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Richard Crenna 1926-2003

Country : Los Angeles, California
Profession : Actor
Date of birth : 1926-11-30
Date of death : 2003-01-17
Cause of Death : Heart Failure

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Richard Donald Crenna (November 30, 1926 – January 17, 2003) was an American film, television and radio actor. He starred in such motion pictures as The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Body Heat, Rambo (First BloodRambo III), Hot Shots! Part Deux, and The Flamingo Kid. He played Walter Denton in the CBS radio and television series Our Miss Brooks and Luke McCoy in the ABC and CBS sitcom The Real McCoys (1957-1963). He was on the rare political dramatic series Slattery's People on CBS. Younger generations may remember him as Colonel Trautman in the Rambo films.


Early life

Crenna was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Edith J., who managed a hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, and Domenick Anthony Crenna, a pharmacist. He had Italian ancestry. Crenna attended Virgil Jr. High School on Vermont Avenue and 1st Street, and later Belmont High School and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. One of his classmates at Belmont was Mort Sahl. He was also a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity.


Crenna got his acting start on radio, appearing in My Favorite Husband, Boy Scout Jamboree, A Date With Judy, The Great Gildersleeve, and Our Miss Brooks. He remained with the cast of the latter show when it moved to television.

He guest starred on I Love Lucy with Janet Waldo and on NBC's 1955-1956 Frontier anthology series in the lead role of the episode entitled "The Ten Days of John Leslie".

When Our Miss Brooks, starring Eve Arden, underwent a change in format -- his character Walter Denton was omitted -- Crenna joined The Real McCoys. Kathleen Nolan was cast as his young wife, Kate McCoy; they lived on a southern California farm with Grandpa Amos McCoy, played by Walter Brennan. In the last season, 1962-1963, The Real McCoys was shortened to The McCoys, moved from ABC to CBS, and switched from Thursday to Sunday evening. Moreover, Nolan's character died on screen. The widower Luke McCoy then began to court a neighbor, Louise Howard, played by actress Janet De Gore.

Crenna won an Emmy for his performance in the title role of the film The Rape of Richard Beck. He portrayed a California state senator named James Slattery. Crenna received two Emmy nominations for Outstanding Individual Achievements in Entertainment (1965) and for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Series (1965). In addition, in 1965 Crenna was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best TV Star - Male for his portrayal of the fictional Senator Slattery.

Crenna is perhaps best known for his role as John Rambo's ex-commanding Officer "Colonel Trautman" in the first three Rambo films. He also spoofed the role in Hot Shots! Part Deux, as an homage to his Rambo character. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6714 Hollywood Blvd.


Crenna contracted pancreatic cancer but died of heart failure at the age of seventy-six. He was cremated. At the time of his death, he had a recurring role in the CBS series Judging Amy. On the show, his passing was acknowledged by the death of the character that he portrayed.

Crenna's son, Richard Anthony Crenna, is also an actor.


Out of the Ashes (13-Apr-2003)
The Day Reagan Was Shot (09-Dec-2001)
By Dawn's Early Light (2000)
Wrongfully Accused (23-Jul-1998)
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (23-Mar-1997)
Sabrina (15-Dec-1995)
Jade (13-Oct-1995)
Hot Shots! Part Deux (21-May-1993)
Intruders (17-May-1992)
And the Sea Will Tell (24-Feb-1991)
Leviathan (17-Mar-1989)
Rambo III (25-May-1988)
Summer Rental (9-Aug-1985)
Rambo: First Blood Part II (24-May-1985)
The Flamingo Kid (21-Dec-1984)
Table for Five (1983)
Rambo: First Blood (31-Oct-1982)
Body Heat (28-Aug-1981)
Death Ship (7-Mar-1980)
Mayflower: The Pilgrims' Adventure (21-Nov-1979)
A Fire in the Sky (26-Nov-1978)
First, You Cry (8-Nov-1978)
Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (31-Oct-1978)
Centennial (1-Oct-1978)
The Evil (5-May-1978)
Breakheart Pass (25-Dec-1975)
A Girl Named Sooner (18-Jun-1975)
Jonathan Livingston Seagull (23-Oct-1973) [VOICE]
Double Indemnity (13-Oct-1973)
Un Flic (Oct-1972)
Catlow (1-Oct-1971)
Red Sky at Morning (12-May-1971)
The Deserter (25-Mar-1971)
Doctors' Wives (3-Feb-1971)
Marooned (10-Nov-1969)
Star! (18-Jul-1968)
Wait Until Dark (26-Oct-1967)
The Sand Pebbles (20-Dec-1966)
Made in Paris (9-Feb-1966)
John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (24-Mar-1965)
Our Miss Brooks (1956)
It Grows on Trees (28-Nov-1952)
The Pride of St. Louis (2-May-1952)

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