Mostly Credited As: Broderick Crawford
Birth Name: William Broderick Crawford
Date Of Birth: December 09, 1911 (Age 74)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date Of Death: April 26, 1986
Cause Of Death: Series of strokes (Rancho Mirage, CA)
Height: 6' (1.82 m)
William Broderick Crawford was born into show business. His parents were Vaudevillians who went onto careers in Hollywood. His mother, Helen Broderick, appeared in numerous films including Top Hat and Swing Time with Fred Astaire whom she shared the stage with in The Band Wagon (1931). Broderick Crawford tried Hollywood briefly before returning to live theatre and winning acclaim for his performance as Lenny in a stage version of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men in 1937, but was passed over for the film version and the role went to Lon Chaney, Jr. Undaunted, he returned to film work, but because of his appearance, he was generally cast as the heavy and played a variety of gangsters. That changed in 1949 when he won an Oscar as Best Actor for his role as politician Willie Stark in Robert Rossen's All The King's Men. The next year he was the wealthy, uncouth junk dealer opposite Judy Holliday in George Cukor's Born Yesterday based on the play by Garson Kanin.
Crawford returned to character roles and made numerous television and film appearances. In 1955, he was cast in the starring role of Chief Dan Mathews in the very popular police series Highway Patrol. He guested on shows like Get Smart, The Virginian, Night Gallery, Vega$ and Fantasy Island.
Crawford has two stars on the Hollywood walk of Fame. One is for motion pictures and the other is for television.