biography

Born in Weed, New Mexico, on August 16, 1899, actor Glenn Strange was the son of a saloon owner. By the early 1920s, the 6'4" Strange had worked as a cowboy and later moved on to professional heavyweight fighting and wrestling. In the late 1920s, he took a job touring with silent film star Hoot Gibson's Rodeo as a rider. While on tour with the rodeo, Strange landed in Hollywood and entered films as a stuntman and bit player in Hoot Gibson's films beginning in 1930 with the western The Mounted Stranger (1930). He secured bit parts mostly at Columbia, then a poverty row studio, throughout the early 1930s. His first credited role came in the Mascot adventure The Hurricane Express (1932; with John Wayne) and eventually worked his way up as a villainous henchman and an occasional sheriff in numerous B westerns, including Arizona Days (1937; with Tex Ritter), Blazing Sixes (1937; with Dick Foran), and Call of the Rockies (1938; with Charles Starrett).

Glenn StrangeGlenn Strange

LEFT: As Frankenstein's monster on the set of Universal's House of Frankenstein. RIGHT: Early 1950s photo

Much like western star Tom Tyler, in the 1940s Strange began acting in horror films due to his imposing stature. His horror film debut was in PRC's The Mad Monster (1942; with George Zucco and Anne Nagel) in which Strange turns in a sympathetic performance as a kindly but simple man who is transformed into a monster by mad scientist George Zucco. In 1944, he succeeded Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., and Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's monster in Universal's 1940s horror offerings. Strange took over the role in House of Frankenstein (1944; with John Carradine and Anne Gwynne) and played the monster again in House of Dracula (1945; with Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, and Lionel Atwill) and in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948; with Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr., and Bela Lugosi ).

the films of glenn strange

Billy the Kid Wanted (1941)

Buster Crabbe, Glenn Strange, and Al St. John

With Buster Crabbe and Al St. John in PRC's Billy the Kid Wanted

The Driftin' Kid (1941)

Glenn Strange, Tom Keene, Betty Miles, and Stanley Price

From the Monogram western The Driftin' Kid with Tom Keene, Betty Miles, and Stanley Price

Raiders of the West (1942)

Virginia Carroll, Charles King, and Glenn Strange

With Virginia Carroll and Charles King in the PRC western Raiders of the West

Western Mail (1942)

Glenn Strange

From the Monogram western Western Mail

Return of the Rangers (1943)

Richard Alexander, Dave O'Brien, and Glenn Strange

With Richard Alexander and Dave O'Brien in PRC's Texas Rangers entry Return of the Rangers

House of Frankenstein (1944)

Glenn StrangeGlenn Strange

Strange's first outing as the Frankenstein monster came in Universal's House of Frankenstein

The Monster Maker (1944)

Tala Birell and Glenn Strange

With Tala Birell in the PRC horror flick The Monster Maker

House of Dracula (1945)

Martha O'Driscoll, Lon Chaney Jr., Ludwig Stossel, and Glenn Strange

From the last of Universal's seven Frankenstein horror flicks House of Dracula. Pictured are Martha O'Driscoll, Lon Chaney Jr., Ludwig Stossel, and Glenn Strange

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Bela Lugosi and Glenn StrangeLou Costello, Bela Lugosi, and Glenn StrangeGlenn StrangeGlenn Strange

LEFT: Dracula (Bela Lugosi) rouses the Frankenstein monster (Strange) in the comedy Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. CENTER: With Lou Costello and Bela Lugosi. RIGHT: Strange in his last film outing as Frankenstein's monster

Quantrill's Raiders (1958)

Steve Cochran, Leo Gordon, and Glenn Strange

From the Warner Bros. war western Quantrill's Raiders with Steve Cochran and Leo Gordon

Gunsmoke (1955-1975 CBS TV Series)

Glenn Strange

As Sam Noonan, the bartender, from the CBS series Gunsmoke. Strange appeared on the series from 1961 until his death in 1973

later years

Always a supporting player and never a star, by the time Glenn Strange was in his 50s, good film roles began to evaporate, and he slipped back into uncredited roles in the mid 1950s. Nevertheless, he found plenty of work on television in such programs as The Gene Autry Show, The Lone Ranger, and Annie Oakley. His last credited film role came in the Bob Hope vehicle Alias Jesse James (1959; with Rhonda Fleming, Wendell Corey, and Gloria Talbott), and his final film performance, in which he had a bit part, was in Otto Preminger's The Cardinal (1963; with Tom Tryon, Carol Lynley, and John Saxon). Yet Strange remained employed for the rest of his life, thanks to a one-day part on a 1961 episode of Gunsmoke, which he parlayed into the regular role as Sam the bartender. Sadly, Glenn Strange died of cancer at age 74 on September 20, 1973, and was survived by his wife, Min, daughter Janine, and a grandson.

