Thanks for all the wonderful memories. Our greatly missed friend. Doug McClure as Trampas in "The Virginian"


Joel McCrea




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Joel McCrea


Also Known As: Joel Albert Mccrea
Born: November 5, 1905
Died: October 20, 1990
Cause of Death: Pulmonary Complications (Flu Developed Into Pneumonia)
Birth Place: South Pasadena, California, USA
Profession: Actor, Stuntman, Ranch Hand, Rancher, Construction Teamster, Home-Delivery Newsboy, Investor

Likable, ruggedly handsome figure, a durable star who first made his name in adventures and melodramas of the 1930s. McCrea gave one of his finest performances in Hitchcock's "Foreign Correspondent" (1940) and brought an amiable, relaxed charm to his comic roles, especially when directed by Preston Sturges in "Sullivan's Travels" (1941) and "The Palm Beach Story" (1942) and by George Stevens in "The More the Merrier" (1943). His offhand yet sincere style also kept him much in demand as a lead in "women's pictures" (as they were then called), and McCrea played romantically opposite female divas including Constance Bennett ("Rockabye" 1932), Irene Dunne ("The Silver Cord" 1933), Barbara Stanwyck ("Gambling Lady" 1934), Merle Oberon ("These Three" 1936) and Ginger Rogers ("Primrose Path" 1940)

Although McCrea had starred in a number of Westerns and action pictures in the 30s (e.g., Cecil B. DeMille's "Union Pacific" 1939), beginning with William Wellman's "Buffalo Bill" (1944), McCrea starred primarily in Westerns for the rest of his career. His many horse operas, the best of which included "Colorado Territory" (1949), "Trooper Hook" (1957) and "Ride the High Country" (1962), mirrored his own frontier roots as well as his personal life. A passionate out doors man, he listed his occupation as "rancher" and his hobby as "acting". McCrea was married to actress Frances Dee from 1933 until his death; their son Jody McCrea (b. 1934) appeared with him on his TV series "Wichita Town" (1959-60) and in the film "Cry Blood, Apache" (1970).

Filmography WesternsJoel McCrea - The Cowboy

CAST: (feature film)
1.  Mustang Country (1976) Dan Treego
2.  Great American Cowboy (1973) Narration
3.  Cry Blood, Apache (1970) Older Pitcalin
4.  Free Grass (1969) Agent no. 1
5.  Ride the High Country (1962) Steve Judd
6.  The Crowning Experience (1960) Prologue narrator
7.  The Gunfight at Dodge City (1959) Bat Masterson
8.  Cattle Empire (1958) John Cord
9.  Fort Massacre (1958) Vinson
10.  Trooper Hook (1957) Sgt. Clovis Hook


:While a juvenile, delivered the LOS ANGELES TIMES to Cecil B DeMille and other film people; also watched D W Griffith filming "Intolerance"
:Broke into film industry holding horses for William S Hart and Tom Mix
:Acted on stage at Pomona College and Pasadena Playhouse


Hollywood High School: Hollywood , California -
Pomona State College: Pomona , California - 1928


"I liked doing comedies, but as I got older I was better suited to do Westerns. Because I think it becomes unattractive for an older fellow trying to look young, falling in love with attractive girls in those kinds of situations... Anyway, I always felt so much more comfortable in the Western. The minute I got a horse and a hat and a pair of boots on, I felt easier. I didn't feel like I was an actor anymore. I felt like I was the guy out there doing it." --Joel McCrea in 1978 interview.


WIFE: Frances Dee. Actor. Married October, 1933; met while filming "The Silver Cord" (1933); subsequently appeared together in "One Man's Journey" (1933), "Wells Fargo" (1937) and "Four Faces West" (1948).

FATHER: Thomas McCrea. Utility executive. Worked for L.A. Gas & Electric Company.
SON:           Jody McCrea. Actor, rancher. Born September 6, 1934;  Died April 4th, 2009.
SON:           David McCrea. Rancher.
SON:           Peter McCrea. Businessman.


Visit the Joel & Frances  McCrea Ranch Foundation

Visit the Joel & Frances McCrea Ranch Foundation


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