Joel McCrea was born 105 years ago today in Pasadena, California.
An interview with McCrea's grandson Wyatt appeared this week in the Deseret Times. Wyatt recently visited Utah to attend a special screening of RAMROD (1947), where he shared excerpts from an oral history he created with his grandfather.
Wyatt shares some wonderful stories about his grandfather and says, "Being the best actor in the world was not that important to him. He wanted to be a good person. He wanted to be good to his family. His main goal was to make a contribution to society."
As posted here in April, Wyatt is currently working on building a visitor's center at the McCrea Ranch. I am really thrilled at the prospect of one day being able to visit the home of one of my favorite actors, who even more importantly was a very fine man.
Related articles of interest: a 2009 article with photos, Joel McCrea Gets Plaque On Western Walk of Stars; a 1983 interview; and a 2009 tribute at the blog Happy Thoughts, Darling: "Joel McCrea, Where Have You Been All My Life?"
Joel McCrea films previously reviewed here at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: THE SILVER HORDE (1930), THE SILVER CORD (1933), THE RICHEST GIRL IN THE WORLD (1934), BARBARY COAST (1935), WOMAN WANTED (1935), ADVENTURE IN MANHATTAN (1936), WOMAN CHASES MAN (1937), INTERNES CAN'T TAKE MONEY (1937), THREE BLIND MICE (1938), FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (1940), HE MARRIED HIS WIFE (1940), THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942), THE VIRGINIAN (1946), RAMROD (1947), FOUR FACES WEST (1948), THE SAN FRANCISCO STORY (1952), THE LONE HAND (1953), and STRANGER ON HORSEBACK (1955).
May 2012 update of additional reviews: WELLS FARGO (1937), SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS (1941), THE UNSEEN (1945), BORDER RIVER (1954), and THE GUNFIGHT AT DODGE CITY (1959).
Update: A celebration of Joel McCrea's birthday at the Grand Opening of his ranch on November 5, 2011.
And here's another McCrea review: SHOOT FIRST (1953).
2013 Update: Here's a recent review of WICHITA (1955) and my account of my second visit to the McCrea Ranch.
2014 Update: I had another wonderful visit to the ranch, where I saw THE MORE THE MERRIER (1943)! And here's reviews of SADDLE TRAMP (1950), STARS IN MY CROWN (1950), and THE TALL STRANGER (1957).
2015 Update: A review has now been posted of THE OKLAHOMAN (1957).