A popular leading man of the 1940s, Jeffrey Lynn is totally forgotten today. Luckily he made a few films which bear repeated viewing. (That’s our man above with Olivia DeHavilland in the the 1940 romantic drama, My Love Came Back.)
So, ok, you’ve never heard of this guy. But rest assured he was a Forties presence. In fact his entire movie and tv career spanned more than a half century and covered some 70 big screen and tube credits. (He died in 1995 at the age of 86.)
A New Englander (Lynn was born Ragnar Godfrey Lind in Auburn, Mass. in 1909), he obtained a teaching degree from Maine’s Bates College, and worked as a high school English and drama teacher for a time. He took to acting while in college and performed in various stage plays in the 1930’s.
Warner Bros. came calling in 1939, and Lynn’s lengthy Hollywood career took flight. The blandly handsome actor was most often cast as a young husband, a young recruit or an interesting boyfriend. (Lynn adopted his marquee name in 1942.)
His career was interrupted by World War II, when Lynn signed up as an intelligence officer. His exploits earned him a Bronze Star. He saw real action not the usual USO tours reserved for Hollywood personalities.
He appeared in some striking movies. There is, for example, his prominent role in director Joseph Mankiewicz’s 1949 drama, A Letter To Three Wives, costarring Kirk Douglas and Jeanne Crain. (That’s Lynn with Crain below.)
Then there is 1940’s All This And Heaven Too, in which Lynn is prominently feature with the likes of Bette Davis (and Charles Boyer).
And let’s not forget the actor’s turn in 1938’s Four Daughters, the largely overlooked melodrama remembered today for marking John Garfield’s first principal movie role. (That’s our man, Jeffrey, below.)
For those with a nose for more downmarket Lynn, the actor worked in dozens of tv roles in all formats, and appeared in Black Bart, a Universal western staring perennial meanie Dan Duryea and Yvonne Decarlo.
A final bit of trivia about Jeffrey Lynn: He once auditioned with Paulette Goddard for the Ashley Wilkes role Gone With the Wind — which, of course, went to Leslie Howard.