in Sea Devils (1937)
|Born||Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen
10 December 1886
Stepney, East London, England
|Died||7 November 1959
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Enid Lamont (1919-1942) (her death)
Suzanne M. Brueggeman (1943-1948)
Margaret Pumphrey (1948-1959) (his death)
Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen (10 December 1886 – 7 November 1959) was an English boxer and First World War veteran who became a film actor. He was known as a character actor, particularly in Westerns, and made seven films with John Ford and John Wayne. McLaglen won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1935 for his role in The Informer.
McLaglen claimed to have been born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, though his birth certificate records Stepney in the East End of London as his true birthplace. His father, Andrew Charles Albert McClaglen, later a bishop of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church of England, moved the family to South Africa when McLaglen was a child. He had eight brothers and a sister. Four of his brothers also became actors: Arthur (1888–1972), an actor and sculptor, and Clifford (1892–1978), Cyril (1899–1987) and Kenneth (circa 1901-1979). Other siblings included Frederick (born circa 1882), Sydney (born circa 1884), Lewis (born circa 1889) and a sister, Lily (born circa 1893). Another brother, Leopold McLaglen (1884-1951), who appeared in one film, gained notoriety prior to World War I as a showman and self-proclaimed world jujutsu champion, who authored a book on the subject.
He left home at 14 to join the British Army with the intention of fighting in the Second Boer War. However, much to his chagrin, he was stationed at Windsor Castle in the Life Guards and was later forced to leave the army when his true age was discovered.
Four years later, he moved to Canada, where he earned a living as a wrestler and heavyweight boxer, with several notable wins in the ring. One of his most famous fights was against heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in a six-round exhibition bout. This was Johnson's first bout since winning the heavyweight title from Tommy Burns. Between bouts, McLaglen toured with a circus, which offered $25 to anyone who could go three rounds with him. He also briefly served as a constable in the Winnipeg Police Force in 1907. He returned to Britain in 1913 and during the First World War served as a captain (acting) with the 10th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, part of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires). Later, he claimed to have served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He served for a time as military Assistant Provost Marshal for the city of Baghdad. He also continued boxing, and was named heavyweight champion of the British Army in 1918. After the war, he began taking roles in British silent films.
McLaglen's career took a surprise turn in the 1920s when he moved to Hollywood. He became a popular character actor, with a particular knack for playing drunks. He also usually played Irishmen, leading many film fans to mistakenly assume he was Irish rather than English. McLaglen played one of the titular Unholy Three in Lon Chaney, Sr.'s original silent version of the macabre crime drama. The following year, McLaglen was the top-billed leading manlead in director Raoul Walsh's First World War classic What Price Glory?(1926) with Edmund Lowe and Dolores del Rio. (McLaglen and Lowe reprised their roles from the movie in the radio program Captain Flagg and Sergeant Quirt, broadcast on the Blue Network (28 September 1941 – 25 January 1942, and on NBC 13 February 1942 – 3 April 1942.)
He made the transition to sound films with ease, memorably starring opposite Boris Karloff's crazed religious fanatic in John Ford's The Lost Patrol (1934), a picture about desperate soldiers gradually losing their minds fighting Arabs in the desert of what is now Iraq. Another highlight of his career was winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Ford's The Informer (1935), based on a novel of the same name by Liam O'Flaherty; Frank Tashlin's 1938 cartoon Have You Got Any Castles? features a caricature of McLaglen emerging from the novel and literally informing someone about some shady characters. Arguably his most famous film apart from What Price Glory? remains Gunga Din (1939), with Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., an adventure epic loosely based on Rudyard Kipling's poem that served as the template decades later for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984). McLaglen was later nominated for another Oscar, this time for an Best Supporting Actor for his role opposite John Wayne in The Quiet Man (1952). He was especially popular with director John Ford, who frequently included McLaglen in his films, earlier as leading man, then later as comedy relief for films starring John Wayne.
Toward the end of his career, McLaglen made several guest appearances on television, particularly in Western series such as Have Gun, Will Travel and Rawhide. The episodes in which McLaglen guest-starred were both directed by his son, Andrew V. McLaglen, who later became a film director who frequently directed John Wayne.
In 1935, McLaglen spent a reported $40,000 to build his own stadium near Riverside Drive and Hyperion Avenue, near Griffith Park and the Atwater Village neighborhood of Los Angeles. The stadium was used for football and many other activities. The Los Angeles River flood of 1938 seriously damaged the stadium, and it fell into disuse thereafter. In 1941, he was selected as the grand marshal of the Clovis Rodeo parade in Clovis, California.
Victor McLaglen was married three times. He first married Enid Lamont in 1919. The couple had one daughter, Sheila, and one son, Andrew. Andrew McLaglen was a television and film director who worked on several film projects with John Wayne. Andrew's children, Mary and Josh McLaglen, are both film producers and directors. Sheila's daughter, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, is a television director. Enid Lamont McLaglen died in 1942 as a result of a horse-riding accident.
