Image of Dick Powell

Dick Powell

Richard Ewing "Dick" Powell (November 14, 1904 – January 2, 1963) was an American singer, actor, producer, director and studio boss. Born in Mountain View, the seat of Stone County in northern Arkansas, Powell attended the former Little Rock College in the state capital, before he started his entertainment career as a singer with the Charlie Davis Orchestra, based in the midwest. He recorded a number of records with Davis and on his own, for the Vocalion label in the late 1920s. Powell moved to Pittsburgh, where he found great local success as the Master of Ceremonies at the Enright Theater and the Stanley Theater. In April 1930, Warner Bros. bought up Brunswick Records which at that time owned Vocalion. Warner Bros. was sufficiently impressed by Powell's singing and stage presence to offer him a film contract in 1932. He made his film debut as a singing bandleader in Blessed Event. He went on to star as a boyish crooner in movie musicals such as 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933, Dames, Flirtation Walk, and On the Avenue, often appearing opposite Ruby Keeler and Joan Blondell. Powell desperately wanted to expand his range but Warner Bros. wouldn't allow him to do so, although they did (mis)cast him in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) as Lysander. This was to be Powell's only Shakespearean role and one he did not want to play, feeling that he was completely wrong for the part. Finally, reaching his forties and knowing that his young romantic leading man days were behind him he lobbied to play the lead in Double Indemnity. He lost out to Fred MacMurray, another Hollywood nice guy. MacMurray’s success, however, fueled Powell’s resolve to pursue projects with greater range and in 1944, he was cast in the first of a series of films noir, as private detective Philip Marlowe in Murder, My Sweet, directed by Edward Dmytryk. The film was a big hit and Powell had successfully reinvented himself as a dramatic actor. The following year Dmytryk and Powell re-teamed to make Cornered, a gripping, post-WWII thriller that helped define the film noir style. He became a popular "tough guy" lead appearing in movies such as Johnny O'Clock and Cry Danger. But 1948 saw him step out of the brutish type when he starred in Pitfall, a film noir that sees a bored insurance company worker fall for an innocent but dangerous femme fatale, played by Lizabeth Scott. Even when he appeared in lighter fare such as The Reformer and the Redhead and Susan Slept Here (1954) he never sang in his later roles. The latter, his final onscreen appearance in a feature film, did include a dance number with costar Debbie Reynolds. From 1949-1953, Powell played the lead role in the National Broadcasting Company radio theater production Richard Diamond, Private Detective. His character in the 30-minute weekly was a likable private detective with a quick wit. When Richard Diamond came to television in 1957, the lead role was portrayed by David Janssen.


Read bio at tmdb | Read bio at Wikipedia
Born:
Nov 14, 1904 In Mountain View, Arkansas, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
74
First Appeared:
In the movie Blessed Event 1932-09-10
Latest Project:
Movie Classic Movie Bloopers: Uncensored 2013-01-29
Known For
Poster of Cry Danger
Poster of Happy Go Lucky
Poster of One And One Is One
Poster of Too Busy to Work

