Bradford Dillman

Early life

Bradford Dillman was born on April 14, 1930 in San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, the son of Josephine (née Moore) and Dean Dillman, a stockbroker. He studied at Town School for Boys and St. Ignatius High School. Later he attended the Hotchkiss boarding school
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

 in Connecticut, where he became involved in school theater productions. He attended Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

, studying theatre and drama. While at Yale, he enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1948. He graduated from Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 with a B.A.
Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts , from the Latin artium baccalaureus, is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, the sciences, or both...

 in English Literature.

After graduation, he entered the United States Marine Corps as an officer candidate, training at Parris Island
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is an military installation located within Port Royal, South Carolina, approximately south of Beaufort, the community that is typically associated with the installation. MCRD Parris Island is used for the training of enlisted Marines...

. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in September 1951. As he was preparing to deploy to Korea
Korean War
The Korean War was a conventional war between South Korea, supported by the United Nations, and North Korea, supported by the People's Republic of China , with military material aid from the Soviet Union...

, his orders were changed, and he spent the rest of his time in the Marine Corps, 1951 to 1953, teaching communication in the Instructors' Orientation Course. He was discharged in 1953 at the rank of first lieutenant.

Early acting career

Studying with the Actor's Studio, he spent several seasons apprenticing with the Sharon, Connecticut
Sharon, Connecticut
Sharon is a town located in Litchfield County, Connecticut, in the northwest corner of the state. It is bounded on the north by Salisbury, on the east by the Housatonic River, on the south by Kent, and on the west by Dutchess County, New York...

 Playhouse before making his professional acting debut in The Scarecrow in 1953. Dillman took his initial Broadway bow in the Eugene O'Neill
Eugene O'Neill
Eugene Gladstone O'Neill was an American playwright and Nobel laureate in Literature. His poetically titled plays were among the first to introduce into American drama techniques of realism earlier associated with Russian playwright Anton Chekhov, Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, and Swedish...

 play Long Day's Journey Into Night
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Long Day's Journey Into Night is a 1956 drama in four acts written by American playwright Eugene O'Neill. The play is widely considered to be his masterwork...

in 1956, originating the author's alter ego character Edmund Tyrone and winning a Theatre World Award in the process. This distinct success put him squarely on the map and 20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation — also known as 20th Century Fox, or simply 20th or Fox — is one of the six major American film studios...

 took notice by placing the darkly handsome up-and-comer under contract. Cast in the melodramatic soaper A Certain Smile (1958), he earned a Golden Globe award.

Film, TV & other work

After his debut in A Certain Smile
A Certain Smile (film)
A Certain Smile is a 1958 drama film directed by Jean Negulesco, based on the book of the same name.-Cast:* Rossano Brazzi as Luc Ferrand* Joan Fontaine as Françoise Ferrand* Bradford Dillman as Bertrand Griot* Christine Carère as Dominique Vallon...

, co-starring Rossano Brazzi
Rossano Brazzi
-Biography:Brazzi was born in Bologna to Adelmo and Maria Brazzi. He attended San Marco University in Florence, Italy, where he was raised from the age of four...

 and Joan Fontaine
Joan Fontaine
Joan de Beauvoir de Havilland , known professionally as Joan Fontaine, is a British American actress. She and her elder sister Olivia de Havilland are two of the last surviving leading ladies from Hollywood of the 1930s....

, he appeared in many films throughout the years including Compulsion
Compulsion (film)
Compulsion, directed by Richard Fleischer, was a film made in 1959, based on the 1956 novel Compulsion by Meyer Levin, which in turn was based on the Leopold and Loeb trial. It was the first film Richard D. Zanuck produced.- Plot :...

(1959) for which he won an award at Cannes
Cannes Film Festival
The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

, the title role in Francis of Assisi
Francis of Assisi (film)
Francis of Assisi is a Delux color 1961 Cinemascope film directed by Michael Curtiz, based on the novel The Joyful Beggar by Louis de Wohl.-Plot:...

(1961), Sanctuary (1961) based on the William Faulkner
William Faulkner
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career...

 novel with Lee Remick
Lee Remick
Lee Ann Remick was an American film and television actress. Among her best-known films are Anatomy of a Murder , Days of Wine and Roses , and The Omen .-Early life:...

, A Rage to Live
A Rage to Live
A Rage to Live is a 1965 American drama film directed by Walter Grauman and starring Suzanne Pleshette as a woman whose passions wreak havoc on her life. The screenplay by John T. Kelley is based on the 1949 novel of the same name by John O'Hara.-Plot:...