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filmography

FILMS
Alias Jesse James (1959) with Bob Hope, Rhonda Fleming, Wendell Corey, Gloria Talbott, and Jim Davis
Quantrill's Raiders (1958) with Steve Cochran, Diane Brewster, Leo Gordon, and Myron Healey
Gunfire at Indian Gap (1957) with Vera Ralston and George Macready
The Last Stagecoach West (1957) with Jim Davis, Victor Jory, and Lee Van Cleef
The Halliday Brand (1957) with Joseph Cotten, Viveca Lindfors, Betsy Blair, Ward Bond, Bill Williams, Jay C. Flippen, and Jeanette Nolan
The Vanishing American (1955) with Scott Brady, Audrey Totter, Forrest Tucker, Gene Lockhart, Jim Davis, Gloria Castillo, Lee Van Cleef, and Jay Silverheels
The Road to Denver (1955) with John Payne, Mona Freeman, Lee J. Cobb, Andy Clyde, and Lee Van Cleef
The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1955) with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels
The Veils of Bagdad (1953) with Victor Mature, Mari Blanchard, Virginia Field, Guy Rolfe, James Arness, Gregg Palmer, and Leon Askin
The Great Sioux Uprising (1953) with Jeff Chandler, Faith Domergue, Lyle Bettger, Stacy Harris, and Walter Sande
Born to the Saddle (1953) with Chuck Courtney and Leif Erickson
The Lawless Breed (1953) with Rock Hudson, Julie Adams, Mary Castle, John McIntire, Hugh O'Brian, Dennis Weaver, Lee Van Cleef, Race Gentry, and Richard Garland
Wagons West (1952) with Rod Cameron, Noah Beery Jr., and Peggie Castle
The Legend of the Lone Ranger (1952) with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels
Texas Carnival (1951) with Esther Williams, Red Skelton, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Paula Raymond, Keenan Wynn, and Tom Tully
Comin' Round the Mountain (1951) with Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Kirby Grant, Margaret Hamilton, Guy Wilkerson, and Robert Easton
Double Crossbones (1951) with Donald O'Connor, Helena Carter, Will Geer, Hayden Rorke, Alan Napier, Hope Emerson, and Charles McGraw
Comanche Territory (1950) with Maureen O'Hara, Macdonald Carey, Will Geer, Charles Drake, Parley Baer, and James Best
Master Minds (1949) with Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Alan Napier, Skelton Knaggs, and Minerva Urecal
Roll, Thunder, Roll! (1949) with Jim Bannon
Rimfire (1949) with James Millican, Mary Beth Hughes, Reed Hadley, Henry Hull, Victor Kilian, and Fuzzy Knight
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) with Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Lenore Aubert, and Jane Randolph
The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (1947) with Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, and Marjorie Main
House of Dracula (1945) with Lon Chaney Jr., John Carradine, Martha O'Driscoll, Lionel Atwill, and Skelton Knaggs
Renegades of the Rio Grande (1945) with Rod Cameron, Fuzzy Knight, and Jennifer Holt
Harmony Trail (1944) with Ken Maynard, Max Terhune, and Ruth Roman
House of Frankenstein (1944) with Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., J. Carrol Naish, John Carradine, Anne Gwynne, Peter Coe, Lionel Atwill, George Zucco, and Elena Verdugo
Trail to Gunsight (1944) with Lyle Talbot and Fuzzy Knight
The San Antonio Kid (1944) with Bill Elliott, Robert Blake, Linda Stirling, and Duncan Renaldo
Silver City Kid (1944) with Allan Lane, Peggy Stewart, and Twinkle Watts