Dick Powell Movies Filmography

Movie
Classic Movie Bloopers: Uncensored
Himself (archive footage) 2013-01-29
Movie
That's Dancing!
1985-01-01
Movie
It's Showtime
1976-03-31
Movie
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
(archive footage) 1975-08-06
Movie
The Love Goddesses
1965-03-03
Movie
Hollywood My Home Town
1965-12-31
Series
The Dick Powell Show
Host 1961-09-26
Series
The DuPont Show of the Week
Unknown 1961-09-17
Series
Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater
Himself - Host 1956-10-05
Movie
Susan Slept Here
Mark Christopher 1954-07-28
Series
Climax!
Unknown 1954-10-07
Movie
The Bad and the Beautiful
James Lee Bartlow 1952-12-25
Series
This Is Your Life
Unknown 1952-10-01
Movie
Cry Danger
Rocky Mulloy 1951-02-23
Movie
The Tall Target
John Kennedy 1951-08-17
Movie
You Never Can Tell
Rex Shepherd 1951-09-23
Movie
The Reformer and the Redhead
Andrew Hale 1950-05-05
Movie
Right Cross
Rick Garvey 1950-10-06
Series
The Emmy Awards
Unknown 1949-01-25
Movie
Mrs. Mike
Sgt. Mike Flannigan 1949-12-23
Movie
To the Ends of the Earth
Commissioner Michael Barrows 1948-02-07
Movie
Rogues' Regiment
Whit Corbett 1948-12-28
Series
The Ed Sullivan Show
Unknown 1948-06-20
Movie
Station West
Lt. John Martin Haven 1948-09-01
Movie
Pitfall
John Forbes 1948-08-11
Movie
Johnny O'Clock
Johnny O'Clock 1947-01-23
Movie
Cornered
Laurence Gerard 1945-12-25
Movie
It Happened Tomorrow
Lawrence " Larry " Stevens 1944-03-31
Movie
Meet the People
William 'Swanee' Swanson 1944-06-01
Movie
Murder, My Sweet
Philip Marlowe 1944-12-14
Movie
Three Cheers for the Girls
Singer (Marine Hymn) - (Film Clip) (Archive Footage) 1943-05-08
Movie
Happy Go Lucky
Pete Hamilton 1943-01-04
Movie
Riding High
Steve Baird 1943-11-11
Movie
Star Spangled Rhythm
Dick Powell - ' Hit the Road to Dreamland' Number 1942-03-05
Movie
Model Wife
Frederick "Fred" Chambers 1941-04-17
Movie
In the Navy
Thomas Halstead 1941-05-30
Movie
I Want a Divorce
Alan MacNally 1940-09-20
Movie
Christmas in July
Jimmy McDonald 1940-10-25
Movie
Naughty But Nice
Professor Donald Hardwick 1939-06-23
Movie
Cowboy from Brooklyn
Elly Jordan, aka Wyoming Steve Gibson 1938-07-09
Movie
Hard to Get
Bill Davis 1938-11-05
Movie
Going Places
Peter Mason 1938-12-31
Movie
On the Avenue
Gary Blake 1937-02-12
Movie
The Singing Marine
Bob Brent 1937-07-03
Movie
Varsity Show
Charles 'Chuck' Daly 1937-09-04
Movie
Hollywood Hotel
Ronnie Bowers 1937-12-20
Movie
Colleen
Donald Ames 1936-03-21
Movie
One And One Is One
Himself 1936-01-01
Movie
Hearts Divided
Jerome Bonaparte 1936-06-20
Movie
Gold Diggers of 1937
Rosmer “Rossi” Peck 1936-12-28
Movie
Screen Snapshots (Series 16, No. 1)
1936-09-11
Movie
Stage Struck
George Randall 1936-09-12
Movie
Page Miss Glory
Betty 1935-09-07
Movie
Gold Diggers of 1935
Dick Curtis 1935-03-15
Movie
Broadway Gondolier
Richard 'Dick' Purcell, aka Ricardo Purcelli 1935-07-27
Movie
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Lysander, In love with Hermia 1935-10-09
Movie
Shipmates Forever
Richard John 'Dick' Melville III 1935-10-12
Movie
Things You Never See on the Screen
Himself 1935-12-01
Movie
Thanks a Million
Eric Land 1935-11-13
Movie
Wonder Bar
Tommy 1934-03-31
Movie
Twenty Million Sweethearts
Buddy Clayton 1934-05-26
Movie
And She Learned About Dames
Himself 1934-03-27
Movie
Dames
James 'Jimmy' Higgens 1934-09-01
Movie
Flirtation Walk
Dick 'Canary' Dorcy / Richard Palmer Grant Dorcy 1934-12-01
Movie
Happiness Ahead
Bob Lane 1934-10-27
Movie
The King's Vacation
John Kent 1933-02-25
Movie
Just Around the Corner
Jerry 1933-01-17
Movie
42nd Street
Billy Lawler 1933-03-11
Movie
Gold Diggers of 1933
Robert Treat Bradford aka Brad Roberts 1933-05-27
Movie
Footlight Parade
Scott 'Scotty' Blair 1933-10-21
Movie
College Coach
Phil "Sarge" Sargeant 1933-11-13
Movie
Blessed Event
Bunny Harmon 1932-09-10
Movie
Too Busy to Work
Dan Hardy 1932-12-02
Movie
Big City Blues
Radio Announcer (voice) (uncredited) 1932-09-18

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