Richard Jaeckel

Last updated

Richard Jaeckel
Richard Jaeckel crop.jpg
Jaeckel in a 1953 publicity photo for Come Back, Little Sheba
R. Hanley Jaeckel

(1926-10-10)October 10, 1926
DiedJune 14, 1997(1997-06-14) (aged 70)
Years active1943–1994
Antoinette Marches
(m. 1947)
Children2, including Barry Jaeckel
Awards 1971 Academy Award for
Best Supporting Actor (nomination)
War service
AllegianceFlag of the United States (23px).png  United States
Service/branch US Merchant Marine
Years of service1944–1948[ citation needed ]
Battles/wars World War II

Richard Jaeckel (born R. Hanley Jaeckel; October 10, 1926 – June 14, 1997) was an American actor of film and television. [1] [2] Jaeckel became a well-known character actor in his career, which spanned six decades. He received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor with his role in the 1971 adaptation of Ken Kesey's Sometimes a Great Notion .


Early years

Jaeckel was born October 10, 1926, in Long Beach, New York, the son of Richard Jaeckel and Millicent Hanley. His father was active in the family's fur business, and his mother was a stage actress. His birth name was R. Hanley Jaeckel, with only the initial rather than a first name. He attended The Harvey School and other private schools. The family lived in New York until 1934, when they moved to Los Angeles, where his father operated a branch of the family business. He graduated from Hollywood High School. [3]


A short, tough man, Jaeckel played a variety of characters during his 50 years in films and television. Jaeckel got his start in the business at the age of seventeen while he was employed as a mailboy at 20th Century Fox studios in Hollywood. [3] :8 A casting director auditioned him for a role in the 1943 film Guadalcanal Diary ; Jaeckel won the role and settled into a lengthy career in supporting parts.

He served in the United States Merchant Marine from 1944 to 1949, then starred in two of the most remembered war films of 1949: Battleground and Sands of Iwo Jima with John Wayne. One of Jaeckel's shortest film roles was in The Gunfighter , in which his character is killed by Gregory Peck's character in the opening scene. He played the role of Turk, the roomer's boyfriend, in the Academy Award-winning 1952 film Come Back, Little Sheba , with Shirley Booth, Burt Lancaster, and Terry Moore.

In 1960, he appeared as Angus Pierce in the western, Flaming Star , starring Elvis Presley. He played Lee Marvin's able second-in-command, Sgt. Bowren, in the 1967 film The Dirty Dozen for director Robert Aldrich, and reprised the role in the 1985 sequel, The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission . Jaeckel appeared in several other Aldrich films, including Attack (1956), Ulzana's Raid (1972), and Twilight's Last Gleaming (1977).

He guest-starred in many television programs. He was cast as a boxer in a 1954 episode of Reed Hadley's CBS legal drama, The Public Defender . Also in 1954, Jaeckel portrayed Billy the Kid in an episode of the syndicated western anthology series, Stories of the Century, with Jim Davis as the fictitious Southwest Railroad detective Matt Clark. Seven years later, Jaeckel played "Denver" in "The Grudge Fight" episode of the NBC western series The Tall Man .

In 1957, he appeared as Mort Claffey in two episodes, "Paratroop Padre" and "The Light," of the syndicated religion anthology series, Crossroads . That same year, he portrayed Lieutenant Bradshaw in episode "War of the Whale Boats" of the military drama, Navy Log . In 1956-57, he appeared in three episodes of another military drama, The West Point Story .

In 1955 and 1958, Jaeckel appeared in different roles on two episodes of CBS's fantasy drama The Millionaire . In 1958, Jaeckel guest-starred as Webb Martin in the episode "The Bloodline" of NBC's western series Cimarron City . That same year, he appeared in the syndicated drama of the American Civil War, Gray Ghost in the episode entitled "The Hero". In 1959, he was cast as Clint Gleason in episode "The Man Behind the Star" of CBS's The Texan western series, starring Rory Calhoun.

In 1960, Jaeckel appeared twice on Nick Adams's ABC western series, The Rebel , as Marshal Roader in "The Rattler" and as Clyde Traskel in "Run, Killer, Run".

During the 1961-62 season, Jaeckel had a starring role (with John Derek and Chill Wills) on CBS' Frontier Circus, an adventure drama about a one-ring circus traveling the American West during the 1880's. Jaeckel's character Tony Gentry served as an advance location scout for the circus in addition to assisting John Derek's circus manager Ben Travis. Jaeckel appeared in all 26 episodes with featured player roles in several episodes, most notably "Karina" opposite Elizabeth Montgomery.

