Saturday, January 20, 2018

Godspeed Bradford Dillman

Actor Bradford Dillman died on January 16 2018 at the age of 87. The cause was complications from pneumonia.

Bradford Dillman was born on April 14 1930 in San Francisco. He began acting while still young, spending his summers in Santa Barbara, California performing in local theatre productions. He attended the Hotchkiss School in Connecticut and later received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University. Afterwards he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He received an honourable discharge in 1953 with the rank of first lieutenant. He then studied at the Actors Studio.

Bradford Dillman made his television debut in 1953 in an episode of Kraft Television Theatre. In the Fifties he guest starred on the shows Omnibus, Climax!, and Matinee Theatre. He made his film debut in A Certain Smile in 1958. In the late Fifties he appeared in the films In Love and War (1958), Compulsion (1959), Crack in the Mirror (1960), and A Circle of Deception (1960).  He appeared on Broadway in the original production of Long Day's Journey Into Night from 1956 to 1958.

In the Sixties Bradford Dillman had a recurring role on the TV show Dr. Kildare and was one of the stars of the show Court Martial. He guest starred on such shows as The Eleventh Hour, Naked City, Alcoa Premiere, Wagon Train, The Nurses, Ben Casey, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Hawk, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West, The Name of the Game, Marcus Welby M.D., and Ironside. He appeared in the films Sanctuary (1961), Francies of Assisi (1961), A Rage to Live (1965), The Plainsman (1966), Jigsaw (1968), The Bridge at Remagen (1969), and Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? (1970).  He appeared on Broadway in The Fun Couple.

In the Seventies Mr. Dillman guest starred on such shows as The Men from Shiloh, Longstreet, The F.B.I., Bonanza, Night Gallery, Mission: Impossible, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Sixth Sense, The Mod Squad, Columbo, McCloud, Medical Centre, Cannon, The Streets of San Francisco, Wonder Woman, Barnaby Jones, The Incredible Hulk, Fantasy Island, and Charlie's Angels. He appeared in such films as Brother John (1971), The Mephisto Waltz (1971), Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971), The Way We Were (1973), The Iceman Cometh (1973), Bug (1975), The Enforcer (1976), The Swarm (1978), Piranha (1978), and Running Scared (1980).

In the Eighties Bradford Dillman was a regular on the TV show King's Crossing and had a recurring role on Falcon Crest. He guest starred on the shows Matt Houston, The Love Boat, Hot Pursuit, Dynasty, Hotel, and Murder, She Wrote. He appeared in the films Sudden Impact (1983), Treasure of the Amazon (1985), Man Outside (1987), Lords of the Deep (1989), and Heroes Stand Alone (1989). In the Nineties he guest starred on the shows Christine Cromwell and Murder, She Wrote.

Bradford Dillman was an extremely talented actor who could play a variety of roles. He could be a shady character who may be an outlaw instead of the sheriff he claims to be (as on The Men from Shiloh), a religious figure (something he played a few times, on everything from Dr. Kildare to The Nurses), or a military officer (a role he played on the show Court Martial and in various other shows and movies). Over the years he played a wide variety of roles, everything from heroes to villains. He could be a cold blooded murderer (as in Compulsion) or a sympathetic scientist (as in Escape from the Planet of the Apes). If Bradford Dillman was very much in demand on TV shows and in films, it was perhaps because he had the talent to play nearly any role offered him.

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