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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dick Purcell
Purcell in King of the Zombies (1941)
Born
Richard Gerold Purcell Jr.

(1905-08-06)August 6, 1905
DiedApril 10, 1944(1944-04-10) (aged 38)
EducationFordham University
OccupationActor
Years active1914–1944
EmployerWarner Brothers
Known forCaptain America
Spouse
(m. 1942; div. 1942)

Richard Gerold Purcell Jr. (August 6, 1905 – April 10, 1944)[1] was an American actor best known for playing Marvel Comics' Captain America in the 1944 film serial, co-starring with Lorna Gray and Lionel Atwill.[2] Purcell also appeared in films such as Tough Kid (1938), Accidents Will Happen (1938), Heroes in Blue (1939), Irish Luck (1939), The Bank Dick (1940), and King of the Zombies (1941).

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • King of the Zombies (Horror, 1941) Colorized Movie | Dick Purcell, Joan Woodbury | Subtitled
  • King of the Zombies (1941) [Horror]
  • Behind the Captain America Movie Serial (Republic Studios): 40s Artist reaction & Actor Dick Purcell

Transcription

Early life

Purcell was born in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1905 (not 1908, as many sources suggest)[citation needed]. One of 5 children, he attended Catholic grade school and high school, before enrolling as a student at Fordham University in The Bronx in New York City.

Career

Purcell began his acting career on the stage in New York, appearing in at least three plays: Men in White, Sailor, Beware! and Paths of Glory. A talent scout saw Purcell's performance in Paths of Glory which led to a small role in the film Ceiling Zero (1936). In his next film, Man Hunt (1936), Purcell had a larger role as a newspaper reporter. Purcell appeared in eleven films in 1936 alone.

Captain America serial

Purcell got the title role in the 1944 Republic serial film Captain America despite being somewhat overweight.[3] The script was loosely based on the comic book character Captain America. The serial has Captain America, whose everyday identity is District Attorney Grant Gardner, thwarting the attempts of The Scarab, the villainous alter ego of museum curator Dr. Cyrus Maldor, to acquire a pair of super weapon devices, the "Dynamic Vibrator" and "Electronic Firebolt".

The serial, which would go on to be box office success, would be Republic's most expensive to make but also its last one about a superhero.

Personal life

Purcell eloped to Las Vegas with the actress Ethelind Terry. The two married on March 3, 1942, only to divorce on August 26, 1942.[4][5]

Death

Shortly after he completed the Captain America film serial, and just before its general release, Purcell collapsed and died in the locker room of a Hollywood country club on 10 April 1944, shortly after playing a round of golf. His remains were interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. Film historian Raymond Stedman speculated that the strain of filming Captain America was too much for his heart.[6]

Selected filmography

References

  1. ^ Selective Service Registration Cards, WWII Draft Registration Cards for California, 10/16/1940 - 03/31/1947, published by National Archives and Records Administration
  2. ^ Dick Purcell at IMDb
  3. ^ Harmon, Jim; Donald F. Glut (1973). "10. The Long-Underwear Boys "You've Met Me, Now Meet My Fist!"". The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury. Routledge. pp. 255, 258–259, 263. ISBN 978-0-7130-0097-9.
  4. ^ The Final Curtain: Marriages. The Billboard. March 21, 1942. p. 29. ISSN 0006-2510.
  5. ^ The Final Curtain. The Billboard. April 22, 1944. p. 32. ISSN 0006-2510.
  6. ^ Stedman, Raymond William (1971). "5. Shazam and Good-by". Serials: Suspense and Drama By Installment. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-0-8061-0927-5.

External links

This page was last edited on 27 April 2024, at 14:49
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