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|Born||Thomas Wright Thornburg King
January 11, 1923
Okmulgee, Okmulgee County
|Spouse(s)||June Ellen Roth King (1948-2008, her death)|
|Children||Wright King, Jr., Michael King, Meegan King (born 1954)|
Thomas Wright Thornburg King (born January 11, 1923) is a retired American film and television actor, a native of Okmulgee in east central Oklahoma. His career extended from 1949 until his retirement in 1987.
Early life and career
King studied acting at the St Louis School of Theater, where he graduated in 1941, before enlisting in the United States Navy during World War II. King made his small screen debut in 1949 as Midshipman Bascomb in the television series, Captain Video and His Video Rangers. Throughout his career, he worked in both United States and in United Kingdom.
King was cast in numerous westerns and is particularly known for his role in the 1951 film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, starring Vivien Leigh (whom his character kisses). Prior to that, he had appeared in the original stage production, a performance that was lauded by drama critic Harold Hobson. Other noteworthy film credits included roles in Cast a Long Shadow (1959), King Rat (1965), Planet of the Apes (1968), Finian's Rainbow (1968) and Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973). In 1974, he played U.S. Senator Richard B. Russell, Jr., of Georgia in the ABC television film, The Missiles of October, a dramatization of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. He appeared in the television series Tombstone Territory and Wanted Dead or Alive.
King married June Ellen Roth in 1948. The couple had their first child the next year. In total, they had three children, all sons. King and his wife spent their later years in Portland, Oregon. Since 2013, he has been a resident of the Motion Picture Retirement (MPTF) Home in Calabasas, California.
- A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - Newspaper Collector
- The Bold and the Brave (1956) - Technician Fifth Grade
- The Young Guns (1956) - Jonesy
- Friendly Persuasion (1956) - Forager (uncredited)
- Stagecoach to Fury (1956) - Ralph Slader
- Hot Rod Rumble (1957) - Ray Johnson - Arnie's sidekick
- The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959) - Billy Townsend
- Cast a Long Shadow (1959) - Noah Pringle
- Dangerous Charter (1962) - Joe
- King Rat (1965) - Brough
- Finian's Rainbow (1968) - District Attorney
- Journey Through Rosebud (1972) - Indian Agent
- Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973) - Dr. Murger
- House Made of Dawn (1987) - Father Olguin
- "Wright King". NNDB. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
- "Ex-Mt. Vernonite Wright King in "Streetcar" Cast". Mt. Vernon Register News. March 27, 1952. p. 6. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- "Wright King In Grenada Movie". Mt. Vernon Register News. December 7, 1956. p. 8. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- "Mt. Vernon Actor Is Praised by London Critic". Mt. Vernon Register News. December 15, 1949. p. 2. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
- "King of the 'Streetcar'". The Times-Picayune. March 22, 2008. Retrieved August 3, 2014.
- "Births". Mt. Vernon Register News. November 22, 1949. p. 2. Retrieved June 4, 2016.