(1965) with Suzanne Pleshette
Suzanne Pleshette
Suzanne Pleshette was an American actress, on stage, screen and television.After beginning her career in theatre, she began appearing in films in the early 1960s, such as Rome Adventure and Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds...

, The Mephisto Waltz (1969), The Bridge at Remagen,(1971), Escape from the Planet of the Apes
Escape from the Planet of the Apes
Escape from the Planet of the Apes, directed by Don Taylor, is a 1971 science fiction film starring Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman and Ricardo Montalbán. It is the third of five films in the original Planet of the Apes series produced by Arthur P. Jacobs, the second being Beneath the...

(1971), The Iceman Cometh
The Iceman Cometh (1973 film)
The Iceman Cometh is a 1973 film directed by John Frankenheimer. The screenplay was written by Thomas Quinn Curtiss, based on Eugene O'Neill's 1939 play of the same name. The film was screened at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, but wasn't entered into the main competition.This was the last film for...

(1973) as Will, The Way We Were
The Way We Were
The Way We Were is a 1973 American romantic dramatic film co-starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, directed by Sydney Pollack. The screenplay by Arthur Laurents was based on his college days at Cornell University and his experiences with the House Un-American Activities Committee.A box...

(1973), The Enforcer
The Enforcer (1976 film)
The Enforcer is a 1976 American film, and the third in the Dirty Harry film series. Directed by James Fargo, it stars Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan, Tyne Daly as Inspector Kate Moore and DeVeren Bookwalter as terrorist leader/main antagonist Bobby Maxwell.-Plot:In Marin County,...

(1976), The Swarm (1978), Piranha (1978), Sudden Impact
Sudden Impact
Sudden Impact is a 1983 American crime thriller and the fourth film in the Dirty Harry series, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood...

(1983) and Lords of the Deep
Lords of the Deep
Lords of the Deep is a 1989 science fiction/horror film about an underwater colony being attacked by alien life forms.Starring actors included Bradford Dillman and Priscilla Barnes....


Dillman also had a memorable role in The Incredible Hulk episode "The Snare" (an homage
Homage is a show or demonstration of respect or dedication to someone or something, sometimes by simple declaration but often by some more oblique reference, artistic or poetic....

 to the Richard Connell
Richard Connell
Richard Edward Connell Jr. was an American author and journalist, probably best remembered for his short story "The Most Dangerous Game". Connell was one of the most popular American short story writers of his time and his stories appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and Collier's Weekly...

 short story "The Most Dangerous Game
The Most Dangerous Game
"The Most Dangerous Game", also published as "The Hounds of Zaroff", is a short story by Richard Connell. It was published in Collier's Weekly on January 19, 1924....

"). He portrayed Michael Sutton, a hunter who tries to kill David Banner
David Banner
Lavell Crump , better known by his stage name David Banner, is an American rapper, record producer and occasional actor. Banner was born in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Southern University. He started his music career as a member of the rap duo, Crooked Lettaz before going solo in 2000...

 (played by Bill Bixby
Bill Bixby
Wilfred Bailey Everett “Bill” Bixby III was an American film and television actor, director, and frequent game show panelist.His career spanned over three decades; he appeared on stage, in motion pictures and TV series...

) on his mysterious island. That episode was one of the highest rated episodes in the series as it got high ratings on that night 7 December 1979 on CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...


He appeared on television throughout his career, starting on NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

's Kraft Television Theatre
Kraft Television Theatre
Kraft Television Theatre is an American drama/anthology television series that began May 7, 1947 on NBC, airing at 7:30pm on Wednesday evenings until December of that year. In January 1948, it moved to 9pm on Wednesdays, continuing in that timeslot until 1958. Initially produced by the J...

in 1954. He guest starred in 1962 as Arnold Radwin in the episode "Eat Little Fishie Eat" in NBC's medical drama
Medical drama
A medical drama is a television program, in which events center upon a hospital, an ambulance staff, or any medical environment.In the United States, most medical episodes are one hour long and, more often than not, are set in a hospital. Most current medical Dramatic programming go beyond the...

 about psychiatry
Psychiatry is the medical specialty devoted to the study and treatment of mental disorders. These mental disorders include various affective, behavioural, cognitive and perceptual abnormalities...

