Clark in 1963
February 26, 1912
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Died||September 11, 1998 (aged 86)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||Cornell University|
St. John's University School of Law
Margot Yoder (m. 1941–1970)(her death)
Geraldine Frank (m. 1971–1998)(his death)
|Parent(s)||Samuel and Rose Zanville|
Dane Clark (born Bernard Zanville, February 26, 1912 – September 11, 1998) was an American character actor who was known for playing, as he labeled himself, "Joe Average".
His actual date of birth is a matter of some dispute among different sources.
He graduated from Cornell University in 1926 and earned a law degree in 1928 at St. John's University School of Law in Queens, New York. During the Great Depression, he worked as a professional boxer, minor league baseball player, construction worker, and in modeling, among others.
Modeling brought him in contact with people in the arts. He gradually perceived them to be snobbish, with their talk of the "theatah", and "I decided to give it a try myself, just to show them anyone could do it."
Clark's early acting experience included work with the Group Theatre in New York City. He progressed from small Broadway parts to larger ones, eventually taking over the role of George from Wallace Ford in the 1937 production of Of Mice and Men. His other Broadway credits include Mike Downstairs (1968), A Thousand Clowns (1962), Fragile Fox (1954), The Number (1951), Dead End (1935), Waiting For Lefty (1935), Till the Day I Die (1935), and Panic (1935).
Clark got his big break when he was signed by Warner Bros. in 1943. He worked alongside some of his era's biggest stars, often in war movies such as Action in the North Atlantic (1943), his breakthrough part, opposite Humphrey Bogart. According to Clark, Bogart gave him his stage name. Hollywood newspaper columnist Louella Parsons wrote in 1942 that Warner Bros. first changed his name to Zane Clark but then decided on Dane Clark because "Too many confused Zane Clark with Jane Clark."
He was third billed in Destination Tokyo (1943) beneath Cary Grant and John Garfield, and in The Very Thought of You (1944) with Dennis Morgan and Eleanor Parker. He had one of the leads in Hollywood Canteen (1944), playing an actual role while most Warners stars made cameo appearances as themselves. Clark had the lead in the 1944 short film I Won't Play with Janis Paige, which received the 1945 Academy Award for Best Short Subject (Two-Reel). Clark supported Morgan in God Is My Co-Pilot (1945) and Garfield in Pride of the Marines (1945).
Exhibitors voted Clark the 16th most popular star at the US box office in 1945.
Clark supported Bette Davis and Glenn Ford in A Stolen Life (1946) and was promoted to top billing for Her Kind of Man (1946), a crime film. He followed it with That Way with Women (1947), Deep Valley (1947), and Embraceable You (1948). Republic Pictures borrowed him to play the lead for Frank Borzage in Moonrise (1948). At Warner Bros., he was in Whiplash (1948). Clark went to United Artists for Without Honor (1948), then back to Warner Bros. for Backfire (1950) and Barricade (1950). He travelled to England to make Highly Dangerous (1950) and France for Gunman in the Streets (1951). Back at Columbia he was in Never Trust a Gambler (1951). He acted in the United Artists Western Fort Defiance (1951). He went back to Britain for The Gambler and the Lady (1953), Murder by Proxy (1954) and Five Days (1955), all for Hammer Films. In the US, he was in Go Man Go (1954) with the Harlem Globetrotters and Toughest Man Alive (1955).
Clark first appeared on television in the late 1940s, and after the mid-1950s worked much more in that medium than in feature films. In the 1954-1955 season, he co-starred as the character Richard Adams, with Gary Merrill in the role of Jason Tyler, in the NBC crime drama Justice, about attorneys of the Legal Aid Society of New York.
In 1955 he was acting on stage when the female he was acting against actually died in his arms.
In 1959, he reprised Humphrey Bogart's role as Slate in Bold Venture, a short-lived television series. He also guest starred on a number of television shows, including Faye Emerson's Wonderful Town, Appointment with Adventure, CBS's Rawhide in the episode "Incident of the Night Visitor", and The Twilight Zone, in the episode "The Prime Mover".
In 1970, he guest-starred in an episode of The Silent Force and had a role in The McMasters (1970). That same year he appeared as Barton Ellis on The Men From Shiloh, rebranded name of the long running TV western series The Virginian in the episode titled "The Mysterious Mrs. Tate." He also played Lieutenant Tragg in the short-lived revival of the Perry Mason television series in 1973, and appeared in the 1976 miniseries Once an Eagle.
Clark was married twice: firstly, to Margot Yoder, a painter, from 1941 until her death in 1970; and secondly, to Geraldine Frank, a former model, stockbroker, and real estate associate broker, from 1971 until his death in 1998.
|1942||Suspense||Tom Cochrane in "The Singing Walls", airdate September 2, 1943.|
|1943||Suspense||Walter Bates in "Life Ends at Midnight", airdate February 17, 1944.|
|1945||Suspense||Joe Jordan in "This Will Kill You," airdate August 23, 1945.|
|1946||The Fifth Horseman||Doomsday|
|1951||The Big Show||Guest Appearance, airdate November 25, 1951.|
|1952||Philip Morris Playhouse||The Criminal Code|
|1953||Broadway Playhouse||The Turning Point|
Aside from the original Robert Lewis group and those who came in with Mann and Meisner and were asked to remain, being such individuals as Roscoe Lee Browne, Dane Clark, Tamra Daykarhanova, Rita Gam, Burgess Meredith, Sidney Poitier, Paula Strasberg, Anna Mizrahi Strasberg, and Franchot Tone have been voted directly into membership by the Studio's directorate or by Strasberg himself. In the early sixties, several actors who performed with The Actors Studio Theatre were similarly admitted.
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