Nat Pendleton

Nat Pendleton

Former Olympic wrestler turned actor.

He was usually cast as a circus strongman, brutish thug, dump cop or dense buffoon, but he had a college degree and in 1933 wrote the script for Deception (1933), in which he starred--unsurprisingly--as a wrestler.

On the 1920 census he was living in Manhattan with his Puerto Rican first wife Juanita Alfonzo (age 22) and her brother Ramon Alfonso (age 13). He was working as a sports manager.

Two-time Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) champion (1914-1915) in the 175-lb class while at Columbia University, from which he graduated in 1916.

Wrestled for the United States at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium, earning a silver medal, and lost only one match due to a controversial point-decision. After the Games he became a professional wrestler and was a big fan favorite, which led to Hollywood.