Tom Powers

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For other people named Tom Powers, see Tom Powers (disambiguation).
Tom Powers
Powers with Beatrice Lillie, 1919
Born (1890-07-07)July 7, 1890
Owensboro, Kentucky
Died November 7, 1955(1955-11-07) (aged 65)
Hollywood, California
Occupation Stage, film, television actor
Spouse(s) Anita Janney

Tom Powers (July 7, 1890 – November 7, 1955) was an American stage and film actor. He was born in Owensboro, Kentucky, USA, Powers is best known for his role as the victim of scheming wife Barbara Stanwyck and crooked insurance salesman Fred MacMurray in the 1944 film noir classic Double Indemnity.


Powers spent many years as a Broadway star in musical comedies and dramas, and had previously appeared in over 70 silent films from 1911 to 1917 opposite such actors as Florence Turner, Harry T. Morey, Clara Kimball Young, Alma Taylor and John Bunny. He soon devoted himself to the stage, first as a musical comedy star, then as a dynamic actor in such productions as Eugene O'Neill's Strange Interlude (1927), in which he created the role of 'Charles Marsden'. Powers enjoyed a successful career on Broadway as a playwright, actor and director; active there from 1916, until his Hollywood acting return in 1944.

Powers did not become a full-time movie actor until Billy Wilder invited him to play the murder victim in the 1944 film noir classic Double Indemnity. For the next dozen years or so, Powers appeared in over 80 film and television roles, usually playing middle-aged business men, military or police officers.


Tom Powers died of heart disease on November 7, 1955, at the age of 65, and was interred in Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, in North Hollywood, California. He was survived by his widow Meta, who died at age 85, in September 1983.


His nephew, Thomas Powers, won a Pulitzer Prize in 1971 and is the author of several books on the intelligence community.

Partial filmography[edit]

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