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John Hodiak ACTOR


John Hodiak was born on April 16th, 1914 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the oldest of four children.  When he was eight years old his family relocated to a suburb in Detroit, Michigan.  From a young age he expressed to his parents his interest in music and acting and so his father encouraged him to get involved in various school productions.
He would act in school plays that were done in Hungarian and Polish and he also sang in the Ukrainian church choir.  Along with an interest in singing and acting, Hodiak developed an interest in learning how to play various instruments.  He played the clarinet and took diction lessons. 

After high school he found part time work as a golf caddy and a stockroom clerk, but he still had aspirations of becoming an actor.  John broke into working in radio first in Detroit and later in Chicago.  Some of his early radio work was in "L'il Abner", "Ma Perkins" and "Wings of Destiny". 
While Hodiak was living and working in Chicago a talent scout with MGM took notice of him and immediately signed him to a contract.  He kept his birth name, being too proud of where he came from to change it.  His film debut was in "A Stranger in Town" (1943) followed by a small part in the film "Swing Shift Maisie" (1943).  Hodiak was then cast in the lead roll in "Maisie Goes to Reno" (1944).
When World War II came about he was unable to sign up for service due to his high blood pressure and it was this ailment that actually boosted his acting career.  While other leading male stars such as Clark Gable, Van Johnson and James Stewart were off serving their country, Hodiak was able to take advantage of more starring roles.
After he was cast in the film "Marriage Is a Private Affair" (1944), Hollywood began to take more notice of him and his acting talent.  John then followed throughout the mid-40's with a number of starring roles on such films as "Lifeboat" (1944), "Sunday Dinner for a Soldier" (1944), "A Bell for Adano" (1945) and "Somewhere in the Night" (1946).   
When the majority of Hollywood's leading male stars returned from he war, Hodiak was then relegated back to second lead roles.  However, he did still work with MGM on two films that gained high reviews, "Command Decision" (1948) and "Battleground" (1949).  When his contract with MGM expired he began to work as a freelance actor.  This left him doing mostly low budget films such as "Battle Zone" (1952) and "Conquest of Cochise" (1953).
He also returned to his original love of working as a stage actor, which actually did his career justice.  He received excellent reviews for his performances in "The Chase" (1952) and "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" (1954).  In 1955, due to his success back on stage, he was cast in the film"Trial" and this role led to some television guest appearances.  His career was finally getting back on track when, sadly, John Hodiak passed away way too early in life at the age of forty one on October 19th, 1955 in Hollywood, California from coronary thrombosis.  He left behind a four year old daughter, Katrina Hodiak, who later went on to become a composer, actress and theater director.  Hodiak was interred at the Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.  
He only married once to Anne Baxter in 1946 but due to the stress of his career and the difference in financial class that they both came from, the marriage suffered and after having just one daughter, they divorced on January 27th, 1953. 
John Hodiak was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio.


1956 On the Threshold of Space 
1955 The Loretta Young Show
1955 Trial
1954 Dragonfly Squadron
1953 Conquest of Cochise 
1953 Mission Over Korea 
1953 Ambush at Tomahawk Gap 
1953 The Ford Television Theatre
1952 Battle Zone 
1952 Hollywood Opening Night 
1952 The Sellout 
1952 Chesterfield Presents
1951 Across the Wide Missouri 
1951 The People Against O'Hara
1951 Night Into Morning
1950 The Miniver Story 
1950 A Lady Without Passport 
1950 Ambush 
1949 Malaya
1949 Battleground 
1949 The Bribe 
1948 Command Decision
1948 Homecoming
1947 Love from a Stranger 
1947 Desert Fury
1947 The Arnelo Affair 
1946 Somewhere in the Night
1946 Two Smart People
1946 The Harvey Girls
1945 A Bell for Adano
1944 Sunday Dinner for a Soldier
1944 Marriage Is a Private Affair
1944 Maisie Goes to Reno 
1944 Song of Russia 
1944 Lifeboat 
1943 I Dood It 
1943 Swing Shift Maisie 
1943 A Stranger in Town

Matinee Classics - Across the Wide Missouri starring Clark Gable, Ricardo Montalban, John Hodiak, Adolphe Menjou, J. Carrol Naish, Jack Holt, Alan Napier, George Chandler, Richard Anderson, Maria Elena Marques, Howard Keel, James Whitmore, Chief Tahachee, Nipo T. Strongheart, Evelyn Finley, Bobby Barber and Timothy Carey
Matinee Classics - Song of Russia starring Robert Taylor, Susan Peters, John Hodiak, Robert Benchley, Felix Bressart, Michael Chekhov, Darryl Hickman and Jacqueline White

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