Jack Elam

Born Nov 13, 1920

William Scott "Jack" Elam was an American film actor best known for his numerous roles as villains in Western films and, later in his career, comedies (sometimes spoofing his villainous image). His most distinguishing physical quality was that his left eye iris was skewed to the outside, making him look unnaturally "wide eyed" (the opposite of cross eyed).… Read More

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1920 Birth Born on November 13, 1920.
1930 9 Years Old By 1930, he was living with his father, older sister Mildred, and their stepmother, Flossie Varney Elam. … Read More


1937 16 Years Old He was married twice, first to Jean Elam from 1937 to her death in 1961 and second, Margaret Jennison from 1961 until his death in 2003. … Read More


1949 28 Years Old In 1949, Elam made his debut in She Shoulda Said No!, an exploitation film where a chorus girl's marijuana smoking ruins her career and drives her brother to suicide. … Read More


1961 40 Years Old In 1961, Elam played a slightly crazed character in an episode of The Twilight Zone entitled "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up? … Read More
1963 42 Years Old In 1963, Elam got a rare chance to play the good guy, Deputy U.S. Marshal and reformed gunfighter J. D. Smith in the ABC/Warner Brothers series, The Dakotas, a television western that ran for only nineteen episodes. … Read More
1968 47 Years Old In 1968, Elam had an amusing cameo in Sergio Leone's celebrated spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West, where he was one of a trio of gunslingers sent to kill Charles Bronson's character. … Read More
1969 48 Years Old In 1969, he was given his first comedic role in Support Your Local Sheriff!, which was followed two years later by Support Your Local Gunfighter; both were opposite James Garner, after which he found his villainous parts dwindling and his comic roles increasing. (Both films were also directed by Burt Kennedy, who saw Elam's potential as a comedian and would direct him a total of 15 times in features and television.) In between those two films, he also played a comically cranky old coot opposite John Wayne in Howard Hawks's Rio Lobo (1970).


1979 58 Years Old In 1979, he was cast—ideally, some said—as the Frankenstein monster in the CBS sitcom Struck by Lightning, but the show was cancelled after only three episodes.


1981 60 Years Old In 1981, Elam played an eccentric doctor in the movie The Cannonball Run as Doctor Nikolas Van Helsing.
1984 63 Years Old In 1984, Elam once again returned in the sequel The Cannonball Run II.
1985 64 Years Old In 1985, Elam played Charlie in The Aurora Encounter. … Read More
1986 65 Years Old In 1986, Elam also co-starred on the short-lived comedy series Easy Street as Alvin "Bully" Stevenson, the down-on-his-luck uncle of Loni Anderson's character, L. K. McGuire.
1988 67 Years Old In 1988, Elam co-starred with Willie Nelson in the movie "Where The Hell's That Gold?"
1994 73 Years Old In 1994, Elam was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. … Read More
2003 83 Years Old Jack Elam died in 2003 of congestive heart failure, leaving behind two daughters and one son. … Read More
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