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Birth name John Dall ThompsonNationality USABirth 26 may 1920
at New York City (USA
)Death 15 january 1971
(at 50 years) at Hollywood (USA
John Dall (May 26, 1920 – January 15, 1971)
was an American actor.
Primarily a stage actor, he is best remembered today for two film roles: the cool-minded intellectual killer in Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948), and the trigger-happy lead in the 1950 noir Gun Crazy. He also had a substantial role in Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960).
He first came to fame as the young prodigy who comes alive under the tutelage of Bette Davis in The Corn Is Green, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Warner Bros signed him to a contract to make the film but they let him go in 1946.
In 1962, Dall made two guest appearances on TV's Perry Mason: "The Case of the Lonely Eloper", and the murder victim in "The Case of the Weary Watchdog". In 1963, he again portrayed the murder victim in "The Case of the Reluctant Model". He made his fourth and final appearance on the show in the 1965 episode, "The Case of the Laughing Lady".
John Dall Thompson was born in New York City in 1920, the younger son of Charles Jenner Thompson (died 1929) and his wife Henry (née Worthington). His father was a civil engineer. Some sources incorrectly cited Dall's birth name as John Jenner Thompson. Most sources, including census records, passenger manifests and his New York Times obituary, support the 1920 year of birth, but some sources have cited 1918. His older brother, Worthington Thompson, was later a decorated lieutenant in the 517th Parachute Regimental Combat Team.
Film historians William J. Mann and Karen Burroughs Hannsberry note that Dall was gay but had a short-lived marriage in the 1940s. According to music journalist Phil Milstein, at the time of his death Dall had lapsed into alcoholism and was living with his partner, actor Clement Brace (died 1996).