Recognize them? Perhaps not, but these three Johns are worth noting and remembering.
Our first “other man” is John Howard (above), who was superbly cast in George Cukor’s 1940 classic The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart. Howard plays the stuffy businessman who worship’s Hepburn’s Tracy Lord from afar.
Howard was more than just the “other man.” He came out of college rated a Phi Beta Kappa, began his Hollywood career in 1934 and quit acting some 45 years later, rolling up nearly 120 credits along the way. He played leads in low budget pictures and second bananas in the bigger movies. He was a superb example of an intelligent looking and sounding actor who flourished on tv after his big screen career ebbed.
That gun-toting dude above, John Loder, is our next “other man.” In his case, it’s more in terms of his career as a whole. The tall, smooth-talking British-born actor (the son of a general and an Etonian, no less) once wondered why he wasn’t another Clark Gable.
He wasn’t, but he did put on the boards some 116 credits in both Hollywood and in Europe. He usually was seen with a pipe in mouth rather than a gun in hand. Watch for him in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1936 thriller, Sabotage; in 1941’s How Green Was My Valley; and in the 1937 British version of King Solomon’s Mines.
His private life was active — five marriages over the course of his life, which ended in 1988. Wife No. 3 was none other than Hedy Lamarr. The union lasted four years beginning in 1943.
Finally, there’s John Carroll (scowling above).
His career is nowhere near as productive as our other two Johns (more than 50 credits), but it is an interesting one, nonetheless.
Born Julian LaFaye in New Orleans, he started making movies in 1929. A large and significant hiatus came during World War II when Carroll severed in the Air Force, and was severely injured with a broken back in one crash. His second wife, Lucille, was a casting director at MGM.
Off-screen he was considered something of a playboy, an adventurer pal of Erroll Flynn’s who pursued drag racing and studied opera. In the Marx Brothers’ 1940 comedy Go West, he pursues the hand of Eve (Diana Lewis) to uncertain results. He was sometimes cast in ethnic roles (1937’s Zorro Rides Again and 1935’s Hi Gaucho) perhaps because of that tell-tale pencil moustache.
He appears shoulder to shoulder with John Wayne in 1942’s Flying Tigers. Watch for him along with Lana Turner, William Powell and Greer Garson (in cameo appearances) in 1943’s The Youngest Profession. Carroll died in 1979, at the age of 72.