Image of James Dunn

James Dunn

James Dunn worked on the stage, in vaudeville and as an extra in silent movies before he was signed by Fox in 1931. His first movie with Fox was 1931's Sob Sister (1931). While at Fox, he appeared with Shirley Temple in her first three features: Baby Take a Bow (1934), Stand Up and Cheer! (1934) and Bright Eyes (1934). Dunn's screen character was usually the boy next door or the nice guy. In 1935 musicals at the new 20th Century-Fox were out and Dunn would move to the "B" list, from which he would never return. In The Payoff (1935) he plays the nice guy newspaper columnist whose wife ruins his career. By the late 1930s he was drinking heavily and become unemployable. He would appear in small roles in films during the early 1940s, but those parts were few. In 1945 he was able to make a comeback and win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945), but his rejuvenated career would not continue. By 1951 he would again be unemployed and bankrupt. Television would later supply some work and he would be a regular on the series It's a Great Life (1954). Dunn was born 2 November 1901, New York City, New York, USA, and he died 1 September 1967, Santa Monica, California, USA  (following abdominal surgery)

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Nov 2, 1901 In New York City, New York, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie The Song Plugger 1930-06-08
Latest Project:
Movie Hollywood’s Children 1982-02-24
Known For
Poster of The Fugitive
Poster of The Virginian
Poster of Wanted: Dead or Alive
Poster of The Golden Gloves Story
Movie Hollywood’s Children Self (archive footage) 1982-02-24
Movie Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (archive footage) 1975-08-06
Movie Shadow Over Elveron Luke Travers 1968-03-05
Movie The Oscar TV executive 1966-03-04
Series Branded Unknown 1965-01-24
Series The Fugitive Unknown 1963-09-17
Series Vacation Playhouse Unknown 1963-07-22
Series The Great Adventure Unknown 1963-09-27
Series Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Unknown 1963-10-04
Series The Virginian Unknown 1962-09-19
Movie Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man Telegrapher 1962-07-25
Series Going My Way Unknown 1962-10-03
Series Ben Casey Unknown 1961-10-02
Movie The Bramble Bush Stew Schaffer 1960-02-24
Series Route 66 Unknown 1960-10-07
Series Rawhide Unknown 1959-01-09
Series Wanted: Dead or Alive Unknown 1958-09-06
Series Naked City Unknown 1958-09-30
Series Matinee Theater Unknown 1955-10-31
Series It's a Great Life Earl Morgan 1954-09-07
Series Climax! Unknown 1954-10-07
Series General Electric Theater Unknown 1953-02-01
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Movie The Golden Gloves Story Joe Riley 1950-03-22
Series Robert Montgomery Presents Unknown 1950-01-30
Series Lux Video Theatre Unknown 1950-10-02
Movie Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven Mike 1948-07-16
Series Studio One Unknown 1948-11-07
Movie Killer McCoy Brian McCoy 1947-12-01
Movie That Brennan Girl Denny Reagan 1946-12-23
Movie The Caribbean Mystery Mr. Smith 1945-06-01
Movie A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Johnny Nolan 1945-02-28
Movie Take It or Leave It Himself 1944-07-17
Movie Leave It to the Irish Terry Moran 1944-08-26
Movie The Ghost and the Guest Webster Frye 1943-04-19
Movie Government Girl Sergeant Joe Blake 1943-11-05
Movie The Living Ghost Nick Trayne 1942-08-11
Movie Son of the Navy Chief Gunners Mate Mike Malone 1940-01-01
Movie Hold That Woman! Jimmy Parker 1940-06-28
Movie Pride of the Navy Speed Brennan 1939-01-23
Movie Mercy Plane 'Speed' Leslie 1939-12-04
Movie Shadows Over Shanghai Johnny McGinty 1938-10-14
Movie Venus Makes Trouble Buzz Martin 1937-05-14
Movie We Have Our Moments John Wade 1937-03-28
Movie Living on Love Gary Martin 1937-11-12
Movie Hearts in Bondage Lt. Kenneth Reynolds 1936-05-26
Movie Come Closer, Folks Jim Keene 1936-11-07
Movie Mysterious Crossing Addison Francis Murphy 1936-12-27
Movie The Payoff Joe McCoy 1935-01-09
Movie George White's 1935 Scandals Eddie 1935-03-29
Movie The Daring Young Man Don McLane 1935-07-17
Movie Bad Boy Eddie Nolan 1935-10-25
Movie Stand Up and Cheer! Jimmy Dugan 1934-05-04
Movie Hold That Girl Barney Sullivan 1934-03-23
Movie Change of Heart Mark McGowan 1934-05-18
Movie 365 Nights in Hollywood James 'Jimmy' Dale 1934-12-11
Movie Baby Take a Bow Eddie Ellison 1934-06-30
Movie Bright Eyes Loop Merritt 1934-12-28
Movie Have a Heart James 'Jimmie' Flaherty 1934-09-07
Movie Hello, Sister! Jimmy 1933-04-14
Movie Sailor's Luck Jimmy Fenimore Harrigan 1933-03-17
Movie The Girl in 419 Dr. Daniel French 1933-05-26
Movie Hold Me Tight Chuck 1933-05-20
Movie Take a Chance Duke Stanley 1933-11-25
Movie Jimmy and Sally Jimmy O'Connor 1933-11-04
Movie Arizona to Broadway Smiley Wells 1933-07-22
Movie Dance Team Jimmy Mulligan 1932-01-17
Movie Society Girl Johnny Malone 1932-05-29
Movie Handle with Care Bill Gordon 1932-12-25
Movie Bad Girl Eddie Collins 1931-08-13
Movie Over the Hill Johnny Shelby as an Adult 1931-11-29
Movie The Song Plugger Man in Record Shop 1930-06-08