In 1963, Jaeckel played Willie the murderer in "The Case of the Lover's Leap" on CBS's Perry Mason , starring Raymond Burr. That same year he was among the guest stars on the short-lived ABC/Warner Brothers western series, The Dakotas and in "The Predators" episode of Have Gun – Will Travel , Season 6 (1962). Also in 1963, Jaeckel, speaking in German, played the role of Wehrmacht Sgt. Buxman in the Combat! TV series episode "Gideon's Army." Finally in that year, he guest starred in the TV Western Series Gunsmoke in the S8E27 episode "Two of a Kind", playing Irish immigrant mine owner O’Ryan, who was feuding with his partner. Jaeckel appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Presents "Incident in a Small Jail" (1961) as well as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour episodes , "Low Clouds and Coastal Fog" (1963), "Death of a Cop (1963), and "Off Season" (1965). In 1964, Jaeckel appeared as Danny in the episode "Keep Cool" of The New Phil Silvers Show and as Mitch Devlin in an episode of Bonanza , ″Between Heaven and Earth″.

In 1966, Jaeckel made a second guest appearance on Perry Mason as Mike Woods in the episode "The Case of the Bogus Buccaneers". That same year, he also co-starred as Christopher Cable in an episode – "The Night of the Grand Emir" – of The Wild Wild West . Also that year he played “Percy Farley”, part of a bank robbing gang in a rare two part episode called “The Raid” on Gunsmoke . He guest-starred in 1967 as Dibbs in the episode "Night of Reckoning" on Bonanza.

Jaeckel's most famous film appearances of the 1950s are in 3:10 to Yuma (1957) and The Naked and the Dead (1958). His film career achieved its greatest success in the period 1967 to 1975, in such features as The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Devil's Brigade (1968), Chisum (1970), Sometimes a Great Notion (1971) (for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor), Ulzana's Raid (1972), Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973), The Outfit (1973), The Drowning Pool (1975), and Walking Tall Part 2 (1975). Chisum was a John Wayne vehicle in which Jaeckel, Christopher George and Andrew Prine all co-starred in prominent supporting roles. The three would re-team six years later in Grizzly (1976) (an amiable "Jaws" ripoff reset in the forest), and Jaeckel and George would team again in another "nature strikes back" story, Day of the Animals (1977). In 1976, he starred in the B movie Mako: The Jaws of Death .

In 1975, he starred as the title character on the episode “Larkin” on Gunsmoke (S20E17). In 1977, Jaeckel appeared with Donna Mills, Bill Bixby, and William Shatner in the last episode, entitled "The Scarlet Ribbon", of NBC's western series The Oregon Trail , starring Rod Taylor and Andrew Stevens. The following year he played Sergeant Lykes in the epic TV miniseries Centennial . He had a recurring role in the short-lived Andy Griffith vehicle Salvage 1 (1979).

The later films in his career included a major role in John Carpenter's 1984 film Starman as an NSA agent hunting an alien life form played by Jeff Bridges as well as in the action films Black Moon Rising with Tommy Lee Jones and Delta Force 2: The Colombian Connection with Chuck Norris. In his later years, Jaeckel was known to television audiences as Lt. Ben Edwards on Baywatch from seasons 2-4. He also played Al Gibson in the Baywatch Pilot. He also co-starred on Robert Urich's ABC series Spenser: For Hire in the role of Lieutenant Martin Quirk.

Personal life

On May 29, 1947, Jaeckel married Antoinette Helen Marches in Tijuana, Mexico. They had two sons, [4] Barry and Richard. [1]


Jaeckel died at the age of 70 in 1997 as a result of cancer, at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. [5]


In 1972, Jaeckel received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Sometimes a Great Notion . [6] In 1992, he received a Golden Boot Award for his work in westerns. [7]

Selected filmography

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ed Nelson</span> American actor, AMPAs member; mayor (1928–2014)

Edwin Stafford Nelson was an American actor, best known for his role as Dr. Michael Rossi in the television series Peyton Place.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Glenn Corbett</span> American actor (1933–1993)

Glenn Corbett was an American actor in movies and television for more than 30 years. He came to national attention in the early 1960s, when he replaced George Maharis in the cast of the popular CBS adventure drama Route 66. He followed this with roles in high-profile films and television shows, including a guest role in the original Star Trek series, the daytime soap opera The Doctors, the primetime soap Dallas, and movies such as Chisum with John Wayne, as one of Jimmy Stewart's sons in Shenandoah, and the World War II epic Midway.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gary Merrill</span> American actor (1915–1990)

Gary Fred Merrill was an American film and television actor whose credits included more than 50 feature films, a half-dozen mostly short-lived TV series, and dozens of television guest appearances. He starred in All About Eve and married his costar Bette Davis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Anderson (actor)</span> American actor (1922-1992)

John Robert Anderson was an American character actor who performed in hundreds of stage, film, and television productions during a career that spanned over four decades.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">James Best</span> American actor, musician, artist (1926–2015)

