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Mike Mazurki

Filmography

1934      

Belle of the Nineties 

 

1935      

Black Fury 

 

1940      

The Last Alarm 

 

1941      

The Shanghai Gesture 

 

1942      

Dr. Renault’s Secret

The Moon and Sixpence

That Other Woman 

Gentleman Jim 

 

1943      

It Ain’t Hay 

Prairie Chickens 

Taxi, Mister 

Mission to Moscow

Bomber’s Moon 

Behind the Rising Sun 

Thank Your Lucky Stars 

Swing Fever 

Henry Aldrich Haunts a House 

Whistling in Brooklyn 

Lost Angel 

 

1944      

Shine On, Harvest Moon 

Summer Storm 

The Canterville Ghost 

The Missing Juror 

The Princess and the Pirate 

Murder, My Sweet

 

1945      

The Horn Blows at Midnight

The Spanish Main

Abbott and Costello in Hollywood

Dick Tracy 

Dakota  

The Thin Man Goes Home 

 

1946      

Live Wires 

Mysterious Intruder 

The French Key 

 

1947      

Sinbad the Sailor 

Killer Dill 

Unconquered 

Nightmare Alley

 

1948      

I Walk Alone 

Relentless 

The Noose Hangs High 

 

1949      

Neptune’s Daughter 

Come to the Stable 

Rope of Sand

The Devil’s Henchman 

Abandoned 

Samson and Delilah

 

1950      

Night and the City

Dark City 

He’s a Cockeyed Wonder

 

1951      

Pier 23 

Criminal Lawyer 

Ten Tall Men 

The Light Touch 

My Favorite Spy 

 

1954      

The Egyptian 

 

1955      

New York Confidential

New Orleans Uncensored 

Blood Alley 

Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier 

Kismet 

 

1956      

Davy Crockett and the River Pirates 

Comanche 

Around the World in 80 Days 

Man in the Vault

 

1957      

Hell Ship Mutiny 

 

1958      

The Man Who Died Twice 

The Buccaneer 

 

1959      

Some Like It Hot 

Alias Jesse James 

 

1960      

The Facts of Life 

 

1961      

Swingin’ Along 

The Errand Boy 

Pocketful of Miracles 

 

1962      

Zotz! 

Five Weeks in a Balloon 

 

1963      

Donovan’s Reef 

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

4 for Texas 

 

1964      

Cheyenne Autumn

The Disorderly Orderly 

 

1966      

7 Women 

 

1967      

The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin  

 

1970      

Which Way to the Front? 

 

1974      

Centerfold Girls 

 

1975      

Challenge to Be Free 

 

1976      

Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood 

 

1977

Paesano: A Voice in the Night 

 

1978      

The Magic of Lassie 

The One Man Jury 

 

1979      

Gas Pump Girls 

 

1980      

Alligator 

The Man with Bogart’s Face 

 

1981      

…All the Marbles

 

1985      

Doin’ Time 

 

1987      

Amazon Women on the Moon 

 

1990      

Dick Tracy 

Mob Boss

Awards

Mike Mazurki was never nominated for an Academy Award.

Mike Mazurki: Learn more about him, review his filmography and more

Biographies, Actors

With an intimidating face like craggy granite and a towering 6’5″ solid frame, Mike Mazurki was born Markiyan (Mykhailo) Mazurkevych  on December 25, 1907 in what is now Ternopil, Ukraine. He emigrated with his family to the United States at the age of six, living in Cohoes, New York, just outside Albany. He attended LaSalle Institute in Troy, for high school. Upon finishing school, he changed his name to “Mike”. He later graduated from Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1930. He became a professional athlete in three sports, primarily wrestling but also football and basketball.

He was discovered by Josef von Sternberg and given a bit part in his film The Shanghai Gesture (1941).  This led to a long film and television career. Possibly his most memorable role was that of slow-witted thug Moose Malloy in the film noir Murder, My Sweet (1944), opposite Dick Powell. He portrayed the psychotic, knife wielding murderer, Splitface, in the original Dick Tracy (1945). He played a wrestler nicknamed “The Strangler” in Night and the City (1950) and a role imitating the manner of a George Raft henchman in the Billy Wilder comedy, Some Like it Hot (1959). He continued to wrestle during his acting career. His slurred speech was reportedly due to a wrestling injury to his Adam’s apple.

Mazurki made guest appearances on many well-known television shows, among them My Friend Flicka (as a wrestler facing Gene Evans’s character of Rob McLaughlin), The Untouchables, Bachelor Father, Daniel Boone, Gilligan’s Island, I Dream of Jeannie, Bonanza and Gunsmoke, to name just a few.

In 1965, he co-founded and became the first president of the Cauliflower Alley Club, an association of professional wrestlers. A photograph of his cauliflower ear forms the logo of the organization. In 2005, he was posthumously awarded the New York State Award by the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum for founding the club.

In 1975, he landed his only starring role as Trapper in Challenge to be Free. The film went largely unnoticed, but Mazurki drew praise for his convincing performance as a solitary-minded, nature-loving wilderness man accused of manslaughter, and the ensuing months long chase by RCMP constables and other trappers engaged to track and capture him as he fled through the mountain ranges of the Yukon Territory in all manner of weather, in the company of an old timber wolf whom he had saved from a sad fate in another winter trap line.

Work slowed down for him in the 1970s and 1980s, but he continued working until his death in December 9, 1990. His last effort in the low budget mafia spoof comedy film, Mob Boss (1990), with his last screen role, as ‘Don Taglianeti’.

Along with his film and television works, Mike Mazurki starred in the hit Rod Stewart music video “Infatuation”, playing the bodyguard protecting a woman from a stalker (played by Stewart). In the end, he succeeds, punching Stewart out.

 

According to records, Mike Mazurki was married three times:

  • Sylvia Weinblatt                (10 February 1968 – 9 December 1990) (his death)
  • Jeanette Briggs (1943 – 1950) (divorced) (2 children)
  • ?              (? – ?) (divorced?) – listed on second marriage certificate but illegible.