Richard Houston Gaines (July 23, 1904 – July 20, 1975) was an American actor. He appeared in over 75 film and television productions between 1940 and 1962.
|Died||July 20, 1975 70) (aged|
|Years active||1929–1962 (secured)|
(m. 1936; div. 1940)
Gaines was born in Indian Territory, was nursed by a Cherokee, and grew up on a farm. He enrolled at Texas Christian University when he was 16 and studied drama there. He worked at a variety of jobs in the United States and in France before winning a scholarship to study at the American Laboratory Theatre.
Richard Houston Gaines appeared in five Broadway productions between 1929 and 1942. He served as Raymond Massey's replacement as Abraham Lincoln in the original production of Robert E. Sherwood's Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1938-1939).
In Hollywood, Gaines frequently played professional or officious types in supporting roles. He was often seen in authoritarian roles as a lawyer, doctor, supervisor or father. Gaines made his film debut in the historical drama The Howards of Virginia with Cary Grant. One of his best-known roles was as Jean Arthur's stuffy suitor Charles J. Pendergast in The More the Merrier (1943), directed by George Stevens. He also appeared in Billy Wilder's film classic Double Indemnity (1944), playing the insurance boss of Fred MacMurray and Edward G. Robinson. In Cecil B. DeMille's Unconquered (1947), Gaines portrayed the historical role of George Washington. He worked frequently on television during the 1950s. Between 1958 and 1961, he had a recurring role as a judge in 14 episodes of Perry Mason.
On September 30, 1936, Gaines married actress Brenda Marshall; the couple divorced in 1940. They had one daughter, Virginia (born 1937), who later grew up with Marshall and her second husband William Holden after Holden subsequently adopted Virginia Gaines when the couple married in 1941. Virginia married an Iranian-born University of Texas, California Lutheran University, & UCLA economics professor Ali Ashgar Vahabzadeh, who had anglicized his name to Ali O. Baylor, and the couple had a daughter Ardis Baylor, who is the mother of Santino William Legan, the perpetrator of Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting. Gaines retired from Hollywood business in 1962 after a guest appearance on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and he died in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, on July 20, 1975, at the age of 70, three days before his 71st birthday.
- The Howards of Virginia (1940) - Patrick Henry
- A Night to Remember (1942) - Lingle
- The More the Merrier (1943) - Charles J. Pendergast
- Tender Comrade (1943) - Waldo Pierson (uncredited)
- Double Indemnity (1944) - Edward S. Norton Jr.
- Mr. Winkle Goes to War (1944) - Ralph Westcott
- Double Exposure (1944) - James R. Turlock
- The Enchanted Cottage (1945) - Frederick 'Freddy' Price
- Twice Blessed (1945) - Senator John Pringle
- Don Juan Quilligan (1945) - Defense Attorney
- So Goes My Love (1946) - Mr. Josephus Ford
- The Bride Wore Boots (1946) - Jeff's Attorney (uncredited)
- Do You Love Me (1946) - Ralph Wainwright
- White Tie and Tails (1946) - Archer
- Nobody Lives Forever (1946) - Charles Manning
- Humoresque (1946) - Bauer
- Brute Force (1947) - McCallum
- The Hucksters (1947) - Cooke
- Unconquered (1947) - Col. George Washington
- Ride the Pink Horse (1947) - Jonathan
- The Invisible Wall (1947) - Richard Elsworth
- Cass Timberlane (1947) - Dennis Thane
- Dangerous Years (1947) - Edgar Burns
- That Wonderful Urge (1948) - Whitson - Farley's Executive
- Every Girl Should Be Married (1948) - Sam McNutt
- The Lucky Stiff (1949) - Dist. Atty. John Logan
- Strange Bargain (1949) - Malcolm Jarvis
- A Kiss for Corliss (1949) - Taylor
- Key to the City (1950) - Speaker on TV Broadcast (uncredited)
- Ace in the Hole (1951) - Nagel
- Flight to Mars (1951) - Prof. Jackson
- Cavalcade of America (1952-1954, TV Series) - George Washington / Dr. Hayes
- Marry Me Again (1953) - Dr. Pepperdine
- Drum Beat (1954) - Dr. Thomas
- Love Me or Leave Me (1955) - Paul Hunter
- The Petrified Forest (1955, live televised version)
- Trial (1955) - Dr. Johannes Albert Schacter
- Ransom! (1956) - Langly
- Francis in the Haunted House (1956) - D.A. Reynolds
- 5 Steps to Danger (1957) - Dean Brant
- Jeanne Eagels (1957) - Judge (uncredited)
- Perry Mason (1958-1961, TV Series) - Judge / Judge Carwell / Judge Treadwell
- The Big Fisherman (1959) - Minor Role (uncredited)
- The Donna Reed Show (1959, TV Series) - Dr. Elias Spaulding
- Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1960-1962, TV Series) - M. J. Harrison / James Barrett (final appearance)
- The Great Impostor (1961) - Chairman (uncredited)
- The Outsider (1961) - Chairman (uncredited)
- "New 'Abe' Has Traveled". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. New York, Brooklyn. July 23, 1939. p. 30. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- Richard Gaines at IBDB
- Richard Gaines at Rotten Tomatoes
- "Waives Alimony, Wants Baby". Daily News. New York, New York City. United Press. May 24, 1940. p. 132. Retrieved July 11, 2018 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Santino William Legan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Retrieved July 31, 2019.