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William Bendix ACTOR
PHOTOS



WILLIAM BENDIX BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:

William Bendix was born on January 4th, 1906 in New York City, New York.  His father, Oscar Bendix was a musician.  His first performance was in a Vitagraph Production at age five, when his father helped get him a small role in a Lillian Walker film.  Bendix dropped out of high school and worked as a bat boy for the New York Yankees. 
 
He worked as a grocer up until the Great Depression after he was married in 1927 and was given a job from his new father in law.  After, due to the outcome of the Great Depression his grocery business came to an end and he decided to take a try at pursuing a career in acting.  He had brief experience performing in nightclubs and also working on a series of Broadway Productions which were not so successful while he was still trying to run his grocery business.  He had also for a time joined the Henry Street Players, a settlement house company and had worked part time as a singing waiter to make extra money.
 
Bendix joined the Federal Theatre Project and received the opportunity to work with the Theatre Guild.  William was already thirty years old, which at that time was quite a bit older then his competition to get into the industry, but he was not fazed by the challenge.  
 
His first real Broadway Production was in 1939 on, "The Time of Your Life".  Hal Roach saw the production and signed Bendix to a film contract.  Just a couple years later he was working in Hollywood on films such as, "Wake Island" co-strring Brian Donlevy, Preston Foster, Macdonald Carey, Barbara Britton, Albert Dekker, Walter Abel, James Brown, Rod Cameron and Frank Albertson, for which he already received a Academy nomination followed by "Brooklyn Orchid" (1942) also starring Joe Sawyer and Marjorie Woodworth.  Many of his films were supporting roles and he was often sought after by casting agents to perform comedic roles such as his role on, "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1948) starring with Bing Crosby, Rhonda Fleming, Cedric Hardwicke, Richard Webb and Henry Wilcoxon, due to his burly physique and New York Speech.   He was very good friends of Babe Ruth from when he worked as a bat boy, ironically, he played Babe Ruth in the film, "The Babe Ruth Story" (1948) with Claire Trevor and Mrs. Claire Hodgson Ruth, William Frawley and Charles Bickford
 
Bendix's most memorable dramatic appearance was in Alfred Hitchcock's, "Lifeboat" (1944) starring alongside starring Hume Cronyn, Mary Anderson, Tallulah Bankhead, Walter Slezak, John Hodiak, Henry Hull, Heather Angel and Canada Lee .  He also worked on radio and became very popular for his nine year run on, " The Life of Riley " which also became a television show .  The character he portrayed, Chester A. Riley was ranked #30 in TV guides list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" in the 2004 issue.  At first due to contract issues he was not able to play the role on the television version, but due to low ratings, he was finally given the go ahead to work on the television version as well. 

Bendix was cast in the starring role with Martin Balsam of, "The Time Element" (1958) a film about a time traveler trying to warn the public about the soon to be attack on Pearl Harbor.  He also starred in a total of seventeen episodes of the NBC Western series, "Overland Trail" (1960) co-starring Doug McClure.
 
William Bendix passed away quite young at the age of fifty eight from malnutrition and pneumonia on December 14th, 1964 in Los Angeles, California.  He was survived by his wife, Theresa Stefanotti and their two daughters.  He was interred at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, California.
 
William Bendix was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Radio and Television. 
 

