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Victor McLaglen

Best known for his roles in What Price Glory?, Gunga Din and in several John Ford westerns with John Wayne.

Victor McLaglen



The Call of the Road




Corinthian Jack

The Prey of the Dragon

The Sport of Kings



The Glorious Adventure

A Romance of Old Baghdad

Little Brother of God

A Sailor Tramp

The Crimson Circle



The Romany


Woman to Woman

M’Lord of the White Road

In the Blood



The Boatswain’s Mate

Women and Diamonds

The Gay Corinthian

The Passionate Adventure

The Beloved Brute



The Hunted Woman


The Unholy Three

Winds of Chance

The Fighting Heart



The Isle of Retribution

Men of Steel

Beau Geste

What Price Glory?



The Loves of Carmen



Mother Machree

A Girl in Every Port

Hangman’s House

The River Pirate



Captain Lash

Strong Boy

The Black Watch

Happy Days

The Cock-Eyed World

Hot for Paris



On the Level

A Devil with Women




Not Exactly a Gentleman

The Stolen Jools

Women of All Nations

Annabelle’s Affairs




The Gay Caballero

Devil’s Lottery

While Paris Sleeps

Guilty as Hell

Rackety Rax



Hot Pepper

Laughing at Life



The Lost Patrol

No More Women

Wharf Angel

Dick Turpin

Murder at the Vanities

The Captain Hates the Sea



Under Pressure

The Great Hotel Murder

The Informer

Professional Soldier



Klondike Annie

Under Two Flags

Magnificent Brute



Sea Devils

Nancy Steele Is Missing!

This Is My Affair

Wee Willie Winkie

Ali Baba Goes to Town



Battle of Broadway

The Devil’s Party

We’re Going to Be Rich



Pacific Liner

Gunga Din

Let Freedom Ring


Captain Fury

Full Confession


The Big Guy



South of Pago Pago

Diamond Frontier



Broadway Limited



Call Out the Marines

Powder Town

China Girl



Forever and a Day




Roger Touhy, Gangster

The Princess and the Pirate



Rough, Tough and Ready

Love, Honor and Goodbye



Whistle Stop



Calendar Girl

The Michigan Kid

The Foxes of Harrow



Fort Apache



She Wore a Yellow Ribbon



Rio Grande



The Quiet Man



Fair Wind to Java



Prince Valiant

Trouble in the Glen



Many Rivers to Cross

City of Shadows


Lady Godiva of Coventry



Around the World in 80 Days



The Abductors



Gli Italiani sono matti

Sea Fury


Victor McLaglen was nominated two time for an Academy Award and won once.

I have no illusions about acting and certainly I have none about myself. Long ago I came to the conclusion that actors are victims of luck and circumstance. If the role you are in fits the size of your head and some inherent quality in yourself, you do it well. ~ Victor McLaglen

Victor McLaglen was born Victor Andrew de Bier Everleigh McLaglen on December 10, 1886. He claimed to have been born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, though his birth certificate records Stepney in the East End of London as his true birthplace. His father, Andrew Charles Albert McClaglen, later a bishop of the Free Protestant Episcopal Church of England, moved the family to South Africa when McLaglen was a child. He had eight brothers and a sister. Four of his brothers also became actors: Arthur (1888–1972), an actor and sculptor, and Clifford (1892–1978), Cyril (1899–1987) and Kenneth (circa 1901-1979). Other siblings included Frederick (born circa 1882), Sydney (born circa 1884), Lewis (born circa 1889) and a sister, Lily (born circa 1893). Another brother, Leopold McLaglen (1884-1951), who appeared in one film, gained notoriety prior to World War I as a showman and self-proclaimed world jujutsu champion, who authored a book on the subject.

McLaglen left home at 14 to join the British Army with the intention of fighting in the Second Boer War. However, much to his chagrin, he was stationed at Windsor Castle in the Life Guards and was later forced to leave the army when his true age was discovered.

Four years later, he moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, where he became a local celebrity, earning a living as a wrestler and heavyweight boxer, with several notable wins in the ring. One of his most famous fights was against heavyweight champion Jack Johnson in a six-round exhibition bout. This was Johnson’s first bout since winning the heavyweight title from Tommy Burns. Between bouts, McLaglen toured with a circus, which offered $25 to anyone who could go three rounds with him. He also briefly served as a constable in the Winnipeg Police Force in 1907.

He returned to Britain in 1913 and during the First World War served as a captain (acting) with the 10th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment. Later, he claimed to have served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He served for a time as military Assistant Provost Marshal for the city of Baghdad. He also continued boxing, and was named heavyweight champion of the British Army in 1918. After the war, he began taking roles in British silent films.

McLaglen’s career took a surprise turn in the 1920s when he moved to Hollywood. He became a popular character actor, with a knack for playing drunks. He also usually played Irishmen, leading many film fans to mistakenly assume he was Irish rather than English. McLaglen played one of the titular Unholy Three (1925) in Lon Chaney, Sr.’s original silent version of the macabre crime drama. The following year, McLaglen was the top-billed leading man in director Raoul Walsh’s First World War classic What Price Glory? (1926) with Edmund Lowe and Dolores del Rio.

McLaglen made the transition to sound films with ease, memorably starring opposite Boris Karloff‘s crazed religious fanatic in John Ford’s The Lost Patrol (1934), a picture about desperate soldiers gradually losing their minds fighting Arabs in the desert of what is now Iraq. Another highlight of his career was winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Ford’s The Informer (1935), based on a novel of the same name by Liam O’Flaherty. Frank Tashlin’s 1938 cartoon Have You Got Any Castles? features a caricature of McLaglen emerging from the novel and literally informing someone about some shady characters. Arguably his most famous film apart from What Price Glory? remains Gunga Din (1939), with Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., an adventure epic loosely based on Rudyard Kipling’s poem that served as the template decades later for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).

McLaglen was later nominated for another Oscar, this time for an Best Supporting Actor for his role opposite John Wayne in The Quiet Man (1952). He was especially popular with director John Ford, who frequently included McLaglen in his films, earlier as leading man, then later as comedy relief for films starring John Wayne.

Toward the end of his career, McLaglen made several guest appearances on television, particularly in Western series such as Have Gun, Will Travel and Rawhide. The episodes in which McLaglen guest-starred were both directed by his son, Andrew V. McLaglen, who later became a film director who frequently directed John Wayne.

Victor McLaglen was married three times. He first married Enid Lamont in 1919. The couple had one daughter, Sheila, and one son, Andrew. Andrew McLaglen was a television and film director who worked on several film projects with John Wayne. Andrew’s children, Mary and Josh McLaglen, are both film producers and directors. Sheila’s daughter, Gwyneth Horder-Payton, is a television director. Enid Lamont McLaglen died in 1942 because of a horse-riding accident.

His second marriage was to Suzanne M. Brueggeman. That marriage lasted from 1943 until 1948. His third and final marriage was to Margaret Pumphrey, a Seattle socialite he married in 1948. They remained married until his death of a heart attack in 1959. He had by that time become a naturalized U.S. citizen. His cremated remains are interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale in the Garden of Memory, Columbarium of Eternal Light.

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