Brian Donlevy was one of Hollywood's more enduring "tough guys."
A normally soft-spoken man of screen, Donlevy often portrayed the kind of guy the audience knew was "bad" from the start — or, at least, was sure to end up that way.
Early in his professional life, Donlevy was cast as Corp. Gowdy in "What Price Glory?" on Broadway. It was a lucky break. The play ran for two years and Donlevy, then a mere novice, was on his way.
His big break came in Hollywood, however, when he was signed to play the black-shirted bodyguard to Edward G. Robinson in the film "Barbary Coast" in 1935.
It was at that time that the "tough guy" casting really began to stick.
Four years later, in a much more demanding role, Donlevy won an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for his performance as Sgt. Markoff, the sadistic villain in a remake of "Beau Geste."
Donlevy, while enjoying his status as readily employable supporting actor, rarely took his professional credentials to seriously. After being asked by an interviewer in 1945 to comment on his acting ability, Donlevy replied: "I still stink."
|1939||Best Supporting Actor||Beau Geste||Nomination|