G. D. Spradlin
G. D. Spradlin
Gervase Duan Spradlin
August 31, 1920
|Died||July 24, 2011 (aged 90)|
|Alma mater||University of Oklahoma|
(1944–2000; her death),
(2002–2011; his death)
Gervase Duan Spradlin (August 31, 1920 – July 24, 2011) was an American actor. Known for his distinctive accent and voice, he often played devious authority figures. He is credited in over 70 television and film productions, and performed with actors such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Garner, Charlton Heston, George C. Scott, and Johnny Depp.
Spradlin was born August 31, 1920, in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. His parents both worked as schoolteachers. Spradlin obtained his bachelor's degree in Education from the University of Oklahoma. He was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. He then served in the United States Army Air Force during World War II, where he was stationed in China.
Following World War II, Spradlin returned to the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a law degree in 1948. He first began his career as an attorney working in Venezuela and then became an independent oil producer forming Rouge Oil Company. Before he turned to acting, he was active in local politics, and he campaigned for John F. Kennedy in 1959. He joined the Oklahoma Repertory Theatre in 1964.
A notable break for Spradlin resulted from his work in television in the 1960s. Fred Roos had cast Spradlin in television shows such as I Spy (as the immediate superior of Pentagon spies Kelly Robinson and Alexander Scott in the episode "Tonia"), Mannix (in an uncredited role as Senator Sid Abernathy in the episode "Turn Every Stone"), and in the 1966 episode "Gomer Pyle Super Chef" as visiting Colonel Driscoll who had a very southern accent and loved Gomer's southern cooking from the mess hall Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.. Spradlin portrayed Commander Maurice E. "Germany" Curts, Communications Officer, U.S. Pacific Fleet, in an uncredited role in Tora! Tora! Tora! in 1970. He was also in the counter-culture film Zabriskie Point (1970). He worked with Jack Webb on the series Dragnet, playing multiple roles from a safecracker to a low-level con man.
When Roos co-produced The Godfather Part II, he recommended Spradlin to play the role of Pat Geary, a corrupt U.S. senator from Nevada, and he played a senator in the 1976 TV miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man Book II. Among his film credits are One on One (1977) (as an authoritarian basketball coach) and Apocalypse Now (as General Corman, the somber officer who assigns Martin Sheen's character to the search mission). He played the head football coach B.A. Strother in North Dallas Forty (1979), "Carolina Military Institute" commandant General Durrell in the 1983 movie The Lords of Discipline, a conspirator in the attempted assassination of a state governor in Nick of Time, a minister in Ed Wood, and the president of the United States in The Long Kiss Goodnight.
In 1984, Spradlin played a villainous Southern sheriff in Tank. In 1985, Spradlin turned in a memorable performance as President Lyndon B. Johnson in the mini-series Robert Kennedy and His Times, based on the book of the same name written by presidential historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. In 1986, he again portrayed an American president when he played Andrew Jackson in the 1986 television movie “Houston: The Legend of Texas”, also in 1986, he starred in the miniseries Dream West. In 1988, he played Admiral Raymond A. Spruance in the miniseries War and Remembrance. In 1989, Spradlin played a small role in the film The War of the Roses as a divorce lawyer, with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.
Spradlin also played the role of Bishop Dyer in a TV adaption of the 1912 novel Riders of the Purple Sage.
Spradlin died of natural causes at his cattle ranch in San Luis Obispo, California on July 24, 2011 at the age of 90. His first wife, Nell, with whom he had two daughters, died in 2000. He was survived by his second wife, Frances Hendrickson, whom he married in 2002.
|1967||Will Penny||Anse Howard|
|1969||Number One||Doctor Tristler|
|1969||Hell's Angels '69||Detective|
|1970||Zabriskie Point||Lee's Associate|
|1970||Tora! Tora! Tora!||Cmdr. Maurice E. Curts - Kimmel's Communications Officer||Uncredited|
|1970||Monte Walsh||Hal Henderson|
|1971||The Hunting Party||Sam Bayard|
|1972||The Only Way Home||Philip|
|1974||The Godfather Part II||Senator Pat Geary|
|1977||One on One||Coach Moreland Smith|
|1978||Maneaters Are Loose!||Gordon Hale|
|1979||Apocalypse Now||General Corman|
|1979||North Dallas Forty||B. A. Strothers|
|1980||The Formula||Arthur Clements|
|1982||Wrong Is Right||Jack Philindros|
|1983||The Lords of Discipline||Gen. Bentley Durrell|
|1986||Dream West||Gen. Steven Watts Kearney||TV Mini-Series, 2 episodes|
|1989||The War of the Roses||Harry Thurmont|
|1994||Ed Wood||Reverend Lemon|
|1995||Canadian Bacon||R. J. Hacker|
|1995||Nick of Time||Mystery Man|
|1996||The Long Kiss Goodnight||President|
|1999||Dick||Ben Bradlee||(final film role)|
- McLellan, Dennis (July 26, 2011). "G.D. Spradlin dies at 90; veteran character actor". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- Martin, Douglas (July 27, 2011). "G.D. Spradlin, Prolific Character Actor, Dies at 90". The New York Times. p. B17. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
- Wilonsky, Robert (July 27, 2011). "A Fond Farewell to G.D. Spradlin, Once the Coach of the North Dallas Bulls". Unfair Park. Dallas, TX: Dallas Observer. Retrieved July 27, 2011.