Shepperd Strudwick

Shepperd Strudwick (September 22, 1907 – January 15, 1983) was an American actor of film, television, and stage. He was also billed as John Shepperd[1] for some of his films and for his acting on stage in New York.[2]

Shepperd Strudwick
Shepperd Strudwick.jpg
Shepperd Strudwick in trailer for The Red Pony (1949)
Born(1907-09-22)September 22, 1907
DiedJanuary 15, 1983(1983-01-15) (aged 75)
New York City, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of North Carolina
Years active1938–1982
Spouse(s)Mary Jeffrey (1977–1983) (his death)
Jane Straub (1958–?) (divorced)
Margaret O'Neill (1947–?) (divorced)
Helen Wynn (1936–?) (divorced; 1 child)

Early yearsEdit

Strudwick was born in Hillsborough, North Carolina.[3] He attended Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, Virginia,[4] and the University of North Carolina. At the university, he played football and basketball and ran the mile in track. He gained early acting experience in a summer stock theatre company in Maine.[3]


He began his film career as the title character in the short film Joaquin Murrieta (1938), credited as Sheppard Strudwick. He appeared as Yugoslav guerrilla leader Lt. Aleksa Petrovic, an aide to General Draza Mihailovich, in the 20th Century Fox war film Chetniks! The Fighting Guerrillas in 1943.

During World War II, Strudwick served in the Navy.[5]

He played Edgar Allan Poe in The Loves of Edgar Allan Poe (1942) and also appeared in Strange Triangle (1946), Fighter Squadron (1948), The Reckless Moment (1949), The Red Pony (1949), Under the Gun (1951), and A Place in the Sun (1951), starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, as the Taylor character's father.

Perhaps his most famous film role was that of Adam Stanton, the idealistic doctor who finally kills Willie Stark (played by Broderick Crawford) in the classic film All the King's Men (1949). Another notable role was Father Jean Massieu in Joan of Arc (1948), starring Ingrid Bergman as Joan.

Strudwick made many appearances on television, including the role of Dr. Charles Morris in the 1958 Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Fugitive Nurse." He also appeared on The Twilight Zone, (in the episode "Nightmare as a Child") and several roles on the soap operas As the World Turns (Dr. Fields), Another World (Jim Matthews), One Life to Live (Victor Lord), and Love of Life (Timothy McCauley). In 1981, he starred as the voice of Homer in the National Radio Theater's Peabody Award-winning radio dramatization of the Odyssey.

His last appearance on film was in 1981's Kent State, a TV film. That same year, he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Actor (Featured Role – Play) for the Broadway play To Grandmother's House We Go.

Strudwick acted in at least 30 Broadway plays, beginning with The Yellow Jacket (1929), and ending with To Grandmother's House We Go (1981).[6]

Personal lifeEdit

Strudwick married Helen Wynn,[3] (born Helen R. Sims),[7] with whom he acted in stock theatre in Maine, on May 10, 1936, in New York City.[3] They had a son in 1944.[2] In 1949, he was married to Jean Mead, who had worked for the British Information Service.[4] Strudwick was married to Mary Jeffrey from 1977 until his death. He died in New York City from cancer on January 15, 1983, at the age of 75.[8]





  • National Radio Theater: Odyssey as Homer


  • To Grandmother's House We Go, Broadway play


  • Tony Award for Best Play (Feature Role – Play):
    • To Grandmother's House We Go - Nominated


  1. ^ Basinger, Jeanine (2009). The Star Machine. Vintage Books. pp. 114–115. ISBN 978-0-307-38875-9. Retrieved February 19, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Ex-Star Helen Wynn, Son Doing Well". The Miami Daily News. Florida, Miami. International News Service. June 15, 1944. p. 3 B. Retrieved February 20, 2020 – via
  3. ^ a b c d McAfee, Hoyt (January 11, 1942). "John Shepperd From Carolina On Threshold Of Film Stardom". The Charlotte Observer. North Carolina, Charlotte. p. 38. Retrieved February 19, 2020 – via
  4. ^ a b Adams, Marjory (March 11, 1949). "Movie Question Box". The Boston Globe. Massachusetts, Boston. p. 35. Retrieved February 20, 2020 – via
  5. ^ "John Shepperd Becomes Father". The San Francisco Examiner. California, San Francisco. Associated Press. June 15, 1944. p. 3. Retrieved February 20, 2020 – via
  6. ^ "Shepperd Strudwick". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on February 20, 2020. Retrieved February 20, 2020.
  7. ^ "Helen Wynn to be bride of thespian". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. April 7, 1936. p. 7. Retrieved February 20, 2020 – via
  8. ^ Gaiter, Dorothy J. (January 16, 1983). "Shepperd Strudwick, 75, Actor Who Portrayed Over 200 Roles". The New York Times. Retrieved June 26, 2020.

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