Forty Thieves (1944) with William Boyd, Andy Clyde, Douglass Dumbrille, Kirk Alyn, and Herbert Rawlinson
Sonora Stagecoach (1944) with Hoot Gibson and Bob Steele
The Contender (1944) with Buster Crabbe and Arline Judge
Valley of Vengeance (1944) with Buster Crabbe and Al 'Fuzzy' St. John
The Monster Maker (1944) with J. Carrol Naish, Ralph Morgan, and Wanda McKay
The Woman of the Town (1943) with Claire Trevor, Albert Dekker, Barry Sullivan, Henry Hull, Percy Kilbride, and Herbert Rawlinson
Death Valley Rangers (1943) with Ken Maynard, Hoot Gibson, and Bob Steele
False Colors (1943) with William Boyd, Andy Clyde, Douglass Dumbrille, and Robert Mitchum
Bullets and Saddles (1943) with Ray 'Crash' Corrigan and Max Terhune
Return of the Rangers (1943) with Dave O'Brien and Guy Wilkerson
Arizona Trail (1943) with Tex Ritter and Fuzzy Knight
Black Market Rustlers (1943) with Ray 'Crash' Corrigan and Max Terhune
The Black Raven (1943) with George Zucco, Wanda McKay, Robert Livingston, and Charles Middleton
Wild Horse Stampede (1943) with Ken Maynard and Hoot Gibson
Haunted Ranch (1943) with John 'Dusty' King, Max Terhune, Bud Osborne, and Rex Lease
The Kid Rides Again (1943) with Buster Crabbe and Al 'Fuzzy' St. John
Little Joe, the Wrangler (1942) with Johnny Mack Brown, Tex Ritter, Fuzzy Knight, and Jennifer Holt
Overland Stagecoach (1942) with Robert Livingston and Al 'Fuzzy' St. John
Bandit Ranger (1942) with Tim Holt
Texas Trouble Shooters (1942) with Ray 'Crash' Corrigan, John 'Dusty' King, and Max Terhune
Come on Danger (1942) with Tim Holt
Down Texas Way (1942) with Buck Jones, Tim McCoy, Raymond Hatton, Luana Walters, and Dave O'Brien
Romance on the Range (1942) with Roy Rogers and George 'Gabby' Hayes
The Mad Monster (1942) with Johnny Downs, George Zucco, Anne Nagel, and Mae Busch
Boot Hill Bandits (1942) with Ray 'Crash' Corrigan, John 'Dusty' King, and Max Terhune
Rolling Down the Great Divide (1942) with Bill Boyd, Lee Powell, and Wanda McKay
Sunset on the Desert (1942) with Roy Rogers and George 'Gabby' Hayes
Billy the Kid Trapped (1942) with Buster Crabbe, Al St. John, and Anne Jeffreys
Raiders of the West (1942) with Bill Boyd, Lee Powell, and Virginia Carroll
Western Mail (1942) with Tom Keene
Stagecoach Buckaroo (1942) with Johnny Mack Brown, Fuzzy Knight, and Anne Nagel
The Lone Rider and the Bandit (1942) with George Houston and Al 'Fuzzy" St. John
Dude Cowboy (1941) with Tim Holt
Billy the Kid's Round-up (1941) with Buster Crabbe and Al St. John
Lone Star Law Men (1941) with Tom Keene
Arizona Cyclone (1941) with Johnny Mack Brown and Fuzzy Knight
The Driftin' Kid (1941) with Tom Keene
The Bandit Trail (1941) with Tim Holt and Janet Waldo
Billy the Kid Wanted (1941) with Buster Crabbe, Al 'Fuzzy' St. John, and Dave O'Brien
Wide Open Town (1941) with William Boyd, Andy Clyde, Evelyn Brent, Victor Jory, and Morris Ankrum
Fugitive Valley (1941) with Ray 'Crash' Corrigan, John 'Dusty' King, and Max Terhune
Riders of Death Valley (1941) with Dick Foran, Leo Carrillo, Buck Jones, Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams, Lon Chaney Jr., Noah Beery Jr., and Monte Blue
Saddlemates (1941) with Robert Livingston, Bob Steele, Rufe Davis, and Gale Storm
The Kid's Last Ride (1941) with Ray 'Crash' Corrigan, John 'Dusty' King, and Max Terhune
San Francisco Docks (1940) with Burgess Meredith, Irene Hervey, Barry Fitzgerald, and Robert Armstrong
