Person Details

Birthday: 1899-12-08 23:18:24

Death: 1987-09-12 23:18:24

Aliases: John M. Qualen , John T. Qualen

Gender: Male

Place of birth: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Homepage:

Movie Involvements: 85

TV Involvements: 0


Most Famous Work

Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia John Qualen (born Johan Mandt Kvalen, December 8, 1899 – September 12, 1987) was a Canadian-American character actor of Norwegian heritage who specialized in Scandinavian roles. Qualen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, the son of immigrants from Norway; his father was a Lutheran minister and changed the family's original surname, "Kvalen", to "Qualen" – though some sources give Oleson, later Oleson Kvalen as Qualen's earlier surnames. His father's ministering meant many moves and John was 20 when he graduated from Elgin High School in 1920. Though he was awarded a scholarship to Northwestern University after he won an oratory contest he never attended college. In a Milwaukee Journal interview he said he needed to start working and did so with the Chattaqua Circuit. Eventually reaching Broadway, he gained his big break as the Swedish janitor in Elmer Rice's Street Scene. His movie career began when he recreated the role in the film version. This was followed by his appearance in John Ford's Arrowsmith (1931) which began a more than thirty year membership in the director's "stock company", with important supporting roles in The Searchers (1956), Two Rode Together (1961), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). Appearing in well over one hundred films, and acting extensively on television into the 1970s, Qualen performed many of his roles with various accents, usually Scandinavian, often intended for comic effect. Three of his more memorable roles showcase his versatility. Qualen assumed a Midwestern dialect as Muley, who recounts the destruction of his farm by the bank in Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940), and as the confused killer Earl Williams in Howard Hawks' classic comedy His Girl Friday (also 1940). As Berger, the jewelry-selling Norwegian resistance member in Michael Curtiz' Casablanca (1942), he essayed a light Scandinavian accent, but put on a thicker Mediterranean accent as the homeward-bound fisherman Locota in William Wellman's The High and the Mighty (1954) Qualen was treasurer of The Authors Club and historian of The Masquers, Hollywood's social group for actors. John Qualen was blind in his later years. He died of heart failure in 1987 in Torrance, California, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. He was survived by his three daughters.

Most Famous Work

Casablanca
Average
8

Casablanca

(1942) Berger
The Searchers
Average
8

The Searchers

(1956) Lars Jorgensen
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
Average
8

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

(1962) Peter Ericson
Anatomy of a Murder
Average
8

Anatomy of a Murder

(1959) Deputy Sheriff Sulo
The Sons of Katie Elder
Average
7

The Sons of Katie Elder

(1965) Charlie Biller
The Grapes of Wrath
Average
8

The Grapes of Wrath

(1940) Muley Graves
Two Rode Together
Average
7

Two Rode Together

(1961) Ole Knudsen
North to Alaska
Average
7

North to Alaska

(1960) Logger

Acting

Year Character Movie/Tv
1993 V12 (archive footage) (uncredited)
1972 N/A
1970 Groundskeeper
Sam
Mr. Larson
1969 Billy Hurd
1966 N/A
N/A
Jesse Buford
1965 Mr. Faber
N/A
Charlie Biller
Olaf
Ernie Evans
1964 N/A
Luther Lindquist
1963 Oscar
N/A
Deckhand (uncredited)
1962 N/A
Peter Ericson
1961 N/A
N/A
Ole Knudsen
N/A
1960 Logger
Henry Bennett
N/A
Sam - Storekeeper
Old Ben
1959 N/A
N/A
N/A
Deputy Sheriff Sulo
1958 Doc
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Pop
N/A
Jonah Snell
1957 N/A
N/A
Sven Johnson
1956 Jake
Lars Jorgensen
1955 Livingstone
N/A
N/A
Leonard Haskins
Chief Engineer Schmitt
N/A
1954 Papasha
N/A
Gaspar Melo
N/A
Jose Locota
N/A
1953 Cavendish (uncredited)
Dr. R.H. Vickers, Veterinarian
Jonas P. Travis
N/A
1952 Burgomaster
1951 N/A
N/A
N/A
Professor Dingley
Corky McGee
1950 Lars Hansen
Maibus
N/A
Vegetable Seller
Geech
1949 Julius Seton
1948 N/A
Swangron
Capt. Athos
No End
The Stranger
1947 A Refugee Doctor
Peter Oberwalder Sr.
Lorenzo
1945 Model T
Bartholomew Blivens
Uncle Bill
Svend Olsen
1944 Uncle Norbert
Anton Dubechek
Monge
1943 Horatio Curley
1942 Aladdin
Berger
Jose Maria Corcoran
Sam Bachrach
The Barber
Himself (uncredited)
1941 Miser Stevens
Hasslinger's Clerk
Coot Royal
Olaf Johnson
Dr. Patterson
The Janitor
1940 Axel
Lars Knutson Rockne
Charles Engle
Howard Anderson
Gustaf
First Carpenter (uncredited)
Muley Graves
Ed Fuddle
Earl Williams
1939 Frank
Meek Man (uncredited)
Milo
Mailman
Dan (uncredited)
Davy
1938 Night Watchman at Subway Construction Site
Asa Wyatt
Lars
Oswego
1937 Loco
Fireman (uncredited)
Otto
Sleepy
Waldo Everett
Sheriff Dow
Sewer Rat
1936 Asa Wyatt
Toni
Olaf
Asa Wyatt
Mr. Jenkins (uncredited)
Bill Harvey
1935 Collins
Will Dabson
Planchet
Hotel Porter
Smith
Sol Tinker
Mr. Fossbender
Von Blitzen
Mike Shemanski
Coccoz
Ole
Auctioneer
Concierge, Dufresne's Hotel (bit)
1934 Prof. Herman Ellenbogen
Chris (as John T. Qualen)
Mr. Clapman (uncredited)
Dutch, Santa Avila's Cabbie
Oswald (as John M. Qualen)
Chris the Janitor
Steve (uncredited)
1933 Bjorkman
Svente Bjorkman
Breitstein
1931 Henry Novak
Karl Olsen (as John M. Qualen)
Year Character Movie/Tv

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