Image of Barton MacLane

Barton MacLane

Barton MacLane graduated from Wesleyan University, where he displayed a notable aptitude for sports, in particular football and basketball. Not surprisingly, his physical prowess led to an early role in The Quarterback (1926) with Richard Dix. MacLane once commented that, as an actor, he needed to have the physical strength to tear the bad guys "from limb to limb", if necessary. Ironically, it was usually Barton himself who was destined to be at the end of a hiding (when not getting shot, instead), typically as snarling henchmen, outlaws and other assorted dubious or abrasive types throughout most of his 40-year acting career. In fact, Barton became so typecast that his name was for a time used proverbially, to generally describe a shouting, hard-nosed ruffian. After training at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, MacLane joined a stock company in Brooklyn. In 1927 he had his first part on Broadway, a brief moment as an assistant district attorney, in the melodrama "The Trial of Mary Dugan". He then played a small featured role as a police officer in "Subway Express" (1929-30), a drama enacted in the interior of a subway car. In mid-1932 MacLane tried his hand at writing his own starring vehicle for the stage, entitled "Rendezvous". While the play closed after just 21 performances, it led to a contract with Warner Brothers. Barton had already appeared in bit roles for Paramount at their Astoria Studios, including The Marx Brothers' debut film The Cocoanuts (1929). He portrayed mobster Brad Collins in 'G' Men (1935) (with James Cagney), which set the tone for most of his future assignments. Brawny, with squinty eyes and a rasping voice, MacLane was the ideal surly tough guy, particularly suitable for westerns and the type of films noir Warner Brothers excelled at. He was often cast as cops, be they bent or honest. Some of his most representative performances include gangster Al Kruger in Bullets or Ballots (1936), which won him some of the best critical notices of his career; outlaw Jack Slade in Western Union (1941); crooked construction boss Pat McCormick, who gets beaten up by Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt over past-due wages in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948); hard-nosed cops Detective Dundy in The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Lt. Reece in Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950). MacLane, on loan to Universal, also had a starring role in Prison Break (1938) as an innocent tuna fisherman who is framed for murder. He was prominent as a tough but sympathetic cop, foil to sleuthing girl reporter Glenda Farrell in the "Torchy Blaine" series of the mid- to late 1930s. In the 1960s Barton began to cultivate a good-guy image as Marshal Frank Caine in the NBC western series Outlaws (1960) as well as showing up in a small recurring role as Air Force Gen. Martin Peterson in I Dream of Jeannie (1965). Barton was married to the actress Charlotte Wynters, who appeared with him in six of his films. When not on the set, the couple spent time on their 2000-acre cattle ranch in Madera County, California. For his work in television, Barton has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Dec 25, 1902 In Columbia, South Carolina, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Quarterback 1926-10-11
Latest Project:
Movie Bogart: The Untold Story 1997-01-05
Known For
Poster of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Poster of The Maltese Falcon
Poster of High Sierra
Poster of The Secret Seven
Movie Bogart: The Untold Story Unknown 1997-01-05
Movie Hollywood Out-takes and Rare Footage Himself (archive footage) 1983-02-25
Movie It's Showtime Unknown 1976-03-31
Movie Arizona Bushwhackers Sheriff Grover 1968-03-01
