Broderick Crawford won an Academy Award as best actor of 1949 for his role as a ruthless, scheming Southern political boss in "All the King's Men" but was better-known to later generations as the beefy chief of television's "Highway Patrol."
The gravel-voiced Crawford was comparatively unknown to film audiences at the time that he was chosen to portray the uncouth but guileful Willie Stark in the film version of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. He attracted rave reviews for his performance in what Life magazine called the "most exciting film to come out of Hollywood" that year.
However, Crawford's greatest popularity came not as a film actor but as a television performer. From 1957 to 1967, he played the fast-talking Sgt. Dan Matthews in "Highway Patrol." He later made two other television series, neither of which had the impact of the one in which his trademark was the expression "Ten-Four, Ten-Four," which in police talk means, "I understand."