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Neville Brand Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (3)  | Trivia (12)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Born in Griswold, Iowa, USA
Died in Sacramento, California, USA  (emphysema)
Height 5' 10" (1.78 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Neville Brand joined the US Army in 1939, bent on a career in the military. It was while he was in the army that he made his acting debut, in Army training films, and this experience apparently changed the direction of his life. Once a civilian again, he used his GI Bill education assistance to study drama with the American Theater Wing and then appeared in several Broadway plays. His film debut was in Port of New York (1949). Among his earliest films was the Oscar-winning Stalag 17 (1953). His heavy features and gravelly voice made Brand a natural tough guy (and he wasn't just a "movie" tough guy--he was among the most highly decorated American soldiers in World War II, fighting in the European Theater against the Germans). "With this kisser, I knew early in the game I wasn't going to make the world forget Clark Gable," he once told a reporter. He played Al Capone in The George Raft Story (1961), The Scarface Mob (1959), and TV's The Untouchables (1959). Among his other memorable roles are the sympathetic guard in Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and the representative of rioting convicts in Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954). Perhaps his best-known role was that of the soft-hearted, loud-mouthed, none-too-bright but very effective Texas Ranger Reese Bennett of Backtrack! (1969), Three Guns for Texas (1968), and TV's Laredo (1965).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Kat Parsons <fke2d@Virginia.EDU> (qv's & corrections by A. Nonymous)

Spouse (3)

Laura Rae Araujo (6 April 1957 - 1970) ( divorced) ( 2 children)
Mae Brand (? - 16 April 1992) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Ramona Brand (? - ?) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (12)

Neville Brand was regularly cited as the 4th most decorated soldier in WWII, but that information is incorrect and was denied by Brand before his death. He was, however, according to official military records, the recipient of the Silver Star for gallantry in combat. His other awards and decorations are the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Defense Service Ribbon, the European/African/Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with three Battle Stars, one Overseas Service Bar, one Service Stripe, and the Combat Infantryman's Badge.
Won the Sylvania Award in 1958 for his lead role as Willie Stark in the TV special "All the King's Men".
Eldest of eight children. Father, Leo Thomas Brand, was a bridge builder and mother Helen Louise Davis. His parents divorced when he was 13. He was a high school dropout.
Studied at the American Theater Wing under the G.I. Bill.
Best remembered for his despicable scar-faced heavies, he achieved infamy playing Al Capone on the TV show "The Untouchables" and in the film The George Raft Story (1961). Around the same time, Rod Steiger played the notorious mobster in the film Al Capone (1959).
Known for his "bad guy" terrorizing roles, he was well remembered for killing off Elvis Presley in the King's first film, Love Me Tender (1956).
A voracious reader, he owned one of the largest private libraries in Hollywood with over 5,000 books. He once had over 30,000 books until a 1978 Malibu home fire destroyed most of them.
Developing post traumatic stress disorder from his decorated military years, Brand later fought a long battle with alcohol.
Lived in Sacramento in later life. Died there of emphysema at age 71. Interred at East Lawn Memorial Park in Sacramento, CA.
Married at least three times, he had one daughter, Mary, by his first wife, and two daughters, Katrina and Michelle, by his third, Mae.
Worked a number of menial jobs in his youth. He was a bootblack, a waiter and soda jerk.
He was a lifelong Republican.

Personal Quotes (1)

[on playing villains] I don't go in thinking he's a villain. The audience might, but the villain doesn't think he's a villain. Even a killer condones what he's done. I just create this human being under the circumstances that are given. I don't think he's a villain. Everybody just condones his own actions.

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