Cal Bolder (Earl C. Craver)

Cal Bolder

Cal Bolder (June 14, 1931 – January 19, 2005) was an American film and television actor best known for his role as the outlaw turned monster in the 1966 film Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. A native of the small Kansas city of Elkhart, Earl C. Craver was a middle child of six born to Mabel Mae and Fred Francis Craver. Young Earl graduated from Elkhart High School then attended Wichita State University on a football scholarship. He married his wife Billie in 1950. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps for the Korean War, served in Korea and was awarded the Purple Heart. Following service with the 1st Marine Division Craver was posted to the newly reformed 9th Marines at Camp Pendleton. After leaving the Marines as a corporal, Craver became a Los Angeles motorcycle policeman. In 1959 he issued a traffic citation to Robert Raison, a Hollywood agent and a friend of fellow agent Henry Willson who arranged the two of them to meet. Impressed by Craver’s 6′ 4″/193 cm height, his 260 pound/118 kg physique, his 52″/132 cm chest and his 32″/81 cm waist Willson interested the physically imposing Craver into an acting career. Willson, who created Rock Hudson’s stage name, changed Craver’s name to “Cal Bolder”; “Cal” for “California” and Bolder for boulder relating to his physique. Willson explained Craven’s new name in his style of having a one syllable first name and two syllable last name by saying “I try to get a name that looks like the guy…He’s a big Western type guy and that sounds it”.

At the same time while working as a police officer, he injured his back when lifting a small car during the course of his duties. He was subsequently reassigned to a less physically demanding job as a police despatcher within the Department. Three times he applied to the board of pension commissioners for a disability pension, claiming that his back injury made it impossible for him to perform the regular duties of a police officer. Each time his application was denied by the retirement board. Craver’s contention to the retirement board and then to the court was that the standard of review should be whether he could perform the usual duties of police officer, not the usual duties of the particular position to which he was assigned. Bolder first made appearances in television series such as Bonanza and Adventures in Paradise and made his film debut in Heller in Pink Tights in 1960. Bolder appeared in several other popular television series such as The Man from UNCLE where episodes with his appearances were turned into the feature films One Spy Too Many and One of Our Spies Is Missing. Bolder also played in the episode Friday’s Child on Star Trek. He left the screen at the age of 36, after a 1967 appearance on Cimarron Strip and moved with his wife and children to Royal City, a small city in Washington, where he resided until his death. He was married to his wife, Billie, for over 52 years and had four children, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

More Images

Born

  • June, 14, 1931
  • Elkhart, Kansas

Died

  • January, 19, 2005
  • Royal City, Washington

Cause of Death

  • cancer

Cemetery

    Other

    • Cremated

    8206 profile views