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Brian in 1954
August 5, 1914|
New York City, New York, USA
|Died||July 15, 1993
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.
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".
- Flamingo Road (1949)
- Beyond the Forest (1949)
- G Men (1949 reissue, new prologue)
- Intruder in the Dust (1949)
- The Damned Don't Cry (1950)
- 'Breakthrough (1950)
- Inside Straight (1951)
- Fort Worth (1951)
- Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison (1951)
- This Woman Is Dangerous (1952)
- Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
- Ambush at Tomahawk Gap (1953)
- The High and the Mighty (1954)
- Dawn at Socorro (1954)
- Timberjack (1955)
- The First Travelling Saleslady (1956)
- No Place to Hide (1956)
- The Rabbit Trap (1959)
- A Pocketful of Miracles (1961)
- How the West was Won (1962)
- The Rare Breed (1968)
- The Destructors (1969)
- The Seven Minutes (1971)
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.
- Mr. District Attorney (1954–1955)
- Star Trek: The Original Series (episode: "Patterns of Force") as John Gill (1968)
- The Immortal (1970)
- Mission Impossible (episode "Movie" S07E07) as Benjamin Dane (1972)
- I Dream of Jeannie (episode "The Yacht Murder Case) (1965)
- David Brian at the Internet Movie Database
- David Brian at AllMovie
- David Brian at Memory Alpha (a Star Trek wiki)