James Cardwell (actor)
Cardwell in He Walked by Night (1948)
Albert Paine Cardwell
November 21, 1921
Camden, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||January 31, 1954 32) (aged|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Cause of death||Suicide (gunshot)|
|Spouse(s)||Esther Borton (divorced)|
Cardwell is probably best known for his debut as George Sullivan in 1944's Oscar-nominated The Fighting Sullivans, based on the true story of five navy brothers who died in action together when their ship was torpedoed in the Pacific Theater during World War II. His other significant roles included the Benny Goodman musical Sweet and Low-Down (1944), the World War II drama A Walk in the Sun (1945), and the police drama He Walked By Night (1948). Reviewing the 1945 Charlie Chan mystery The Shanghai Cobra, the Kentucky New Era remarked that "James Cardwell, a newcomer to the screen, shows himself to be a fine actor as the romantic lead opposite beautiful Joan Barclay." However, he soon found himself consigned to B-movies; 1949's Daughter of the Jungle, in which Cardwell played the male lead opposite Lois Hall, earned the dubious distinction of a listing in the 1978 book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.
In 1950, Cardwell toured Australia with comedian Joe E. Brown in a production of the play Harvey. He then joined the Colleano Troupe, a variety act, with whom he toured Australia, the UK, and the USA. After returning to the USA he made two guest appearances in the Rod Cameron television series City Detective. However, his movie career had stalled. He made only one further big-screen appearance before his death: a small unbilled role in the 1954 monster film Them!
In 1942 he married Esther Borton. They divorced two years later. In 1951 he became engaged to Australian model June Crocker, but she ended their relationship after she suffered serious burns in a stage accident. According to author Jeffery P. Dennis, Cardwell subsequently "came out" as gay.
- The Fighting Sullivans (1944) as George Thomas Sullivan
- Sweet and Low-Down (1944) as Johnny Birch
- The Shanghai Cobra (1945) as Ned Stewart
- Voice of the Whistler (1945) as Fred Graham
- A Walk in the Sun (1945) as Sergeant Hoskins
- Fear (1946) as Ben
- Behind the Mask (1946) as Jeff Mann
- Canyon Passage (1946) as Gray Bartlett
- The Missing Lady (1946) as Terry Blake
- The Devil on Wheels (1947) as Jeff Clark
- It Happened on Fifth Avenue (1947) as Young man in barracks (uncredited)
- Robin Hood of Texas (1947) as Duke Mantel
- The Return of the Whistler (1948) as Charlie Barkley
- King of the Gamblers (1948) as 'Speed' Lacey
- Daredevils of the Clouds (1948) as Johnny Martin
- Harpoon (1948) as Red Dorsett Jr.
- Parole, Inc. (1948) as Duke Vigili
- He Walked by Night (1948) as Chuck Jones
- Trouble Preferred (1948) as Hal 'Tuffy' Tucker
- Daughter of the Jungle (1949) as Paul Cooper
- Down Dakota Way (1949) as Saunders
- San Antone Ambush (1949) as Clint Wheeler
- Tokyo Joe (1949) as Military Police Captain (uncredited)
- And Baby Makes Three (1949) as Police officer (uncredited)
- The Arizona Cowboy (1949) as Hugh Davenport
- Them! (1954) as Officer (uncredited) (final film role)
- Sources listing Cardwell's year of birth as 1920 appear to be in error. His death certificate records that he shot himself Sunday, January 31, 1954, and his body was discovered the following day. Some sources, including the California Death Index, give February 1, 1954 as his "official" date of death.
- "California Death Index, 1940-1997". Family Search. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- Cohen, Phil. "James Cardwell". Interesting People of Camden NJ. DVRBS. Archived from the original on August 18, 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2016.
- "The Sullivans". Academy Awards Database. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- "Hollywood Letter: Nationwide Search for 5 Screen Sullivans". The Advocate. Tasmania, Australia. 15 June 1945. p. 6. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- Coons, Robbin (26 February 1944). "Hollywood Sights and Sounds". Prescott Evening Courier. p. 4. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Hollywood Actor Here To Join Stage Group". The West Australian. Perth, Australia. 31 May 1951. p. 4. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- Alvarez, Max (2014). The Crime Films of Anthony Mann. University Press of Mississippi. p. 138. ISBN 9781626740051.
- "The Shanghai Cobra coming to Kentucky". Kentucky New Era. 14 January 1947. p. 8. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
- Medved, Harry; Dreyfuss, Randy (1978). The Fifty Worst Films of All Time (and how they got that way). Popular Library. ISBN 0445041390.
- "Theatre Music: Harvey". The Advocate. Melbourne, Australia. 8 June 1950. p. 18. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- "Day and Nite". Nevada State Journal. 4 May 1952. p. 2. Retrieved 19 March 2016 – via Newspaperarchive.com.
- "The Final Curtain". The Billboard. 13 February 1954. p. 62. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- "Flames Ate Into The Spirit As Well As The Body Of Luscious Cover-Girl". The Mirror. Perth, Australia. 26 December 1953. p. 8. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
- Dennis, Jeffery P. (2006). Queering Teen Culture. New York: Harrington Park Press. p. 7. ISBN 1560233494. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- "Cardwell services are being arranged". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 4 February 1954. p. 16. Retrieved 13 February 2016.