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Cabot in a scene from the 1947 western Angel and the Badman.
|Born||Etienne Pelissier Jacques de Bujac
April 20, 1904
Carlsbad, New Mexico, USA
|Died||May 3, 1972
Woodland Hills, California, USA
|Spouse(s)||Gracy Mary Mather Smith (divorced)
Adrienne Ames (1933-37; divorced)
Francesca De Scaffa (?-1951; divorced)
Bruce Cabot (April 20, 1904 – May 3, 1972) was an American film actor, best remembered as Jack Driscoll in King Kong (1933) and for his roles in films such as the sixth version of Last of the Mohicans, Fritz Lang's Fury and the western Dodge City. He was also known as one of "Wayne's Regulars", appearing in a number of John Wayne films beginning with Angel and the Badman.
Cabot was born Etienne Pelissier Jacques de Bujac in Carlsbad, New Mexico, to French Army Colonel Etienne de Bujac and Julia Armandine Graves, who died shortly after giving birth to him. Leaving the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee without graduating, Cabot worked at many jobs, including as a sailor, an insurance salesman, oil worker, surveyor, prize fighter, sold cars, handled real estate and also worked a slaughterhouse. A meeting with a David O. Selznick at a Hollywood Party started his acting career
Cabot appeared in nearly one hundred feature films. He made his debut in 1931 in Heroes of the Flames. He tested for the lead role of The Ringo Kid in John Ford's western Stagecoach (1939), but John Wayne got the part.
He played a soldier who seduced a naive woman (portrayed by Irene Dunne) and got her pregnant as he left for the war, in the 1933 production Ann Vickers. He then starred in the 1933 blockbuster King Kong, which became an enormous success and established Cabot as a star. Cabot also played villains, appearing as a gangster boss in Let 'Em Have It (1936) and as the Huron warrior Magua opposite Randolph Scott in The Last of the Mohicans (1936). He starred with Spencer Tracy, playing the leader of a lynch mob in Fritz Lang's first Hollywood film, Fury (1936), and with Errol Flynn in Michael Curtiz's epic Western Dodge City, which became one of Warner Bros.'s biggest hits. A consistent box office draw, Cabot appeared in many movies at many studios before leaving Hollywood to serve in World War II.
World War II
Cabot was a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces and was as an Air Transport Command operations officer in Tunis. It is alleged he was implicated by the Army Counter-Intelligence Corps in a gold smuggling ring that shipped Nazi gold to Brazil after the war's end.
Return to Hollywood
After his military discharge Cabot headed back Hollywood and fell in with John Wayne (whose career was then in the ascendent, and who would become a major force in American film-making over the next two decades) on the set of Angel and the Badman (1947) and became part of Wayne's circle, this relationship paying off in the 1960s when Wayne cast him in ten of his films: The Comancheros (1961), Hatari! (1962), McLintock! (1963), In Harm's Way (1965), The War Wagon (1967), The Green Berets (1968), Hellfighters (1968), The Undefeated (1969), Chisum (1970), and Big Jake (1971).
He was inducted into the New Mexico Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2012.
Cabot was married three times, to actresses Mary Mather Smith, Adrienne Ames and Francesca De Scaffa. It is possible that Mary Mather Smith was the black actress who starred in such all black cast films as The Girl from Chicago, but information about their marriage is difficult to find.
He was one of Errol Flynn's social pack for several years but they fell out during the production of the unfinished The Story of William Tell. Flynn was producing the film and asked Cabot, whom he described as "an old, old pal," to perform in it knowing that Cabot was finding it hard to get work in Hollywood at that time. However when Flynn's co-production partners defaulted the production halted, leaving Flynn stranded in Rome facing financial ruin, Cabot in an attempt to get paid had Flynn's and his wife Patrice Wymore's personal cars seized. Flynn wrote angrily in his autobiography of what he termed Cabot's "betrayal." 11 years after Flynn's death in an interview in England in 1970 Cabot paid tribute to him as a critically underestimated actor, but said that Flynn had destroyed himself thru narcotic addiction.
- King Kong (1933)
- Flying Devils (1933)
- Ann Vickers (1933)
- Finishing School (1934)
- Murder on the Blackboard (1934)
- Night Alarm (1934)
- The Robin Hood of El Dorado (1936)
- Fury (1936)
- The Last of the Mohicans (1936)
- Sinner Take All (1936)
- The Bad Man of Brimstone (1937)
- Dodge City (1939)
- Traitor Spy (1939)
- Captain Caution (1940)
- Susan and God (1940)
- The Flame of New Orleans (1941)
- Sundown (1941)
- Silver Queen (1942)
- The Desert Song (1943)
- Divorce (1945)
- Fallen Angel (1945)
- Angel and the Badman (1947)
- Fancy Pants (1950)
- Best of the Badmen (1951)
- Kid Monk Baroni (1952)
- Lost in Alaska (1952)
- Totò, lascia o raddoppia? (1956)
- The Quiet American (1958)
- The Love Specialist (La ragazza del palio) (1958)
- The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw (1958)
- Guardatele ma non toccatele (1959)
- John Paul Jones (1959)
- Goliath and the Barbarians (Il terrore dei barbari) (1959)
- The Comancheros (1961)
- Hatari! (1962)
- McLintock! (1963)
- In Harm's Way (1965)
- The War Wagon (1967)
- The Green Berets (1968)
- Hellfighters (1968)
- The Undefeated (1969)
- Chisum (1970)
- WUSA (1970)
- Big Jake (1971)
- Diamonds Are Forever (1971)
- IMDb entry for Bruce Cabot
- Chp 1, Part I: 1941-45: Prouty's Military Experiences 1941-1963 from ratical.org[unreliable source?]
- Flynn, Errol (1959). My Wicked, Wicked Ways. Dell. pp. 10–11, 362.
- Bruce Cabot's entry in IMDb "Quotes"
- Film star Bruce Cabot dies at 67
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