from the trailer for the film Public Enemy's Wife (1936).
John Nicholas Foran|
June 18, 1910
Flemington, New Jersey, US
August 10, 1979 (aged 69)|
Panorama City, California , US
|Resting place||San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Los Angeles, California|
Ruth Piper Hollingsworth (1937–1940; divorced)|
Carole Gallagher (1943–1944; divorced)
Susanne Rosser (1951–1979; his death)
Foran was born in Flemington, New Jersey, the first of five sons to Arthur F. and Elizabeth Foran. His father Arthur F. Foran was a Republican member of the New Jersey Senate, as was Dick Foran's younger brother, Walter E. Foran.
He attended Mercersburg Academy, where he competed on the track team under Scots-American athletics coach Jimmy Curran. After graduation he attended the Hun School, a college preparatory school in nearby Princeton, and then enrolled at Princeton University, pursuing a degree in geology. He played on the football team while taking courses in the arts, where he developed an interest in the theater.
Foran was still billed as Nick Foran when he signed a contract with Fox in 1934. In 1935, Foran, who stood 6-foot-2 and had red hair, was hired by Warner Bros. as a supporting actor, changing his first name to Dick. He would also croon when called upon in films such as Change of Heart (1934) with Janet Gaynor, made for Fox Film Corporation. His handsome appearance and good-natured personality made him a natural choice for the supporting cast. He first appeared as a singing cowboy in his first starring role, in Moonlight on the Prairie (1935). Other singing cowboy features included Song of the Saddle (1936), Guns of the Pecos (1937), Empty Holsters (1937) and Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938).
In 1938 Foran moved to Universal Studios, where he acted in many different genres of film from horror to comedies with Abbott and Costello such as Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942). In 1942, Foran starred as Lon Prentice in a 68-minute war support film, Private Buckaroo. Foran starred in The Petrified Forest (1936), The Sisters (1938), Rangers of Fortune (1940), The Mummy's Hand (1940) and Keep 'Em Flying (1941).
One of his last film roles was a small one in Donovan's Reef (1963), starring his longtime friend John Wayne. His final film appearance was as the prospector "Old Timer" in the sentimental film Brighty of the Grand Canyon (1967) with Joseph Cotten, Pat Conway and Karl Swenson.
Foran appeared in at least four episodes of Science Fiction Theatre (1955). One of these, "The Miracle Hour" (aired December 22, 1956), is about a man who never gives up hope that his fiancée's blind six-year-old son won't have to spend the holidays in darkness. The show featured Jean Byron as the fiancée and Charles Herbert as the child. Foran appeared three times (1955–1956) as Father Brophy on the ABC anthology series Crossroads. He guest starred in the syndicated crime drama Sheriff of Cochise, starring John Bromfield. He was cast as a lawman in the episode "The Third Rider" in the first season (1957) of the ABC/Warner Brothers Western series Maverick, with Jack Kelly.
Foran portrayed the character Tuck Degan in the 1957 episode "Final Payment" of another ABC/WB Western series, Colt .45, starring Wayde Preston. In the January 1959 episode of "The Spur", he portrayed Sheriff Wilkes on "Wanted: Dead or Alive" with Steve McQueen. In 1959, Foran portrayed defendant Dr. David Craig on CBS's Perry Mason, in the episode "The Case of the Bedeviled Doctor." Later that year, he played defendant Steve Benton in another Perry Mason episode, "The Case of the Garrulous Gambler." He was also featured as Perry Mason's client in the 1961 episode "The Case of the Renegade Refugee."
In 1962, Foran appeared with Marie Windsor in the roles of Frank and Ann Jesse in the episode "The Wanted Man" of the ABC/Warner Brothers Western series Lawman, starring John Russell as Marshal Dan Troop. In the story line, Ann dies in childbirth, and Frank, who is wanted and frequently absent from their farm, orders their grown son, Ben (Jan Stine), to turn him over to Marshal Troop in order to collect the $5,000 reward and thus be able to rear his surviving infant brother, whom he names Frank. Meanwhile, Troop counters Joe Street (Alan Baxter), a bounty hunter seeking the same reward.
In 1954, Foran guest starred on NBC's Justice, a legal drama starring Dane Clark and Gary Merrill, on CBS's The Public Defender starring Reed Hadley and Hugh Beaumont, and on NBC's The Martha Raye Show, a comedy/variety show starring comedian Martha Raye. He also appeared as Burt, a carnival hustler, in 1957 on NBC's Father Knows Best, with Robert Young.
