He wasn’t that handsome. He looked like a lot of blokes during World War II.
He was born Bernie Zanville in Brooklyn in 1912, the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants who ran a sporting goods store. And yet, he would up with the supremely WASPy screen monicker, Dane Clark.
Moreover, he logged a nearly 50-year screen and tv career, playing what he termed as “average Joes.” What’s more, he got top billing for a surprising number of these years.
He made his Broadway stage debut in the mid-Thirties in a Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater production. He spent productive time with the Group Theatre. By 1946, he dubbed by one fanzine as the most stylish actor in Hollywood.
Ok, let’s see how much you know about this bundle of apparent contradictions. Welcome to our Dane Clark Quiz lite. Questions today and answers tomorrow.
1) Question: Who actually came up with Clark’s marquee name? a) Jack Warner; b) agent Henry Willson; c) Humphrey Bogart; or d) Darryl Zanuck.
2) Question: The sad fact was the Clark’s roughhouse beginnings before the Great Depression precluded for him extensive schooling or higher education. a) True; b) False?
3) Question: Clark enjoyed a solid but not spectacular screen career that featured a bevy of World War II pictures, and worked extensively on tv. Which of the following tube series did he NOT appear in? a) The Danny Thomas Hour; b) Ben Casey; c) The Bill Cosby Show or d) I Spy.
4) Question: Clark often said his best big screen years were spent at one specific studio. Which one? a) 20th Century Fox; b) Republic Pictures; c) United Artists; or d) Warner Bros.
5) Question: Clark and Danny Thomas were at one time vicious competitors for the lead in a remake of 1927’s Al Jolson signature, The Jazz Singer. Who eventually landed the big role?