Movie Buckskin Dr. H. 'Doc' Raymond 1968-05-01
Series Hondo Unknown 1967-09-08
Series The Monkees Unknown 1966-09-12
Movie Town Tamer James Fell 1965-07-07
Movie The Rounders Tanner 1965-01-08
Series I Dream of Jeannie General Peterson 1965-09-18
Movie Law of the Lawless Big Tom Stone 1964-05-13
Series The Munsters Unknown 1964-09-24
Movie Pocketful of Miracles Police Commissioner 1961-12-18
Movie Gunfighters of Abilene Seth 1960-01-01
Movie Noose for a Gunman Carl Avery 1960-05-01
Series Outlaws Marshal Frank Caine 1960-09-26
Series Tightrope Unknown 1959-09-08
Series Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Unknown 1958-10-06
Movie Girl on the Run Francis J. Brannigan 1958-10-10
Movie Girl in the Woods Big Jim 1958-06-01
Movie Frontier Gun Simon Crayle 1958-10-31
Series 77 Sunset Strip Unknown 1958-10-10
Movie The Geisha Boy Major Ridgley 1958-11-02
Movie Hell's Crossroads Clyde O'Connell 1957-03-08
Movie Sierra Stranger Lem Gotch 1957-05-01
Series Perry Mason Unknown 1957-09-21
Movie Naked In The Sun Wilson 1957-09-20
Movie Backlash Sgt. George Lake 1956-04-11
Movie Jaguar Steve Bailey 1956-01-19
Movie Wetbacks Karl Shanks 1956-05-04
Series Telephone Time Unknown 1956-04-08
Movie The Man Is Armed Det. Lt. Dan Coster 1956-10-19
Series Wire Service Unknown 1956-10-04
Movie Three Violent People Yates 1956-12-01
Movie Naked Gun Joe Barnum 1956-11-01
Movie Foxfire Jim Mablett 1955-07-13
Series Gunsmoke Unknown 1955-09-10
Movie The Silver Star Henry 'Tiny' Longtree 1955-04-07
Movie Treasure Of Ruby Hills Chalk Reynolds 1955-01-23
Movie Jail Busters Captain Jenkins 1955-09-18
Movie Last of the Desperados Mosby, Gang Leader 1955-10-31
Series Cheyenne Unknown 1955-09-20
Movie Rails Into Laramie Lee Graham 1954-04-14
Movie The Glenn Miller Story General Arnold 1954-01-04
Movie Jubilee Trail Deacon Bartlett 1954-05-15
Series The Whistler Unknown 1954-07-13
Movie Hell's Outpost Sheriff Olson 1954-12-15
Series Studio 57 Unknown 1954-09-21
Movie Kansas Pacific Cal Bruce 1953-02-22
Movie Cow Country Marvin Parker 1953-04-25
Movie Sea of Lost Ships Capt. Jack Matthews 1953-10-24
Movie Captain Scarface Captain Scarface 1953-10-15
Movie Jack Slade Jules Reni 1953-11-08
Movie The Half-Breed Marshal Cassidy 1952-05-03
Movie Bugles in the Afternoon Capt. Myles Moylan 1952-03-04
Movie Thunderbirds Sgt. Durkee 1952-11-20
Movie Best of the Badmen Joad 1951-08-09
Movie Drums in the Deep South Sgt. Mac McCardle 1951-09-01
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Series Lux Video Theatre Unknown 1950-10-02
Movie Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye Lieutenant John Reece 1950-08-19
Movie Let's Dance Larry Channock 1950-11-29
Movie The Bandit Queen Sheriff Jim Harden 1950-12-22
Movie Red Light Detective Strecker 1949-09-30
Movie Silver River 'Banjo' Sweeney 1948-05-20
Movie The Treasure of the Sierra Madre Pat McCormick 1948-01-15
Movie The Dude Goes West Texas Jack Barton 1948-05-30
Movie Unknown Island Capt. Tarnowski 1948-10-15
Movie The Walls of Jericho Rufus J. "Gotch" McCurdy 1948-11-22
Movie Angel in Exile Max Giorgio 1948-10-20
Movie Relentless Tex Brandow 1948-06-15
Movie Tarzan and the Huntress Paul Weir 1947-04-05
Movie Cheyenne Webb Yancey 1947-06-06
Movie Jungle Flight Case Hagin 1947-08-22
Movie Mysterious Intruder Detective Taggart 1946-04-11
Movie Santa Fe Uprising Crawford 1946-11-15
Movie San Quentin Nick Taylor 1946-12-16
Movie Tarzan and the Amazons Ballister 1945-04-29
Movie The Spanish Main Capt. Benjamin Black 1945-10-01
Movie Scared Stiff George 'Deacon' Markham 1945-06-22
Movie The Mummy's Ghost Inspector Walgreen 1944-07-07
Movie Nabonga Carl Hurst 1944-01-25
Movie Marine Raiders Sgt. Maguire 1944-07-11
Movie Cry of the Werewolf Lt. Barry Lane 1944-08-17
Movie Secret Command Red Kelly 1944-07-30
