in Sea Devils (1937)
|Born||Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen
10 December 1886
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, United Kingdom
|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 successful film actor. Towards the end of his life he was naturalised as a U.S. citizen.
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, 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 (b. circa 1882), Sydney (b. circa 1884), Lewis (b. circa 1889) and a sister, Lily (b. circa 1893). Another brother, Leopold McLaglen (1884-1951), who appeared in one film, gained notoriety prior to the First World War as a showman and self-proclaimed World Jujutsu Champion, who authored a book on the subject.
He left home at fourteen 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 6 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 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 lead in director Raoul Walsh's legendary First World War classic What Price Glory?(1926) with Edmund Lowe and Dolores del Rio, one of the most revered films about the war. (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 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 of those series in which McLaglen guest-starred were both directed by his son, Andrew V. McLaglen, who later became a film director frequently directing 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 neighbourhood 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.
Victor McLaglen was married three times. His first marriage was to 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.
Victor McLaglen married twice more. His second marriage was to Suzanne M. Brueggeman. That marriage lasted from 1943 until 1948. His third and final marriage was to Margaret Pumphrey, whom he married in 1948. He remained married to Margaret, a Seattle socialite, until his death of a heart attack in 1959. He had by that time become a naturalized U.S. citizen. He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
|1920||Call of the Road, TheThe Call of the Road||Alf Truscott|
|1921||Corinthian Jack||Jack Halstead|
|1921||Sport of Kings, TheThe Sport of Kings||Frank Rosedale|
|1921||Prey of the Dragon, TheThe Prey of the Dragon||Brett 'Dragon' Mercer|
|1922||Glorious Adventure, TheThe Glorious Adventure||Bulfinch|
|1922||Romance of Old Baghdad, AA Romance of Old Baghdad||Miski|
|1922||Crimson Circle, TheThe Crimson Circle|
|1922||Sailor Tramp, AA Sailor Tramp||Sailor Tramp, TheThe Sailor Tramp|
|1922||Little Brother of God||King Kennidy|
|1923||Woman to Woman||Nubian slave||uncredited|
|1923||M'Lord of the White Road||Lord Annerley/John|
|1923||In the Blood||Tony Crabtree|
|1923||Romany, TheThe Romany||Chief, TheThe Chief|
|1924||Passionate Adventure, TheThe Passionate Adventure||Herb Harris|
|1924||Beloved Brute, TheThe Beloved Brute||Charles Hinges|
|1924||Gay Corinthian, TheThe Gay Corinthian||Squire Hardcastle|
|1924||Boatswain's Mate, TheThe Boatswain's Mate||Ned Travers|
|1924||Women and Diamonds||Brian Owen|
|1925||Fighting Heart, TheThe Fighting Heart||Soapy Williams|
|1925||Winds of Chance||Poleon Doret|
|1925||Hunted Woman, TheThe Hunted Woman||Quade|
|1925||Unholy Three, TheThe Unholy Three||Hercules, the strongman|
|1926||Men of Steel||Pete Masarick|
|1926||Isle of Retribution, TheThe Isle of Retribution||Doomsdorf|
|1926||What Price Glory?||Capt. Flagg|
|1927||The Loves of Carmen||Escamillo|
|1928||River Pirate, TheThe River Pirate||Sailor Fritz|
|1928||Girl in Every Port, AA Girl in Every Port||Spike Madden|
|1928||Mother Machree||Giant of Kilkenny (Terence O'Dowd), TheThe Giant of Kilkenny (Terence O'Dowd)||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1928||Hangman's House||Citizen Denis Hogan||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1929||Hot for Paris||John Patrick Duke|
