Wendell Corey was an actor of the stage, film and television known for his piercing eyes and gruff voice. Whether he was playing the clean-shaven businessman, the chaps-wearing cowboy or a gambler, he was magnetic. He wanted to be heard and he was.
Corey started being heard on Broadway. He broke the ranks of a supporting player when cast as a hardened newspaperman in Elmer Rice's "Dream Girl," which highlighted his intensity and commanding presence. His portrayal struck a chord with producer Hal Wallis, who took Corey under his wing, convincing him that Hollywood held his future. Corey listened and headed out west, making his screen debut as the unforgettable gambler in Wallis' "Desert Fury" (1947).
Corey's star rose quickly and seamlessly as he was cast in both supporting and starring roles, usually radiating strength and power. Notable portrayals include as a doctor in "Sorry, Wrong Number" (1948), as a homicide detective in "The Accused" (1949), as the husband of a terminally ill wife in "No Sad Songs for Me" (1950), as a detective in "Rear Window" (1954) and as a deputy sheriff in "The Rainmaker" (1956).
Corey made himself heard among others actors and in the larger community. He was master of ceremonies at the Republican National Conventions of 1956 and 1960. He served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1961 to 1963. He was elected to the Santa Monica City Council in 1965, beating 12 other candidates. Corey served as a councilman until his death.
As a councilman, Corey worked to support many programs to improve Santa Monica's parks and recreational areas for generations to explore and enjoy, as he did.