The Fargo Kid (1940) with Tim Holt
Three Men from Texas (1940) with William Boyd, Andy Clyde, and Morris Ankrum
Wagon Train (1940) with Tim Holt
Triple Justice (1940) with George O'Brien and Virginia Vale
Stage to Chino (1940) with George O'Brien and Virginia Vale
The Cowboy from Sundown (1940) with Tex Ritter
Land of the Six Guns (1940) with Addison Randall
Pals of the Silver Sage (1940) with Tex Ritter
Covered Wagon Trails (1940) with Addison Randall and Kenne Duncan
Rhythm of the Rio Grande (1940) with Tex Ritter
Pioneer Days (1940) with Addison Randall and Robert Walker
Days of Jesse James (1939) with Roy Rogers, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Don 'Red' Barry, and Scotty Beckett
The Llano Kid (1939) with Tito Guizar, Gale Sondergaard, and Alan Mowbray
Overland Mail (1939) with Addison Randall
Law of the Pampas (1939) with William Boyd, Russell Hayden, Sidney Toler, and Sidney Blackmer
Oklahoma Terror (1939) with Addison Randall, Al 'Fuzzy' St. John, and Virginia Carroll
The Fighting Gringo (1939) with George O'Brien and Lupita Tovar
Across the Plains (1939) with Addison Randall
Blue Montana Skies (1939) with Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette
The Lone Ranger Rides Again (1939) with Robert Livingston, Duncan Renaldo, Jinx Falkenburg, and Rex Lease
Sunset Trail (1939) with William Boyd, George 'Gabby' Hayes, and Russell Hayden
Arizona Legion (1939) with George O'Brien, Laraine Day, and Chill Wills
Honor of the West (1939) with Bob Baker, Marge Champion, and Carleton Young
The Phantom Stage (1939) with Bob Baker and Marjorie Reynolds
Ghost Town Riders (1938) with Bob Baker
California Frontier (1938) with Buck Jones
Gun Packer (1938) with Addison Randall and Dave O'Brien
Prairie Justice (1938) with Bob Baker
Guilty Trails (1938) with Bob Baker and Marjorie Reynolds
The Mysterious Rider (1938) with Douglass Dumbrille, Sidney Toler, Russell Hayden, Monte Blue, and Arch Hall Sr.
Black Bandit (1938) with Bob Baker and Marjorie Reynolds
The Mexicali Kid (1938) with Addison Randall
Pride of the West (1938) with William Boyd, George 'Gabby' Hayes, Russell Hayden, and James Craig
Whirlwind Horseman (1938) with Ken Maynard and Dave O'Brien
Call of the Rockies (1938) with Charles Starrett
The Last Stand (1938) with Bob Baker, Constance Moore, and Fuzzy Knight
Border Wolves (1938) with Bob Baker, Constance Moore, Dickie Jones, and Fuzzy Knight
The Painted Trail (1938) with Tom Keene
Forbidden Valley (1938) with Noah Beery Jr.
The Singing Outlaw (1937) with Bob Baker, Joan Barclay, and Fuzzy Knight
Adventure's End (1937) with John Wayne
The Devil's Saddle Legion (1937) with Dick Foran and Anne Nagel
Empty Holsters (1937) with Dick Foran
Blazing Sixes (1937) with Dick Foran
Land Beyond the Law (1937) with Dick Foran and Wayne Morris
Trouble in Texas (1937) with Tex Ritter, Rita Hayworth, and Yakima Canutt
Arizona Days (1937) with Tex Ritter and Snub Pollard
California Mail (1936) with Dick Foran
A Tenderfoot Goes West (1936) with Jack La Rue, Virginia Carroll, and Ralph Byrd
The Law of 45's (1935) with Guinn 'Big Boy' Williams and Al 'Fuzzy' St. John
Stormy (1935) with Noah Beery Jr.
The New Frontier (1935) with John Wayne
Westward Ho (1935) with John Wayne, Sheila Bromley, Dickie Jones, and Yakima Canutt
The Hurricane Express (1932) with John Wayne

