George Macready
Macready in Johnny Allegro (1949)
Born(1899-08-29)August 29, 1899
DiedJuly 2, 1973(1973-07-02) (aged 73)
Alma materBrown University
Years active1926–1973
Elizabeth Patterson
(m. 1931; div. 1943)
RelativesJohn Macready (grandson)

George Peabody Macready Jr.[1] (August 29, 1899 – July 2, 1973)[2] was an American stage, film, and television actor often cast in roles as polished villains.[3]

Early life

Macready was born in Providence, Rhode Island[4] on August 29, 1899. He graduated from the local Classical High School[1] and, in 1917, from Brown University.[5]

Shortly thereafter, Macready suffered a disfiguring injury, which, as the actor would later note, proved a mixed blessing: affording him a reliably steady supply of jobs, but only within a rigidly circumscribed range.[5][6] As of October 1958, by Macready's own count, he had been cast as the "mastermind criminal" type in at least 65 of his 75 television and motion picture assignments. He explained:

Producers have found it effective to emphasize my rather nasty looking cheek scar, which I received in an auto accident many years ago.[7]

Macready also claimed to be a descendent of the 19th-Century English actor William Charles Macready, whose example he cited as the chief inspiration for his own pursuit of acting.[8]

Acting career


Macready made his Broadway debut in 1926, performing in the role of Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale in an adaptation of The Scarlet Letter.[9] Through 1958, he appeared in fifteen plays, both drama and comedy, including The Barretts of Wimpole Street, based on the family of the English poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Macready's penchant for acting was spurred in part by the director Richard Boleslawski. His Shakespearean stage credits included Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing (1927), Malcolm in Macbeth (1928), and Paris in Romeo and Juliet (1934). On film, he played Marallus in the 1953 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. He also portrayed Prince Ernst in the original stage version of Victoria Regina (1936), starring Helen Hayes.


Macready's first film was Commandos Strike at Dawn (1942), which starred Paul Muni. In Gilda (1946), Macready's character Ballin Mundson enters a deadly love triangle with characters played by co-stars Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. He again played opposite Ford several years later in the postwar adventure The Green Glove (1952).

Stanley Kubrick's antiwar film Paths of Glory (1957) provided Macready with his other great role, the sadistic and self-serving French World War I General Paul Mireau, who is brought down by Kirk Douglas's character, Colonel Dax. He had worked with Douglas previously in Detective Story (1951), and later he appeared with Douglas in two more films: Vincente Minnelli's Two Weeks in Another Town (1962) and John Frankenheimer's Seven Days in May (1964). In 1965, he was cast in a rare comedy role as General Kuhster in Blake Edwards's film The Great Race.

One of Macready's last film roles was as United States Secretary of State Cordell Hull in Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970), a depiction of the events leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


Macready made four guest appearances on Raymond Burr's Perry Mason, including the role of murder victim Milo Girard in the 1958 episode "The Case of the Purple Woman". He was also cast regularly in such series as Four Star Playhouse, General Electric Theater, The Ford Television Theatre, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Adventures in Paradise and The Islanders.

Macready performed in a variety of television series produced in the 1950s and 1960s, including many Westerns such as Bat Masterson, Bonanza, The Dakotas, Gunsmoke, Have Gun - Will Travel, The Rebel (once in the role of Confederate General Robert E. Lee), The Rifleman, Lancer, Laramie, Riverboat, The Rough Riders, Chill Wills's Frontier Circus, The Texan and Steve McQueen's Wanted: Dead or Alive. Also on TV, he was seen in episodes of The Outer Limits, The Twilight Zone, Boris Karloff's Thriller, Kentucky Jones, Get Smart with Don Adams, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. with Robert Vaughn.

Macready was cast as Cyrus Canfield, a vengeful father searching for his runaway teenage daughter, played by Floy Dean, in the May 26, 1962, series finale of NBC's The Tall Man.

He played publishing magnate Glenn Howard in the TV movie Fame Is the Name of the Game (1966) starring Anthony Franciosa, but was replaced by Gene Barry in the role when the film was subsequently used as the pilot for the television series The Name of the Game with Franciosa, Barry, and Robert Stack revolving in the lead.

Personal life

In 1931, Macready married actress Elizabeth Dana Patterson; they divorced in 1943.[1]

An art collector, Macready was a partner with colleague Vincent Price in a Beverly Hills art gallery called The Little Gallery, which they opened in 1943. (Macready had played Price's brother on Broadway in Victoria Regina.) According to Lucy Chase Williams' book The Complete Films of Vincent Price, "In the spring of 1943 ... Price and Macready opened The Little Gallery in Beverly Hills. 'We rented a hole in the wall next door to Martindale's book shop and a very popular bar, figuring correctly that we'd catch a mixed clientele of erudites and inebriates.' Price and Macready saw the gallery not only as an indulgence of their own interests, but as a showcase for young artists, and a way to expose the general public to art and art appreciation. The establishment merited photos and two full columns in Newsweek magazine, but rent increases forced The Little Gallery to close after two years."[10]


Macready died of emphysema on July 2, 1973. His body was donated to the UCLA School of Medicine.[2]


