Mostly Credited As: Ed Begley
Sometimes Credited As: Edward Begley
Ed Begley Sr.
Birth Name: Edward James Begley
Date Of Birth: March 25, 1901 (Age 69)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Hartford, Connecticut
Date Of Death: April 28, 1970
Cause Of Death: heart attack
Height: 5' 7" (1.7 m)
Ed Begley left home at the age of 13 and had a variety of jobs before finding work as a radio announcer at a station in Hartford, Connecticut at age 30. The 1940s found him living and working in New York where he became a successful radio actor. From 1944 to 1948, he was radio's wise Chinese detective Charile Chan. He made his Broadway debut in 1944 in Land of Fame which had a short run. In 1947, he created the role of Joe Keller in the original production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons and got a supporting role in his first film, Boomerang. In 1955, he took on the role of Matthew Harrison Brady in the Broadway production of Inherit the Wind opposite Paul Muni. The Muni role was later taken over by Melvyn Douglas. Begley would repeat the role 789 times in that production and reprised it on television. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Tom 'Boss' Finley in Sweet Bird of Youth. He received word of his nomination while waiting in the unemployment line.
Although he continued to act in films and on stage, the majority of his work was on televsion beginning in the 1950s and he remained in demand as a character actor for the rest of his career. He made appearances on a variety of shows including Gunsmoke, The Mod Squad and My Three Sons.