Jack Warden (born John Warden Lebzelter Jr., September 18, 1920 – July 19, 2006) was an American character actor of film and television. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor—for Shampoo (1975), and Heaven Can Wait (1978). He received a BAFTA nomination for the former movie, and won an Emmy for his performance in Brian's Song (1971).
Warden in the 1950s
John Warden Lebzelter Jr.
September 18, 1920
Newark, New Jersey, United States
|Died||July 19, 2006 85) (aged|
New York City, U.S.
|Other names||Johnny Costello|
|Height||5 ft 10 1⁄2 in (179 cm)|
(m. 1958; his death 2006)
Warden was born in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Laura M. (née Costello) and John Warden Lebzelter, who was an engineer and technician.
He was of Pennsylvania Dutch (German) and Irish ancestry. Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, he was expelled from high school for fighting and eventually fought as a professional boxer under the name Johnny Costello. He fought in 13 bouts as a welterweight, but earned little money.
World War II
In 1941, he joined the United States Merchant Marine but he quickly tired of the long convoy runs, and in 1942, he moved to the United States Army, where he served as a paratrooper in the 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, with the 101st Airborne Division in World War II. In 1944, on the eve of the D-Day invasion (in which many of his friends died), Warden, then a staff sergeant, shattered his leg when he landed in a tree during a night-time practice jump in England. He spent almost eight months in the hospital recuperating, during which time he read a Clifford Odets play and decided to become an actor. Warden later portrayed a paratrooper from the 101st's rivals—the 82nd Airborne Division—in That Kind of Woman.
After leaving the military, he moved to New York City, and studied acting on the G.I. Bill. He joined the company of the Dallas Alley Theatre and performed on stage for five years. In 1948, he made his television debut on the anthology series The Philco Television Playhouse, and also appeared on the series Studio One. His first film role, uncredited, was in the 1951 film You're in the Navy Now, a film that also featured the screen debuts of Lee Marvin and Charles Bronson.
Warden appeared in his first credited film role in 1951 in The Man with My Face. From 1952 to 1955, Warden appeared in the television series Mister Peepers with Wally Cox. In 1953, Warden was cast as a sympathetic corporal in From Here to Eternity. Warden's breakthrough film role was Juror No. 7, a salesman who wants a quick decision in a murder case, in 12 Angry Men.
Warden guest-starred in many television series over the years, including two 1960 episodes of NBC's The Outlaws, on Marilyn Maxwell's ABC drama series, Bus Stop, and on David Janssen's ABC drama, The Fugitive. He received a supporting actor Emmy Award for his performance as Chicago Bears coach George Halas in the television movie, Brian's Song, and was twice nominated for his starring role in the 1980s comedy/drama series Crazy Like a Fox.
Warden was nominated for Academy Awards as Best Supporting Actor for his performances in Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait. He also had notable roles in Bye Bye Braverman, The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing, All the President's Men, The White Buffalo, ...And Justice for All, Being There, Used Cars (in which he played dual roles), The Verdict, Problem Child and its sequel, as well as While You Were Sleeping, Guilty as Sin and the Norm Macdonald comedy Dirty Work. His final film was The Replacements in 2000, opposite Gene Hackman and Keanu Reeves.
Personal life and death
Warden suffered from declining health in his last years, which resulted in his retirement from acting in 2000. He died of heart and kidney failure in a New York hospital on July 19, 2006, at the age of 85.
