Bradford Dillman Biography

Birthday: 1930-04-14
Place of Birth: San Francisco, California
Height: 6' (1.83 m)
Wiki Biography: Dark-haired, Ivy League-looking Bradford Dillman, whose white-collar career spanned nearly five decades, possessed charm and confident good looks that were slightly tainted by his bent smile, darting glance and an edgy countenance that often provoked suspicion. Sure enough, the camera picked up on it and he played highly suspect characters throughout most of his career. The actor was born in San Francisco on April 14, 1930, to Dean and Josephine Dillman. Yale-educated, he graduated with a B.A. in English Literature. Following this he served with the US Marines in Korea (1951-1953) before focusing on acting as a profession. Studying at the Actors Studio, he spent several seasons apprenticing with the Sharon (CT) Playhouse before making his professional acting debut in "The Scarecrow" in 1953. Dillman took his initial Broadway bow in Eugene O'Neill's play "Long Day's Journey Into Night" in 1956, originating the author's alter ego character Edmund Tyrone and winning a Theatre World Award in the process. This success put him squarely on the map and 20th Century-Fox took immediate advantage by placing the darkly handsome up-and-comer under contract. Cast in the melodramatic soaper A Certain Smile (1958), he earned a Golden Globe for "Most Promising Newcomer" playing a Parisian student who loses his girl (Christine Carère) to the worldly Italian roué Rossano Brazzi. He followed this with a strong ensemble appearance in In Love and War (1958), which featured a cast of young rising stars including Hope Lange and Robert Wagner. More acting honors followed after completing the film Compulsion (1959), which told the true story of the infamous kidnapping/murder case of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb murder case of the late 1920s. He went on to share a "Best Actor" award at the Cannes Film Festival with fellow co-stars Dean Stockwell, who played the other youthful murderer, and veteran Orson Welles. Though he was a magnetic player poised for stardom, Dillman's subsequent films failed to serve him well and were generally unworthy of his talent. Though properly serious and stoic as the titular martyred saint in Francis of Assisi (1961), the film itself was stilted and weakly scripted. A Circle of Deception (1960) was a misguided tale of espionage and intrigue, but it did introduce him to his second wife, supermodel-cum-actress Suzy Parker. While A Rage to Live (1965) with Suzanne Pleshette was trashy soap material, The Plainsman (1966) was rather a silly, juvenile version of the Gary Cooper western classic. As a result of these missteps--and others--he began to top-line lesser quality projects or play supporting roles in "A" pictures. His nothing role as Robert Redford's college pal-turned Hollywood producer in The Way We Were (1973) and his major roles in the ludicrous The Swarm (1978) and Lords of the Deep (1989) became proof in the pudding. His last good film role was in O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh (1973), although he did play an interesting John Wilkes Booth in the speculative re-enactment drama The Lincoln Conspiracy (1977) and had a fun leading role in the Jaws (1975)-like spoof Piranha (1978). Dillman bore up very well on TV over the years, subsisting on a plethora of mini-movies and guest spots on popular series. He earned a Daytime Emmy for his appearance in "The ABC Afternoon Playbreak: Last Bride of Salem (#2.6)" (1974) and starred in two series--"Court Martial" (1965), as a military lawyer, and "King's Crossing" (1982), as an alcoholic parent and teacher attempting to straighten out. He also spent a season on the already-established nighttime soap "Falcon Crest" (1981) in 1982. A smart, dependable player over the years, he enhanced a number of standard westerns and melodramas, consistently reliable at playing unreliable types. His turncoats, frauds, embezzlers, adulterers, psychotics and idle rich folk were all included in his bag of shady tricks, although the hero in him was sometimes accessible. He is the father of five children. One daughter, Pamela Dillman has worked as an actress, narrator, director and teacher of acting. Bradford launched a late-in-the career sideline as an author. The football fan inside him compelled him to write "Inside the New York Giants" (1995), a book that rated players drafted by the team since 1967. Two years later he published his memoirs, the curiously-titled "Are You Somebody?: An Actor's Life." He hasn't been seen on the screen since the mid-90s.

Bradford DillmanPhotos & Pictures


TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Kraft Television Theatre Californian Officers / ... 1947 - 1958
Kraft Suspense Theatre Capt. David Young 1963 Crime
The ABC Afternoon Playbreak 1972 Comedy
The Wide World Of Mystery Lt. Danny Ianello / ... 1973 Drama
Thriller (1973) Gary Stevens 1973 - 1976
King's Crossing Paul Hollister 1982 Drama
Blow Your Mind Dr. Danner 2013
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
The Enforcer Capt. McKay 1951 0, Comedy
A Rage to Live 1965 Drama
The Bridge at Remagen 1969 0, Romance, 0
Escape from the Planet of the Apes Dr. Lewis Dixon 1971 0, Sport, 0
The Mephisto Waltz 1971 Horror
The Iceman Cometh Willie Oban 1973
The Way We Were 1973 0
Moon of the Wolf 1974 Game Show
The Disappearance of Flight 412 1974 Drama, Mystery, Sci Fi
The Lincoln Conspiracy John Wilkes Booth 1977
Love and Bullets 1979 Comedy, 0
Sudden Impact Captain Briggs 1983 0, Comedy, Game Show
The Treasure of the Amazon Clark 1985 Adventure, Action, Drama
Lords of the Deep 1989
Man Outside Frank Simmons 1989 Drama, Thriller
Heroes Stand Alone Walt Simmons 1989 Action, Adventure
Compulsion 2013 0