Roy Barcroft Overview:

Character actor, Roy Barcroft, was born Howard Clifford Ravenscroft on Sep 7, 1902 in Crab Orchard, NE. Barcroft died at the age of 67 on Nov 28, 1969 in Woodland Hills, CA .


The tall, solid, dark-haired, often mustachioed western villain who always looked as if he meant business, Barcroft's florid features were probably punched more often by cowboy heroes, especially in Republic 'B' features of the 1940s, than those of any other actor. After service in World War I, the man from Crab Orchard, Nebraska, or Weeping Water, Texas (according to which biographer you believe) tried a career as a clarinetist before settling into scores of films. In later years, he grew a bushy white beard for more sympathetic character roles. An infected leg wound led to his death from cancer.

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Film Character Actors: an Illustrated Directory).



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Roy Barcroft Quotes:

Stash: There's a big shipment coming in today - supplies and stuff for the new church - coming through El Madero Pass. We can grab it and sell it.
Nick Kovacs: We grab it... and burn it!
Stash: And sell the ashes?
Nick Kovacs: Where can we sell anything? We grab it and burn it! If shipment don't get to where she go, then they don't pay for it. And then ten thousand dollars is still ten thousand dollars waiting for us in one big bunch.

Mary Cook: How did you get so many people to attend our dance?
Gil Carse: They all owe me money or hope to.

Capt. Mephisto: You wouldn't dare trick me?
Prof. William Forrest: Trick you? I'd kill you if I thought I could escape afterwards! As it is, I'm obeying orders.
Capt. Mephisto: Don't tax my patience too far!

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Roy Barcroft Facts
Considerable confusion exists concerning Barcroft's birthplace. Most sources cite Weeping Water, Texas, USA, while others cite Crab Orchard Nebraska, USA. However, Weeping Water, Texas does not exist. But Weeping Water, Nebraska, is quite near Crab Orchard, Nebraska, and it is likely that Barcroft was born in Weeping Water, Nebraska, USA, and raised in nearby Crab Orchard, Nebraska.

Barcroft claimed that his favorite role was as the reincarnated pirate Captain Mephisto in the non-western Republic serial Manhunt of Mystery Island (1945). Also among his favorites were the serials The Purple Monster Strikes (1945) and Haunted Harbor (1944).

During his years as a freelance, Barcroft became such an asset as the villian in low budget westerns that in 1943 Republic signed him to an exclusive ten year contract.

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