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American character actor of rather bizarre range, a member of the so-called 'John Ford Stock Company.' Originally a New York stage actor of some repute, Whitehead entered films in the 1930s. He played a wide variety of character parts, often quite different from his own actual age and type. He is probably most familiar as Al Joad in John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940). But twenty-two years later, in his fifth film for Ford, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Whitehead at 51 was playing a lollipop-licking schoolboy! He continued to work predominantly on the stage, appearing now and again in films or on television. In his last years, he suffered from cancer and died in 1998 in Dublin, Ireland, where he had lived in semi-retirement for many years.
March 1, 1911, New York City, New York,
July 29, 1998
1940 The Grapes of WrathAl Joad 1948 Road HouseArthur 1948 A Song Is BornProfessor Oddly 1949 Ma and Pa KettleMr. Billings 1951 Comin' Round the MountainZeke 1951 The ScarfWhoopie 1951 The HoodlumBreckenridge 1952 Beware, My LovelyMr. Franks 1958 Rally 'Round the FlagIsaac Goodpasture 1959 The Horse SoldiersOtis 'Hoppy' Hopkins 1961 Two Rode TogetherLt. Whitehead 1962 The Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceHerbert Carruthers 1962 Panic in Year Zero!Hogan 1963 Summer MagicMr. Perkins 1968 The Lion in WinterBishop of DurhamLimited to the 15 most popular items