Jack Warden

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Jack Warden
Jack Warden.jpg
Warden in the 1950s.
Born John Warden Lebzelter, Jr.
(1920-09-18)September 18, 1920
Newark, New Jersey, U.S.
Died July 19, 2006(2006-07-19) (aged 85)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Cause of death
Renal failure
Other names Jack Lebzelter
Jack Warden Lebzelter
Johnny Costello
Years active 1948–2000
Spouse(s) Vanda Dupre (1958–2006, separated in the 1970s, never divorced); 1 child

Jack Warden (September 18, 1920 – July 19, 2006) was an American character actor of film and television. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for Shampoo (1975) and Heaven Can Wait (1978). He received a BAFTA nomination for the former movie and won an Emmy for his performance in Brian's Song (1971).

Early life[edit]

Warden was born John Warden Lebzelter, Jr.[1][2] in Newark, New Jersey,[3] the son of Laura M. (née Costello) and John Warden Lebzelter, who was an engineer and technician.[4]

He was of Pennsylvania Dutch and Irish ancestry.[5] Reared in Louisville, Kentucky, he was expelled from high school for fighting and eventually fought as a professional boxer under the name Johnny Costello. He had 13 welterweight bouts, but earned little money.[6]

World War II[edit]

Warden worked as a nightclub bouncer, tugboat deckhand and lifeguard before joining the United States Navy in 1938. He was stationed in China for three years with the Yangtze River Patrol.[6]

In 1941, he joined the United States Merchant Marine but, quickly tiring of the long convoy runs, he switched to the United States Army in 1942 where he served as a paratrooper in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, with the 101st Airborne Division during World War II. In 1944, on the eve of the D-Day invasion (during which many of his friends died), Warden, now a Staff Sergeant, shattered his leg by landing in a tree during a night-time practice jump in England. After almost eight months in the hospital (during which time he read a Clifford Odets play and decided to become an actor), he was sent back to the United States. In That Kind of Woman Warden played a paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division.[7][8]

After leaving the military with the rank of master sergeant, he moved to New York City and studied acting on the G.I. Bill. He joined the company of the Dallas Alley Theatre and performed on stage for five years. In 1948 he made his television debut on the anthology series, The Philco Television Playhouse and Studio One. His first film role, uncredited, was in the 1951 film You're in the Navy Now, a film which also featured the screen debuts of Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson.[3]

Career[edit]

Warden (left) as Mike Haines in ABC's N.Y.P.D. (1968)

Warden appeared in his first credited film role in the 1951 in The Man with My Face. From 1952 to 1955, Warden appeared in the television series Mr. Peepers with Wally Cox. In 1953, Warden was cast as a sympathetic corporal in From Here to Eternity. Warden's breakthrough film role was his performance as Juror No. 7, a salesman who wants a quick decision in a murder case, in 12 Angry Men.

Warden guest-starred on many television series over the years, including two 1960 episodes of NBC's The Outlaws, on Marilyn Maxwell's ABC drama series, Bus Stop, and on David Janssen's ABC drama, The Fugitive. He received a supporting actor Emmy Award for his performance as Chicago Bears coach George Halas in the television movie, Brian's Song, and was twice nominated for his starring role in the 1980s comedy/drama series, Crazy Like a Fox.

Warden was nominated for Academy Awards as Best Supporting Actor for his performances in Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait. He also had notable roles in All the President's Men, ...And Justice for All, Being There, Used Cars (in which he played dual roles), The Verdict, Problem Child and its sequel, as well as While You Were Sleeping, Guilty as Sin and the Norm Macdonald comedy Dirty Work.[7] His final film was The Replacements in 2000, opposite Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves.

