John Lund (actor)

John Lund (February 6, 1911 – May 10, 1992) was an American film actor who is probably best remembered for his role in the film A Foreign Affair (1948), directed by Billy Wilder, and a dual role in Mitchell Leisen's To Each His Own (1946). [1]

John Lund
Lund in 1948
Born(1911-02-06)February 6, 1911
DiedMay 10, 1992(1992-05-10) (aged 81)
Years active1938–1962
Marie Lund
(m. 1942; died 1982)

According to one obituary, his "film career was cut to a familiar pattern: the young actor imported to Hollywood after a big success on Broadway begins by playing the handsome guy who gets the girl, then descends by gradual degrees to being the male lead in minor westerns and occasionally, in major films, being the handsome guy who does not get the girl because he lacks the spark of the hero who does."[2]


John Lund's father was a Norwegian immigrant and glassblower in Rochester, New York. Lund did not finish high school,[3] and he tried several businesses before settling on advertising in the 1930s. His jobs included being "a soda-jerk, carpenter and timekeeper."[4]

Stage career

While working for an advertising agency, he was asked by a friend to appear in an industrial show for the 1939 World's Fair. As a result, he served as stage manager of Railroad on Parade at the fair and played several roles in the production.[5] Before moving to New York City he had appeared in several amateur productions in Rochester.[6]

He began acting professionally by appearing on Broadway in a production of William Shakespeare's As You Like It (1941) alongside Alfred Drake.

He wrote the book and lyrics for Broadway's New Faces of 1943 (1943), as well as appearing on stage.[7]

It was his appearance in the play The Hasty Heart (1945) that got him recognized by Hollywood[4] and led to a long-term film contract with Paramount Pictures.[8][9]

Radio career

Lund had the title role in the serial Chaplain Jim on the Blue Network in the early 1940s.[10] Lund also played Johnny Dollar in the radio show Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, taking over from 1952 until 1954.

Film career


Lund's first film had him as star To Each His Own (1946) with Olivia de Havilland for Paramount, in which he played dual roles. It was written and produced by Charles Brackett and was popular critically and commercially.[11]

Paramount used Lund as Betty Hutton's leading man in The Perils of Pauline (1947), another hit.[12] He was one of many Paramount stars who made cameos in Variety Girl (1947).[11]

Billy Wilder then cast Lund in A Foreign Affair (1948), as romantic lead to both Marlene Dietrich and Jean Arthur. It was highly acclaimed but failed to make him a major star. [13][11]

He supported Edward G. Robinson in Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948). Brackett gave him the lead in a comedy Miss Tatlock's Millions (1948). He was the star of Bride of Vengeance (1949) alongside Paulette Goddard and MacDonald Carey but the film was a big flop.

Hal Wallis used him in My Friend Irma (1949) as Al, boyfriend of Irma (Marie Wilson). The film is best remembered however for introducing Martin and Lewis (Jerry Lewis had meant to play the role of Al but realised he was miscast).

He supported Barbara Stanwyck in No Man of Her Own (1950) and reprised his performance as Al in My Friend Irma Goes West (1950). Paramount announced Union Station for him[14] but William Holden ended up playing it.

Lund went over to MGM to play the false love interest in Duchess of Idaho (1950) with Esther Williams and Van Johnson.

Brackett gave him another good role in The Mating Season (1951), alongside Gene Tierney, Miriam Hopkins, and Thelma Ritter. He was Joan Fontaine's leading man in Darling, How Could You! (1951).[15]

Paramount wanted to loan him to Universal for Weekend with Father but he refused and was put on suspension.[16]


Lund left Paramount for Universal, where he was Ann Sheridan's leading man in Steel Town (1952), replacing Jeff Chandler.

He co-starred with Chandler in The Battle at Apache Pass (1952) and Scott Brady in Bronco Buster (1952) the was reunited with Sheridan in Just Across the Street (1952). [17]


He was top billed in Woman They Almost Lynched (1953), a Western at Republic, although essentially he was supporting the female lead.

Lund played another false love interest at MGM Latin Lovers (1953) with Lana Turner.

He made a series of Westerns: White Feather (1955), at Fox, second billed to Robert Wagner; Five Guns West (1955), the first film directed by Roger Corman, at ARC; Chief Crazy Horse (1955) with Victor Mature at Universal; and Dakota Incident (1956) with Linda Darnell at Republic.

