Born: 10th September, 1915
Died: 15th May 1985
Occupation: Actor, Director, Producer.
After starting out in the NY theater, including a stint as a member
of Orson Welles' Mercury Theater, Edmond O'Brien first
made his mark on the screen in the magic year of 1939; co-starring with
Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara in arguably the best
version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame ever to be produced on
film. This began a long and prolific film career, which lasted into
Ultimately best known for his supporting roles (he won the Best
Supporting Actor Oscar® in 1954 for The Barefoot Contessa),
O'Brien garnered the biggest heat of his career as the lead in the now
classic D.O.A, in which he played the fatatlly poisoned man hunting
down his own killer.
Why We're Talking About Him:
O'Brien was an incredibly versatile actor, easily moving from genre
to genre without being terribly typecast, we believe he is not one to
be taken for granted. Here was an actor who could convey his thoughts
simply through a look, something greatly lacking in today's field of
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939). Edmond O'Brien's film debut.
A major role (as the poet Gringoire) for an actor known only
for his stage work in NY, this is an impressive debut. Couple this with
the great performances of Maureen O'Hara and Charles Laughton and you
have an incredible cast in a great movie.
D.O.A. (1950). Dead on arrival--Edmond O'Brien hunts down his
own killer in this imaginative noir thriller. A great classic and not
one to be missed. O'Brien is stellar as the ordinary man coming to grips
with his imminent death and keeping it together enough to find who did
this to him and why.
A Girl, A Guy, and A Gob (1940). A personal pick, this is simply
a sweet, funny movie. Great performances from O'Brien and Lucille
The Girl Can't Help It (1956). An excellent example of O'Brien's
versatility. This is a very funny comedy. He handles it masterfully.
There are not many who can shift from drama and comedy so easily.
The Wild Bunch (1969). This is an incredible western. O'Brien
is almost unrecognizable as the old codger member of the gang, the one
who realizes the changes the future bring to the lives of the gang.
I can't recommend this movie enough.
This is just a short list of recommendations. I say, check out all
of O'Brien's performances. You won't be disappointed.
- Cactus Les