|1950||The Asphalt Jungle||Bit Role||Uncredited|
|1951||You're in the Navy Now||Tommy Morse||Uncredited|
|1951||The Frogmen||Crew Member||Uncredited|
|1951||The Man with My Face||Walt Davis|
|1952||Red Ball Express||Undetermined Role||Uncredited|
|1953||From Here to Eternity||Corporal Buckley|
|1957||Edge of the City||Charles Malik||Alternate title: A Man Is Ten Feet Tall|
|1957||The Bachelor Party||Eddie Watkins, the Bachelor|
|1957||12 Angry Men||Juror #7|
|1958||Darby's Rangers||Master Sergeant Saul Rosen|
|1958||Run Silent, Run Deep||Yeoman 1st Class "Kraut" Mueller|
|1959||The Sound and the Fury||Ben Compson|
|1959||That Kind of Woman||George Kelly|
|1960||Wake Me When It's Over||Dave "Doc" Farrington|
|1961||The Lawbreakers||Captain/Acting Police Commissioner Matthew Gower||Film adaptation of The Asphalt Jungle television episode "The Lady and the Lawyer"|
|1962||Escape from Zahrain||Huston|
|1963||Donovan's Reef||Doctor William Dedham|
|1964||The Thin Red Line||First Sergeant Welsh|
|1968||Bye Bye Braverman||Barnet Weinstein|
|1971||The Sporting Club||Earl Olive|
|1971||Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me?||Dr. Solomon F. Moses|
|1971||Welcome to the Club||General Strapp|
|1973||The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing||Dawes|
|1974||Billy Two Hats||Sherriff Henry Gifford|
|1974||The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz||Max|
|1975||Shampoo||Lester Karpf||First Academy Award nomination|
|1976||All the President's Men||Harry M. Rosenfeld|
|1977||Raid on Entebbe||Lt. Gen. Mordechai Gur|
|1977||The White Buffalo||Charlie Zane|
|1978||Heaven Can Wait||Max Corkle||Second Academy Award nomination|
|1978||Death on the Nile||Doctor Ludwig Bessner|
|1979||Beyond the Poseidon Adventure||Harold Meredith|
|1979||...And Justice for All||Judge Francis Rayford|
|1979||Being There||President "Bobby" of the United States|
|1980||Used Cars||Roy L. Fuchs
|1981||The Great Muppet Caper||Mike Tarkenian, the News Editor|
|1981||Carbon Copy||Nelson Longhurst|
|1981||Chu Chu and the Philly Flash||The Commander|
|1981||So Fine||Jack Fine|
|1982||The Verdict||Mickey Morrissey|
|1985||Alice in Wonderland||Owl|
|1986||The Cosmic Eye||Rocko||Voice|
|1988||Dead Solid Perfect||Hubert 'Bad Hair' Wimberly|
|1988||The Presidio||Sergeant Major Ross Maclure|
|1990||Everybody Wins||Judge Harry Murdoch|
|1990||Problem Child||"Big" Ben Healy|
|1991||Problem Child 2||"Big" Ben Healy|
|1992||Passed Away||Jack Scanlan|
|1992||Night and the City||Al Grossman|
|1992||Toys||Old General Zevo|
|1993||Guilty as Sin||Moe|
|1994||Bullets over Broadway||Julian Marx|
|1995||While You Were Sleeping||Saul|
|1995||Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead||Joe Heff|
|1997||The Island on Bird Street||Boruch|
|1998||Chairman of the Board||Armand McMillan|
|1998||Dirty Work||'Pops' McKenna|
|1999||A Dog of Flanders||Jehan Daas|
|2000||The Replacements||Edward O'Neil||Final film role|
|1952||Tales of Tomorrow||Steve||1 episode|
|1952||Mister Peepers||Chicago Cabbie||1 episode|
|1953||The Campbell Playhouse||1 episode|
|1953||Man Against Crime||Deck Hand||2 episodes|
|1954–55||Kraft Television Theatre||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1954–55||Studio One||Various roles||3 episodes|
|1955||Justice||Two roles||"Flight from Fear" and "Save Me Now"|
|1956||The Alcoa Hour||Frank Doran||1 episode|
|1956||Climax!||Lieutenant Ravenna||"Flame-Out in T-6"|
|1958–59||Playhouse 90||Various roles||3 episodes|
|1959||Five Fingers||Fitzgerald||"The Moment of Truth"|
|1959–60||Bonanza||Mike Wilson||"The Paiute War"|
|1959–60||The Twilight Zone||James A. Corry
"The Mighty Casey"
|1959–60||The Untouchables||Larry Halloran
|The George 'Bugs' Moran Story|
The Otto Frick Story
|1960||The Outlaws||2 episodes|
|1961||Route 66||Adam Darcy||The Clover Throne|
|Checkmate||Farrell||"Between Two Guns"|
|Bus Stop||Joe Harrison||"Accessory by Consent"|
