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Ralph Bellamy

Ralph Bellamy

A founding member of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933.

As a boy he delivered newspapers and groceries, and worked as a soda jerk at a drugstore.

Attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. He was president of the Drama Club there. He was expelled, however, for smoking on school grounds,.

Biography in: "American National Biography". Supplement 1, pp. 37-38. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 3, 1991-1993, pages 55-56. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2001.



Great-uncle of actor Sam Huntington, to whom he bequeathed his Lifetime Achievement Oscar.

Had a daughter named Lynn and an adopted son named Willard.

In Howard Hawks' His Girl Friday (1940), Bellamy's character, as happened in several movies, loses his girl to Cary Grant. At one point in the movie, as the conniving newspaper editor, Grant is giving a henchman directions to help him identify Bellamy's character, and Grant says, "He looks like Ralph Bellamy.".

Played Franklin D. Roosevelt four times: on stage, in a movie and in two miniseries.

Raised in Winnetka, Illinois.

Ralph owned his own stock company for four seasons (1926-1930). It was called "The Ralph Bellamy Players" and it toured Nashville, Evanston, and Iowa (including Des Moines). Overall, he spent nine years in repertory and touring companies, playing over 400 roles, including an average of two or three in each play.

Ran away from home at age 17 to join a traveling band of Shakespearean players. He also worked as an usher at Ravinia Park Open Air Pavilion.

Turned down a role in Chinatown (1974); the part was played by John Huston instead.

Was one of the most popular and durable actors in Hollywood, playing everything from handsome heroes in his youth to villainous old men later in his career.

Was the eldest of three children born to Charles Rexford Bellamy, who was employed with an advertising agency, and Lilla Louise Smith. One of his younger siblings, a boy, died a couple of days after birth.

Went to New Trier High School, as did Rock Hudson, Hugh O'Brien, Ann-Margret, Bruce Dern, Penelope Milford, Virginia Madsen and Liz Phair.

Won Broadway's 1958 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for his portrayal of Franklin D. Roosevelt in "Sunrise at Campobello," a role that he recreated in the movie version also titled Sunrise at Campobello (1960).


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