Actor John Payne was born this week in 1912.
Numerous sources give Payne's birth date as May 23rd, but I'm using the May 28th date which is attributed to his daughter Julie at the IMDb site. Either way, it's a great week to reflect on John Payne and his many contributions to classic cinema.
Early in his career Payne was the singing star of wonderful Fox musicals such as SUN VALLEY SERENADE (1941), WEEK-END IN HAVANA (1941), SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES (1942), and HELLO FRISCO, HELLO (1943).
Like Dick Powell before him, Payne later made the transition from musicals to rugged film noir hero, appearing in classics of the genre such as KANSAS CITY CONFIDENTIAL (1952), 99 RIVER STREET (1953), and SLIGHTLY SCARLET (1956).
Payne also starred in numerous adventure films and Westerns in the '50s, including RAILS INTO LARAMIE (1954), SILVER LODE (1954), and TENNESSEE'S PARTNER (1955).
He'll probably always be best-known, however, as one of the stars of the Christmas perennial MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947).
Early marriages to Anne Shirley and Gloria DeHaven didn't take, and a romance with Coleen Gray in the early '50s also came to an end, but in 1953 Payne married Alexandra Crowell Curtis. Their marriage lasted 36 years, until Payne's death in 1989.
John Payne's career is filled with very enjoyable films spanning a variety of genres. His movies which have been previously reviewed at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: GARDEN OF THE MOON (1938), WINGS OF THE NAVY (1939), TEAR GAS SQUAD (1940), SUN VALLEY SERENADE (1941), WEEK-END IN HAVANA (1941) (also here), SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES (1942), HELLO FRISCO, HELLO (1943), THE RAZOR'S EDGE (1946), MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947), THE SAXON CHARM (1948), LARCENY (1949), THE CROOKED WAY (1949), EL PASO (1949), 99 RIVER STREET (1953), SILVER LODE (1954), RAILS INTO LARAMIE (1954), TENNESSEE'S PARTNER (1955), SLIGHTLY SCARLET (1956), and REBEL IN TOWN (1956).
I have a number of John Payne films on hand I've never seen which I hope to review here in the future! Additional notable titles include TIN PAN ALLEY (1940), REMEMBER THE DAY (1941), SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY (1946), CAPTAIN CHINA (1950), TRIPOLI (1950), SANTA FE PASSAGE (1955), and THE BOSS (1956), to name just a few.