His second marriage was to Suzanne M. Brueggeman. That marriage lasted from 1943 until 1948. His third and final marriage was to Margaret Pumphrey, a Seattle socialite he married in 1948. They remained married until his death of a heart attack in 1959. He had by that time become a naturalized U.S. citizen. His cremated remains are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale in the Garden of Memory, Columbarium of Eternal Light.
On February 8, 1960, McLaglen received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1735 Vine Street, for his contributions to the motion picture industry, making him one of fewer than 100 Oscar-winning male actors in Hollywood history to be honored with a star.
|1920||Call of the Road, TheThe Call of the Road||Alf Truscott|
|1921||Corinthian Jack||Jack Halstead|
|1921||Prey of the Dragon, TheThe Prey of the Dragon||Brett 'Dragon' Mercer|
|1921||Sport of Kings, TheThe Sport of Kings||Frank Rosedale|
|1922||Glorious Adventure, TheThe Glorious Adventure||Bulfinch|
|1922||Romance of Old Baghdad, AA Romance of Old Baghdad||Miski|
|1922||Little Brother of God||King Kennidy|
|1922||Sailor Tramp, AA Sailor Tramp||Sailor Tramp, TheThe Sailor Tramp|
|1922||Crimson Circle, TheThe Crimson Circle|
|1923||Romany, TheThe Romany||Chief, TheThe Chief|
|1923||Woman to Woman||Nubian slave||Uncredited|
|1923||M'Lord of the White Road||Lord Annerley / John|
|1923||In the Blood||Tony Crabtree|
|1924||Boatswain's Mate, TheThe Boatswain's Mate||Ned Travers|
|1924||Women and Diamonds||Brian Owen|
|1924||Gay Corinthian, TheThe Gay Corinthian||Squire Hardcastle|
|1924||Passionate Adventure, TheThe Passionate Adventure||Herb Harris|
|1924||Beloved Brute, TheThe Beloved Brute||Charles Hinges|
|1925||Hunted Woman, TheThe Hunted Woman||Quade|
|1925||Unholy Three, TheThe Unholy Three||Hercules, the strongman|
|1925||Winds of Chance||Poleon Doret|
|1925||Fighting Heart, TheThe Fighting Heart||Soapy Williams|
|1926||Isle of Retribution, TheThe Isle of Retribution||Doomsdorf|
|1926||Men of Steel||Pete Masarick|
|1926||What Price Glory?||Capt. Flagg|
|1927||The Loves of Carmen||Escamillo|
|1928||Mother Machree||Giant of Kilkenny (Terence O'Dowd), TheThe Giant of Kilkenny (Terence O'Dowd)||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1928||Girl in Every Port, AA Girl in Every Port||Spike Madden|
|1928||Hangman's House||Citizen Denis Hogan||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1928||River Pirate, TheThe River Pirate||Sailor Fritz|
|1929||Captain Lash||Captain Lash|
|1929||Strong Boy||Strong Boy|
|1929||Black Watch, TheThe Black Watch||Capt. Donald Gordon King||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1929||Happy Days||Minstrel Show Performer|
|1929||Cock-Eyed World, TheThe Cock-Eyed World||Top Sergeant Flagg|
|1929||Hot for Paris||John Patrick Duke|
|1930||On the Level||Biff Williams|
|1930||Devil with Women, AA Devil with Women||Jerry Maxton|
|1931||Three Rogues||Bull Stanley|
|1931||Stolen Jools, TheThe Stolen Jools||Sergeant Flagg|
|1931||Women of All Nations||Captain Jim Flagg|
|1931||Annabelle's Affairs||John Rawson / Hefly Jack|
|1932||The Gay Caballero||Don Bob Harkness / El Coyote|
|1932||Devil's Lottery||Jem Meech|
|1932||While Paris Sleeps||Jacques Costaud|
|1932||Guilty as Hell||Detective Capt. T.R. McKinley|
|1932||Rackety Rax||'Knucks' McGloin|
|1933||Hot Pepper||Jim Flagg|
|1933||Laughing at Life||Dennis P. McHale / Burke / Captain Hale|
|1934||Lost Patrol, TheThe Lost Patrol||Sergeant, TheThe Sergeant|
|1934||No More Women||Forty-Fathoms|
|1934||Dick Turpin||Dick Turpin|
|1934||Murder at the Vanities||Police Lt. Bill Murdock|
|1934||Captain Hates the Sea, TheThe Captain Hates the Sea||Junius P. Schulte|
|1935||Under Pressure||Jumbo Smith|
|1935||Great Hotel Murder, TheThe Great Hotel Murder||Andrew W. 'Andy' McCabe|
|1935||Informer, TheThe Informer||Gypo Nolan||Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
|1935||Professional Soldier||Michael Donovan|
