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Richard Dix

Richard Dix as featured on the poster for Redskin (1929), his final silent film.
Born Ernst Carlton Brimmer
July 18, 1893(1893-07-18)
St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Died September 20, 1949 (aged 56)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Occupation actor
Years active Stage 1914 — 1921
Film 19211947
Spouse(s) Winifred Coe (1931-1933)
Virginia Webster (1934-1949)

Richard Dix (July 18, 1893 – September 20, 1949) was an American motion picture actor who achieved popularity in both silent and sound film. His standard on-screen image was that of the rugged and stalwart hero.

Contents

Early life

Born Ernest Carlton Brimmer on July 18, 1893, in St. Paul, Minnesota. There he was educated, and at the desires of his father, studied to be a surgeon. His obvious acting talent in his school dramatic club led him to leading roles in most of the school plays. At 6' 0" and 180 pounds, Dix excelled in sports, especially football and baseball. These skills would serve him well in the vigorous film roles he would go on to play. After a year at the University of Minnesota he took a position at a bank, spending his evenings training for the stage. His professional start was with a local stock company, and this led to similar work in New York City. The death of his father left him with a mother and sister to support. He went to Los Angeles, became leading man for the Morosco Stock Company and his success there got him a contract with Paramount Pictures.

Career

After his move to Hollywood, where he began a career in Western movies. One of the few actors to successfully bridge the transition from silent films to talkies, Dix's best-remembered early role was in Cecil B. Demille's silent version of The Ten Commandments (1923). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1931 for his performance as Yancey Cravat in Cimarron, in which he shared top-billing with Irene Dunne. Cimarron, based on the popular novel by Edna Ferber, took the Best Picture award. Dix starred in another RKO adventure, The Lost Squadron.

A memorable role for Dix was in the 1935 British futuristic film The Tunnel. An original poster for this film was catalogued with an estimated value of between $2000 - $3000 by Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas in the Summer of 2006.

Dix starred in The Great Jasper and Blind Alibi in the late 1930s. His popular RKO Radio Pictures co-star in Blind Alibi was Ace the Wonder Dog. Dix's human co-stars were Whitney Bourne, Eduardo Ciannelli; the film was directed by Lew Landers.

In the 1940s he starred in The Whistler, the first of a series of eight "Whistler" films for Columbia Pictures. Dix retired from acting after making the seventh in the series, The Thirteenth Hour.

Death

Richard Dix retired from films in 1947. He first married Winifred Coe on October 20, 1931, had a daughter, Martha Mary Ellen, then divorced in 1933. He then married Virginia Webster on June 29, 1934. They had twin boys, Richard Jr. and Robert Dix and an adopted daughter, Sara Sue.

After suffering a serious heart attack on 12 September 1949 while on a train from New York to Los Angeles[1] Dix died of at age 56, on September 20, 1949. He was survived by four children from his two marriages, but sadly in 1953 his son, Richard Dix Jr., was killed in an accident at a logging camp near Ponderosa, California. Richard Dix Sr. was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California.

Richard Dix has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1610 Vine Street.

Filmography

Silent films

Year Film Role Notes
1917 One of Many James Lowery
1921 Not Guilty Paul Ellison/Arthur Ellison
All's Fair in Love Bobby Cameron
Dangerous Curve Ahead Harley Jones
The Poverty of Riches John Colby
1922 The Glorious Fool Billy Grant
Yellow Men and Gold Parrish
Fools First Tommy Frazer
The Wall Flower Walt Breen
The Bonded Woman Lee Marvin
The Sin Flood Bill Bear
1923 The Christian John Storm
Quicksands Lieutenant Bill
Souls for Sale Frank Claymore
The Woman with Four Faces Richard Templar
Racing Hearts Robby Smith
To the Last Man Jean Isbel
The Ten Commandments John McTavish
The Call of the Canyon Glenn Kilbourne
1924 The Stranger Larry Darrant
Icebound Ben Jordan
Unguarded Women Douglas Albright
Sinners in Heaven Alan Croft
Manhattan Peter Minuit
Too Many Kisses Richard Gaylord, Jr
A Man Must Live Geoffrey Farnell
1925 The Shock Punch Randall Lee Savage
Men and Women Will Prescott
The Lucky Devil Randy Farnum
The Vanishing American Nophaie
Womanhandled Bill Dana
1926 Let's Get Married Billy Dexter
Fascinating Youth Guest
Say It Again Bob Howard
The Quarterback Jack Stone
1927 Paradise for Two Steve Porter
Knockout Reilly Dundee 'Knockout' Reilly
Man Power Tom Roberts
Shanghai Bound Jim Bucklin
The Gay Defender Joaquin Murrieta
1928 Sporting Goods Richard Shelby
Easy Come, Easy Go Robert Parker
Warming Up Bert Tulliver
Moran of the Marines Michael Moran
1929 The Love Doctor Dr. Gerald Summer
Redskin Wingfoot

Sound films

Year Film Role Notes
1929 Nothing But the Truth Robert Bennett
The Wheel of Life Captain Leslie Yeullet
Seven Keys to Baldpate William Halliwell Magee
1930 Lovin' the Ladies Peter Darby
Shooting Straight Larry Sheldon
1931 Cimarron Yancey Cravat Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Young Donovan's Kid Jim Donovan
The Public Defender Pike Winslow
Secret Service Captain Lewis Dumont
1932 The Lost Squadron Capt. 'Gibby' Gibson
Roar of the Dragon Captain Chauncey Carson
Hell's Highway Frank 'Duke' Ellis
The Conquerors Roger Standish/Roger Standish Lennox
1933 The Great Jasper Jasper Horn
No Marriage Ties Bruce Foster
Ace of Aces 2nd Lt. Rex 'Rocky' Thorne
Day of Reckoning John Day
1934 Stingaree Stingaree
His Greatest Gamble Phillip Eden
West of the Pecos Pecos Smith
1935 The Arizonian Clay Tallant
The Tunnel Richard 'Mack' McAllan
1936 Yellow Dust Bob Culpepper
Special Investigator William 'Bill' Fenwick
Devil's Squadron Paul Redmond
1937 The Devil's Playground Jack Dorgan
The Devil Is Driving Paul Driscoll
It Happened in Hollywood Tim Bart
1938 Blind Alibi Paul Dover
Sky Giant Capt. W.R. 'Stag' Cahill
1939 Man of Conquest Sam Houston
Here I Am a Stranger Duke Allen
Reno Bill Shear
1940 The Marines Fly High Lt. Danny Darrick
Men Against the Sky Phil Mercedes
Cherokee Strip Marshal Dave Morrell
1941 The Roundup Steve Payson
Badlands of Dakota Wild Bill Hickok
1942 Tombstone Wyatt Earp
American Empire Dan Taylor
1943 Eyes of the Underworld The Chief, Richard Bryan
Buckskin Frontier Stephen Bent
The Kansan John Bonniwell
Top Man Tom Warren
The Ghost Ship Captain Will Stone
The Whistler Series
1944 The Whistler Earl C. Conrad
The Mark of the Whistler Lee Selfridge Nugent
1945 The Power of the Whistler William Everest
Voice of the Whistler John Sinclair (John Carter)
1946 Mysterious Intruder Don Gale
The Secret of the Whistler Ralph Harrison
1947 The Thirteenth Hour Steve Reynolds

References

  1. ^ The Advertiser (Adelaide), "Richard Dix Ill", 14 September 1949, p. 1

External links

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