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  • BIRTH 25/12/1902
  • DEATH 01/01/1969
  • Country United States
  • SHOWS 5
  • MOVIES 47

Barton MacLane

Barton MacLane graduated from Wesleyan University, where he displayed a notable aptitude for sports, in particular football and basketball. Not surprisingly, his physical prowess led to an early role in The Quarterback (1926) with Richard Dix. MacLane once commented that, as an actor, he needed to have the physical strength to tear the bad guys "from limb to limb", if necessary. Ironically, it was usually Barton himself who was destined to be at the end of a hiding (when not getting shot, instead), typically as snarling henchmen, outlaws and other assorted dubious or abrasive types throughout most of his 40-year acting career. In fact, Barton became so typecast that his name was for a time used proverbially, to generally describe a shouting, hard-nosed ruffian.

After training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, MacLane joined a stock company in Brooklyn. In 1927 he had his first part on Broadway, a brief moment as an assistant district attorney, in the melodrama "The Trial of Mary Dugan". He then played a small featured role as a police officer in "Subway Express" (1929-30), a drama enacted in the interior of a subway car. In mid-1932 MacLane tried his hand at writing his own starring vehicle for the stage, entitled "Rendezvous". While the play closed after just 21 performances, it led to a contract with Warner Brothers.

Barton had already appeared in bit roles for Paramount at their Astoria Studios, including The Marx Brothers' debut film The Cocoanuts (1929). He portrayed mobster Brad Collins in 'G' Men (1935) (with James Cagney), which set the tone for most of his future assignments. Brawny, with squinty eyes and a rasping voice, MacLane was the ideal surly tough guy, particularly suitable for westerns and the type of films noir Warner Brothers excelled at. He was often cast as cops, be they bent or honest. Some of his most representative performances include gangster Al Kruger in Bullets or Ballots (1936), which won him some of the best critical notices of his career; outlaw Jack Slade in Western Union (1941); crooked construction boss Pat McCormick, who gets beaten up by Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt over past-due wages in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); hard-nosed cops Detective Dundy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Lt. Reece in Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950). MacLane, on loan to Universal, also had a starring role in Prison Break (1938) as an innocent tuna fisherman who is framed for murder. He was prominent as a tough but sympathetic cop, foil to sleuthing girl reporter Glenda Farrell in the "Torchy Blaine" series of the mid- to late 1930s. In the 1960s Barton began to cultivate a good-guy image as Marshal Frank Caine in the NBC western series Outlaws (1960) as well as showing up in a small recurring role as Air Force Gen. Martin Peterson in I Dream of Jeannie (1965).

Barton was married to the actress Charlotte Wynters, who appeared with him in six of his films. When not on the set, the couple spent time on their 2000-acre cattle ranch in Madera County, California.

For his work in television, Barton has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Barton MacLane

Shows (5)

I Dream of Jeannie
I Dream of Jeannie
General Peterson
Perry Mason
Perry Mason
Archer Osmond / Harold Minter / Senator Harriman Baylor / Sheriff Eugene Norris
Gunsmoke
Gunsmoke
Herkimer Crawford / Willard Kerner
Four Star Playhouse
Four Star Playhouse
Capt. Webber / Milo
Outlaws
Outlaws
Marshal Frank Caine

Movies (47)

The Maltese Falcon
The Maltese Falcon
Lt. of Detectives Dundy
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Pat McCormick
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Sam Higgins
The Glenn Miller Story
The Glenn Miller Story
General Arnold
Tarzan and the Amazons
Tarzan and the Amazons
Ballister
Let's Dance
Let's Dance
Larry Channock
Western Union
Western Union
Jack Slade
The Spanish Main
The Spanish Main
Capt. Benjamin Black
Town Tamer
Town Tamer
James Fell
The Walking Dead
The Walking Dead
Loder
The Prince and the Pauper
The Prince and the Pauper
John Canty
Arizona Bushwhackers
Arizona Bushwhackers
Sheriff Grover
High Sierra
High Sierra
Jake Kranmer
All Through the Night
All Through the Night
Marty Callahan
Manpower
Manpower
Smiley Quinn
The Case of the Lucky Legs
The Case of the Lucky Legs
Bisonette
Tarzan and the Huntress
Tarzan and the Huntress
Paul Weir
His Woman
His Woman
Crewman
The Dude Goes West
The Dude Goes West
Texas Jack Barton
The Geisha Boy
The Geisha Boy
Major Ridgley
Bugles in the Afternoon
Bugles in the Afternoon
Capt. Myles Moylan
Times Square Playboy
Times Square Playboy
Casey (Vic's Butler/Trainer)
Gentle Annie
Gentle Annie
Sheriff Tatum
Three Violent People
Three Violent People
Yates
Bullets or Ballots
Bullets or Ballots
Al Kruger
You and Me
You and Me
Mickey
Nabonga
Nabonga
Carl Hurst
Backlash
Backlash
Sergeant George Lake
Cheyenne
Cheyenne
Webb Yancey
Santa Fe Uprising
Santa Fe Uprising
Crawford
You Only Live Once
You Only Live Once
Stephen Whitney
The Mummy's Ghost
The Mummy's Ghost
Inspector Walgreen
'G' Men
'G' Men
Collins
Foxfire
Foxfire
Jim Mablett
Page Miss Glory
Page Miss Glory
Blackie
To the Last Man
To the Last Man
Neil Stanley
Naked In The Sun
Naked In The Sun
Wilson
Unknown Island
Unknown Island
Capt. Tarnowski
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
Lieutenant John Reece
Cry of the Werewolf
Cry of the Werewolf
Lt. Barry Lane
Pocketful of Miracles
Pocketful of Miracles
Police Commissioner
Jubilee Trail
Jubilee Trail
Deacon Bartlett
Stranded
Stranded
Sharkey
Silver River
Silver River
'Banjo' Sweeney
The Cocoanuts
The Cocoanuts
Bather
Jaguar
Jaguar
Steve Bailey
Prison Break
Prison Break
Joaquin Shannon