the Unknown (1956) as Brig. Gen. Bill Banner
- Seven Waves Away (1957) as Frank Kelly
- A Hatful of Rain (1957) as John Pope, Sr
- Peyton Place (1957) as Dr. Swain
- Ah, Wilderness! (1959 TV movie) as Nat Miller
- Portrait in Black (1960) as Matthew S. Cabot
- The Girl of the Night (1960) as Dr. Mitchell
- Susan Slade (1961) as Roger Slade
- We Joined the Navy (1962) as Vice Admiral Ryan
- The Girl Hunters (1963) as Federal Agent Arthur Rickerby
- Circus World (1964) as Cap Carson
- Never Too Late (1965) as Mayor Crane
- An American Dream (1966) as Barney Kelly
- Wings of Fire (1967 TV movie) as Max Clarity
- The Double Man (1967) as Edwards
- Sergeant Ryker (1968) as Gen. Amos Bailey
- Ice Station Zebra (1968) as Admiral Garvey
- Airport (1970) as Harry Standish
- Isn't It Shocking? (1973, TV Movie) as Jesse Chapin
- Earthquake (1974) as Dr. Vance
- The Sky's the Limit (1975) as Cornwall
- The Abduction of Saint Anne (1975, TV Movie) as Carl Gentry
- Flight to Holocaust (1977, TV Movie) as Wilton Bender
- Fire! (1977, TV Movie) as Doc Bennett
- The November Plan (1977, TV Movie) as Gen. Smedley Butler
- The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977) as Attorney General Harlan Stone
- The Mask of Alexander Cross (1977, TV Movie) as Strickland
- My Boys Are Good Boys (1978) as Security Officer Dan Mountgomery
- Valentine (1979, TV Movie) as Brother Joe
- Galyon (1980) as Willard Morgan
- Adam's House (1983, TV Movie) as Frank Gallagher
- Prince Jack (1985) as Joe Kennedy
- It Came Upon the Midnight Clear (1984, TV Movie) as Monsignor Donoghue
- Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) as Evan (final film role)
- Martin Kane (1951–1952) as Martin Kane
- Special Agent 7 (1959) 25 episodes as Special Agent Philip Conroy
- Wagon Train (1959) in "The Hunter Malloy Story" as Hunter Malloy
- The Untouchables (1959) as George 'Bugs' Moran
- Laramie (1959–1962) in "The Star Trail" as Sheriff Tully Hatch, "Deadly Is the Night" as Matt Dyer, "War Hero" as General George Barton
- Bonanza (1960) as Inspector Charles Leduque
- Outlaws (1962) as Buck Breeson
- The Virginian (1963–1967) in "It Takes a Big Man" as Wade Anders, "The Payment" as Abe Clayton, "The Masquerade" as Tom Foster
- The Outer Limits (1964) in "Soldier" as Tom Kagan
- Daniel Boone (1965) as Ben Hanks
- Mannix (1967) as Sam Dubrio
- I Spy (1968) as Manion
- Julia (1968–1971) as Dr. Morton Chegley
- Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law (1972)
- McCloud (1973) as Elroy Jenkins
- The F.B.I. (1973) as Judge Harper
- The Magician (1974) as Charles Keegan
- Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color (1975) as Cornwall
- Lincoln (1975 miniseries) as William H. Seward
- Ellery Queen (1976) as Doctor Sanford
- McMillan & Wife (1977) as Horace Sherwin
- Police Woman (1977) as Q. Waldo Mims
- The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries (1978) as Professor Anton Hendricks
- The Waltons (1978) as Cyrus Guthrie
- Quincy, M.E. (1978) as Dr. Schumann
- $weepstake$ (1979) as Dr. Warnecke
- Archie Bunker's Place (1981) as Judge Sean McGuire
- Remington Steele (1984) as Lloyd Nolan
- Murder, She Wrote (1985) as Julian Tenley
|1945||Suspense||"Murder for Myra"|
|1945||Suspense||"Nineteen Deacon Street"|
|1952||Suspense||The Man with Two Faces|
|1953||Suspense||Vial of Death|
- Folkart, Burt A. (September 28, 1985). "Lloyd Nolan, the Actor's Actor, Dies". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
- Blumberg, Joel; Grabman, Sandra (2016). Lloyd Nolan: An Actor's Life With Meaning. BearManor Media. p. 1. "Both of Lloyd's parents were of one hundred percent Irish stock. James, in fact, had been born in Ireland."
- "Lloyd Nolan at Cancer Kickoff Drive in S.M." San Mateo Times. April 26, 1973. p. 34. Retrieved June 11, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Actor Lloyd Nolan Went Up In Lights the Very Hard Way". Brooklyn Eagle. July 4, 1943. p. 32. Retrieved June 11, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "His Parents Thought Acting a Risk, Preferring Shoe Business". Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 3, 1933. p. 15. Retrieved June 11, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Laramie episode "Deadly Is the Night" on IMDb
- Laramie episode "War Hero" on IMDb
- "Knife of Hate on Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theatre". Internet Movie Database. December 8, 1960. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "Lloyd Nolan | Hollywood Walk of Fame". www.walkoffame.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- Folkart, Burt A. (September 28, 1985). "Hollywood Star Walk: Lloyd Nolan". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-07-20.
- "Lloyd Nolan: Tough Movie Gangster Is Now Crusty Television Doctor". The Danville Register. September 2, 1969. p. 11. Retrieved June 11, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Blumberg, Joel; Grabman, Sandra (2016). Lloyd Nolan: An Actor's Life With Meaning. BearManor Media. p. 1.
- Blumberg, Joel; Grabman, Sandra (2016). Lloyd Nolan: An Actor's Life With Meaning. BearManor Media. p. 1.
- ""The Washington Merry-Go-Round", Drew Pearson column, May 14, 1964" (PDF). dspace.wrlc.org. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 16, 2013. Retrieved January 13, 2013.
- "Actor Lloyd Nolan Dies". The Galveston Daily News. September 29, 1985. p. 4. Retrieved June 11, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Hollywood and the Best of Los Angeles
- Kirby, Walter (December 14, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 54 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (May 17, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 27, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.