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Gervais Duan "G. D." Spradlin (born August 31, 1920) is an Americanmarker actor. He often plays devious Southern authority figures. He is credited in over 70 television and film productions, and has performed alongside such notable actors as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Johnny Depp, Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas, Danny DeVito, Sean Connery, Gene Hackman, Jack Palance, Martin Sheen, Christopher Walken, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nick Nolte, and Harrison Ford.

Early life

Spradlin was born in Daylight, Garvin County, Oklahomamarker. He first began his career as an attorney working in Venezuelamarker and then became an independent oil producer forming Rouge Oil Company. Before he turned to acting he was active in local politics campaigning for John F. Kennedy in 1959. He joined the Oklahoma Repertory Theatre in 1964 after his daughter, Wendy Spradlin, took him to a father-daughter acting competition.


A notable break for Spradlin resulted from his work in television in the 1960s. Fred Roos, an accomplished producer, director and casting director, had cast Spradlin in such television shows as I Spy and Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.. When Roos co-produced The Godfather Part II, he recommended Spradlin play the Senator. The role helped establish Spradlin as a confident, authoritarian figure which led to his portrayal of many such figures in his future roles.

Spradlin memorably portrayed a deeply corrupt U.S. Senator of Nevadamarker, Pat Geary, in The Godfather, Part II, someone who insults the Corleone family in many ways. Senator Geary is in turn blackmailed by the Corleone Family. While visiting a house of prostitution run by Fredo Corleone, Geary is drugged and the prostitute eviscerated. Geary wakes up drenched in her blood, accompanied only by Corleone consigliere Tom Hagen and, in the background, Al Neri. Hagen calmly explains to the Senator that there are no loose strings: the prostitute had no family, and that "all that's left is our friendship", an especially chilling way of telling Geary that he has only one option. This is probably Spradlin's best-known role.

He also played one of the co-conspirators in the attempted assassination of a state governor in Nick of Time. Among his film credits are One on One (1977), Apocalypse Now (as the General who assigns Martin Sheen's character to the search mission), Ed Wood, and The Long Kiss Goodnight, as the President of the United States.

In 1984, Spradlin played a villainous Southern sheriff in Tank. In 1988, he played Admiral Raymond A. Spruance in the miniseries War and Remembrance.

Spradlin's work as a win-at-all-costs coach in One on One and his unofficial portrayal of Tom Landry in North Dallas Forty has earned Spradlin credit in sports circles.

Spradlin retired from acting after his last film, Dick. He appeared in the Electronic Arts Godfather II video game in 2009.

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