Roy Barcroft

Description   [from Freebase]

Roy Barcroft (September 7, 1902 – November 28, 1969) was an American character actor famous for playing villains in B-Westerns and other genres. Noted film critic Leonard Maltin acclaimed Barcroft as "Republic Pictures' number one bad guy". Barcroft was born Howard Harold Ravenscroft to a farming family in Nebraska in 1902. In 1917 be joined up with the United States Army to fight in France in World War I, where he was wounded in action. After leaving the army he drifted through several jobs (including ranch hand, roughneck, railroad worker and seaman) before re-enlisting and being stationed in Hawaii. In 1929, he moved to California and worked as an extra and a salesman. He was discovered while acting in an amateur theatre production (a hobby he took up to improve his speaking voice as a salesman) and cast in the serial S.O.S. Coast Guard. He worked for many studios in the years that followed until 1943 when he signed an exclusive 10-year contract with Republic. Under this contract, he starred in almost 150 films and serials, becoming instantly recognisable as the villain to the audiences of the day.

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