The Full Wiki

Dick Powell: Map

  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell (November 14, 1904 – January 2, 1963) was an Americanmarker singer, actor, producer, director and studio boss.

Biography

Born in Mountain Viewmarker, the seat of Stone Countymarker in northern Arkansasmarker, Powell attended the former Little Rock Collegemarker in the state capital, before he started his entertainment career as a singer with the Charlie Davis Orchestra, based in the midwest. He recorded a number of records with Davis, and on his own, for the Vocalion label in the late 1920s.

Powell moved to Pittsburghmarker, where he found great local success as the Master of Ceremonies at the Enright Theater, and the Stanley Theater. In April 1930, Warner Bros. bought up Brunswick Records, which at that time owned Vocalion. Warner Bros. was sufficiently impressed by Powell's singing and stage presence to offer him a film contract in 1932. He made his film debut as a singing bandleader in Blessed Event. He went on to star as a boyish crooner in movie musicals such as 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames, Flirtation Walk, and On the Avenue, often appearing opposite Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell.

Powell desperately wanted to expand his range but Warner Bros. wouldn't allow him to do so, although they did (mis)cast him in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) as Lysander. This was to be Powell's only Shakespearean role, and one he did not want to play, feeling that he was completely wrong for the part. Finally, reaching his forties and knowing that his young romantic leading man days were behind him, he lobbied to play the lead in Double Indemnity. He lost out to Fred MacMurray, another Hollywood nice guy. MacMurray’s success, however, fueled Powell’s resolve to pursue projects with greater range and in 1944, he was cast in the first of a series of films noir, as private detective Philip Marlowe in Murder, My Sweet, directed by Edward Dmytryk. The film was a big hit, and Powell had successfully reinvented himself as a dramatic actor.

The following year, Dmytryk and Powell re-teamed to make Cornered, a gripping, post-WWII thriller that helped define the film noir style. He became a popular "tough guy" lead, appearing in movies such as Johnny O'Clock and Cry Danger. But 1948 saw him step out of the brutish type when he starred in Pitfall, a film noir that sees a bored insurance company worker fall for an innocent but dangerous femme fatale, played by Lizabeth Scott. Even when he appeared in lighter fare such as The Reformer and the Redhead and Susan Slept Here (1954), he never sang in his later roles. The latter, his final onscreen appearance in a feature film, did include a dance number with costar Debbie Reynolds.

From 1949-1953, Powell played the lead role in the National Broadcasting Company radio theater production Richard Diamond, Private Detective. His character in the 30-minute weekly was a likeable private detective with a quick wit. When Richard Diamond came to television in 1957, the lead role was portrayed by David Janssen.

In the 1950s, Powell produced and directed several B-movies and was one of the founders of Four Star Television, along with Charles Boyer, David Niven, and Ida Lupino. He appeared in and supervised several shows for that company. Powell played the role of Willie Dante in Four Star Playhouse in episodes entitled "Dante's Inferno" (1952), "The Squeeze" (1953), "The Hard Way" (1953), and "The House Always Wins" (1955). In 1961, Howard Duff, husband of Ida Lupino, assumed the Dante role in a short-lived NBC adventure series, Dante, set at a San Franciscomarker nightclub called "Dante's Inferno".

Powell guest starred in numerous Four Star programs, including a 1958 appearance on the Duff-Lupino sitcom Mr. Adams and Eve. He appeared in 1961 on James Whitmore's legal drama The Law and Mr. Jones on ABC. In the episode "Everybody Versus Timmy Drayton", Powell played a colonel having problems with his son. He hosted and occasionally starred in his Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater on CBS from 1956-1961.

Powell's film The Enemy Below (1957) based on the novel by Denys Rayner won an Academy Award for special effects.

Powell also directed The Conqueror (1956), starring John Wayne as Genghis Khan. The exterior scenes were filmed in St. George, Utahmarker, downwind of US above-ground atomic tests. The cast and crew totaled 220, and of that number, 91 had developed some form of cancer by 1981 and 46 had died of cancer by then, including Wayne. This cancer rate is about three times higher than one would expect in a group of this size and many have argued that radioactive fallout was the cause.

Powell himself died seven years after The Conqueror was made, on January 2, 1963 from lymphoma at the age of fifty-eight. His body was cremated, and his remains were interred in the Columbarium of Honor at Forest Lawn Memorial Parkmarker in Glendale, Californiamarker.

Personal life

Dick Powell was married three times:
  • Mildred Maund (1925-1927)
  • actress Joan Blondell (married September 19, 1936, divorced 1944), with whom he had two children, Ellen and adopted son Norman
  • actress/singer June Allyson (August 19, 1945, until his death), with whom he had two children, Pamela (adopted) and Richard Powell, Jr.


Powell's ranch-style house in Mandeville Canyon, Los Angelesmarker, was used as the setting for the television show Hart to Hart. Robert Wagner, the actor who portrayed Jonathan Hart in the series, was a close friend of Powell's. Dick Powell also was a major television player with his own production company, Four Star, owning several network shows.

Popular culture references

Frank Tashlin's 1937 cartoon The Woods are Full of Cuckoos features an avian caricature of Mr. Powell called "Dick Fowl".

Filmography

As actor

Features





Short subjects



As director



Notable Recordings

  • "Dames"
  • "Roses In December"


External links



References

  1. ^ Olson, James (2002). Bathsheba's Breast: Women, Cancer and History. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 080186936



Embed code:






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message