John Qualen

John Qualen

  • Birthday: 1899-12-06
  • Deathday: 1987-09-12
  • Place of birth: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Also know as: John M. Qualen

Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia John Qualen (born Johan Mandt Kvalen, December 8, 1899 – September 12, 1987) was a Canadian-American character actor of Norwegian heritage who specialized in Scandinavian roles. Qualen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, the son of immigrants from Norway; his father was a Lutheran minister and changed the family's original surname, "Kvalen", to "Qualen" – though some sources give Oleson, later Oleson Kvalen as Qualen's earlier surnames. His father's ministering meant many moves and John was 20 when he graduated from Elgin High School in 1920. Though he was awarded a scholarship to Northwestern University after he won an oratory contest he never attended college. In a Milwaukee Journal interview he said he needed to start working and did so with the Chattaqua Circuit. Eventually reaching Broadway, he gained his big break as the Swedish janitor in Elmer Rice's Street Scene. His movie career began when he recreated the role in the film version. This was followed by his appearance in John Ford's Arrowsmith (1931) which began a more than thirty year membership in the director's "stock company", with important supporting roles in The Searchers (1956), Two Rode Together (1961), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) and Cheyenne Autumn (1964). Appearing in well over one hundred films, and acting extensively on television into the 1970s, Qualen performed many of his roles with various accents, usually Scandinavian, often intended for comic effect. Three of his more memorable roles showcase his versatility. Qualen assumed a Midwestern dialect as Muley, who recounts the destruction of his farm by the bank in Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940), and as the confused killer Earl Williams in Howard Hawks' classic comedy His Girl Friday (also 1940). As Berger, the jewelry-selling Norwegian resistance member in Michael Curtiz' Casablanca (1942), he essayed a light Scandinavian accent, but put on a thicker Mediterranean accent as the homeward-bound fisherman Locota in William Wellman's The High and the Mighty (1954) Qualen was treasurer of The Authors Club and historian of The Masquers, Hollywood's social group for actors. John Qualen was blind in his later years. He died of heart failure in 1987 in Torrance, California, and was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale. He was survived by his three daughters.

Filmography

Casablanca

1943

As Berger

The Grapes of Wrath

1940

As Muley Graves

His Girl Friday

1940

As Earl Williams

The Searchers

1956

As Lars Jorgensen

Blondie on a Budget

1940

As Ed Fuddle

Let's Fall in Love

1933

As Svente Bjorkman

North to Alaska

1960

As Logger

Jungle Book

1942

As The Barber

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

1962

As Peter Ericson

Hollow Triumph

1948

As Swangron

Out of the Fog

1941

As Olaf Johnson

A Patch of Blue

1965

As Mr. Faber

Charlie Chan in Paris

1935

As Concierge, Dufresne's Hotel (bit)

Woman on the Run

1950

As Maibus

Dark Waters

1944

As Uncle Norbert

7 Faces of Dr. Lao

1964

As Luther Lindquist

All That Money Can Buy

1941

As Miser Stevens

Angels Over Broadway

1940

As Charles Engle

Those Calloways

1965

As Ernie Evans

Arabian Nights

1942

As Aladdin

I, the Jury

1953

As Dr. R.H. Vickers, Veterinarian

The Shepherd of the Hills

1941

As Coot Royal

A Big Hand for the Little Lady

1966

As Jesse Buford

The Fugitive

1947

As A Refugee Doctor

Knute Rockne All American

1940

As Lars Knutson Rockne

Adventure

1945

As Model T

The Sons of Katie Elder

1965

As Charlie Biller

Hans Christian Andersen

1952

As Burgomaster

The High and the Mighty

1954

As Jose Locota

Larceny, Inc.

1942

As Sam Bachrach

The Big Steal

1949

As Julius Seton

The Other Woman

1954

As Papasha

The Gun Runners

1958

As Pop

My World Dies Screaming

1958

As Jonah Snell

The Impostor

1944

As Monge

Black Fury

1935

As Mike Shemanski

Angel's Holiday

1937

As Waldo Everett

Million Dollar Baby

1941

As Dr. Patterson

Tortilla Flat

1942

As Jose Maria Corcoran

Swing Shift Maisie

1943

As Horatio Curley

Thunder Afloat

1939

As Milo

Honeymoon in Bali

1939

As Meek Man (uncredited)

Passion

1954

As Gaspar Melo

One More Spring

1935

As Auctioneer

Our Daily Bread

1934

As Chris (as John T. Qualen)