TELEVISION SERIES
Gunsmoke, 1955-1975 CBS TV series. Strange portrayed Sam Noonan from 1961-1973.

TELEVISION GUEST APPEARANCES
Petticoat Junction, episode Behind All Silver, There's a Cloud Lining, originally aired March 3, 1964
Rawhide, episode Incident of the Trail's End, originally aired January 11, 1963
Tales of Wells Fargo, episode Kelly's Clover Girls, originally aired December 9, 1961
Wagon Train, episode The Jim Bridger Story, originally aired May 10, 1961
Sugarfoot, episode Welcome Enemy, originally aired December 26, 1960
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, episode Johnny Ringo's Girl, originally aired December 13, 1960
Colt .45, episode Attack, originally aired May 24, 1960
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, episode The Matchmaker, originally aired December 15, 1959
The Rifleman, episode The Spiked Rifle, originally aired November 24, 1959
Rawhide, episode Incident of the Haunted Hills, originally aired November 6, 1959
The Rifleman, episode The Blowout, originally aired October 13, 1959
The Rifleman, episode The Woman, originally aired May 5, 1959
Sky King, episode Dead Giveaway, originally aired March 1, 1959
The Rifleman, episode The Deadeye Kid, originally aired February 10, 1959
G.E. True Theater, episode No Man Can Tame Me, originally aired February 1, 1959
Mackenzie's Raiders, episode Apache Boy, originally aired January 1, 1959
The Rifleman, episode Duel of Honor, originally aired November 11, 1958
Death Valley Days, episode The Captive, originally aired October 2, 1958
Frontier Doctor, episode Queen of the Cimarron, originally aired September 26, 1958
26 Men, episode Chain Gang, originally aired May 6, 1958
Death Valley Days, episode Cockeyed Charlie Parkhurst, originally aired March 13, 1958
The Restless Gun, episode Hornitas Town, originally aired February 10, 1958
Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, episode Follow the Leader, originally aired January 9, 1958
The Bob Cummings Show, episode Bob the Gunslinger, originally aired December 10, 1957
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, episode Little Pistol, originally aired November 5, 1957
Tales of Wells Fargo, episode The Hijackers, originally aired June 17, 1957
The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, episode The Lieutenant's Lesson, originally aired February 8, 1957
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, episode The Gold Bar, originally aired January 1, 1957
Annie Oakley, episode Treasure Map, originally aired December 30, 1956
Annie Oakley, episode Outlaw Brand, originally aired September 16, 1956
The Adventures of Jim Bowie, episode The Squatter, originally aired September 14, 1956
The Cisco Kid, episode Dangerous Shoemaker, originally aired March 8, 1956
The Adventures of Champion, episode The Return of Red Cloud, originally aired February 24, 1956
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, episode The Frontier Theatre, originally aired February 7, 1956
The Adventures of Champion, episode Black Kachina, originally aired January 10, 1956
The Gene Autry Show, episode Dynamite, originally aired December 24, 1955
The Adventures of Champion, episode The Deer Hunters, originally aired December 20, 1955
The Adventures of Champion, episode The Outlaw's Secret, originally aired November 15, 1955
The Gene Autry Show, episode The Portrait of White Cloud, originally aired October 15, 1955
Buffalo Bill, Jr., episode Apache Raid, originally aired July 27, 1955
Buffalo Bill, Jr., episode Grave of the Monsters, originally aired May 24, 1955
The Lone Ranger, episode The Too-Perfect Signature, originally aired March 31, 1955
The Cisco Kid, episode Cisco and the Giant, originally aired February 17, 1955
Death Valley Days, episode Eleven Thousand Miners Can't Be Wrong, originally aired September 25, 1954
Stories of the Century, episode Tiburcio Vasquez, originally aired April 23, 1954
The Lone Ranger, episode Gunpowder Joe, originally aired July 9, 1953
The Lone Ranger, episode Indian Charlie, originally aired January 1, 1953
The Range Rider, episode Cherokee Round-Up, originally aired January 1, 1953
The Range Rider, episode Indian War Party, originally aired January 1, 1953
Hopalong Cassidy, episode Alien Range, originally aired October 1, 1952
Space Patrol, episode Mystery of the Flying Pirate Ship, originally aired August 2, 1952
Sky King, episode Stage Coach Robbers, originally aired May 3, 1952
Gruen Guild Theater, episode Iron Woman, originally aired January 1, 1952
The Adventures of Kit Carson, episode The Road to Monterey, originally aired August 25, 1951
The Lone Ranger, episode Never Say Die, originally aired April 6, 1950
The Lone Ranger, episode The Lone Ranger's Triumph, originally aired September 29, 1949
The Lone Ranger, episode The Lone Ranger Fights On, originally aired September 22, 1949
The Lone Ranger, episode Enter the Lone Ranger, originally aired September 15, 1949

glenn strange film now showing

Watch Glenn Strange in the 1943 PRC horror flick The Black Raven
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