|The Asphalt Jungle||Deputy Police Commissioner Matthew Gower||13 episodes|
|1962||Naked City||Cornelius Daggett||"Face of the Enemy"|
|Naked City||Steve Lollo||"The King of Venus Will Take Care of You"|
|Naked City||Sam Langen||"The Spectre of the Rose Street Gang"|
|Target: The Corruptors||Jerry Skala||"The Organizers, Parts 1 and 2"|
|Tales of Wells Fargo||Brad Axton||"The Traveler"|
|Route 66||Sandor Biro||"Feat of Strength"|
|Going My Way||Carl Wiczinski||"Not Good Enough for Mary"|
|1963||Route 66||Major Barbon||"Two Strangers and an Old Enemy"|
|77 Sunset Strip||Max Eames||"Flight 307"|
|1964||Breaking Point||Carlo Scotti||"No Squares in My Family Circle"|
|1964||The Great Adventure||Latham||1 episode|
|1964||Bewitched||Rex Barker||"It Shouldn't Happen to a Dog"|
|1965||The Virginian||John Conway||"Shadows of the Past"|
|1965||Dr. Kildare||Ernie Duffy||1 episode|
|1966||The Wackiest Ship in the Army||Major Simon Butcher||29 episodes|
|1967||The Fugitive||Alex Patton||"Concrete Evidence"|
|1967||The Invaders||Barney Cahill||1 episode|
|1967–69||N.Y.P.D.||Lieutenant Mike Haines||49 episodes|
|1971||The Face of Fear||Lieutenant George Coy||Television film|
|1971||Brian's Song||George Halas||ABC Movie of the Week|
|1972||What's a Nice Girl Like You...?||Lieutenant Burton||ABC Movie of the Week|
|1972||Lieutenant Schuster's Wife||Captain Patrick Lonergan||Television film|
|1973||Wheeler and Murdoch||Sam Wheeler||Television film|
|1974||The Godchild||Sergeant Dobbs||Television film|
|1975||Journey from Darkness||Fred Hartman||Television film|
|1976||Jigsaw John||"Jigsaw" John St. John||15 episodes|
|1979–80||The Bad News Bears||Morris Buttermaker||23 episodes|
|1983||Hobson's Choice||Henry Horatio Hobson||Television film|
|1984||Helen Keller: The Miracle Continues||Mark Twain||Television film|
|1984–86||Crazy Like a Fox||Harrison "Harry" Fox Sr.||35 episodes|
|1987||Hoover vs. the Kennedys: The Second Civil War||J. Edgar Hoover||Television film|
|1988||Police Story: The Watch Commander||Joe Wilson||Television film|
|1989||Knight & Daye||Hank Knight||1 episode|
|1990||Judgment||Claude Fortier||Television film|
|1995||Problem Child 3: Junior in Love||Big Ben||Television film|
|1997||Ink||Timothy Logan||1 episode|
|1999||The Norm Show||Harry||1 episode|
Awards and nominations
|Year||Award||Result||Category||Film or series|
|1972||Emmy Award||Won||Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Drama||Brian's Song|
|1985||Nominated||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Crazy Like a Fox|
|1986||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Crazy Like a Fox|
|1976||Academy Award||Best Actor in a Supporting Role||Shampoo|
|1979||Best Actor in a Supporting Role||Heaven Can Wait|
|1976||BAFTA Award||Best Supporting Actor||Shampoo|
- U.S. World War II Navy Muster Rolls, 1938-1949, November 12, 1942; Army Serial Number:12165797 1, giving his name as "John W. Lebzelter Junior"; accessed May 3, 2014.
- "Jack Warden, Emmy Winning Actor, Dies at 85". People.com. July 27, 2006. Retrieved May 3, 2014.
- "Jack Warden, 85, Actor Known for Tough-Guy Roles, Is Dead". The New York Times. July 22, 2006. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- "Jack Warden profile at". filmreference.com. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- Stinson, Charles (December 28, 1958). "Warden: the Face Is Familiar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 29, 2010.
- Vallance, Tom (July 24, 2006). "Jack Warden: Intense actor with comic flair". The Independent. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- "'Shampoo' star Jack Warden dies at 85". Today.com. July 21, 2006.
- Nelson, Valerie J. (July 22, 2006). "Jack Warden, 85; Prolific Film, TV Actor". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 12, 2008.
- Jack Warden obituary, TimesOnline.co.uk; accessed May 3, 2014.
- "Veteran US actor Jack Warden dies". news.bbc.co.uk. July 23, 2006.