Shop by the Stars aisle featuring Joel McCrea (1905-1990) vintage movie cards, still photos, ephemera, and other collectibles.
A product of the West with pioneer ancestors, McCrea was a master in movie Westerns and a wealthy rancher off screen in Thousand Oaks, CA. Born in South Pasadena, McCrea graduated Hollywood High School and Pomona College. A boyhood paper route included several customers from the film industry including Western hero William S. Hart. After testing the stage in college, he worked as a Hollywood stunt man, extra, and bit player beginning in 1927, and then worked his way up the billing after signing with MGM in 1928. He jumped to RKO in 1930 and was leading man in The Silver Horde (1930). McCrea also appeared in Lightnin' at Fox and became friendly with the film's star, Will Rogers. Pre-Code era McCrea features worth checking out include The Common Law (1931), The Lost Squadron (1932), The Most Dangerous Game (1932), Bed of Roses (1933), and Chance at Heaven (1933). A successful run of mid-1930s pictures for Goldwyn included These Three (1936), Come and Get It (1936), and Dead End (1937), and then McCrea did some of most beloved work in films like Cecil B. DeMille's Union Pacific (1939), Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940), Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels (1941) and The Palm Beach Story (1942), and George Stevens' The More the Merrier (1943). By this point McCrea could do pretty much whatever he wanted and beginning with The Virginian (1946) that was almost entirely Westerns. Some of his best: Four Faces West (1948), Colorado Territory (1949), Stars in My Crown (1950), and later alongside Randolph Scott in Ride the High Country (1962). Frances Dee appeared alongside McCrea in The Silver Cord (1933), and they married later that year. The couple appeared in a handful of other films together, had three sons, and were married for fifty-seven years at the time of McCrea's death. Oldest son Jody appeared alongside his dad in Wichita Town on NBC-TV in 1959-60. McCrea only appeared in three more films after Ride the High Country, his last Mustang Country in 1976. Dee was at his side when McCrea died of pulmonary complications, age 84.
Birthday: November 5