David Brian

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David Brian
David Brian Mr District Attorney 1954.JPG
Brian in 1954
Born (1914-08-05)August 5, 1914
New York City, New York, USA
Died July 15, 1993(1993-07-15) (aged 78)
Sherman Oaks, California, USA
Occupation Film and television actor
Years active 1935–1974 <–> 1983–1984
Spouse(s) Bonita Feidler (?–1948) (divorced)
Lorna Gray (m. 1949–93) (his death)

David Brian (August 5, 1914 – July 15, 1993) was an American actor and dancer. He was a native New Yorker, who, after schooling at City College, found work as a doorman, before entering show business with a song-and-dance routine in vaudeville and in night clubs. He did a wartime stint with the Coast Guard and returned to acting on the New York stage after the war.


Brian served in the United States Coast Guard during World War II. Persuaded by Joan Crawford to try his hand at film acting, he joined her in Hollywood and, in 1949, signed a contract with Warner Brothers. The New York City native appeared in such films as The Damned Don't Cry! and Flamingo Road with Joan Crawford, and Beyond the Forest with Bette Davis. He also had a role in the film Springfield Rifle, which starred Gary Cooper and in the John Wayne movie The High and the Mighty (1954) as Ken Childs.

Brian's most critically acclaimed performance was as the fair-minded, resourceful Southern lawyer defending condemned, but innocent Juano Hernandez from a vicious, bigoted lynch mob, in Intruder in the Dust (1949). For this role, he was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Supporting Actor.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Brian was active in television with guest roles in dozens of shows ranging from dramatic to comedic, from CBS's Rawhide to NBC's I Dream of Jeannie. In the mid-1950s, he portrayed the lead character on the crime drama TV show, Mr. District Attorney.

On January 15, 1963, Brian guest starred in the episode "Protective Custody" of NBC's Laramie western series as Walt Douglas, an official of the stage line, who arrives in Laramie seeking his estranged daughter, Alicia, portrayed by Anne Helm. Series character Jess Harper (Robert Fuller) knows Alicia as a saloon hostess using the name Lenora. Alicia is involved with two outlaws, Cass and Willard, played by Ron Hayes and Gregory Walcott, respectively, who aim to steal a mining payroll. Series character Slim Sherman (John Smith) tries to bring about reconciliation between Walt and Alicia, but Alicia shoots her father. Slim keeps the wounded Walt and Alicia at his relay station pending a hearing while Cass and Willard plan to seize the payroll when it is dropped off at the relay station.[1]

In 1968, he portrayed the character of "John Gill", Kirk's professor from Starfleet Academy and figurehead "Führer" on the Naziesque planet of Ekos, in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Patterns of Force".

Personal life[edit]

He died in 1993 at the age of seventy-eight of heart disease and cancer in Sherman Oaks, California.

Partial Filmography[edit]


In 1963, Brian played the Mormon pioneer Jacob Hamblin in the episode "The Peacemaker" of the syndicated western television series Death Valley Days. In the story line, Hamblin works feverishly to hold the peace treaty with the Navajo after a white man kills some Indians who come onto his property. Bing Russell, Michael Pate, and Richard Webb also appear in this episode. At the end of the broadcast one of Hamblin's grandsons appeared with host Stanley Andrews, who noted an historical marker which honors Hamblin's work on behalf of peace on the frontier.[2]


  1. ^ "Laramie: "Protective Custody", January 15, 1963". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 23, 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Peacemaker on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved August 4, 2015. 

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