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Overview for John Howard Payne
John Howard Payne

John Howard Payne



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Wings of the... Biplanes flying in formation past the Washington Monument. A flotilla of... more info $15.96was $19.99 Buy Now

Raiders Of The... A lusty pirate, Barbarossa (John Payne), escapes from a Spanish prison. With... more info $11.45was $19.95 Buy Now

Rebel in Town ... An ex-Confederate soldier accidentally kills a small boy after a bank robbery.... more info $11.45was $19.95 Buy Now

The Boss ... Political corruption is vividly depicted as a ruthless WWI veteran takes almost... more info $11.45was $19.95 Buy Now

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Also Known As: John Howard Payne,John Payne Died: December 6, 1989
Born: May 23, 1912 Cause of Death: congestive heart failure
Birth Place: Roanoke, Virginia, USA Profession: Cast ... actor director professional wrestler


In 1930, John Payne left Salem, Virginia, where he had been studying at Roanoke College. He went to New York City to study drama at Columbia University and voice at Juilliard. To pay his way, he worked various jobs, among which was singing in vaudeville. In 1934, a talent scout from the Shubert theaters, which ran some of New York's most important theater venues, noticed him and offered him work as a stock player. He toured with some of their shows and occasionally sang on radio programs. With his star on the rise, Hollywood producer Samuel Goldwyn offered him a contract, and he relocated to the West Coast. After working for various studios, he signed a contract with 20th Century Fox. With Fox he became a star in movie musicals, often playing the love interest of actresses like Betty Grable and Alice Faye in films like "Tin Pan Alley" (1940) and "Hello Frisco, Hello" (1943). In 1947, he landed in his best known role, starring as Fred Gailey, an attorney trying to prove Santa Claus is real, in the perennial Christmas classic "Miracle on 34th Street." In the 1950s, Payne's gentle image gave way to one of the tough guy, and he started appearing in Westerns and noir movies like "Silver Lode" in 1954 and "Hell's Island" in 1955. He took on a regular role on television from 1957 to 1959, when he starred as Vint Bonner, a gun-fighting cowboy, in the Western "The Restless Gun."


albatros1 ( 2008-02-29 )

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John Payne (May 28, 1912 - December 6, 1989) was an American movie actor Payne was born in Roanoke, Virginia. In 1934, he was spotted by a talent scout for the Shubert theaters and was given a job as a stock player. Payne toured with several Shubert Brothers shows. In 1936, he was offered a contract by Samuel Goldwyn, and he left New York for Hollywood. In 1940 he signed with 20th-Century Fox. Fox made him a star, in 1940s musicals like Tin Pan Alley, Sun Valley Serenade, and Weekend in Havana. A highlight during this period was co-starring with Gene Tierney and Tyrone Power in The Razor's Edge (1946). Later in his career Payne changed his image and began playing tough-guy roles in Hollywood films noir and westerns including Kansas City Confidential, 99 River Street and Slightly Scarlet. Payne's most popular role may be that of attorney Fred Gailey in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). In May 1961, Payne suffered extensive, life-threatening injuries when struck by a car in New York City. His recovery took two years. His final role was in 1975 when he co-starred with Peter Falk and Janet Leigh in Columbo: Forgotten Lady. Later in life, Payne became wealthy through real estate investments in Southern California. Payne died in Malibu, California of congestive heart failure in December 1989, aged 77. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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