Movie Gentle Annie Sheriff Tatum 1944-12-05
Movie Bombardier Archie Dixon 1943-05-14
Movie Song of Texas Jim Calvert 1943-06-14
Movie Man of Courage John Wallace 1943-01-04
Movie The Underdog John Tate 1943-10-17
Movie The Crime Doctor’s Strangest Case Detective Rief 1943-12-09
Movie The Big Street Case Ables 1942-08-13
Movie All Through the Night Marty Callahan 1942-01-10
Movie Highways by Night Leo Bronson 1942-10-02
Movie Western Union Jack Slade 1941-02-21
Movie Come Live with Me Barney Grogan 1941-01-31
Movie High Sierra Jake Kranmer 1941-01-23
Movie Barnacle Bill John Kelly 1941-04-07
Movie The Maltese Falcon Det. Lt. Dundy 1941-10-18
Movie Wild Geese Calling Pirate Kelly 1941-08-15
Movie Hit the Road James J. Ryan 1941-06-27
Movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Sam Higgins 1941-08-12
Movie Manpower Smiley Quinn 1941-08-09
Movie Breakdowns of 1939 Himself 1940-01-02
Movie Gangs of Chicago Jim Ramsey 1940-05-18
Movie Men Without Souls Blackie Drew 1940-05-20
Movie Melody Ranch Mark Wildhack 1940-09-15
Movie The Secret Seven Sam O'Donnell 1940-08-15
Movie Stand Up and Fight Crowder 1939-01-06
Movie Torchy Blane in Chinatown Det. Lt. Steve 'Mac' McBride 1939-02-02
Movie I Was a Convict Ace King 1939-03-06
Movie Mutiny in the Big House Red Manson 1939-10-24
Movie Torchy Runs for Mayor Steve McBride 1939-05-13
Movie Big Town Czar Phil Daley 1939-05-03
Movie The Kid Comes Back Gunner Malone 1938-02-12
Movie Blondes at Work Lt. Steve McBride 1938-02-05
Movie Gold Is Where You Find It Slag Martin 1938-02-12
Movie Prison Break Joaquin Shannon 1938-07-12
Movie Torchy Gets Her Man Detective Steve McBride 1938-11-12
Movie You and Me Mickey Bain 1938-06-01
Movie The Storm Captain Cogswell 1938-10-28
Movie The Prince and the Pauper John Canty 1937-04-30
Movie You Only Live Once Stephen Whitney 1937-01-23
Movie Breakdowns of 1937 Himself 1937-01-23
Movie God's Country and the Woman Bullhead 1937-01-16
Movie Draegerman Courage Andrew Beaupre 1937-05-15
Movie Smart Blonde Steve McBride 1937-01-02
Movie Ever Since Eve Al McCoy 1937-07-15
Movie San Quentin Lt. Druggin 1937-05-24
Movie The Adventurous Blonde Det. Lt. Steve McBride 1937-11-13
Movie Wine, Women and Horses Jim Turner 1937-09-11
Movie Born Reckless Jim Barnes 1937-06-25
Movie Fly Away Baby Steve McBride 1937-06-19
Movie The Walking Dead Loder 1936-03-01
Movie Ceiling Zero Al Stone 1936-01-16
Movie Times Square Playboy Casey (Vic's Butler/Trainer) 1936-05-09
Movie Bullets or Ballots Al Kruger 1936-06-06
Movie Breakdowns of 1936 Himself 1936-12-30
Movie Jailbreak Detective Captain Rourke 1936-08-05
Movie Bengal Tiger Cliff Ballenger 1936-07-29
Movie Stranded Sharkey 1935-06-29
Movie Black Fury McGee 1935-05-18
Movie Go Into Your Dance Duke Hutchinson 1935-04-20
Movie The Case of the Curious Bride Detective Lucas 1935-04-13
Movie Page Miss Glory Blackie 1935-09-07
Movie 'G' Men Brad Collins 1935-05-04
Movie The Case of the Lucky Legs Bisonette 1935-10-05
Movie Dr. Socrates Red Bastian 1935-10-19
Movie Man of Iron Chris Bennett 1935-12-21
Movie A Dream Comes True Himself (uncredited) 1935-12-31
Movie I Found Stella Parish Clifton Jeffords 1935-11-14
Movie Frisco Kid Spikder Burke 1935-11-29
Movie All of Me First Cop (uncredited) 1934-02-01
Movie The Last Round-up Charley Benson 1934-05-01
Movie Let's Dance Unknown 1933-03-17
Movie The Thundering Herd Henchman Pruitt 1933-03-01
Movie Man of the Forest Mulvey 1933-08-24
Movie Tillie and Gus Commissioner McLennan 1933-10-13
Movie To the Last Man Neil Stanley 1933-09-15
Movie Big Executive Harry the Guide 1933-10-19
Movie Crimes Square Detective with Handcuffs 1931-03-26
Movie His Woman Crewman 1931-11-20
Movie The Gigolo Racket Cafe Customer 1931-06-15
Movie The Quarterback Football Player (uncredited) 1926-10-11