Dillman, Bradford 1930-
DILLMAN, Bradford 1930-
PERSONAL: Born April 14, 1930, in San Francisco, CA; son of Dean (a stockbroker) and Josephine (Moore) Dillman; married Frieda Harding, June 16, 1956 (divorced, April 4, 1962); married Suzy Parker (an actress and model), April 20, 1963 (died, 2003); children: (first marriage) Jeffrey, Pamela; (second marriage) Diana, Christopher, Georgina Belle LaSalle (stepdaughter). Education: Yale University, B.A. (English literature), 1951; studied with Lee Strasberg at Actors Studio, New York, NY, beginning 1955, and with John Lehne, beginning 1962.
ADDRESSES: Agent—Agency for the Performing Arts, 9000 Sunset Blvd., Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90069; Fithian Press Books, P.O. Box 2790, McKinleyville, CA 95519.
CAREER: Actor and author. Has appeared in such films as A Certain Smile, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1958; In Love and War, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1958; Compulsion, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1959; Crack in the Mirror, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1960; Circle of Deception, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1961; Francis of Assisi, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1961; Sanctuary, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1961; A Rage to Live, United Artists (UA), 1965; The Plainsman, Universal, 1966; The Helicopter Spies, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), 1968; Jigsaw, Universal, 1968; Sergeant Ryker, Universal, 1968; The Bridge at Remagen, UA, 1969; Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? (also known as War Games), Cinerama, 1970; Brother John, Columbia, 1971; Escape from the Planet of the Apes, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1971; The Mephisto Waltz, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1971; The Resurrection of Zachary Wheeler, Vidtronics, 1971; The Iceman Cometh, American Film Theatre, 1973; The Way We Were, Columbia, 1973; Chosen Survivors, Columbia, 1974; Gold, Allied Artists, 1974; 99 and 44/100 Percent Dead (also known as Call Harry Crown,), Twentieth Century-Fox, 1974; Bug, Paramount, 1975; The Enforcer, Warner Bros., 1976; The Lincoln Conspiracy, Sunn Classic, 1977; Mastermind, Goldstone, 1977; The Amsterdam Kill, Columbia, 1978; Piranha, World, 1978; The Swarm, Warner Bros., 1978; Love and Bullets, Associated Film Distribution, 1979; Guyana, Cult of the Damned (also known as Guyana, Crime of the Century), Universal, 1980; Running Scared, 1980; Sudden Impact, Warner Bros., 1983; The Treasure of the Amazon (also known as El Tesoro del Amazours), Videocine-S.A., 1985; Man Outside, Virgin Vision, 1987; Hot Pursuit, Paramount, 1987; Lords of the Deep, Concorde, 1989; Heroes Stand Alone, MGM Home Entertainment, 1989; and Black Ribbon for Deborah. Has also appeared in numerous television programs, including the series Court-Martial, King's Crossing, and Falcon Crest, as well as on television pilots and episodes of series, such as "The Voice of Charlie Pont" on Premiere, Presented by Fred Astaire, c. 1962, and in "The Last Bride of Salem" on ABC Afternoon Playbreak, 1975. Stage appearances include The Scarecrow, Theatre de Lys, New York, NY, 1953; Pygmalion, Sharon Playhouse, Sharon, CT, 1953; Candida, Sharon Playhouse, 1953; You Touched Me, Sharon Playhouse, 1953; End as a Man, Theatre de Lys, 1953; The Madwoman of Chaillot, Sharon Playhouse, 1954; Death of a Salesman, Sharon Playhouse, 1954; The Browning Version, Sharon Playhouse, 1954; Night Must Fall, Sharon Playhouse, 1954; Third Person, President Theatre, New York, 1955; Inherit the Wind, National Theatre, New York, 1955; The Corn Is Green, Sharon Playhouse, 1955; The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Sharon Playhouse, 1955; Ring 'round the Moon, Sharon Playhouse, 1955; Counsellor-at-Law, Sharon Playhouse, 1955; Black Chiffon, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1955; The Rainmaker, Sharon Playhouse, 1956; Long Day's Journey into Night, Helen Hayes Theatre, New York, 1956-58; and The Fun Couple, Lyceum Theatre, New York, 1962. Military service: U.S. Marine Corps, 1952-53; became lieutenant.
MEMBER: Actors Equity Association, American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, Screen Actors Guild, Players Club.