Goodbye, My Fancy

1951

As Professor Dingley

Stand Up and Fight

1939

As Davy

Roughly Speaking

1945

As Svend Olsen

An American Romance

1944

As Anton Dubechek

Orchids to You

1935

As Smith

Girls Dormitory

1936

As Toni

Meet Nero Wolfe

1936

As Olaf

Seventh Heaven

1937

As Sewer Rat

The Farmer Takes a Wife

1935

As Sol Tinker

Sing and Like it

1934

As Oswald (as John M. Qualen)

Five of a Kind

1938

As Asa Wyatt

The Flying Missile

1950

As Lars Hansen

Fit for a King

1937

As Otto

Let's Fall in Love

1933

As Bjorkman

Chasing Yesterday

1935

As Coccoz

Ski Patrol

1940

As Gustaf

The Mad Miss Manton

1938

As Night Watchman at Subway Construction Site

Song of Scheherazade

1947

As Lorenzo

Counsellor at Law

1933

As Breitstein

Upperworld

1934

As Janitor

365 Nights in Hollywood

1934

As Prof. Herman Ellenbogen

The Country Doctor

1936

As Asa Wyatt

Alias a Gentleman

1948

As No End

Reunion

1936

As Asa Wyatt

Street Scene

1931

As Karl Olsen (as John M. Qualen)

Captain China

1950

As Geech

Hi, Nellie!

1934

As Steve (uncredited)

Two Rode Together

1961

As Ole Knudsen

The Sea Chase

1955

As Chief Engineer Schmitt

Four Wives

1939

As Frank

Let Us Live

1939

As Dan (uncredited)

Johnny Concho

1956

As Jake

Man of Iron

1935

As Collins

Thunder in the Night

1935

As Hotel Porter

Anatomy of a Murder

1959

As Deputy Sheriff Sulo

Reaching from Heaven

1948

As The Stranger

He Was Her Man

1934

As Dutch, Santa Avila's Cabbie

Babies for Sale

1940

As Howard Anderson

Unchained

1955

As Leonard Haskins

Ambush at Tomahawk Gap

1953

As Jonas P. Travis

Ring Around the Moon

1936

As Bill Harvey

The Three Musketeers

1935

As Planchet

16 Fathoms Deep

1948

As Capt. Athos

Wife vs. Secretary

1936

As Mr. Jenkins (uncredited)

Saturday's Children

1940

As First Carpenter (uncredited)

Nothing Sacred

1937

As Fireman (uncredited)

Hell Bent for Leather

1960

As Old Ben

Doubting Thomas

1935

As Von Blitzen

Whipsaw

1935

As Will Dabson

Belle Le Grand

1951

As Corky McGee

I'll Take Sweden

1965

As Olaf

The Big Land

1957

As Sven Johnson

Straight Is the Way

1934

As Mr. Clapman (uncredited)

Model Wife

1941

As The Janitor

The Prize

1963

As Oscar

Buccaneer's Girl

1950

As Vegetable Seller

New Wine

1941

As Hasslinger's Clerk

Elmer Gantry

1960

As Sam - Storekeeper

Fifty Roads to Town

1937

As Sheriff Dow

The Chaser

1938

As Lars

She Had to Eat

1937

As Sleepy

Silk Hat Kid

1935

As Mr. Fossbender

River Gang

1945

As Uncle Bill

Joy of Living

1938

As Oswego

High Conquest

1947

As Peter Oberwalder Sr.

La Classe américaine

1993

As V12 (archive footage) (uncredited)

At Gunpoint

1955

As Livingstone

Mickey the Kid

1939

As Mailman

Servants' Entrance

1934

As Detective

Breakdowns of 1942

1942

As Self

Getting Away from It All

1972

As Charlie Erickson

Doc

1969

As Luke

Youth Will Be Served

1940

As Clem Howie

My Girl Tisa

1948

As Svenson

The Jackpot

1950

As Mr. Ferguson (uncredited)

Firecreek

1968

As Hall

P.J.

1968

As Poppa

Arrowsmith

1931

As Henry Novak (uncredited)

Man On A Bus

1955

As Second Prisoner

On Their Own

1940

As Peters

Cheyenne Autumn

1964

As Svenson (uncredited)

Captain Kidd

1945

As Bart Blivens

Hail, Hero!

1969

As Billy Hurd

The Road to Glory

1936

As Duflous

Donovan's Reef

1963

As Deckhand Who Cries 'Man Overboard' (uncredited)

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