Around this time he was also in a war film at Columbia, Battle Stations (1956), and he played Grace Kelly's fiance George in MGM's High Society, the musical remake of MGM's 1940 greatly successful The Philadelphia Story.

He was top billed in Affair in Reno (1957) for Republic. His last performances included support performances in The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960) at Columbia and If a Man Answers (1962) at Universal.

Later years

He retired from the screen in 1963, becoming a successful Hollywood businessman. Lund retired to his home in Coldwater Canyon in the Hollywood Hills in 1983 and died of heart problems in 1992.


Lund was married to Marie Charton, who was an actress and a model.[18]

Partial filmography

Radio appearances

1946Hollywood Star TimeThe Lady Eve[19]
1946Suspense"A Plane Case of Murder"[20]
1952Screen Guild TheatreThe Mating of Millie[21]
1952Hollywood Star PlayhouseThe Word[22]
1953Lux Radio TheatreLady in the Dark[23]
1953Theatre Guild on the AirO'Halloran's Luck''[24]
1953Broadway PlayhouseSalty O'Rourke[25]
1958SuspenseOld Time's Sake[26]


  1. John Lund, 81; Radio, Stage and Film Actor (Los Angeles Times. May 12, 1992)
  2. John Lund; Obituary – The Times; London. 13 May 1992.
  3. New York Times May 13, 1992
  4. "Jobs upon a Time". The Kane Republican. September 20, 1948. p. 4. Retrieved June 14, 2015 via
  5. Hopper, Hedda (September 26, 1948). "John Lund – He's 'New Look'". The Salt Lake Tribune. p. 95. Retrieved June 14, 2015 via
  6. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle newspaper, March 6, 1946, also Rochester Times Union newspaper, March 8, 1946; both articles are archived in the 1944–1946 Scrapbook of the Rochester Community Players collection, Local History Department, Rochester Public Library
  7. Actor John Lund dead at 81 Associated Press. Las Vegas Review–Journal; Las Vegas, Nev. 12 May 1992: 1.f.
  8. The Life Story of John Lund Picture Show; London Vol. 51, Iss. 1305, (Dec 28, 1946): 12.
  9. Paramount Snatches John Lund From Stage: Sol Lesser First Will Stage Then Produce 'God's Front Porch' as Film Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times 16 Jan 1945: A9.
  10. Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  11. John Lund Baffled by Rise to Stardom Hopper, Hedda. Los Angeles Times 26 Sep 1948: D1.
  12. "Top Grossers of 1947", Variety, 7 January 1948 p. 63
  13. "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p. 46
  14. PARAMOUNT MOVIE TO STAR JOHN LUND: 'Union Station,' Based on Story by Thomas Walsh, Scheduled for Early Next Year Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.17 Oct 1949: 18.
  15. Drama: John Lund Will Play in Loan-out Feature Los Angeles Times 1 Mar 1951: A6.
  16. METRO PLANS FILM OF SPY MELODRAMA: 'Eye Street' Concerns an 'Iron Curtain' Embassy in Capital --John Lund Suspended Of Local Origin By THOMAS F. BRADY Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. New York Times 7 Mar 1951: 43.
  17. Drama: Lund, Jeff Chandler Set as Costars; New Deal Matures Out of 'Well' Schallert, Edwin. Los Angeles Times11 June 1951: B9.
  18. "In Hollywood". The Courier Gazette. April 4, 1950. p. 6. Retrieved June 14, 2015 via
  19. "Joan Blondell In 'Lady Eve' On WHP 'Star Time'". Harrisburg Telegraph. September 21, 1946. p. 17. Retrieved October 7, 2015 via
  21. Kirby, Walter (April 13, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved May 11, 2015 via
  22. Kirby, Walter (December 28, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 36. Retrieved June 5, 2015 via
  23. Kirby, Walter (February 15, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved June 21, 2015 via
  24. Kirby, Walter (March 1, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved June 23, 2015 via
  25. Kirby, Walter (May 17, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 48. Retrieved June 27, 2015 via
  26. "John Lund Stars". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. November 30, 1958. p. 70. Retrieved June 14, 2015 via
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