His movie career began as an extra at RKO in 1937 when he was in his late Twenties. At the age of 52, some 120 mostly undistinguished movie and tv roles later, the once hard drinking, six-feet-two-inch actor died of stomach cancer.
But who can forget Jack Carson’s amiably sleazy businessman turn as “Wally Fay” — his finest role — in the 1945 version of Mildred Pierce. That classic showcased him as a star going toe-to-toe with Joan Crawford, with Carson holding his own impressively.
Hello, everybody. Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, here to say that we are delighted at the email response to our Oct. 10 blog that asked the question: Why isn’t Jack Carson remembered more often?
It’s obvious that a lot of you very much remember this underrated actor, and here are some interesting responses spelling out the reasons.
Rockfish writes that Carson was a great talent in a supporting way. I can’t remember the title, but Carson was a vaudeville hoofer/comedian type with Dennis Morgan whose wife/love interest was lovely Joan Leslie. Only her sister, played brilliantly and with bite by Ida Lupino, had other ideas. Carson’s sad ending sticks in my mind as he was very compelling as the broken-hearted sop who couldn’t live without his gal.
Patricia Noland-Hall (Caftan Woman) comes to the rescue with: The movie Rockfish is looking for is “The Hard Way”. Thanks Patricia. We won’t give away how Carson ends up in this 1943 Warner Bros. musical drama, but rest assured, it ain’t good. This one is certainly deserves another look just for Carson’s performance.
Patricia, who also has her own website, writes that I took a look at Carson and one of my favourite roles, one he shared with Don DeFore, a few months ago over at my blog: https://caftanwoman.blogspot.ca/2011/08/officer-ohara-mr-b-and-hugo-barnstead.html
He’s always worth remembering and worth watching. I was watching his (1961) “Twilight Zone” episode (“The Whole Truth”) on the (tv) set at the local laundromat. The laundromat crowd can be tough — somebody always wants to switch to Springer or some such, but Carson held them spellbound. Great work, movie guys!
Mike Sheridan regards the actor as one of the “big guys” like Ward Bond, and Ralph Bellamy. Jack Carson was such a likable guy. He brought legitimacy to anything he did. He was a supporting actor early on but whatever part he played you wanted to see more. I remember him first in (1939’s)“Destry Rides Again.” (You guys are on fire this week!) Jack was on par with such greats as Eugene Pallette, Ed Brophy, Allen Jenkins, Frank McHugh… and was a loved co-star by all the major stars.
Thanks to all for the great contributions.
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