John Ireland (John Ireland)

John  Ireland

Actor. His film and television career spanned across five decades, from 1945 up until his death in 1992. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, he moved to New York City, New York at the age of 18 where he took minor stage roles on Broadway, performing Shakespeare on tour with them in the late 1930s and early 1940s. In 1945 he made his screen debut as ‘Private Windy’, the thoughtful letter-writing GI, in the war film “A Walk in the Sun.” This was followed by “Wake Up and Dream” (1946). He was a supporting actor in several notable Westerns including John Ford’s “My Darling Clementine” (1946) and Howard Hawks’ “Red River’ (1948). His performance as ‘Jack Burden’ in “All the King’s Men” (1949), garnered him a nomination for an Oscar as Best Supporting Actor, making him the first Vancouver-born actor to receive an Academy Award nomination. A prolific performer in films and early television, he had made the transition to supporting roles by the mid-1950s, playing cynical villains in films like “Vengeance Valley” (1951) and “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral” (1957). He had a large supporting part in “55 Days at Peking” (1963) starring Charlton Heston. He also starred as an innocent man-on-the-run in the 1955 original “The Fast and the Furious” and had a key role as the gladiator ‘Crixus’ in the Stanley Kubrick 1960 spectacle “Spartacus,” co-starring with Kirk Douglas. From 1959 through 1970 he started appearing on television in such shows as “Riverboat,” “Rawhide,” “Bonanza,” and “Little House on the Prairie” and from 1960 to 1962 he starred in the British television series “The Cheaters,” as insurance claims investigator ‘John Hunter’. In the 1970s he appeared in “The Adventurers” (1970, with Candice Bergen and Olivia de Havilland) and “Farewell, My Lovely (1975, with Robert Mitchum) as well as Italian film productions like “The House of the Seven Corpses” (1974), “Salon Kitty” (1976) and “Satan’s Cheerleaders” (1977). During his film career, he regularly returned to the stage as well as co-directing two films in the 1950s, the acclaimed western drama “Hannah Lee” (1953) and “The Fast and the Furious” (1955). His last film before his death was “Waxwork II: Lost in Time” (1992) in which he played ‘King Arthur’. During his career he appeared in over 45 films. He was married three times, first to Elaine Sheldon (1940 until 1949), then actress Joann Dru (1949 until 1957), and then to Daphne Cameron (1962 until his death). In his later years, he owned a restaurant, Ireland’s, in Santa Barbara, California. He died of leukemia in Santa Barbara at the age of 78. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to the television industry.

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  • January, 30, 1914
  • Canada


  • March, 21, 1992
  • USA
  • California


  • Santa Barbara Cemetery
  • California
  • USA

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