|1936||Klondike Annie||Bull Brackett|
|1936||Under Two Flags||J.C. Doyle|
|1936||Magnificent Brute||'Big Steve' Andrews||as Victor McLaglen - Academy Award Winner|
|1937||Sea Devils||CPO William 'Medals' Malone|
|1937||Nancy Steele Is Missing!||Dannie O'Neill|
|1937||This Is My Affair||Jock Ramsay|
|1937||Wee Willie Winkie||Sgt. Donald MacDuff|
|1937||Ali Baba Goes to Town||Himself||Uncredited|
|1938||Battle of Broadway||Big Ben Wheeler|
|1938||Devil's Party||Marty Malone|
|1938||We're Going to Be Rich||Dobbie|
|1939||Pacific Liner||J.B. 'Crusher' McKay, Chief Engineer|
|1939||Gunga Din||Sgt. 'Mac' MacChesney|
|1939||Let Freedom Ring||Chris Mulligan|
|1939||Ex-Champ||Tom 'Gunner' Grey|
|1939||Captain Fury||Jerry Black aka Blackie|
|1939||Full Confession||Patt McGinnis|
|1939||Big Guy, TheThe Big Guy||Warden Bill Whitlock|
|1940||South of Pago Pago||Bucko Larson|
|1940||Diamond Frontier||Terrence Regan|
|1941||Broadway Limited||Maurice 'Mike' Monohan|
|1942||Call Out the Marines||Sgt. Jimmy McGinnis|
|1942||Powder Town||Jeems O'Shea|
|1942||China Girl||Major Bull Weed|
|1943||Forever and a Day||Archibald Spavin (hotel doorman)|
|1944||Roger Touhy, Gangster||Herman 'Owl' Banghart|
|1944||Princess and the Pirate, TheThe Princess and the Pirate||Captain Barrett ak The Hook|
|1945||Rough, Tough and Ready||Owen McCare|
|1945||Love, Honor and Goodbye||Terry O'Farrell|
|1947||Calendar Girl||Matthew O'Neil|
|1947||Michigan Kid, TheThe Michigan Kid||Curley Davis|
|1947||Foxes of Harrow, TheThe Foxes of Harrow||Captain Mike Farrell|
|1948||Fort Apache||Sgt. Festus Mulcahy||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1949||She Wore a Yellow Ribbon||Top Sgt. Quincannon||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1950||Rio Grande||Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1952||Quiet Man, TheThe Quiet Man||Squire 'Red' Will Danaher||With John Ford & John Wayne
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
|1953||Fair Wind to Java||O'Brien|
|1953||This Is Your Life||Himself||episode: Victor McLaglen|
|1954||Trouble in the Glen||Parlan|
|1955||Many Rivers to Cross||Mr. Cadmus Cherne|
|1955||City of Shadows||Big Tim Channing|
|1955||Bengazi||Robert Emmett Donovan|
|1955||Lady Godiva of Coventry||Grimald|
|1956||Around the World in 80 Days||Helmsman of the SS Henrietta|
|1957||Abductors, TheThe Abductors||Tom Muldoon|
|1958||Have Gun - Will Travel||Mike O'Hare||episode: The O'Hare Story|
|1958||Gli Italiani sono matti||Sergente O'Riley|
|1958||Sea Fury||Captain Bellew|
|1959||Rawhide||Harry Wittman||episode: Incident of the Shambling Man, (final television appearance)|
- Obituary Variety, 11 November 1959, page 79.
- "Index entry". FreeBMD. ONS. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
- Victor McLaglen’s father – new revelations; Peter Anson BISHOPS AT LARGE (1964) has further information on Bishop McLaglen.
- Victor McLaglen, Query. Great War Forum. Invisionzone.com. 19 March 2006.
- "The Science of Jiujitsu". Journal of Non-lethal Combatives. December 2002.
- Noble, Graham. Early Ju-jutsu: The Challenges. Dragon-Tsunami.org.
- Victor McLaglen. Cyber Boxing Zone.
- Victor McLaglen myth?. Great War Forum. Invisionzone.com. 26 September 2005.
- Dunning, John. (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Pp. 136-137.
- Jim Thurman, "10 L.A. Sports Venues That Are No More", LA Weekly, 23 December 2013.
- Ted Elrick, Los Angeles River (Arcadia Publishing, 2008), ISBN 978-0738547183, pp. 27, 45-47. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- 102nd Clovis Rodeo Official Souvenir Program, Page 12
- Time Magazine, Milestones
- "Victor McLaglen (1886 - 1959) - Find A Grave Memorial". www.findagrave.com. Retrieved 2015-12-25.
- "Victor McLaglen | Hollywood Walk of Fame". www.walkoffame.com. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
- "Victor McLaglen". latimes.com. Retrieved 2016-07-19.
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