film actor who appeared mostly in westerns
Common clues: Jack
of “Rio Lobo”; Jack of oaters; Jack of westerns;
actor Jack; Jack of “Big Bad John”
once a year
Jack Elam Gets His
Elam (November 13, 1918—October 20, 2003) was an American
film actor who appeared mostly in westerns.
attended Santa Monica Junior College in California and
subsequently became an accountant in Hollywood and, at one time,
manager of the Bel Air Hotel in Los Angeles. His face is
memorable in part because of an out-of-kilter blind left eye. In
interviews, Elam admitted that he got the slow eye after a fellow
Boy Scout stabbed him in the left eye with a pencil during a
scrape at a troop meeting. He appeared mostly in westerns and
gangster films playing "heavies". In 1963 he got a rare
chance to play the good guy when he played the part of Deputy
Marshall J.D.Smith in "The Dakotas", a TV western which
was to run for 19 episodes. Elam was given his first comedic role
in Support Your Local Sheriff!, after which he found his
villainous assignments dwindling and his comic jobs increasing.
He was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1994.
died of heart failure on October 20, 2003.
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