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Richard Donald Crenna (30 November 1926 – 17 January 2003) was an American film, television and radio actor. He starred in such motion pictures as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Body Heat, Rambo (First BloodRambo III), Hot Shots! Part Deux, and The Flamingo Kid. He played Walter Denton in the CBS radio and television series Our Miss Brooks and Luke McCoy in the ABC and CBS sitcom The Real McCoys (1957-1963). He was on the rare political dramatic series Slattery's People on CBS. He was Colonel Trautman in the Rambo films.

Biography

Early life

Crenna was born in Los Angeles, Californiamarker, the son of Edith J. (née Pollette), who managed a hotel in Downtown Los Angelesmarker, and Domenick Anthony Crenna, a pharmacist. He had Italianmarker ancestry. Crenna attended Virgil Jr. High School on Vermont Avenue and 1st Street, and later Belmont High School and the University of Southern Californiamarker in Los Angeles. One of his classmates at Belmont was Mort Sahl. He was also a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.

Career

Crenna got his acting start on radio, appearing in My Favorite Husband, Boy Scout Jamboree, A Date With Judy, The Great Gildersleeve, and Our Miss Brooks. He remained with the cast of the latter show when it moved to television.

He guest starred on I Love Lucy with Janet Waldo and on NBC's 1955-1956 Frontier anthology series in the lead role of the episode entitled "The Ten Days of John Leslie".

When Our Miss Brooks, starring Eve Arden, underwent a change in format - his character Walter Denton was omitted - Crenna joined The Real McCoys. Kathleen Nolan was cast as his young wife, Kate McCoy; they lived on a southern California farm with Grandpa Amos McCoy, played by Walter Brennan. In the last season, 1962-1963, The Real McCoys was shortened to The McCoys, moved from ABC to CBS, and switched from Thursday to Sunday evening. Moreover, Nolan's character died on screen. The widower Luke McCoy then began to court a neighbor, Louise Howard, played by actress Janet De Gore.

Crenna won an Emmy for his performance in the title role of the film The Rape of Richard Beck.

Crenna portrayed California state senator James Slattery in the TV series Slattery's People and received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment (1965) and for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series (1965). He was also nominated in 1965 for a Golden Globe for Best TV Star - Male for the same role. During the 1970s Crenna continued to appear in popular western movies such as Catlow, Breakheart Pass, and A Man Called Noon.

Crenna is perhaps best known today for his role as John Rambo's ex-commanding Officer "Colonel Sam Trautman" in the first three Rambo films, a role he only received after Kirk Douglas left the production a day into the shoot of the first film. He also spoofed the role in Hot Shots! Part Deux as an homage to his Rambo character. Crenna appeared as Lt. Frank Janek in seven TV movies 1985-94. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Famemarker at 6714 Hollywood Blvd.Crenna was also the inspiration for Col Roy Cambell a character in the Metal Gear Solid series.

Death

Crenna contracted pancreatic cancer but died of heart failure at the age of 76. He was cremated. At the time of his death he had a recurring role in the CBS series Judging Amy. On the show his passing was acknowledged by the death of the character that he portrayed.

Crenna's son Richard Anthony Crenna is also an actor.

Filmography







References

  1. http://www.newspaperarchive.com/LandingPage.aspx?type=nlp&search="richard%20crenna"%20italian&img=43673720
  2. [http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/contributor/1800026915/bio Richard Crenna Biography - Yahoo! Movies
  3. http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=Crenna&GSfn=richard&GSbyrel=in&GSdy=2003&GSdyrel=in&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=7093328&
On wings of eagles (1986)Un Flic (1972)

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