Edmond O'Brien - Rotten Tomatoes

Edmond O'Brien

Highest Rated:   100% The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
Lowest Rated:   43% Rio Conchos (1964)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Not Available
Reportedly a neighbor of Harry Houdini while growing up in the Bronx, American actor Edmond O'Brien decided to emulate Houdini by becoming a magician himself. The demonstrative skills gleaned from this experience enabled O'Brien to move into acting while attending high school. After majoring in drama at Columbia University, he made his first Broadway appearance at age 21 in Daughters of Atrus. O'Brien's mature features and deep, commanding voice allowed him to play characters far older than himself, and it looked as though he was going to become one of Broadway's premiere character actors. Yet when he was signed for film work by RKO in 1939, the studio somehow thought he was potential leading man material -- perhaps as a result of his powerful stage performance as young Marc Antony in Orson Welles' modern dress version of Julius Caesar. As Gringoire the poet in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), O'Brien was a bit callow and overemphatic, but he did manage to walk off with the heroine (Maureen O'Hara) at the end of the film. O'Brien's subsequent film roles weren't quite as substantial, though he was shown to excellent comic advantage in the Moss Hart all-serviceman play Winged Victory, in a role he repeated in the 1944 film version while simultaneously serving in World War II (he was billed as "Sergeant Edmond O'Brien"). Older and stockier when he returned to Hollywood after the war, O'Brien was able to secure meaty leading parts in such "films noir" as The Killers (1946), The Web (1947) and White Heat (1949). In the classic melodrama D.O.A. (1950), O'Brien enjoyed one of the great moments in "noir" history when, as a man dying of poison, he staggered into a police station at the start of the film and gasped "I want to report a murder...mine." As one of many top-rank stars of 1954's The Barefoot Contessa, O'Brien breathed so much credibility into the stock part of a Hollywood press agent that he won an Academy Award. On radio, the actor originated the title role in the long-running insurance-investigator series "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar" in 1950. On TV, O'Brien played a Broadway star turned private eye in the 1959 syndicated weekly "Johnny Midnight," though the producers refused to cast him unless he went on a crash vegetarian diet. Plagued by sporadic illnesses throughout his life, O'Brien suffered a heart seizure in 1961 while on location in the Arabian desert to play the Lowell Thomas counterpart in Lawrence of Arabia, compelling the studio to replace him with Arthur Kennedy. O'Brien recovered sufficiently in 1962 to take the lead in a TV lawyer series, "Sam Benedict;" another TV stint took place three years later in "The Long Hot Summer." The actor's career prospered for the next decade, but by 1975 illness had begun to encroach upon his ability to perform; he didn't yet know it, but he was in the first stages of Alzheimer's Disease. Edmond O'Brien dropped out of sight completely during the next decade, suffering the ignominity of having his "death" reported by tabloids several times during this period. The real thing mercifully claimed the tragically enfeebled O'Brien in 1985.

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet The Hanged Man
  • Actor
2014
No Score Yet Shield for Murder
  • Barney Nolan
  • Director
2003
No Score Yet The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage
  • Actor
1996
No Score Yet Dream No Evil
  • Timothy MacDonald
1975
No Score Yet 99 And 44/100% Dead (Call Harry Crown)
  • Actor
1974
No Score Yet Lucky Luciano
  • Harry J. Anslinger
1973
No Score Yet They Only Kill Their Masters
  • George
1972
No Score Yet The Love God?
  • Osborn Tremain
1969
90% The Wild Bunch
  • Sykes
1969
91% Fantastic Voyage
  • General Carter
1966
No Score Yet The Doomsday Flight
  • The Madman
1966
No Score Yet Sylvia
  • Oscar Stewart
1965
43% Rio Conchos
  • Col. Theron "Gray Fox" Pardee
1964
91% Seven Days in May
  • Sen. Raymond Clark
1964
91% Birdman of Alcatraz
  • Tom Gaddis
1962
87% The Longest Day
  • Gen. Raymond O. Barton
1962
94% The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  • Dutton Peabody
1962
No Score Yet Moon Pilot
  • McClosky
1962
No Score Yet The Great Imposter
  • Capt. Glover - HMCS Cayuga
1961
60% The Last Voyage
  • 2nd Engineer Walsh
1960
No Score Yet Up Periscope
  • Commander Paul Stevenson
1959
No Score Yet L'ambitieuse (The Ambitious One)
  • Actor
1959
No Score Yet Stopover Tokyo
  • George Underwood
1957
No Score Yet The Big Land
  • Joe Jagger
1957
No Score Yet Comedian
  • Actor
1957
No Score Yet The Rack
  • Lieutenant Colonel Frank Wasnick
1956
No Score Yet 1984
  • Winston Smith
1956
No Score Yet A Cry in the Night
  • Capt. Dan Taggart
1956
No Score Yet D-Day: The Sixth of June
  • Lt. Col. Alexander Timmer
1956
75% The Girl Can't Help It
  • Marty 'Fats' Murdock
1956
No Score Yet Pete Kelly's Blues
  • Fran McCarg
1955
100% The Barefoot Contessa
  • Oscar Muldoon
1954
78% The Bigamist
  • Harry Graham / Harrison Graham
1953
95% Julius Caesar
  • Casca
1953
93% The Hitch-hiker
  • Roy Collins
1953
No Score Yet Cow Country
  • Ben Anthony
1953
No Score Yet Man in the Dark (The Man Who Lived Twice)
  • Steve Rawley
1953
No Score Yet The Turning Point
  • John Conroy
1952
48% The Greatest Show on Earth
  • Midway Barker
1952
No Score Yet Warpath
  • John Vickers
1951
No Score Yet Denver & Rio Grande
  • Jim Vesser
1951
No Score Yet The Admiral Was a Lady
  • Jimmy Stevens
1950
No Score Yet Between Midnight and Dawn
  • Officer Dan Purvis
1950
88% D.O.A.
  • Frank Bigelow
1950
No Score Yet Backfire
  • Steve Connolly
1950
No Score Yet 711 Ocean Drive
  • Mal Granger
1950
97% White Heat
  • Hank Fallon/Vic Pardo
1949
No Score Yet An Act of Murder
  • David Douglas
1948
No Score Yet Fighter Squadron
  • Maj. Ed Harden
1948
No Score Yet For the Love of Mary
  • Lt. Tom Farmington
1948
No Score Yet Another Part of the Forest
  • Benjamin 'Ben' Hubbard
1948
100% The Web
  • Bob Regan
1947
75% A Double Life
  • Bill Friend
1947
100% The Killers
  • Jim Reardon
1946
No Score Yet Winged Victory
  • Actor
1944
No Score Yet The Amazing Mrs. Holliday
  • Tom Holliday
1943
No Score Yet A Girl, a Guy and a Gob
  • Stephen Herrick
1941
93% The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Gringoire
1939
No Score Yet Prison Break
  • Prisoner
1938

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet The Streets of San Francisco
1972-1977
  • Gus
  • 1972
No Score Yet The High Chaparral
1967-1971
  • Actor
  • 1971
No Score Yet It Takes a Thief
1968-1970
  • Rock McCauley
  • 1970
  • 1969
No Score Yet Mission: Impossible
1966-1973
  • Raymond Halder
  • 1968

Quotes from Edmond O'Brien's Characters