John Archer (actor)

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John Archer
Born Ralph Bowman
(1915-05-08)May 8, 1915
Osceola, Nebraska, U.S.
Died December 3, 1999(1999-12-03) (aged 84)
Redmond, Washington, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1938-1996
Spouse(s) Marjorie Lord (1941–1953) (2 children)
Ann Leddy (1956–1999; his death) (2 children)
Children Anne Archer
Gregg Archer
Jon Archer
Lisa Archer Oswald

John Archer (born Ralph Bowman; May 9, 1915 – December 3, 1999) was an American actor.

Early life[edit]

Archer was born Ralph Bowman in Osceola, Nebraska, the son of Eunice Melba (née Crawford) and Joseph Emmett Bowman.[1] Archer moved to California at the age of five. He attended Hollywood High School and the University of Southern California, where he studied cinematography, expecting work behind the camera.


When finding work in the field of cinematography proved difficult, Archer drifted into acting, working as a radio announcer and actor, including one year in the starring role of Lamont Cranston in The Shadow and appearing on Broadway in The Day Before Spring. He also worked in a number of films for Universal and Republic under his birth name. In a radio contest sponsored by Jesse L. Lasky, he won the top prize, an RKO contract in the name of "John Archer". He appeared in films such as Hello, Frisco, Hello, Guadalcanal Diary, White Heat, Destination Moon, Rock Around the Clock, Ten Thousand Bedrooms, Decision at Sundown, Blue Hawaii, and How to Frame a Figg.

On March 11, 1955, Archer appeared as L.H. Musgrove in the last episode of Jim Davis' show Stories of the Century.[2] He also appeared in television series such as Rescue 8, Science Fiction Theater, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater, and The Millionaire, The Loretta Young Show, Private Secretary, The Bob Cummings Show, Mackenzie's Raiders, This Man Dawson, The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, The Californians, Sea Hunt, Maverick, The Twilight Zone, The Tall Man, Surfside 6, 77 Sunset Strip, Wagon Train, Hawaiian Eye, McHale's Navy, Bonanza, Mannix, and The Name of the Game.

In 1960, Archer was cast as Joe Holman in the episode "Phantom Trail" of the western series Colt .45.[3] He made five guest appearances on Perry Mason. He played Frank Maddox in the show's second episode in 1957, "The Case of the Sleepwalker's Niece". In 1958, he played murder victim Major Frank Lessing in the episode "The Case of the Sardonic Sergeant", and in 1959, he played murderer JR Bradbury in the episode "The Case of the Lucky Legs". He also made seven guest appearances on Lassie and six appearances on Bonanza. He played the outlaw Matt Grundy in a 1962 episode of Laramie, entitled "The Confederate Express".[4]

Personal life[edit]

Archer was married twice. From 1941 to 1953,[5][6] he was married to actress Marjorie Lord. They had two children, including daughter actress Anne Archer. Archer had two children with his second wife, Ann Leddy, to whom he was married from 1956 until his death.[5][6]


On December 3, 1999, aged 84, Archer died from lung cancer in Redmond, Washington.


  1. ^ Staff (1948). "Profile". World Biography (New York City, New York, U.S.: Institute For Research In Biography) 1. OCLC 760070148. Retrieved March 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Stories of the Century: "L. H. Musgrove", March 11, 1955". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 16, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Colt .45, March 13, 1960". Retrieved December 22, 2012. 
  4. ^ "Laramie: "The Confederate Express"". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Obituary: John Archer
  6. ^ a b john archer (1915-1999)

External links[edit]