Although he was often cast as a Mr. Fanservice character, with enough famous shirtless scenes to rival Paul Newman, McCrea appeared in a wide variety of film genres over his 50-year career, from an Alfred Hitchcock thriller to Western films and romantic comedies. He commonly co-starred in films with Barbara Stanwyck (six) and Miriam Hopkins (five), but would likely be best recognized today for Sullivan's Travels with Veronica Lake.
McCrea was said to have once claimed that he saw acting as a "hobby" of his, whereas he mostly owned ranches and bought many properties around California, becoming a multi-millionaire in the 1940s because of it, as well as his acting career. He was also Happily Married for over 50 years to fellow actress Francis Dee, and the two of them had three sons— one of whom, Jody, became an actor too.
He died of pneumonia at the age of 84.
Joel McCrea's films on TV Tropes:
- The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
- Bed of Roses (1933)
- The Silver Cord (1933)
- These Three (1936) — an early adaption of The Children's Hour
- Dead End (1937)
- Union Pacific (1939)
- Foreign Correspondent (1940)
- Sullivan's Travels (1941)
- The Palm Beach Story (1942)
- The More the Merrier (1943)
- Colorado Territory (1949) — Western version of High Sierra
- Stars in My Crown (1950)
- Fort Massacre (1958)
- Ride the High Country (1962)
- Cry Blood, Apache (1972)