John Marley Biography

Birthday: 1907-10-17
Place of Birth: New York City, New York
Wiki Biography: Veteran character actor John Marley was one of those familiar but nameless faces that TV and filmgoers didn't take a shine to until the late 1960s, when he had hit middle age. Distinctive for his craggy mug, dark bushy brows and upswept silvery hair, his life (born in 1907) started out amid tough surroundings in Harlem, New York, as the son of Russian immigrants. A high school dropout headed for trouble, he managed to avoid the gangland trappings by joining a theater group, which eventually led to some Broadway work. World War II interrupted his still lackluster career when he joined the Army Signal Corps. Post-war film credits were comprised mostly of unsympathetic bit roles -- thugs, reporters and other sly, shifty characters -- that were routinely Greek or Italian in origin. In the 1960s, Marley appeared to good effect in the film Cat Ballou (1965) as Jane Fonda's father; earned kudos for his work in John Cassavetes' stark, improvisational indie Faces (1968/I); Ali MacGraw's weary blue-collar dad in Love Story (1970); and the mouthy movie titan who becomes bedmates with a horse's head after refusing Mafia don Marlon Brando's offer in the epic The Godfather (1972). Thanks to those two pictures, Marley, at age 65, evolved into an important and steady fixture for the next decade or so, playing everything from gruff executives to Mafia dons himself. John died in 1984 following open-heart surgery at age 77. He was survived by wife Sandra and his four children.

John MarleyPhotos & Pictures


TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Three Steps to Heaven 1953 - 1954
Alcoa Hour 1955 Drama
Love Story Phil Cavalleri 1970 Drama
Threshold 1981 Drama
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
I Want to Live! 1958 Crime, Drama
America, America 1964 Drama, Romance
Cat Ballou Frankie Ballou 1965 Comedy, Musical
A Child Is Waiting 1965 Drama
A Man Called Sledge 1970
Love Story Phil Cavalleri 1970 Drama, Romance
The Godfather Jack Woltz 1972 Crime, Drama
Godfather Jack Woltz 1972 Crime, Drama
W.C. Fields and Me 1976
Hooper 1978 Action, Comedy
Tribute 1980 Comedy, Drama
On the Edge Elmo 1986 Drama, Sport
Faces 2014