AWARDS, HONORS: Blum Award, outstanding new person in the theater, 1957; Theatre World award, 1957, for Long Day's Journey into Night; Golden Globe Award, new male star of the year, Hollywood Foreign Press Association, 1959; Best Actor (shared with Orson Welles and Dean Stockwell), Cannes International Film Festival, 1959, for Compulsion; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding single performance by an actor in a leading role, 1962, for "The Voice of Charlie Pont"; Emmy Award for outstanding actor in a daytime drama special, 1975, for "The Last Bride of Salem" on ABC Afternoon Playbreak.
Inside the New York Giants: A Player Review and Rating System, 1967-1994, ratings by Mike Giddings, Third Story Books (Bridgeport, CT), 1994.
Are You Anybody?: An Actor's Life (autobiography), foreword by Suzy Parker, Fithian Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 1997.
That Air Forever Dark: An Adventure (novel), Fithian Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 2001.
Also the author of Drop Kick, a sport novel.
SIDELIGHTS: Bradford Dillman has acted in hundreds of roles in films, on television, and on the stage, including some very memorable and award-winning performances. In his autobiography, Are You Anybody?: An Actor's Life, called "an endearing gem" by Booklist critic Mike Tribby, he recounts the ups and downs of his career and his life, including his second marriage to Suzy Parker, who was once the highest-paid model in the world.
Dillman was born in San Francisco to a privileged family. He attended private schools there and then the exclusive Hotchkiss School in Lakeside, Connecticut, where he participated in amateur theater productions. Dillman studied drama at Yale University, served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and then headed to New York, where he joined the Theatre de Lys in Greenwich Village and where he was the typical "struggling actor" who survived on minor parts in off-Broadway productions. In 1955 he was the single actor selected of the nine who applied to the Actors Studio, where one of his classmates was Marilyn Monroe. During his career, Dillman has worked from stars ranging from James Dean to Raquel Welch.
As a young actor, he appeared in many plays at the Sharon Playhouse in rural Connecticut before being cast as the Young Eugene O'Neill in the world premiere of Long Day's Journey into Night, which had a long run at the Helen Hayes Theatre in New York. Dillman made his film debut in A Certain Smile and the following year shared a best actor award at Cannes for his role as a psychotic killer in Compulsion, which was based on the notorious 1924 Leopold-Loeb murder case. He appeared in many films, from low-budget genre flicks to mainstream classics. His roles in The Way We Were and The Iceman Cometh were highly praised. On television, Dillman could be seen in soaps in the afternoon and on long-running series during prime time.
Dillman took whatever parts were offered him, including a good number of horror and science fiction films and television programs. From the iconic Escape from the Planet of the Apes to the Satanic thriller The Mephisto Walt, he appeared in dozens of wide-screen features, while on television he acted in popular series such as Night Gallery and Alfred Hitchcock Theater. Harvey F. Chartrand commented on Dillman's career and got the actor's input for Horror-Wood.com. Here, Dillman commented on some of his acting adventures, including his part as a werewolf in the television movie Moon of the Wolf for which he had to wear makeup that "was intensely uncomfortable, as I was sweating through the glue used to paste hair all over my body." In Chosen Survivors, the actor fought bloodsucking vampire bats in a post-nuclear-war setting. "Dillman was marvelous as a mad scientist in Bug," observed Chartrand, "which was schlockmeister William Castle's last film." Dillman said that Bug "is considered laughable by some because Bill Castle produced it for $4.50, but it was made at a time when special effects were primitive, and I believe it's genuinely scary. Those were real cockroaches crawling over my bare chest!" Dillman also battled fish in Piranha and insects in The Swarm.
Dillman's acting career ended in the 1990s, and he subsequently completed and published his autobiography. He also published his first work of fiction at age seventy, a horror novel based on a trip he and Parker had taken to New Guinea. The title, That Air Forever Dark, is taken from Dante's Inferno, and is a description of the descent into Hell. The plot involves a group of ten people whose small plane is skyjacked by terrorists and landed in a swamp inhabited by a tribe of primitive warriors.
Dillman told Chartrand, "I've had a wonderful life. I married the most beautiful woman in the world. . . . Together, we raised six remarkable children. I was rewarded with modest success in my profession. I keep busy, and I'm happy. And there are a few good films out there that I might be remembered for." Dillman survived Parker, his wife of forty years, who died in 2003.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Dillman, Bradford, Are You Anybody?: An Actor's Life, foreword by Suzy Parker, Fithian Press (Santa Barbara, CA), 1997.
Booklist, February 1, 1997, Mike Tribby, review of Are You Anybody?: An Actor's Life, p. 918.
Publishers Weekly, February 17, 1997, review of AreYou Anybody?, p. 206.
Horror-Wood.com,http://www.horror-wood.com/ (August 16, 2004), Harvey F. Chartrand, "From Horror Actor to Horror Writer."*