Wally Cassell

Wally Cassell (March 3, 1912 April 2, 2015) was an Italian-born American character actor and businessman.

Wally Cassell
Oswaldo Castellano

(1912-03-03)March 3, 1912
DiedApril 2, 2015(2015-04-02) (aged 103)
NationalitySicilian American
OccupationActor and businessman
Years active1942–1964
Spouse(s)Marcy McGuire (1947–2015)

Early years

Wally Cassell was born as Oswaldo Silvestri Trippilini Rolando Vincenza Castellano. (A 1951 newspaper article gives Cassell's real name as Osvaldo Tripolini Ronaldo Vincennes Castelleno.)[1] The son of Luigi and Luisa Castellano,[2] Castellano was born in Agrigento, Sicily, and moved with his family to the United States when he was two years of age. (Another source says that his parents brought him to Brooklyn, New York, "when I was a babe in arms.")[3] As a youngster, Cassell was a dancer, but he abandoned dancing to concentrate on acting.[3]


Cassell began his film career in 1942, initially working in small, uncredited roles.[4][2] Mickey Rooney, with whom Cassell appears in the 1950 film noir Quicksand, is credited with suggesting the change of name to Wally Cassell.[5] Rooney is also credited with helping Cassell gain a screen test and a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.[6]

His films include The Thin Man Goes Home (1945), The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), The Clock (1945), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Guilty (1947), Loves of Carmen (1948), Saigon (1948), Sands of Iwo Jima (1949), White Heat (1949),Quicksand (1950), City That Never Sleeps (1953), Island in the Sky (1953), Law and Order (1953), Princess of the Nile (1954), Until They Sail (1957), and I, Madman (1989).


Cassell was later cast in two syndicated programs starring Jim Davis: Stories of the Century, in the role of gunman Luke Short, and Rescue 8, as Johnny French in "One More Step." Cassell also guest-starred in several television series, including The Loretta Young Show (1955), Gunsmoke (1956), the 1959 premier episode of The Untouchables ("The Empty Chair"), Rawhide (1960), and The Beverly Hillbillies (1963).

Later years

Cassell retired from acting in 1964 and became a successful businessman.

Personal life and death

Cassell was married to actress and singer Marcy McGuire (b,1926) from August 30, 1947,[7] until his death.[8] Cassell's daughter, Cindy Cassell, became an actress. At age 13, she had the role of Pony Hutchinson in the Walt Disney Studios film Emil and the Detectives (1964).[9]

Cassell, at age 103, died at his home in Palm Desert, California in 2015.[5] He was the last surviving actor in most of his films due to his longevity.


Year Title Role Notes
1942 Fingers at the Window Photographer Uncredited
Dr. Gillespie's New Assistant Gangster Uncredited
Stand By for Action Talker Uncredited
1943 The Human Comedy Man flirting Uncredited
Presenting Lily Mars Man Uncredited
Pilot ♯5 Soldier Uncredited
Salute to the Marines Marine corporal Uncredited
Thousands Cheer Jack Uncredited
Swing Fever Cassidy Uncredited
1943 Maisie Goes to Reno Reporter Uncredited
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo Sailor Uncredited
The Thin Man Goes Home Bill Burns Uncredited
National Velvet Jockey Uncredited
Music for Millions Soldier Uncredited
1945 Main Street After Dark Jenkins Uncredited
The Clock Soda jerk Uncredited
Son of Lassie POW Uncredited
Dangerous Partners Drumman Son Uncredited
Story of G.I. Joe Private Dondaro
Anchors Aweigh Sailor Uncredited
1946 The Postman Always Rings Twice Ben
Bad Bascomb Curley Uncredited
Gallant Bess Mike Uncredited
1947 Ramrod Virg Lea Uncredited
The Guilty Johnny Dixon
Killer McCoy Louie - Gambler Uncredited
1948 Summer Holiday Salesman Uncredited
Saigon Sgt. Pete Rocco
Homecoming Patient Uncredited
The Loves of Carmen Dragoon Stagecoach Passenger Uncredited
Joan of Arc French Soldier Offering Amulet Uncredited
1949 Streets of San Francisco Den Driscoll
We Were Strangers Miguel
Arctic Manhunt Tooyuk
White Heat Cotton Valletti
Sands of Iwo Jima PFC Benny Regazzi
1950 Quicksand Chuck
Highway 301 Robert 'Bobby' Mais
1951 Oh! Susanna Trooper Muro
Little Big Horn Pvt. Danny Zecca
The Wild Blue Yonder Sgt. Pulaski
1952 Sound Off Tony Baccigalupi
Breakdown Pete Sampson
One Minute to Zero Pvt. Means Uncredited
Thunderbirds Pfc. Sam Jacobs
1953 Law and Order Durango Kid
City That Never Sleeps Gregg Warren
The Charge at Feather River Member of Rescue Party Uncredited
Island in the Sky D'Annunzia
1954 Princess of the Nile Goghi
1955 Timberjack Veazie
Paris Follies of 1956 Harry
1956 The Come On Tony
Wetbacks Coast Guard lieutenant
Accused of Murder Cipriano's Doorman Uncredited
1957 Until They Sail Phil Friskett aka Shiner
1958 The Walter Winchell File "David & Goliath" - Costa
1960 The Rat Race Hotel Clerk Uncredited

References and notes

  1. Mason, Buddy (May 31, 1951). "Behind The Movie Sets". Iowa, Algona. The Algona Upper Des Moines. p. 31. Retrieved March 21, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  2. "Wally Cassell, Boro Vet, Forges Ahead in Films". New York, Brooklyn. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. December 9, 1945. p. 20. Retrieved March 21, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  3. Todd, John (December 10, 1945). "In Hollywood". Indiana, Tipton. The Tipton Daily Tribune. p. 2. Retrieved March 21, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  4. With regard to the year that Cassell began his film career, another source states, "He...realized a childhood ambition to become an actor with a role in Labor Pains in 1937."
  5. Wally Cassell, Gangster in 'White Heat,' Dies at 103, Hollywood Reporter, May 28, 2015
  6. "(untitled brief)". Wisconsin, Kingston. The Kingston Spy. January 4, 1945. p. 3. Retrieved March 21, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  7. "(untitled brief)". Oregon, Milford. Medford Mail Tribune. August 31, 1947. p. 1. Retrieved March 21, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  8. "Marcy McGuire". Des Moines Register. Retrieved May 2, 2014.
  9. "Girl 13 Chosen for Lead Role in Disney Movie". California, Van Nuys. Valley News. December 4, 1964. p. 25. Retrieved March 21, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
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