"I've made some of the greatest films ever madeóand a lot of crap, too."
— John Carradine, summing up his own body of work rather nicely.
A very prolific and frequently hammy
actor who is probably best remembered for appearing in many, many B- to Z-grade movies
featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000
and The Cinema Snob
, usually playing a Mad Scientist
. For the record, he did
have some actual good roles, appearing in such iconic movies as The Grapes of Wrath
, Drums Along the Mohawk
(all directed by John Ford
) and The Ten Commandments.
He had a decent stage acting career, being a protege of John Barrymore and playing roles such as the lead in Hamlet,
and he's also remembered as the father of David Carradine
, Robert Carradine
and Keith Carradine
Easily one of the most prolific actors who ever lived (if not THE
most). His entire filmography (as listed by IMDB) comes to 340 titles, dwarfing even the 275 titles of Christopher Lee
(incidentally, Lee and Carradine actually share one credit: House of the Long Shadows
, in which they appeared alongside Vincent Price
, Peter Cushing
and Desi Arnaz, Jr
Tropes associated with him include:
- Classically Trained Extra
- Evil Sounds Deep: Even when he's relatively "good", such as the Great Owl.
- Evil Is Hammy
- Large Ham: By his own admission.
- Mad Scientist
- Money, Dear Boy: Oh dear God. Look at that filmography. Just look at it.
- It didn't even have to be that much money. In Joe Dante's DVD Commentary for The Howling, he tells the story of how, at one point during the shoot, Carradine was carrying around snacks that he bought himself, and wrapped in heavy blankets because there was no heat in his trailer. The man was so accustomed to working in no-budget films that it never even occurred to him that the film's budget should have been able to cover his food and heating costs!