, The Eleventh Hour
The Eleventh Hour (1962 TV series)
The Eleventh Hour is an American medical drama about psychiatry starring Wendell Corey, Jack Ging, and Ralph Bellamy, which aired sixty-two new episodes plus selected rebroadcasts on NBC from October 3, 1962, to September 9, 1964.-Series premise:...

, starring Wendell Corey
Wendell Corey
Wendell Reid Corey was an American actor and politician.He was born in Dracut, Massachusetts, the son of Milton Rothwell Corey and Julia Etta McKenney . His father was a Congregationalist clergyman...

 and Jack Ging
Jack Ging
Jack Lee Ging is an American actor best known for his role as General Harlan 'Bull' Fullbright in the NBC television series The A-Team.-Early life:...

. He also appeared in Jack Palance
Jack Palance
Jack Palance , was an American actor. During half a century of film and television appearances, Palance was nominated for three Academy Awards, all as Best Actor in a Supporting Role, winning in 1991 for his role in City Slickers.-Early life:Palance, one of five children, was born Volodymyr...

's ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

A circus is commonly a travelling company of performers that may include clowns, acrobats, trained animals, trapeze acts, musicians, hoopers, tightrope walkers, jugglers, unicyclists and other stunt-oriented artists...

Drama is the specific mode of fiction represented in performance. The term comes from a Greek word meaning "action" , which is derived from "to do","to act" . The enactment of drama in theatre, performed by actors on a stage before an audience, presupposes collaborative modes of production and a...

, The Greatest Show on Earth
The Greatest Show on Earth (TV series)
The Greatest Show on Earth is an American drama series starring Jack Palance about the American circus, which aired on ABC from September 17, 1963, to April 28, 1964...

and the ABC medical drama Breaking Point starring Paul Richards
Paul Richards (actor)
Paul Richards was a Jewish American actor who appeared in films and on television in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s until his death from cancer at the age of fifty. He married actress Monica Keating in 1953.Richards guest-starred in a number of classic television western series, including Gunsmoke...

 and Eduard Franz
Eduard Franz
Eduard Franz , born Eduard Franz Schmidt, was an American actor of theater, film, and television. Franz portrayed King Ahab in the 1953 biblical low-budget film Sins of Jezebel, Jethro in Cecil B...

. In 1975, Dillman was among the guests on an episode of CBS's family drama, Three for the Road
Three for the Road (TV series)
Three for the Road was a 12-episode CBS drama television series about a recently widowed father and his two sons who in an attempt to assuage their grief, sell their house, procure a recreational vehicle, called the "Zebec", and travel around the United States...


Dillman made his final acting appearance on an episode of Murder, She Wrote
Murder, She Wrote
Murder, She Wrote is an American television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996 on the CBS network, with 264 episodes transmitted. It was followed by four TV films and a spin-off series,...

in 1995.

Dillman wrote the football fan book, Inside the New York Giants (1995), and an autobiography, Are You Anybody?: An Actor's Life (1997).

Personal life

Dillman met actress and model Suzy Parker
Suzy Parker
Suzy Parker was an American model and actress active from 1947 into the early 1960s. Her modeling career reached its zenith during the 1950s when she appeared on the cover of dozens of magazines, advertisements, and in movie and television roles.She appeared in several Revlon advertisements, but...

 during the filming of A Circle of Deception
A Circle of Deception
A Circle of Deception is a 1960 British war film directed by Jack Lee and starring Bradford Dillman, Suzy Parker and Harry Andrews.-Plot:A Canadian officer is sent on a secret and dangerous mission during the Second World War in an attempt to feed the Germans false information about the Normandy...

(1960). They were married on April 20, 1963 and had three children, Dinah, Charles
Brooke Dillman
Brooke Dillman is an American actress and comedian best known as a series regular maternal roles on the skit comedy Blue Collar TV .-Career:...

, and Christopher. The marriage lasted until her death on May 3, 2003. He was previously married to Frieda Harding from 1956 to 1962, and had two children (Jeffrey and Pamela) with Harding. He lives quietly in Montecito, California
Montecito, California
Montecito is an unincorporated community in Santa Barbara County, California. As a census-designated place, it had a population of 8,965 in 2010. This does not include areas such as Coast Village Road, that, while usually considered part of Montecito, are actually within the city limits of Santa...


"Bradford Dillman" is, in fact, the actor's real name. In The Guinness Book of Movie Facts and Feats, he said that "Bradford Dillman sounded like a distinguished, phony, theatrical name -- so I kept it."

External links

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