from the trailer for the film Black Fury (1935).
July 17, 1905|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||February 17, 1979
Died in flight between New York and San Diego
|Cause of death||heart attack|
|Resting place||Holy Cross Cemetery (San Diego), California|
|Spouse(s)||Mary Kenny (1928–1979) (his death)|
William Gargan (July 17, 1905 – February 17, 1979) was an American film, television and radio actor.
Gargan was born William Dennis Gargan on July 17, 1905, in Brooklyn, New York. He was the younger brother of actor Edward Gargan, whose birthday July 17 he shared. His father was a detective, and his mother was a teacher. He graduated from St. James School in Brooklyn.
While visiting his brother on a musical comedy stage, he was offered a stage job which he accepted. He began his stage career in Aloma of the South Seas
He was cast in a number of stereotypical Irish parts in films playing policemen, priests, reporters, and blustering adventurers. In 1945 he played Joe Gallagher in The Bells of St. Mary's, starring Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.
In 1935, Gargan went to England and made several movies there.
Gargan was best known for his role as private detective Martin Kane in the 1949–51 radio-television series, Martin Kane, Private Eye, sponsored by U.S. Tobacco. He also appeared as a private detective in the NBC radio show Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator, which ran from 1951 to 1955.
Gargan starred in 39 episodes of The New Adventures of Martin Kane, a syndicated series premiering September 14, 1957, and distributed in Europe by United Artists Television for Ziv Television Programs.
Gargan's acting career came to an end in 1958 when he developed throat cancer, and doctors were forced to remove his larynx in 1960. Speaking through an artificial voice box, Gargan became an activist and spokesman for the American Cancer Society, often warning about the dangers of smoking. In 1954, Mutual of Omaha presented its annual Criss Award to Gargan for "his inspirational self-rehabilitation efforts and his outstanding contributions to established rehabilitation programs."
No longer able to act, he formed William Gargan Productions, making traditional films and television movies in Hollywood.
Gargan had a wife, Mary, and two sons, Leslie and Barrie.
- Lucky Boy (1929)
- Follow the Leader (1930)
- His Woman (1931)
- Partners (1931)
- The Animal Kingdom (1932)
- The Sport Parade (1932)
- Rain (1932)
- Misleading Lady (1932)
- Lucky Devils (1933)
- Headline Shooter (1933)
- Aggie Appleby Maker of Men (1933)
- Night Flight (1933)
- Emergency Call (1933)
- The Story of Temple Drake (1933)
- Sweepings (1933)
- Lucky Devils (1933)
- Strictly Dynamite (1934)
- British Agent (1934)
- The Lineup (1934)
- Four Frightened People (1934)
- Things Are Looking Up (1935)
- Black Fury (1935)
- Broadway Gondolier (1935)
- Don't Bet on Blondes (1935)
- A Night at the Ritz (1935)
- Navy Born (1936)
- Alibi for Murder (1936)
- Wings Over Honolulu (1937)
- You Only Live Once (1937)
- The Crowd Roars (1938)
- The Devil's Party (1938)
- The Housekeeper's Daughter (1939)
- Star Dust (1940)
- Isle of Destiny (1940)
- They Knew What They Wanted (1940) Nominated – Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
- Cheers for Miss Bishop (1941)
- Keep 'Em Flying (1941)
- The Mayor of 44th Street (1942)
- Miss Annie Rooney (1942)
- Swing Fever (1943)
- No Place for a Lady (1943)
- Midnight Manhunt (1945)
- The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
- Behind Green Lights (1946)
- Swell Guy (1946)
- Till the End of Time (1946)
Gargan's autobiography, Why Me? was published by Doubleday in 1969. A reviewer described the book as "a compelling story of the life, faith and courage of a man who as an actor was a notable success."
- "Radio-Television". Altoona Tribune. March 25, 1952. p. 13. Retrieved July 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "William Gargan". oscars.org. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- "Cancer Society to Hear Actor William Gargan". The Bakersfield Californian. September 11, 1962. p. 36. Retrieved July 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Reinehr, Robert C. and Swartz, Jon D. (2010). The A to Z of Old Time Radio. Scarecrow Press. p. 107.
- "William Gargan, Actor, Will Get 8th Criss Award". The Lincoln Star. September 14, 1965. p. 3. Retrieved July 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- Swinford, T. William (March 12, 1964). "Suburbs Beat Hollywood--for Family Life". Arlington Heights Herald. p. 19. Retrieved July 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Gargan's Family Ill". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. September 21, 1938. p. 1. Retrieved July 6, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- William Gargan at Find a Grave
- "Why me?; an autobiography.". WorldCat. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
- McLeod, Edyth Thornton (June 10, 1969). "Beauty After Forty". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. p. 25. Retrieved July 7, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
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