Filmography

1965   Young Fury 
1963-1964  Burke's Law
1964   Law of the Lawless
1963   The Young and the Brave
1963   For Love or Money
1962-1963  The Dick Powell Theatre 
1963   Rockabye the Infantry
1962   Boys' Night Out 
1962   Follow the Sun
1961   The Phony American
1961   G.E. True Theater
1961   Johnny Nobody
1961   Mister Ed
1960   Overland Trail
1959   The Untouchables 
1959   Riverboat 
1959   The Ransom of Red Chief
1959   Idol on Parade
1956-1959  Schlitz Playhouse
1959   Playhouse 90
1959   Portrait of a Sinner 
1958   Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse 
1958   Wagon Train 
1953-1958  The Life of Riley 
1958   Jane Wyman Presents The Fireside Theatre 
1958   The Deep Six 
1957   The 20th Century-Fox Hour
1956   Robert Montgomery Presents
1956   Goodyear Playhouse 
1956   Battle Stations
1956   The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
1954-1955  Lux Video Theatre Larry Beat 
1955   Crashout
1955   Fireside Theatre
1954   Dangerous Mission 
1952   Blackbeard, the Pirate
1952   Hollywood Opening Night 
1952   Lights Out 
1952   Macao  
1952   A Girl in Every Port
1951   Submarine Command 
1951   Detective Story 
1950   Gambling House 
1950   Kill the Umpire
1949   Johnny Holiday 
1949   Thieves' Highway 
1949   The Big Steal 
1949   Streets of Laredo
1949   The Life of Riley 
1949   A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
1949   Cover Up 
1948   The Babe Ruth Story 
1948   Race Street 
1948   The Time of Your Life 
1947   Where There's Life 
1947   The Web 
1947   Blaze of Noon 
1947   Calcutta 
1947   I'll Be Yours 
1946   The Swindlers 
1946   The Blue Dahlia
1946   The Dark Corner 
1946   Two Years Before the Mast 
1946   Sentimental Journey 
1945   A Bell for Adano 
1945   Don Juan Quilligan  
1945   It's in the Bag! 
1944   Greenwich Village 
1944   Abroad with Two Yanks 
1944   The Hairy Ape 
1944   Skirmish on the Home Front
1944   Lifeboat 
1943   Guadalcanal Diary 
1943   Hostages
1943   China 
1943   Taxi, Mister
1943   The Crystal Ball 
1942   Two Mugs from Brooklyn 
1942   Who Done It? 
1942   The Glass Key
1942   Wake Island
1942   Brooklyn Orchid 
1942   Woman of the Year
1940   They Drive by Night 





Matinee Classics - The Life of Riley Radio Show starring William Bendix Grace Coppin, Paula Winslowe, Jack Grimes, Scotty Beckett, Conrad Binyon, Tommy Cook, Peggy Conklin, Sharon Douglas, Barbara Eiler and John Brown
Matinee Classics - Detective Story starring Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, George Macready, Lee Grant, Gerald Mohr and Frank Faylen
Matinee Classics - Detective Story starring Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, George Macready, Lee Grant, Gerald Mohr and Frank Faylen
Matinee Classics - Detective Story starring Kirk Douglas, Eleanor Parker, William Bendix, George Macready, Lee Grant, Gerald Mohr and Frank Faylen
Matinee Classics - Boys Prison starring William Bendix, Stanley Clements, Hoagy Carmichael and Allen Martin
Matinee Classics - For Love or Money starring Kirk Douglas, Mitzi Gaynor, Gig Young, Thelma Ritter, Julie Newmar,  William Bendix, Leslie Parrish,  Dick Sargent, William Windom, and  Billy Halop
Matinee Classics - Macao starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix, Thomas Gomez, Floria Grahame, Brad Dexter, Edward Ashley, Philip Ahn and Vladimir Sokoloff
Matinee Classics - Macao starring Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, William Bendix, Thomas Gomez, Floria Grahame, Brad Dexter, Edward Ashley, Philip Ahn and Vladimir Sokoloff
Matinee Classics - The Life of Riley Radio Show starring William Bendix, Grace Coppin, Paula Winslowe, Jack Grimes, Scotty Beckett, Conrad Binyon, Tommy Cook, Peggy Conklin, Sharon Douglas, Barbara Eiler and John Brown
Matinee Classics - The Hairy Ape starring William Bendix, Susan Hayward, John Loder, Dorothy Comingore, Roman Bohnen, Tom Fadden, Alan Napier, Charles Cane, Charles La Torre, Don Zolava, Mary Zavian and George Sorel


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