Victor Jory was born in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. His burly physique made him a wrestling and boxing champion during his military service in the United States Coast Guard. After a few appearances on Broadway, he made his way into Hollywood in the early 1930s. His acting career spanned exactly 50 years, during which he played in nearly 200 films and TV series. In his early years he was cast in romantic roles, but it wasn’t long before he began playing villainous parts, likely due to his “black eyes” which could easily give the impression of intimidation. He is remembered for his role as the ruthless overseer Jonas Wilkerson in Gone With the Wind, and his role as Lamont Cranston in The Shadow. He also played Oberon in the 1935 film version of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Among these many co-starring roles, he also appeared in 7 Hopalong Cassidy films between the years 1941 and 1943, usually cast as the villain or a right hand man. The only Hopalong film in which he did not play a ‘bad guy’ was in Riders of the Timberlane where he played a hot blooded, broad-shouldered lumberjack. During his film career, Victor’s voice also offered him the an extensive career in radio. He was the lead role in the radio series, Dangerously Yours, and he also narrated “Tubby the Tuba” and “Bumpo the Ballerina” for children. In the 1950s and 1960s, he began acting in television series while remaining in the film industry. He played the lead role of Detective Howard Finucane in the police drama series, Manhunt, which ran from 1959 to 1961. In 1962 he played Helen Keller’s father in the film, The Miracle Worker, for which his co-stars Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft won Oscars. In 1964, he along with fellow actors Susan Seafourth and Coleen Gray testified before the United States Congress as part of Project Prayer, arguing in favor of an amendment which would restore school prayer, something which the United States had eliminated in the early 1960s. Victor Jory continued acting until he retired in 1980. He was married to Jean Inness Jory from 1928 until her death in 1978. Together they had two children, Jon and Jean. At age 79, Victor died of a heart attack on February 12, 1982, in Santa Monica, California.
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