Personal life and death[edit]

Warden married French actress Vanda Dupre in 1958 and had one son, Christopher. Although they separated in the 1970s, the couple never divorced.[9]

Warden suffered from declining health in his last years which resulted in his retirement from acting in 2000. He died of heart and kidney failure in a New York hospital on July 19, 2006, at the age of 85.[10]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1950 The Asphalt Jungle Bit Role Uncredited
1951 The Man with My Face Walt Davis
1953 From Here to Eternity Corporal Buckley
1957 Edge of the City Charles Malik Alternate title: A Man Is Ten Feet Tall
1957 The Bachelor Party Eddie Watkins, the Bachelor
1957 12 Angry Men Juror No. 7
1958 Run Silent, Run Deep Yeoman 1st Class Mueller
1958 Darby's Rangers Master Sergeant Saul Rosen
1959 The Sound and the Fury Ben Compson
1959 That Kind of Woman George Kelly
1960 Wake Me When It's Over Dave "Doc" Farrington
1962 Escape from Zahrain Huston
1963 Donovan's Reef Doctor William Dedham
1964 The Thin Red Line First Sergeant Welsh
1965 Blindfold General Prat
1968 Bye Bye Braverman Barnet Weinstein
1971 Summertree Herb
1971 Welcome to the Club General Strapp
1973 The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing Dawes
1974 The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz Max
1974 Billy Two Hats Sherriff Henry Gifford
1975 Shampoo Lester Karpf First Academy Award nomination
1976 All the President's Men Harry M. Rosenfeld
1976 Jigsaw John "Jigsaw" John St. John
1977 The White Buffalo Charlie Zane
1977 Raid on Entebbe Lt. Gen. Mordechai Gur
1978 Death on the Nile Doctor Ludwig Bessner
1978 Heaven Can Wait Max Corkle Second Academy Award nomination
1979 The Champ Jackie
1979 Beyond the Poseidon Adventure Harold Meredith
1979 Being There President "Bobby" of the United States
1979 ...And Justice for All Judge Francis Rayford
1979 Dreamer Harry
1980 Used Cars Roy L. Fuchs
Luke Fuchs
1981 The Great Muppet Caper Mr. Tarkenian, the News Editor
1981 Chu Chu and the Philly Flash The Commander
1981 Carbon Copy Nelson Longhurst
1981 So Fine Jack Fine
1982 The Verdict Mickey Morrissey
1984 Crackers Garvey
1985 The Aviator Moravia
1986 The Cosmic Eye Rocko Voice
1987 September Lloyd
1988 The Presidio Sergeant Major Ross Maclure
1990 Everybody Wins Judge Harry Murdoch
1990 Problem Child "Big" Ben Healy
1991 Problem Child 2 "Big" Ben Healy
1992 Passed Away Jack Scanlan
1992 Night and the City Al Grossman
1992 Toys Old General Zevo
1993 Guilty as Sin Moe
1994 Bullets Over Broadway Julian Marx
1995 Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Joe Heff
1995 Mighty Aphrodite Tiresias
1995 While You Were Sleeping Saul
1996 Ed Chubb
1997 The Island on Bird Street Boruch
1998 Chairman of the Board Armand McMillan
1998 Dirty Work Pops
1998 Bulworth Eddie Davers
1999 A Dog of Flanders Jehan Daas
2000 The Replacements Edward O'Neil

Television[edit]

