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Van Heflin, Award Winner –


Heflin in The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Van Heflin: Best Supporting Actor 1942:

Johnny Eager (Drama)

Van Heflin won his Supporting Oscar for playing Robert Taylor's alcoholic friend and conscience.

About Van Heflin (1910 – 1971)
American leading man of the forties who was a familiar character actor during the fifties and sixties. His real name was Emmett Evan Heflin. In the thirties, Van Heflin alternated working odd jobs and appearing on Broadway.

Van Heflin's big break in his acting career, was his strong leading role in End of Summer, a stage play at the Guild Theatre. Van Heflin started appearing in films in 1937, after Katharine Hepburn saw his performance in End of Summer, and talked him into trying again in film. She used her influence to get him a role in her next film, A Woman Rebels.

After a year of forgettable roles in films for RKO, Van Heflin went back to the stage, and was cast in Shubert Theatre's production of The Philadelphia Story, which ran for 417 performances. MGM then became interested in Van, and had him under contract for 8 years. In 1941, he was cast in Johnny Eager, a prime role in his career. At age 32, Van Heflin became the youngest actor to date to win an Oscar.

During World War 2, Van Heflin served in the Ninth Air Force in Europe as a combat cameraman.

Van's versatility as an actor served him well, as he easily switched hats, from mobster, to Andrew Johnson, to detective roles, such as Phillip Marlowe, and an alcoholic lawyer, to name just a few.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Van Heflin evolved from being the leading role to the star character actor, especially in westerns, including Gunman's Walk. He also was fabulous as a German captain in the World War 2 yarn, Under Ten Flags.

Van Heflin's final Broadway stage play was A Case of Libel.

Van Heflin died in July of 1971, of a heart attack, at the age of 60. He was survived by 2 daughters, one son, and three ex-wives.

Van Heflin's notable movie credits include...

Back Door To Heaven (1939)
Santa Fe Trail (1940)
The Feminine Touch (1941)
Kid Glove Killer (1942)
Seven Sweethearts (1942)
Grand Central Murder (1942)
Tap Roots (1948)
The Three Musketeers (1948)
Madame Bovary (1949)
East Side West Side (1949)
Tomahawk (1951)
The Prowler (1951)
Shane (1953)
The Raid (1954)
The Black Widow (1954)
Patterns (1956)
Gunman's Walk (1958)
Under Ten Flags (1960)
Cry Of Battle (1963)
The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965)
Stagecoach (1966)
The Big Bounce (1969)
Airport (1970)