Begley in 1958
|Born||Edward James Begley
March 25, 1901
Hartford, Connecticut, USA
|Died||April 28, 1970
Hollywood, California, USA
|Cause of death||Heart attack|
|Occupation||Film, television, radio actor|
|Spouse(s)||Amanda Huff (1922–1957)
Dorothy Reeves (1961–1963)
Helen Jordan (1963–1970)
|Children||Ed Begley, Jr.|
Begley was born in Hartford, Connecticut, the son of Hannah (née Clifford) and Michael Joseph Begley, Irish immigrants. After he dropped out of school as a fifth-grader, Begley ran away from home several times, going to work for "carnivals, fairs, and small circuses." Later he sold brushes, delivered milk and served in the United States Navy.
Begley began his career as a Broadway and radio actor while in his teens. He appeared in the hit musical Going Up on Broadway in 1917 and in London the next year. He later acted in roles as Sgt. O'Hara in the radio show The Fat Man. His radio work included Stroke of Fate and a period as Charlie Chan amongst other roles. He also starred in the 1950s radio program Richard Diamond, Private Detective, playing Lieutenant Walter Levinson, head of homicide at the 5th Precinct, Manhattan. He was elected a member of The Lambs in 1943. In the late 1940s, he began appearing regularly in supporting film roles.
In the 1952–1953 television season, Begley co-starred with Eddie Albert in the CBS sitcom Leave It to Larry. Begley, though only five years older than Albert, played the father-in-law and employer of Albert's character, Larry Tucker, a shoe salesman, who with his young family lives with Begley. In 1954 Begley starred in the NBC Television show called Big Boy as Joe Grant, an engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad living in Cheyenne, Wyoming, who worked on the famous Union Pacific Big Boy steam locomotives. The show is about how Begley's character copes with the transition from steam locomotives to diesel locomotives in the 1950s.
He won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sweet Bird of Youth (1962). Some of his other notable films include 12 Angry Men (1957) as juror #10, The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964), and Wild in the Streets (1968). One notable role Begley played both on television (twice in 1955) and in the theatrical film (1956) is William (Bill) Briggs, one of the three primary characters in Rod Serling's Patterns.
Begley married three times. He is the father of the actor and environmental advocate Ed Begley, Jr.
|1947||Body and Soul||Party leader||uncredited|
|The Roosevelt Story||Narrator||Documentary|
|1948||Sorry, Wrong Number||James Cotterell|
|Deep Waters (film)||Josh Hovey|
|The Street with No Name||Chief Bernard Harmatz|
|Sitting Pretty||Horatio J. Hammond|
|1949||The Great Gatsby||Myron Lupus|
|It Happens Every Spring||Edgar Stone|
|Tulsa||John J. 'Johnny' Brady||as Edward Begley|
|1950||Stars in My Crown||Lon Backett|
|Backfire (1950 film)||Captain Garcia|
|Saddle Tramp||Mr. Hartnagle|
|Convicted||Mackay, Head of Parole Board|
|Wyoming Mail||Prison Warden Haynes|
|1951||The Lady from Texas||Dave Blodgett|
|You're in the Navy Now||Port Commander|
|1952||The Turning Point||Neil Eichelberger|
|Deadline - U.S.A.||Frank Allen|
|On Dangerous Ground||Captain Brawley|
|Lone Star||Anthony Demmet|
|Boots Malone||Howard Whitehead|
|1954||Big Boy||Joe Grant|
|1957||12 Angry Men||Juror #10|
|1959||Odds Against Tomorrow||Dave Burke|
|1961||The Green Helmet||Bartell|
|1962||Sweet Bird of Youth||Tom 'Boss' Finley||Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Laurel Award for Top Male Supporting Performance (3rd place)
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
|1964||The Unsinkable Molly Brown||Shamus Tobin||Laurel Award for Top Male Supporting Performance (2nd place)|
|1965||Inherit the Wind||Brady||Nominated-Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama|
|1967||The Violent Enemy||Colum O'More|
|Warning Shot||Captain Roy Klodin|
|Do Not Fold, Staple, Spindle, or Mutilate|
|Billion Dollar Brain||General Midwinter|
|Wild in the Streets||Senator Allbright|
|Hang 'Em High||Captain Wilson, Cooper Hanging Party|
|A Time to Sing||Kermit Dodd|
|1970||The Dunwich Horror||Dr. Henry Armitage|
|Neither Are We Enemies||Annas||Hallmark Hall of Fame Easter special|
|Road to Salina||Warren||Last appearance|
|1944–45||Charlie Chan||all||Charlie Chan|||
|1949||Let George Do It||"The Man Under the Elm Tree"||Darrell|||
|1951||Tales of the Texas Rangers||"Blind Justice"||Unknown|||
|"No Living Witnesses"|
|"Paid in Full"|
|"The Blow Off"|
|1952||Tales of the Texas Rangers||"Birds of a Feather"|
|"Prelude to Felony"|
- Obituary Variety, May 6, 1970.
- "Ed Begley Loves Life". The Bridgeport Post. April 24, 1964. p. 21. Retrieved April 25, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Ed Begley". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- "Inherit the Wind". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- Ed Begley dies in California
- Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. p. 149.
- Radio Detectives
- Old Time Radio Westerns—radio shows Begley appeared in.