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Victor Jory (November 23, 1902 – February 12, 1982) was a Canadian-American actor of stage, film, and television.[1] He initially played romantic leads, but later was mostly cast in villainous or sinister roles, like Jonas Wilkerson in Gone with the Wind and Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Later he had a lead role in the 78-episode television police drama Manhunt.

Victor Jory
Victor Jory in First Lady trailer.jpg
Jory in First Lady (1937)
Born(1902-11-23)November 23, 1902
DiedFebruary 12, 1982(1982-02-12) (aged 79)
OccupationActor
Years active1930–1980
Spouse(s)Jean Inness Jory (1928–1978, her death; 2 children)

Contents

BiographyEdit

Born in Dawson City, Yukon, of American parents, he was the boxing and wrestling champion of the United States Coast Guard during his military service, and he kept his burly physique.[2][unreliable source?] He graduated from the Martha Oatman School of the Theater.[3]

Jory toured with theater troupes and appeared on Broadway, before making his Hollywood debut in 1930. He initially played romantic leads, but later was mostly cast as the villain, likely due to his distinctive seemingly coal-black eyes that might be perceived as 'threatening'.[4] He made over 150 films and dozens of TV episodes, as well as writing two plays. His long career in radio included starring in the series Dangerously Yours.[5]

He is remembered for his roles as malevolent Injun Joe in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938), Jonas Wilkerson, the opportunistic overseer of the slaves at Tara in Gone with the Wind[6][better source needed] and as Lamont Cranston, aka 'The Shadow', in the 1940 serial film The Shadow.[7][better source needed] He also portrayed Oberon in Max Reinhardt's 1935 film adaptation of Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream.[8][better source needed]

He co-starred in seven Hopalong Cassidy films between the years 1941 and 1943, usually cast in the role of a villain with the exception of his role as a broad-shouldered lumberjack in the film Riders of the Timberline (1941).

He starred in the radio series "Dangerously Yours" beginning in July, 1944. The series was retitled "Matinee Theater" in October, 1944 and ran through April, 1945. Each episode was a dramatic reworking of famous literary works. The first episode dated 7/2/44 was "The Highwayman", a dramatic interpretation of the Alfred Noyes poem.

In 1946 he narrated "Tubby the Tuba" for children, which was inducted in 2005 in the National Recording Registry and also introduces the orchestra to young listeners. The story tells of a tuba who doesn't fit in. He also narrated "Bumpo the Ballerina", whose title character is an elephant.

From 1959 to 1961, he appeared with Patrick McVey in the 78-episode syndicated television police drama, Manhunt. Jory played the lead role of Detective Lieutenant Howard Finucane. McVey was cast as police reporter Ben Andrews.[9]

In 1957, Jory was cast in the role of the Southern Baptist pastor George Washington Truett of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, in the episode "Lone Star Preacher" of the syndicated religion anthology series, Crossroads.[10]

In 1962, Jory was cast as Deacon Lee in the two-part episode, "Policemen Die Alone" of Leslie Nielsen's ABC crime drama, The New Breed. That same year, Jory guest starred as Mike Dahlback in the episode "Ride to a Fall" in the NBC modern western series, Empire, starring Richard Egan as rancher Jim Redigo. He also played Helen Keller's father in The Miracle Worker, for which his costars Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke won Academy Awards.

In 1964, along with actresses Coleen Gray and Susan Seaforth, Jory testified before the United States Congress as part of "Project Prayer," arguing in favor of an amendment to the United States Constitution to restore school prayer, which the United States Supreme Court struck down in two decisions in 1962 and 1963.

Jory was on the faculty of the University of Utah, teaching acting in the Department of Theater. He endowed a scholarship for junior/senior students in the department, the Victor Jory Scholarship, that continues to this day.[11] His daughter, Jean Jory Anderson, was a public relations director of the theatre department at Utah State University at Logan, UT.[12]

The High Chaparral television episode "The Peacemaker" in 1968 featured Jory as a peace envoy attempting to negotiate a treaty with Apache Indian chief Cochise.

In the private-eye TV Series Mannix, Jory played the Armenian-American hero's widowed father, Stefan Mannix, a grape farmer in "Summer Grove", a fictitious town in California's Central Valley near Fresno (which continues to have a large Armenian population). He appeared in two episodes,"Return to Summer Grove" (1969) and "Wine from These Grape"(1971).

In 1977, near the end of his career, Jory guest starred as an aging Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in James Garner's The Rockford Files episode, "The Attractive Nuisance."

Jory died on February 12, 1982 at the age of 79 from a heart attack in Santa Monica, California.[1]

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Victor Jory was honored in 1960 with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His star is located at 6605 Hollywood Blvd.[13]

FamilyEdit

Jory had two children, Jon and Jean. Jon Jory headed the Actors Theater of Louisville, Kentucky, for thirty-one years, which he helped to build into one of America's most respected regional theater companies. He left the job in 2000 to become professor of drama at the University of Washington in Seattle.

TV and filmsEdit

 
Victor Jory as Oberon in an outtake from the film A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935)
 
Jory's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6605 Hollywood Blvd.

Radio appearancesEdit

Year Program Episode/source
1953 Grand Central Station Lost Year (with daughter Jean)[14]
1959 Suspense Death Notice

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Victor Jory - LA Times Hollywood Star Walk
  2. ^ All Movie Guide via Answers.com
  3. ^ "Oatman School offers new class". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. July 15, 1928. p. 45. Retrieved 2 June 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
  4. ^ "AMERICAN ACTOR FOR AUSTRALIAN FILM." The Sydney Morning Herald 2 Jun 1936: 24 Supplement: Women's Supplement accessed 26 Dec 2011
  5. ^ The Definitive Dangerously Yours Radio Log
  6. ^ Gone with the Wind (film)
  7. ^ The Shadow
  8. ^ A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935 film)
  9. ^ "Victor Jory 'Shot' by Western Actor". Los Angeles Times. November 11, 1961. p. 19. Observers said a gun in the hands of actor Adam Williams discharged accidentally at a range of 6 in., inflicting powder burns.
  10. ^ "Lone Star Preacher". Internet Movie Data Base, March 15, 1957. Retrieved February 19, 2013.
  11. ^ The University of Utah: Victor Jory Scholarship. https://utah.academicworks.com/opportunities/8353 Accessed June 2019
  12. ^ Boyd Magers. Characters and Heavies: Victor Jory http://www.westernclippings.com/heavies/victorjory_charactersheavies.shtml Accessed June 2019
  13. ^ Victor Jory - Hollywood Walk of Fame
  14. ^ Kirby, Walter (May 17, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 27, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.  

External linksEdit