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|Born||April 16, 1914|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||October 19, 1955 (aged 41)|
Tarzana, California, U.S.
|Resting place||Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Block 303, Crypt D-1, of the main mausoleum
(m. 1946; div. 1953)
Hodiak had his first theatrical experience at age 11, acting in Ukrainian and Russian plays at the Ukrainian Catholic Church. From the moment he first appeared on the stage, he resolved to become an actor. Hodiak was not even swayed when as a third baseman on his local high school baseball team, he was offered a contract with a St. Louis Cardinals farm club. He turned the offer down.
When Hodiak first tried out for a radio acting job, he was turned down because of his accent. He became a caddie at a Detroit golf course, then worked at a Chevrolet automobile factory – and practised his diction. When he conquered the diction hurdle, he became a radio actor and moved to Chicago. There Hodiak created the role of the comic strip character Li'l Abner on radio.
MGM cast him in the third lead in Song of Russia (1944) supporting Robert Taylor and Susan Peters. He was Ann Sothern's love interest in Maisie Goes to Reno (1944) and competed with James Craig for Lana Turner in Marriage Is a Private Affair (1944).
20th Century Fox borrowed Hodiak again to play the title role in Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (1944), opposite Anne Baxter, whom he married in real life. Fox kept him on to play Maj. Joppolo in A Bell for Adano (1945) opposite Gene Tierney.
Fox gave him his first proper starring role in Somewhere in the Night (1946), directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Hodiak played opposite Lucille Ball in MGM's Two Smart People (1946), which lost money. So too did the thriller The Arnelo Affair (1947).
Hodiak went to Paramount for Desert Fury (1947), playing third lead to Burt Lancaster and Lizabeth Scott. He starred in Love from a Stranger (1947) for Eagle Lion, then supported Lana Turner and Clark Gable in Homecoming (1948). He supported Gable again in Command Decision (1948). The two Gable films were hits but Hodiak was voted "box office poison" by exhibitors at the end of 1948.
Hodiak was down the cast list for The Bribe (1949). He was second billed in MGM's war film Battleground (1949) a huge success. Also popular was Malaya (1949) where Hodiak supported James Stewart and Spencer Tracy.
Hodiak was a love rival for Robert Taylor in Ambush (1950), a popular Western. MGM gave him another lead role, co-starring with Hedy Lamarr in A Lady Without Passport (1950), but it lost money. He was third billed in The Miniver Story (1950), the flop sequel to Mrs. Miniver, and fourth lead in Night into Morning (1951), an unsuccessful drama.
Broadway and B movies
Hodiak went to Allied Artists to star in the movie Battle Zone (1952). He starred in two Westerns, Ambush at Tomahawk Gap (1953) and Conquest of Cochise (1953), and then the war movies Mission Over Korea (1953) and Dragonfly Squadron (1954).
He originated the role of Lieutenant Maryk in Paul Gregory's production of the play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (1954–1955) by Herman Wouk adapted from his novel The Caine Mutiny. The play, starring Henry Fonda and Lloyd Nolan, ran for two years, and Hodiak's portrayal brought him acclaim.
When the show closed after its U.S. tour, Hodiak began work on Trial (1955) at MGM, billed fourth as the prosecuting attorney. When it wrapped, he played Major Ward Thomas in On the Threshold of Space (1956) at 20th Century Fox.
Hodiak and actress Anne Baxter (whom he met while they were starring in Sunday Dinner for a Soldier) married on July 7, 1946, and divorced on January 27, 1953. They had one daughter, Katrina Hodiak, who became an actress. 
At age 41, Hodiak suffered a fatal heart attack at his parents' home in Tarzana, California. He was acting in On the Threshold of Space; it was decided that his performance was sufficient to release the movie. He is interred in Block 303, Crypt D-1 of the main mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles. He left an estate of $25,000.
A few of Hodiak's many radio appearances:
|1948||Hallmark Playhouse||"The Desert Shall Rejoice"|
|1952||Suspense||"The Big Heist"|
|1953||Suspense||"Gold of the Adomar"|
- "Successor to Gable?". Big Springs Daily Herald. September 30, 1943. p. 4. Retrieved June 15, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Maltin 1994, p. 491.
- "From Radio To Screen". Voice. Vol. 20, no. 2. Tasmania, Australia. January 11, 1947. p. 4. Retrieved October 31, 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- Fairfax, Arthur (December 28, 1940). "Mr. Fairfax Replies" (PDF). Movie Radio Guide. 10 (12): 43. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 19, 2015. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
- "John Hodiak and his wife". Western Mail. Vol. 62, no. 3, 536. Western Australia. April 3, 1947. p. 22 (Women's Magazine). Retrieved October 31, 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Introducing John Hodiak". The North Western Courier. Vol. XXVII, no. 57. New South Wales, Australia. July 26, 1945. p. 6. Retrieved October 31, 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "John Hodiak | Biography, Movie Highlights and Photos". AllMovie.
- "Song of Russia (1944)". BFI. Archived from the original on February 25, 2021.
- "Maisie Goes to Reno (1944) - Harry Beaumont | Cast and Crew | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
- "Marriage Is a Private Affair (1944) - Robert Z. Leonard | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
- "Sunday Dinner for a Soldier (1944) - Lloyd Bacon | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
- "The Harvey Girls (1946) - George Sidney | Cast and Crew | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
- "Somewhere in the Night (1946) - Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
- "Two Smart People (1946) - Jules Dassin | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
- "The Arnelo Affair (1947)". BFI.
- "Mary Armitage's Film Close-ups." Sunday Mail (Adelaide) Sunday Magazine Supplement, January 29, 1949, p. 3. Retrieved: May 18, 2013.
- "John Hodiak – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". www.ibdb.com.
- "The Chase – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB". www.ibdb.com.
- "Battle Zone (1952) - Lesley Selander | Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related | AllMovie" – via www.allmovie.com.
- "John Hodiak | Movies and Filmography". AllMovie.
- "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial – Broadway Play – Original | IBDB".
- "Trial (1955)". BFI.
- "Hollywood Tragedies, 3 — John Hodiak". The Mirror. Vol. 36, no. 1811. Western Australia. February 11, 1956. p. 8. Retrieved October 31, 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
- "Actor John Hodiak Dies Of Heart Attack at 41". Schenectady Gazette. October 20, 1955. p. 29.
- "John Hodiak Dies Suddenly of Heart Attack". Los Angeles Times. October 20, 1955. p. 1.
- "John Hodiak Left No Will". New York Times. November 3, 1955. p. 37.
- "John Hodiak". October 25, 2019.
- Goldin, J. David. "Hallmark Playhouse". RadioGOLDINdex. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
- "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 37 (4): 38–39. Autumn 2011.
- Kirby, Walter (November 30, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 14, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (January 18, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 40. Retrieved June 20, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Kirby, Walter (March 15, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved June 25, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
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