Jewel Franklin Guy, known professionally as James Best, was an American television, film, stage, and voice actor, as well as a writer, director, acting coach, artist, college professor, and musician. During a career that spanned more than 60 years, he performed not only in feature films but also in scores of television series, as well as appearing on various country music programs and talk shows. Television audiences, however, perhaps most closely associate Best with his role as the bumbling Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane in the action-comedy series The Dukes of Hazzard, which originally aired on CBS between 1979 and 1985. He reprised the role in 1997 and 2000 for the made-for-television movies The Dukes of Hazzard: Reunion! and The Dukes of Hazzard: Hazzard in Hollywood (2000).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jack Weston</span> American actor (1924–1996)

Jack Weston was an American actor. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1976 and a Tony Award in 1981.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John McIntire</span> American actor (1907–1991)

John Herrick McIntire was an American character actor who appeared in 65 theatrical films and many television series. McIntire is well known for having replaced Ward Bond, upon Bond's sudden death in November 1960, as the star of NBC's Wagon Train. He played Christopher Hale, the leader of the wagon train from early 1961 to the series' end in 1965. He also replaced Charles Bickford, upon Bickford's death in 1967, as ranch owner Clay Grainger on NBC's The Virginian for four seasons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Virginia Gregg</span> American actress (1916–1986)

Virginia Lee Gregg was an American actress known for her many roles in radio dramas and television series.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Middleton</span> American actor (1911–1977)

Robert Middleton was an American film and television actor known for his large size, beetle-like brows, and deep, booming voice, usually in the portrayal of ruthless villains.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Harold J. Stone</span> American actor

Harold J. Stone was an American stage, radio, film, and television character actor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Bray</span> American film and television actor (1917–1983)

Robert E. Bray was an American film and television actor known for playing the forest ranger Corey Stuart in the CBS series Lassie, He also starred in Stagecoach West and as Mike Hammer in the movie version of Mickey Spillane's novel My Gun Is Quick (1957).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jeanette Nolan</span> American actress (1911–1998)

Jeanette Nolan was an American actress. Nominated for four Emmy Awards, she had roles in the television series The Virginian (1962–1971) and Dirty Sally (1974), and in films such as Macbeth (1948).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Will Hutchins</span> American actor

Will Hutchins is an American actor most noted for playing the lead role of the young lawyer Tom Brewster, in the Western television series Sugarfoot, which aired on ABC from 1957 to 1961 for 69 episodes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Andrew Duggan</span> American actor (1923–1988)

Andrew Duggan was an American character actor. His work includes 185 screen credits between 1949 and 1987 for roles in both film and television, as well a number more on stage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Karl Swenson</span> American actor (1908–1978)

Karl Swenson was an American theatre, radio, film, and television actor. Early in his career, he was credited as Peter Wayne.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jeremy Slate</span> American actor (1926–2006)

Jeremy Slate was an American film and television actor, and songwriter. He is best known for portraying Larry Lahr in The Aquanauts (1960–1961), Chuck Wilson in One Life to Live (1979–1987) and as Deputy Sheriff Ben Latta in The Sons of Katie Elder (1965).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">John Mitchum</span> American film actor and musician (1919–2001)

John Mitchum was an American actor from the 1940s to the 1970s in film and television. The younger brother of the actor Robert Mitchum, he was credited as Jack Mitchum early in his career.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tyler McVey</span> American actor (1912–2003)

William Tyler McVey was an American character actor of film and television.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Read Morgan</span> American film and television actor (1931–2022)

Read Lawrence Morgan was an American film and television actor. He was known for playing the role of Sergeant Hapgood Tasker in the American western television series The Deputy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robert Phillips (actor)</span> American actor (1925–2018)

Robert R. Phillips was an American film and television actor.


  1. 1 2 Blumenthal, Ralph (June 17, 1997). "Richard Jaeckel Is Dead at 70; A Durable Movie Tough Guy". The New York Times. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  2. Vallance, Tom (June 18, 1997). "Obituary: Richard Jaeckel". Independent. London. Retrieved September 13, 2010.
  3. 1 2 Freese, Gene (2016). Richard Jaeckel, Hollywood's Man of Character. McFarland. ISBN   9781476662107 . Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  4. Aaker, Everett (2017). Television Western Players, 1960–1975: A Biographical Dictionary. McFarland. pp. 228–230. ISBN   9781476662503 . Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  5. Blumenthal, Ralph (June 17, 1997). "Richard Jaeckel Is Dead at 70; A Durable Movie Tough Guy" . The New York Times . Retrieved August 8, 2020.
  6. "Search Results". Academy Awards Database. Retrieved May 25, 2018.[ permanent dead link ]
  7. "Golden Boot Awards". Archived from the original on May 25, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018.