Television
Year Title Role Notes
1952 Tales of Tomorrow Steve 1 episode
1952 Mr. Peepers Chicago Cabbie 1 episode
1953 The Campbell Playhouse 1 episode
1953 Man Against Crime Deck Hand 2 episodes
1954-55 Kraft Television Theatre Various roles 2 episodes
1954-55 Studio One Various roles 3 episodes
1955 Justice Two roles "Flight from Fear" and "Save Me Now"
1956 The Alcoa Hour Frank Doran 1 episode
1956 Climax! Lieutenant Ravenna "Flame-Out in T-6"
1958-59 Playhouse 90 Various roles 3 episodes
1959 Five Fingers Fitzgerald "The Moment of Truth"
1959-60 Bonanza Mike Wilson "The Paiute War"
1959-60 The Twilight Zone James A. Corry
Mouth McGarry
"The Lonely"
"The Mighty Casey"
1959-60 The Untouchables Larry Halloran
Otto Frick
The George 'Bugs' Moran Story
The Otto Frick Story
1960 The Outlaws 2 episodes
1961 Route 66 Adam Darcy The Clover Throne
Checkmate Farrell "Between Two Guns"
Bus Stop Joe Harrison "Accessory by Consent"
The Asphalt Jungle Matt Gower 5 episodes
1962 Naked City Cornelius Daggett "Face of the Enemy"
Naked City Steve Lollo "The King of Venus Will Take Care of You"
Naked City Sam Langen "The Spectre of the Rose Street Gang"
Target: The Corruptors Jerry Skala "The Organizers, Parts 1 and 2"
Tales of Wells Fargo Brad Axton "The Traveler"
Route 66 Sandor Biro "Feat of Strength"
Going My Way Carl Wiczinski "Not Good Enough for Mary"
1963 Route 66 Major Barbon "Two Strangers and an Old Enemy"
77 Sunset Strip Max Eames "Flight 307"
1964 Breaking Point Carlo Scotti "No Squares in My Family Circle"
1964 The Great Adventure Latham 1 episode
1964 Bewitched Rex Barker "It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog"
1965 Dr. Kildare Ernie Duffy 1 episode
1966 The Wackiest Ship in the Army Major Simon Butcher 29 episodes
1967 The Fugitive Alex Patton "Concrete Evidence"
1967 The Invaders Barney Cahill 1 episode
1967-69 N.Y.P.D. Lieutenant Mike Haines 49 episodes
1971 The Face of Fear Lieutenant George Coy Television film
1971 Brian's Song George Halas ABC Movie of the Week
1972 What's a Nice Girl Like You...? Lieutenant Burton ABC Movie of the Week
1972 Lieutenant Schuster's Wife Captain Patrick Lonergan Television film
1973 Wheeler and Murdoch Sam Wheeler Television film
1974 The Godchild Sergeant Dobbs Television film
1975 Journey from Darkness Fred Hartman Television film
1979-80 The Bad News Bears Morris Buttermaker 23 episodes
1983 Hobson's Choice Henry Horatio Hobson Television film
1984 Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues Mark Twain Television film
1984-86 Crazy Like a Fox Harrison "Harry" Fox, Sr. 35 episodes
1987 Hoover vs. the Kennedys: The Second Civil War J. Edgar Hoover Television film
1988 Police Story: The Watch Commander Joe Wilson Television film
1989 Knight & Daye Hank Knight 1 episode
1990 Judgment Claude Fortier Television film
1995 Problem Child 3: Junior in Love Big Ben Television film
1997 Ink Timothy Logan 1 episode
1999 The Norm Show Harry 1 episode

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Result Category Film or series
1972 Emmy Award Won Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Drama Brian's Song
1985 Nominated Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Crazy Like a Fox
1986 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series Crazy Like a Fox
1976 Academy Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role Shampoo
1979 Best Actor in a Supporting Role Heaven Can Wait
1976 BAFTA Award Best Supporting Actor Shampoo

References[edit]

  1. ^ U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, November 12, 1942; Army Serial Number:12165797 1, giving his name as "John W. Lebzelter Junior"; accessed May 3, 2014.
  2. ^ "Jack Warden, Emmy Winning Actor, Dies at 85". People.com. July 27, 2006. Retrieved May 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Jack Warden, 85, Actor Known for Tough-Guy Roles, Is Dead". The New York Times. July 22, 2006. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Jack Warden profile at". filmreference.com. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  5. ^ Stinson, Charles (December 28, 1958). "Warden: the Face Is Familiar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 29, 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Vallance, Tom (July 24, 2006). "Jack Warden: Intense actor with comic flair". The Independent. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "‘Shampoo’ star Jack Warden dies at 85". msnbc.msn.com. July 21, 2006. 
  8. ^ Nelson, Valerie J. (July 22, 2006). "Jack Warden, 85; Prolific Film, TV Actor". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 12, 2008. 
  9. ^ Jack Warden obituary, TimesOnline.co.uk; accessed May 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "Veteran US actor Jack Warden dies". news.bbc.co.uk. July 23, 2006. 

External links[edit]