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Richard Crenna (1926)

Richard Donald Crenna

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  Summary  

Richard Donald Crenna (November 30, 1926 – January 17, 2003) was an American motion picture, television, and radio actor and occasional television director. He starred in such motion pictures as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Body Heat, the first three Rambo movies, Hot Shots! Part Deux, and The Flamingo Kid. Crenna played "Walter Denton" in the CBS radio and CBS-TV network series Our Miss Brooks, and "Luke McCoy" in ABC's TV comedy series, The Real McCoys, (1957–63), which moved to CBS-TV in September 1962. Crenna was in one of the few TV political dramatic series Slattery's People on CBS. Crenna played "Colonel Trautman" in the first three Rambo movies. He also played "Frank Skimmerhorn" in the critically acclaimed mini-series Centennial.

  Biography  

 early life
Crenna was born in Los Angeles, the son of Edith J. (née Pollette), who was a hotel manager in Los Angeles, and Dominick Anthony Crenna, a pharmacist. His parents were both of Italian ancestry. Crenna attended Virgil Junior High School, followed by Belmont High School in Los Angeles, after which he enrolled at the University of Southern California. Crenna served in the US Army during World War II.

 acting career
Crenna got his acting start on radio, appearing in My Favorite Husband, Boy Scout Jamboree, A Date With Judy, The Great Gildersleeve, and Our Miss Brooks. He remained with the cast of the last show when it moved to television.

He guest starred on I Love Lucy with Janet Waldo and on NBC's 1955-1956 Frontier anthology series in the lead role of the episode entitled "The Ten Days of John Leslie".

When the Our Miss Brooks TV series, which starred the actress Eve Arden, underwent a change in format, his character "Walter Denton" was written off this series. Then, Crenna joined the cast of the comedy series, The Real McCoys as "Luke McCoy". The actress Kathleen Nolan was cast as his young wife, "Kate McCoy" in this series. Michael Winkelman and Lydia Reed played his younger brother and sister, Little Luke and Hassie McCoy, respectively. In its final TV season, 1962–1963, the name of the series was shortened to just The McCoys when the series moved from the ABC-TV network to CBS-TV. "Kate McCoy" died at the end of the fifth season. Soon, the widower "Luke McCoy" began to court his neighbor, "Louise Howard", who was played by the actress Janet De Gore. Butch Patrick played Louise Howard's young son. The Puerto Rican actor Tony Martinez portrayed the witty but wise Mexican farmhand Pepino Garcia. The Real McCoys was created by Irving Pincus and directed first by Hy Averback. Later, Crenna became one of the four directors of the series during its six-year run.

Crenna portrayed the state senator James Slattery of California in the TV series Slattery's People (1965–66), and for his acting in this series, he was twice nominated for Emmy Awards with slightly different names: for "Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment", in 1965, and for "Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series", in 1965. Crenna was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for "Best TV Star - Male" in 1965, for this same role. During the 1970s Crenna continued his acting in such Western dramas such as Catlow, Breakheart Pass, and A Man Called Noon. He made a notable performance in Jean-Pierre Melville's final film 'Un Flic' in 1972.

Crenna was rewarded with an Emmy Award, and a nomination for a Golden Globe Award, for his performance as the main character in the movie The Rape of Richard Beck.

Crenna portrayed the character of New York City Police Lieutenant of Detectives Frank Janek in a series of seven popular made for television films starting in 1988 and ending in 1994.

Crenna is perhaps best known today for his role as John Rambo's ex-commanding Officer "Colonel Sam Trautman" in the first three Rambo films, a role for which he was hired after the actor Kirk Douglas left the production just one day into the filming of the first movie of the series. Crenna himself also spoofed this character in the movie Hot Shots! Part Deux, in 1993.

Crenna was awarded with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 6714 Hollywood Boulevard. Crenna's performances were also reportedly the inspiration for the character "Colonel Roy Campbell" in the Metal Gear series of games.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Richard Crenna", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.