Year Film Role Director Notes
1942 Commandos Strike at Dawn Schoolteacher John Farrow
1944 Follow the Boys Walter Bruce A. Edward Sutherland
The Story of Dr. Wassell Dutch Army Captain Cecil B. DeMille uncredited
Wilson William McCombs Henry King uncredited
The Seventh Cross Bruno Sauer Fred Zinnemann
The Soul of a Monster Dr. George Winson Will Jason
The Conspirators Schimitt's Special Agent Jean Negulesco uncredited
The Missing Juror Harry Wharton / Jerome K. Bentley Budd Boetticher (as Oscar Boetticher Jr.)
1945 The Bandit of Sherwood Forest Fitz-Herbert George Sherman
A Song to Remember Alfred de Musset Charles Vidor uncredited
I Love a Mystery Jefferson Monk Henry Levin
The Monster and the Ape Professor Ernst Howard Bretherton
Counter-Attack Colonel Semenov Zoltan Korda
Don Juan Quilligan District Attorney Frank Tuttle uncredited
My Name is Julia Ross Ralph Hughes Joseph H. Lewis
1946 The Fighting Guardsman Gaston de Montrevel Henry Levin
Gilda Ballin Mundson Charles Vidor
The Man Who Dared Donald Wayne John Sturges
The Walls Came Tumbling Down Matthew Stoker Lothar Mendes
The Return of Monte Cristo Henri de la Roche Henry Levin
1947 Down to Earth Joe Manion Alexander Hall
1948 The Swordsman Robert Glowan Joseph H. Lewis
The Black Arrow Sir Daniel Brackley Gordon Douglas
The Big Clock Steve Hagen John Farrow
Coroner Creek Younger Miles Ray Enright
Beyond Glory Major General Bond John Farrow
1949 The Gallant Blade General Cadeau Henry Levin
Knock on Any Door District Attorney Kerman Nicholas Ray
Alias Nick Beal Reverend Thomas Garfield John Farrow
Johnny Allegro Morgan Vallin Ted Tetzlaff
The Doolins of Oklahoma Marshal Sam Hughes Gordon Douglas
1950 The Nevadan Edward Galt Gordon Douglas
Fortunes of Captain Blood Marquis de Riconete Gordon Douglas
Rogues of Sherwood Forest King John Gordon Douglas
A Lady Without Passport Palinov Joseph H. Lewis
The Desert Hawk Prince Murad Frederick De Cordova
1951 Tarzan's Peril Radijeck Byron Haskin
The Golden Horde Raven the Shaman George Sherman
The Desert Fox General Fritz Bayerlein Henry Hathaway
Detective Story Dr. Karl Schneider William Wyler
1952 The Green Glove Count Paul Rona Rudolph Maté
1953 Treasure of the Golden Condor Marquis de St. Malo Delmer Daves
I Beheld His Glory Cornelius TV movie
Julius Caesar Marullus Joseph L. Mankiewicz
The Stranger Wore a Gun Jules Mourret Andre de Toth
The Golden Blade Jafar Nathan Juran
1954 Duffy of San Quentin John C. Winant Walter Doniger
Vera Cruz Emperor Maximilian Robert Aldrich
1956 A Kiss Before Dying Leo Kingship Gerd Oswald
Thunder Over Arizona Mayor Ervin Plummer Joseph Kane
1957 The Abductors Jack Langley Andrew V. McLaglen (as Andrew McLaglen)
Paths of Glory Brigadier General Paul Mireau Stanley Kubrick
Gunfire at Indian Gap Mr. Jefferson Joseph Kane
1959 Plunderers of Painted Flats Ed Sammpson Albert C. Gannaway
The Alligator People Dr. Mark Sinclair Roy Del Ruth
Jet Over the Atlantic Lord Robert Leverett Byron Haskin
1960 Family Classics: The Three Musketeers TV movie
1962 Two Weeks in Another Town Lew Jordan Vincente Minnelli
Taras Bulba Governor J. Lee Thompson
1964 Seven Days in May Christopher Todd John Frankenheimer
Dead Ringer Paul Harrison Paul Henreid
Where Love Has Gone Gordon Harris Edward Dmytryk
1965 The Human Duplicators Professor Vaughn Dornheimer Arthur C. Pierce
Memorandum for a Spy Graham Jutland TV movie
The Great Race General Kuhster Blake Edwards
1966 Fame Is the Name of the Game Gleen Howard Stuart Rosenberg TV movie
1969 Night Gallery William Hendricks TV movie, segment "The Cemetery"
Daughter of the Mind Dr. Frank Ferguson Walter Grauman TV movie
1970 Count Yorga, Vampire Narrator Bob Kelljan
Tora! Tora! Tora! Cordell Hull Kinji Fukasaku
1971 The Return of Count Yorga Professor Rightstat Bob Kelljan

Partial television credits


  1. ^ a b c Jarrett, Diane (July 2019). "George Macready: A Loving Parent". Classic Images (529): 58–67.
  2. ^ a b Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 467. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Obituary Variety, July 11, 1973, page 63.
  4. ^ Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the silent era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 456. ISBN 9781557835512. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Gordon, Dr. Roger L. (2018). Supporting Actors in Motion Pictures: Volume II. Pittsburgh, PA: Dorrance Publishing. p. 146. ISBN 978-1-4809-5841-8.
  6. ^ "George Macready Type-Cast Again". The Roanoke Times. October 18, 1958. p. 16. Retrieved August 26, 2023.
  7. ^ "Valuable Scar". The Modesto Bee. October 19, 1958. p. G-3. Retrieved August 26, 2023.
  8. ^ "Macready Got Scar in Wreck". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. August 20, 1961. p. TV24. Retrieved August 26, 2023.
  9. ^ "George Macready, the 'Villain' in Many Plays and Films, Dies", The New York Times (Manhattan), July 4, 1973, p. 18. ProQuest Historical Newspapers, Ann Arbor, Michigan; subscription access through The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library.
  10. ^ Williams, Lucy Chase, The Complete Films of Vincent Price (Citadel Press, 1995), page. 24