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Jack Weston – MovieActors.com

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Weston in WAIT UNTIL DARK.

About Jack Weston (1924 – 1996)

Jack Weston was born on August 24th, 1924, in Cleveland, Ohio, with the birth name of Jack Weinstein. His family was Jewish, and his father was a shoe salesman.

Jack's early comedic talent surfaced early. Both his father and his grade school teacher became aware of his abilities, and encouraged him to join Cleveland's Children PLAYHOUSE; a creative outlet for his class clown behavior. He thoroughly enjoyed being in its productions, and did so with this theatre until he was drafted into the army for WW 2 service as a machine gunner in Italy and a USO performer at the age of nineteen.

Sometimes Jack Weston is credited as Jack Western. This amazing career has spanned over forty years on Broadway and in television and movies. Jack Weston is a versatile actor that has played everything from sleazy villains to terrifying killers to clumsy comics.

After WW 2 ended, Jack went to New York to pursue his dream of being an actor; starting his stage career, by studying his craft at the AMERICAN THEATRE WING. Some of the Broadway plays that he had a lot of fun acting in were BELLS ARE RINGING, THE RITZ, ONE NIGHT STAND, and Neil Simon's CALIFORNIA SUITE.

In 1958, Jack Weston made his big-screen debut in STAGE STRUCK.

Jack Weston's first major film role was in PLEASE DON"T EAT THE DAISIES in 1960.
In 1968, Jack was in the film classic, THE THOMAS CROWNE AFFAIR, portraying the the character of ERWIN; a strong supporting actor role.

Actress Elaine May, who also wrote the screenplay and co-starred in the 1971 film comedy, A NEW LEAF, made her directorial debut as well. Jack Weston got third billing, behind Walter Matthau and Elaine May, portraying the character, Andy McPherson.

We occasionally saw Jack Weston in a serious role, in such films as IMITATION OF LIFE;(1959), MIRAGE;(1965), THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR;(1968), and notably as one of the card players in THE CINCINNATI KID;(1965).

In the 1967 thriller classic WAIT UNTIL DARK, Jack Weston plays a second-banana bad-guy along with Richard Crenna and Alan Arkin.

The 1981 movie THE FOUR SEASONS, written and directed by Alan Alda, has been noted as Weston's favorite movie where he was a member of a talented thespian ensemble, made up of Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Len Cariou, Sandy Dennis, and Rita Moreno.

In 1987, Jack was in the infamous film, ISHTAR, portraying the comical character, Marty Freed. While his performance was right on the mark, the film ISHTAR suffered from the too many different opinions/wrong behind the scene people disease.

The result was that the film was vigorously panned by critics, causing few people to sit through it. Too many cooks do indeed spoil the broth. Director Elaine May recovered and received an Academy award nomination for Best Screenplay, for THE BIRDCAGE, but she gave up directing, after all the turmoil she had to endure.

Jack also recovered, and was in his last film; Short Circuit 2, in 1988, portraying the character, Oscar Baldwin. Jack's last Broadway play was Paddy Chayevsky's THE TENTH MAN, at Lincoln Center in 1989.

Over his forty year career in television, movies and Broadway, he would be nominated for a Tony award for best actor in 1976; for his role in Woody Allen's 1981 Broadway stage play, THE FLOATING LIGHTBULB. Weston received a Tony nomination for his portrayal of the trashy manager.

Jack Weston died on May 3rd, 1996 from cancer in New York City, New York. Jack had a six year battle with lymphoma. He was survived by his second wife, Laurie Gilkes; a stepdaughter, Amy Gilkes of Manhattan, and a brother, Sam, of Los Angeles.

Jack Weston's notable films include:

DIRTY DANCING (1987)
RAD (1986)
THE FOUR SEASONS (1981)
THE RITZ (1976)
A NEW LEAF (1971)
CACTUS FLOWER (1969)
THE APRIL FOOLS (1969)
WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967)
THE CINCINNATI KID (1965)
THE INCREDIBLE MR. LIMPET (1964)
ITS ONLY MONEY (1962)
PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1960)
STAGE STRUCK (1958)

Jack Weston's notable television roles include:

SCHLITZ PLAYHOUSE (TV SERIES 1952)
ROD BROWN OF THE ROCKET RANGERS (TV Series)(1953-1954)
PERRY MASON (TV SERIES 1958)
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (TV MOVIE)(1959)
MY SISTER EILEEN (TV SERIES 1960-1961)
THE HATHAWAYS (TV SERIES 1961-1962)
BURK'S LAW (TV SERIES 1964-1965-2 episodes)
CODE NAME: HERACLITUS (1967)
BOB HOPE PRESENTS THE CHRYSLER THEATRE (TV SERIES 1964-1967)
THE FOUR SEASONS (TV SERIES 1984)
IF TOMORROW COMES (TV Mini-Series 1986)

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Jack Weston in PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1960).

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Jack Weston in DIRTY DANCING (1987).

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Jack Weston (left) with his co-stars in CACTUS FLOWER (1969).

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Jack Weston (right) in WAIT UNTIL DARK.

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Jack Weston in THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR.