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Overview for Arthur O'Connell
Arthur O'Connell

Arthur O'Connell



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Also Known As: Died: May 18, 1981
Born: March 29, 1908 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: Cast ... actor vaudevillian


Citybred actor Arthur O'Connell had the corn-fed look of a born and bred farm boy. His looks and good-natured demeanor garnered him a stage debut in the '30s with the acclaimed Mercury Theatre, founded by Orson Welles. His work there led to a bit part in Welles's drama "Citizen Kane" in 1941. Despite a number of small roles, O'Connell grew frustrated with film, and returned to theater, appearing on Broadway as Polonius in "Hamlet." In 1953, his performance as Howard Bevans in "Picnic" earned him attention from theater-goers and Hollywood alike. In 1955, he reprised his role in the film adaptation, and earned his first Oscar nomination. His second would come five years later for his work in Otto Preminger's legal drama "Anatomy of a Murder." With his acclaimed status, O'Connell had more opportunities, and could be selective about the roles he'd take. By the '70s, O'Connell had become a popular guest star on television. However, the progression of Alzheimer's caused him to take on less and less work. By the time of his death at age 73, he was only appearing in the occasional commercial. Having appeared in over 130 films and television shows, O'Connell left behind a legacy few could surpass.

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