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Victor McLaglen

in Sea Devils (1937)
Born Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen
10 December 1886(1886-12-10)
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England
Died 7 November 1959 (aged 72)
Newport Beach, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1920–1958
Spouse(s) Enid Lamont (1919-1942)
Suzanne M. Brueggeman (1943-1948)
Margaret Pumphrey (1948-1959)

Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen (10 December 1886 – 7 November 1959) was an English actor, boxer and World War I veteran.


Early life

McLaglen was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England. His father, a bishop, moved the family to South Africa when McLaglen was a child. He had four brothers who also became actors, Arthur (1888-1972), an actor and sculptor and Clifford (1892-1978), Cyril (1899-1987) and Kenneth (circa 1901-1979).[1] Other siblings included Frederick (b. circa 1882), Sydney (b. circa 1884), Lewis (b. circa 1889), and a sister, Lily (b. circa 1893). Another brother, Leopold McLaglen, who appeared in one film, gained notoriety prior to World War I as a showman and self-proclaimed World Ju-jutsu Champion,[2] who authored a book on the subject.[3]


Before Hollywood

He left home at fourteen to join the British Army with the intention of fighting in the Second Boer War. However, much to his chagrin, he was stationed at Windsor Castle with the Life Guards and was later forced to leave the army when his true age was discovered.

Four years later, he moved to Canada, where he earned a living as a wrestler and heavyweight boxer, with several notable wins in the ring. One of his most famous fights was against Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson, in a 6 round exhibition bout.[4] (This bout was Johnson's first bout since winning the heavyweight title from Tommy Burns.) Between bouts, McLaglen toured with a circus, which offered $25 to anyone who could go three rounds with him. He returned to England in 1913 and during World War I served as a Captain (acting) with the 10th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, part of the The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires). Later he claimed to have served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He served for a time as military Provost Marshal for the city of Baghdad.[5] He also continued boxing, and was named Heavyweight Champion of the British Army in 1918.[4] After the war, he began taking roles in British silent films.

Film career

McLaglen's career took a surprise turn in the 1920s, when he moved to Hollywood. He became a popular character actor, with a particular knack for playing drunks. The highlight of his career was an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in The Informer (1935), based on a novel by Liam O'Flaherty; Frank Tashlin's 1938 cartoon Have You Got Any Castles? features a caricature of McLaglen emerging from the novel and literally informing someone about some shady characters. Near the end of his career, McLaglen was nominated again, this time for Best Supporting Actor, for his role opposite John Wayne in The Quiet Man (1952). He was especially popular with director John Ford, who frequently included McLaglen in his films. Toward the end of his career, McLaglen made several guest appearances on television, particularly in Western series such as Have Gun, Will Travel and Rawhide. The episodes of those series in which McLaglen guest-starred were both directed by his son, Andrew V. McLaglen, who later was a film director.

Personal life

McLaglen was married three times. His first marriage was to Enid Lamont in 1919. The couple had one daughter, Sheila, and one son, Andrew, a television and film director, the father of his grandchildren, Mary and Josh McLaglen, who are both film producers and directors. Enid Lamont McLaglen died in 1942 as a result of a horse riding accident. McLaglen married twice more, to Suzanne M. Brueggeman from 1943 until 1948 and to Margaret Pumphrey, whom he married in 1948 and remained so until his death, of a heart attack in 1959. He had by that time become a naturalized U.S. citizen. He was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. He was the elder brother of the actor Cyril McLaglen.


