John Dall

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John Dall
John Dall.jpg
Born John Jenner Thompson
(1918-05-26)May 26, 1918[dubious ]
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died January 15, 1971(1971-01-15) (aged 52)
Hollywood, California, U.S.
Years active 1945-1965

John Dall (May 26, 1918[dubious ] – January 15, 1971)[1] was an American actor.

Life and career[edit]

Dall was born in New York City, New York, the second son of Charles Jenner Thompson, a civil engineer, and his wife Henry (née Worthington). Sources differ as to his year of birth and legal name: some authorities state he was born John Jenner Thompson on 26 May 1918,[2][3] while other records indicate his birth name was John Dall Thompson and his birthdate was 26 May 1920.[4][5][6][7][nb 1] His older brother, Worthington Thompson, was later a decorated lieutenant in the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team.[8][9]

Primarily a stage actor, he is best remembered today for two film roles: the cool-minded intellectual killer in Alfred Hitchcock's film Rope, and the trigger-happy lead in the 1950 noir Gun Crazy. He also had a substantial role in Stanley Kubrick's film Spartacus.

He first came to fame as the young prodigy who comes alive under the tutelage of Bette Davis in The Corn Is Green, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Warner Bros signed him to a contract to make the film but they let him go in 1946.[10]

In 1962 Dall made two guest appearances on Perry Mason: "The Case of the Lonely Eloper", and the murder victim in "The Case of the Weary Watchdog." In 1963 he again portrayed the murder victim in "The Case of the Reluctant Model." He made his fourth and final appearance on the show in the 1965 episode, "The Case of the Laughing Lady."

Dall sustained a serious fall while visiting London in October 1970, and died of a reported heart attack at his home in Hollywood, California on 15 January 1971. He donated his body to medical science.[5]



  1. ^ Dall's name does not appear alongside his parents and elder brother in the United States Census conducted in January 1920, casting further doubt on a 1918 birthdate.


  1. ^ "John Dall - Biography". Internet Movie Database (IMDb)., Inc. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  2. ^ Burroughs Hannsberry, Karen (2003). Bad boys: the actors of film noir. McFarland. p. 176. ISBN 0786414847. 
  3. ^ "John Dall papers". Margaret Herrick Library. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "John Dall, 50, Oscar Nominee For 'Corn Is Green' Role, Dies". New York Times. 18 January 1971. Retrieved 2 December 2014. John Dall Thompson - he used the middle name for his career as an actor... 
  5. ^ a b "Actor, Brother of City Man, Is Dead". The Daily Times (Salisbury, Maryland). 20 January 1971. p. 7. Retrieved 6 December 2014. Worthington Thompson... is the only immediate survivor of John Dall... [who] died Friday in his Hollywood home of a heart attack. Mr. Thompson said today that his brother had never fully recovered from a fall last October in London. The 50-year-old actor was in Europe on business at the time... His grandfather was the late Dall Worthington of Baltimore County. 
  6. ^ "California Death Records". Rootsweb. Retrieved 3 December 2014. DALL, John ... Age [at death] 50 yrs 
  7. ^ "New York Passenger and Crew Lists, 1909, 1925-1957". FamilySearch. Retrieved 3 December 2014. John Dall Thompson ... Birth Year (Estimated): 1920 
  8. ^ Astor, Gerald (2001). Battling Buzzards: The Odyssey of the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team 1943-1945. New York: Random House. p. 108. ISBN 0440236932. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  9. ^ "MailCall No. 2210". 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team. 20 April 2014. p. 11. Retrieved 6 December 2014. 
  10. ^ PARAMOUNT BUYS HARVESTING STORY: Studio Will Produce Houston Branch's 'The Big Haircut' --Lead to Alan Ladd Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 11 May 1946: 34.

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