|1929||Cock-Eyed World, TheThe Cock-Eyed World||Top Sergeant Flagg|
|1929||Strong Boy||Strong Boy|
|1929||Captain Lash||Captain Lash|
|1929||Black Watch, TheThe Black Watch||Capt. Donald Gordon King||With John Ford & John Wayne.|
|1930||Devil with Women, AA Devil with Women||Jerry Maxton|
|1930||On the Level||Biff Williams|
|1931||Annabelle's Affairs||John Rawson aka Hefly Jack|
|1931||Women of All Nations||Capt ain Jim Flagg|
|1931||Stolen Jools, TheThe Stolen Jools||Sergeant Flagg|
|1931||Three Rogues||Bull Stanley|
|1932||Rackety Rax||'Knucks' McGloin|
|1932||Guilty as Hell||Detective Capt. T.R. McKinley|
|1932||While Paris Sleeps||Jacques Costaud|
|1932||Devil's Lottery||Jem Meech|
|1932||Gay Caballero, TheThe Gay Caballero||Don Bob Harkness aka El Coyote|
|1933||Hot Pepper||Jim Flagg|
|1933||Dick Turpin||Dick Turpin|
|1933||Laughing at Life||Dennis P. McHale aka Burke aka Captain Hale|
|1934||Captain Hates the Sea, TheThe Captain Hates the Sea||Schulte|
|1934||No More Women||Forty-Fathoms|
|1934||Lost Patrol, TheThe Lost Patrol||Sergeant, TheThe Sergeant|
|1934||Murder at the Vanities||Police Lt. Bill Murdock|
|1935||Professional Soldier||Michael Donovan|
|1935||Great Hotel Murder, TheThe Great Hotel Murder||Andrew W. 'Andy' McCabe|
|1935||Under Pressure||Jumbo Smith|
|1935||Informer, TheThe Informer||Gypo Nolan||Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
|1936||Magnificent Brute||'Big Steve' Andrews||as Victor McLaglen - Academy Award Winner|
|1936||Under Two Flags||J.C. Doyle||p|
|1936||Klondike Annie||Bull Brackett|
|1937||This Is My Affair||Jock Ramsay|
|1937||Nancy Steele Is Missing!||Dannie O'Neill|
|1937||Sea Devils||CPO William 'Medals' Malone|
|1937||Wee Willie Winkie||Sgt. Donald MacDuff|
|1938||We're Going to Be Rich||Dobbie|
|1938||Battle of Broadway||Big Ben Wheeler|
|1938||Devil's Party||Marty Malone|
|1939||Big Guy, TheThe Big Guy||Warden Bill Whitlock|
|1939||Captain Fury||Jerry Black aka Blackie|
|1939||Ex-Champ||Tom 'Gunner' Grey|
|1939||Pacific Liner||J.B. 'Crusher' McKay, Chief Engineer|
|1939||Gunga Din||Sgt. 'Mac' MacChesney|
|1939||Let Freedom Ring||Chris Mulligan|
|1940||Diamond Frontier||Terrence Regan|
|1940||South of Pago Pago||Bucko Larson|
|1941||Broadway Limited||Maurice 'Mike' Monohan|
|1942||Powder Town||Jeems O'Shea|
|1942||Call Out the Marines||Sgt. Jimmy McGinnis|
|1942||China Girl||Major Weed|
|1943||Forever and a Day||Archibald Spavin (hotel doorman)|
|1944||Princess and the Pirate, TheThe Princess and the Pirate||Captain Barrett ak The Hook|
|1944||Roger Touhy, Gangster||Herman 'Owl' Banghart|
|1945||Love, Honor and Goodbye||Terry O'Farrell|
|1945||Rough, Tough and Ready||Owen McCare|
|1947||Foxes of Harrow, TheThe Foxes of Harrow||Captain Mike Farrell|
|1947||Michigan Kid, TheThe Michigan Kid||Curley|
|1947||Calendar Girl||Matthew O'Neil|
|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||Bengazi||Robert Emmett Donovan|
|1955||City of Shadows||Big Tim Channing|
|1955||Many Rivers to Cross (film)||Mr. Cadmus Cherne|
|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|
|1958||Sea Fury||Captain Bellew|
|1959||Rawhide||Harry Wittman||episode: Incident of the Shambling Man|
- Obituary Variety, 11 November 1959, page 79.
- 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.
- Time Magazine, Milestones
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Victor McLaglen.|
- "Milestones.". Time Magazine. 27 December 1948. Retrieved 19 January 2010.
- Victor McLaglen at the Internet Movie Database
- McLaglen's Record at Cyber Boxing Zone
- Photographs of Victor McLaglen