Year Film Role Other notes
1920 The Call of the Road Alf Truscott
1921 Carnival
Corinthian Jack Jack Halstead
The Sport of Kings Frank Rosedale
The Prey of the Dragon Brett 'Dragon' Mercer
1922 The Glorious Adventure Bulfinch
A Romance of Old Baghdad Miski
The Crimson Circle
A Sailor Tramp The Sailor Tramp
Little Brother of God King Kennidy
1923 Woman to Woman Nubian slave uncredited
M'Lord of the White Road Lord Annerley/John
Heartstrings Frank Wilson
In the Blood Tony Crabtree
The Romany The Chief
1924 The Passionate Adventure Herb Harris
The Beloved Brute Charles Hinges
The Gay Corinthian Squire Hardcastle
The Boatswain's Mate Ned Travers
Women and Diamonds Brian Owen
1925 The Fighting Heart Soapy Williams
Winds of Chance Poleon Doret
Percy Reedy Jenkins
The Hunted Woman Quade
The Unholy Three Hercules, the strongman
1926 Men of Steel Pete Masarick
The Isle of Retribution Doomsdorf
What Price Glory? Capt. Flagg
Beau Geste Hank
1927 The Loves of Carmen Escamillo
1928 The River Pirate Sailor Fritz
A Girl in Every Port Spike Madden
Mother Machree The Giant of Kilkenny (Terence O'Dowd)
Hangman's House Citizen Denis Hogan
1929 Hot for Paris John Patrick Duke
The Cock-Eyed World Top Sergeant Flagg
Strong Boy Strong Boy
Captain Lash Captain Lash
The Black Watch Capt. Donald Gordon King
1930 A Devil with Women Jerry Maxton
On the Level Biff Williams
1931 Dishonored Col. Kranau
Wicked Scott Burrows
Annabelle's Affairs John Rawson aka Hefly Jack
Women of All Nations Capt ain Jim Flagg
The Stolen Jools Sergeant Flagg
Three Rogues Bull Stanley
1932 Rackety Rax 'Knucks' McGloin
Guilty as Hell Detective Capt. T.R. McKinley
While Paris Sleeps Jacques Costaud
Devil's Lottery Jem Meech
The Gay Caballero Don Bob Harkness aka El Coyote
1933 Hot Pepper Jim Flagg
Dick Turpin Dick Turpin
Laughing at Life Dennis P. McHale aka Burke aka Captain Hale
1934 The Captain Hates the Sea Schulte
Wharf Angel Turk
No More Women Forty-Fathoms
The Lost Patrol The Sergeant
Murder at the Vanities Police Lt. Bill Murdock
1935 Professional Soldier Michael Donovan
The Great Hotel Murder Andrew W. 'Andy' McCabe
Under Pressure Jumbo Smith
The Informer Gypo Nolan Academy Award for Best Actor
1936 Magnificent Brute 'Big Steve' Andrews as Victor McLaglen - Academy Award Winner
Under Two Flags J.C. Doyle
Klondike Annie Bull Brackett
1937 This Is My Affair Jock Ramsay
Nancy Steele Is Missing! Dannie O'Neill
Sea Devils CPO William 'Medals' Malone
Wee Willie Winkie Sgt. Donald MacDuff
1938 We're Going to Be Rich Dobbie
Battle of Broadway Big Ben Wheeler
Devil's Party Marty Malone
1939 The Big Guy Warden Bill Whitlock
Rio Dirk
Full Confession McGinnis
Captain Fury Jerry Black aka Blackie
Ex-Champ Tom 'Gunner' Grey
Pacific Liner J.B. 'Crusher' McKay, Chief Engineer
Gunga Din Sgt. 'Mac' MacChesney
Let Freedom Ring Chris Mulligan
1940 Diamond Frontier Terrence Regan
South of Pago Pago Bucko Larson
1941 Broadway Limited Maurice 'Mike' Monohan
1942 Powder Town Jeems O'Shea
Call Out the Marines Sgt. Jimmy McGinnis
China Girl Major Weed
1943 Forever and a Day Archibald Spavin (hotel doorman)
1944 The Princess and the Pirate Captain Barrett ak The Hook
Roger Touhy, Gangster Herman 'Owl' Banghart
Tampico Fred Adamson
1945 Love, Honor and Goodbye Terry O'Farrell
Rough, Tough and Ready Owen McCare
1946 Whistle Stop Gitlo
1947 The Foxes of Harrow Captain Mike Farrell
The Michigan Kid Curley
Calendar Girl Matthew O'Neil
1948 Fort Apache Sgt. Festus Mulcahy
1949 She Wore a Yellow Ribbon Top Sgt. Quincannon
1950 Rio Grande Sgt. Maj. Timothy Quincannon
1952 The Quiet Man Squire 'Red' Will Danaher Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
1953 Fair Wind to Java O'Brien
1954 Prince Valiant Boltar
Trouble in the Glen Parlan
1955 Bengazi Robert Emmett Donovan
City of Shadows Big Tim Channing
Many Rivers to Cross Mr. Cadmus Cherne
Lady Godiva of Coventry Grimald
1956 Around the World in 80 Days Helmsman of the 'Henrietta'
1957 The Abductors Tom Muldoon
1958 Gli Italiani sono matti
Sea Fury Captain Bellew

See also


  1. ^ Victor McLaglen, Query. Great War Forum. 19 March 2006.
  2. ^ "The Science of Jiujitsu". Journal of Non-lethal Combatives. December 2002.
  3. ^ Noble, Graham. Early Ju-jutsu: The Challenges.
  4. ^ a b Victor McLaglen. Cyber Boxing Zone.
  5. ^ Victor McLaglen myth?. Great War Forum. 26 September 2005.

External links


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