In 1959, Foran was cast as David Steele in the episode "The Adjuster" of the NBC crime drama series Richard Diamond, Private Detective, starring David Janssen. Dabbs Greer and DeForest Kelley also appear in this episode.
Foran later appeared as Gabriel Marion, brother of title character Francis Marion (Leslie Nielsen), in the Walt Disney Presents miniseries The Swamp Fox. In 1965–1966 he had his only regular role on a TV series playing "Slim" on O.K. Crackerby!. In 1968 Foran was cast in the role of "Fred Haines" in Season 1, Episode 13, of the NBC television series Adam-12.
- Stand Up and Cheer! (1934)
- Change of Heart (1934)
- Student Tour (1934)
- Gentlemen Are Born (1934)
- The Lottery Lover (1935)
- One More Spring (1935)
- It's a Small World (1935)
- The Farmer Takes a Wife (1935)
- Accent on Youth (1935)
- Ladies Love Danger (1935)
- Shipmates Forever (1935
- Moonlight on the Prairie (1935)
- Dangerous (1935)
- The Petrified Forest (1936)
- Treachery Rides the Range (1936)
- The Golden Arrow (1936)
- The Big Noise (1936)
- Public Enemy's Wife (1936)
- Earthworm Tractors (1936)
- Trailin' West (1936)
- California Mail (1936)
- Guns of the Pecos (1937)
- Black Legion (1937)
- Land Beyond the Law (1937)
- The Cherokee Strip (1937)
- Blazing Sixes (1937)
- Empty Holsters (1937)
- The Devil's Saddle Legion (1937)
- Prairie Thunder (1937)
- The Perfect Specimen (1937)
- She Loved a Fireman (1937)
- Love, Honor and Behave (1938)
- Over the Wall (1938)
- Cowboy from Brooklyn (1938)
- Four Daughters (1938)
- Boy Meets Girl (1938)
- The Sisters (1938)
- Secrets of a Nurse (1938)
- Heart of the North (1938)
- Inside Information (1939)
- Daughters Courageous (1939)
- I Stole a Million (1939)
- Hero for a Day (1939)
- Four Wives (1939)
- The Fighting 69th (1940)
- My Little Chickadee (1940)
- The House of Seven Gables (1940)
- Winners of the West (1940)
- Rangers of Fortune (1940)
- The Mummy's Hand (1940)
- Four Mothers (1941)
- Horror Island (1941)
- In the Navy (1941)
- Riders of Death Valley (1941)
- Unfinished Business (1941)
- Mob Town (1941)
- Keep 'Em Flying (1941)
- Road Agent (1941)
- Ride 'Em Cowboy (1942)
- Butch Minds the Baby (1942)
- Private Buckaroo (1942)
- Behind the Eight Ball (1942)
- The Mummy's Tomb (1942)
- Hi, Buddy (1943)
- He's My Guy (1943)
- Guest Wife (1945)
- Easy Come, Easy Go (1947)
- Fort Apache (1948)
- El Paso (1949)
- Deputy Marshall (1949)
- Al Jennings of Oklahoma (1951)
- Treasurer of Ruby Hills (1955)
- Please Murder Me (1956)
- Sierra Stranger (1957)
- Chicago Confidential (1957)
- Thundering Jets (1958)
- Violent Road (aka Hell's Highway) (1958)
- The Fearmakers (1958)
- The Atomic Submarine (1959)
- The Big Night (1960)
- Studs Lonigan (1960)
- Lassie: A Christmas Tail (1963)
- Donovan's Reef (1963)
- Taggart (1964)
- Brighty of the Grand Canyon (1966)
- Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. p. 127. ISBN 9780786477623. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Curran Watched Stars on Cinders First, St Petersburg Independent, April 24, 1960
- Varner, Paul (2009). The A to Z of Westerns in Cinema. Scarecrow Press. p. 92. ISBN 9780810870512. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 246–247. ISBN 9781557835512. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Phillips, Robert W. Singing Cowboy Stars. Salt Lake City: Gibbs-Smith, 1994. pp. 26–27.
- "("Dick Foran" search results)". Playbill Vault. Playbill. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "Colt .45". ctva.biz. Retrieved December 22, 2012.
- ""The Wanted Man", April 8, 1962". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 14, 2013.
- ""The Adjuster", Richard Diamond, Private Detective, December 7, 1959". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Ellenberger, Allan R. (2001). Celebrities in Los Angeles Cemeteries: A Directory. McFarland. p. 196. ISBN 9780786450190. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "Dick Foran". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Archived from the original on 21 June 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
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