Brian Donlevy

Born Feb 9, 1901

Waldo Brian Donlevy, later known as Brian Donlevy was an American-born actor of Irish descent, noted for playing dangerous tough guys from the 1930s to the 1960s. He usually appeared in supporting roles. Among his best-known films are Beau Geste (1939) and The Great McGinty (1940). For his role as Sergeant Markoff in Beau Geste he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.… Read More

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Brian Donlevy.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Brian Donlevy.


1901 Birth Donlevy was born in 1901 in Cleveland, Ohio, to Rebecca (née Parks) and Thomas Donlevy.
1910 9 Years Old Sometime between 1910 and 1912 the family moved to Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin, where Donlevy's father worked as a supervisor at the Brickner Woolen Mills.


1916 15 Years Old When the local Army National Guard company was called into service for the Pancho Villa Expedition in 1916, Donlevy lied about his age (he was actually 14) so he could join the mobilization. … Read More


1928 27 Years Old Donlevy was married three times: first to Yvonne Grey from 1928–36, then to actress Marjorie Lane from 1936–1947, and finally to Lillian Arch Lugosi (the former wife of Bela Lugosi) from 1966 until his death in 1972.


1935 34 Years Old Donlevy's break came in 1935, when he was cast in the Edward G. Robinson film Barbary Coast. … Read More
1939 38 Years Old In 1939, he played the lead villain in Destry Rides Again and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his memorable role as the ruthless Sergeant Markoff in Beau Geste, although the Oscar went to Thomas Mitchell for Stagecoach. … Read More


1942 41 Years Old In 1942, Donlevy starred in Wake Island with William Bendix and Robert Preston and played street-tough borough politician Paul Madvig in Dashiell Hammet's classic The Glass Key.


1955 54 Years Old In 1955, he played the lead in the British science-fiction horror film The Quatermass Xperiment (called The Creeping Unknown in the US) for the Hammer Films company, playing the lead role of Professor Bernard Quatermass. … Read More
1957 56 Years Old 1 More Event
Nonetheless, the film version was a success and Donlevy returned for the sequel, Quatermass 2 (Enemy From Space in the US), in 1957, also based on a BBC television serial. … Read More
1960 59 Years Old In 1960, he appeared as John Ridges in the episode "Escape" of The DuPont Show with June Allyson.


1969 68 Years Old His last film role was in Pit Stop, released in 1969.
1972 71 Years Old Donlevy died from throat cancer on April 6, 1972 at the Motion Picture Country Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.