Born in Dracut, Massachusetts on March 20, 1914, character actor Wendell Corey was born into a family in which his father was a minister. Coming of age in the depths of the Great Depression, Corey began training as an actor in summer stock. He continued his stage training in the Federal Theatre Project, an offshoot of the Works Progress Administration, in the 1930s. In 1942, Corey finally made it to Broadway in the comedy Comes the Revelation, but the show closed after just a few performances. Throughout the war years, Corey continued to act in several Broadway shows, and his performance in the comedy Dream Girl during the 1946 season netted him a contract with director/producer Hal Wallis, who had begun his own production company a couple of years earlier and was scouting for talent. An excellent actor but not exactly a leading man type, Corey excelled in character roles in some of the best film noir of the late 1940s and 1950s, including Sorry, Wrong Number (1948; with Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, and John Bromfield), I Walk Alone (1948; with fellow Hal Wallis discoveries Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, and Burt Lancaster), and Rear Window (1954; with James Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Raymond Burr).

the films of wendell corey

Desert Fury (1947)

Lizabeth Scott, John Hodiak, and Wendell Corey

From Paramount's film noir release Desert Fury with Lizabeth Scott and John Hodiak; this was Wendell Corey's first film

No Sad Songs for Me (1950)

Viveca Lindfors, Margaret Sullavan, and Wendell Corey

From the Columbia tearjerker No Sad Songs for Me with Viveca Lindfors and Margaret Sullavan

Harriet Craig (1950)

Wendell Corey and Joan Crawford

From the Columbia drama Harriet Craig with Joan Crawford

The Wild Blue Yonder (1951)

Wendell Corey, Vera Ralston, and Forrest Tucker

From Republic's war drama The Wild Blue Yonder with Vera Ralston and Forrest Tucker

Carbine Williams (1952)

Wendell Corey and James Stewart

With James Stewart in the MGM crime drama Carbine Williams

My Man and I (1952)

Claire Trevor and Wendell Corey

From the MGM drama My Man and I with Claire Trevor

The Wild North (1952)

Wendell Corey, Farley Granger, and Cyd Charisse

From the MGM western The Wild North with Stewart Granger and Cyd Charisse

Jamaica Run (1953)

Wendell Corey

From the Paramount adventure Jamaica Run

Rear Window (1954)

Wendell Corey

From the Alfred Hitchcock thriller Rear Window, released by Paramount

Studio One (1948-1958 CBS TV Series)

Chester Morris and Wendell Corey

With Chester Morris in an episode of the CBS dramatic anthology Studio One titled The Arena, which originally aired on April 9, 1956

The Bold and the Brave (1956)

Nicole Maurey and Wendell Corey

From the RKO war drama The Bold and the Bravewith Nicole Maurey

Loving You (1957)

Wendell Corey, Lizabeth Scott, and Elvis PresleyLizabeth Scott, Dolores Hart, Elvis Presley, and Wendell CoreyLizabeth Scott and Wendell Corey

From Paramount's musical drama Loving You, which was Presley's second film. LEFT: With Lizabeth Scott and Elvis Presley. CENTER: With Lizabeth Scott, Dolores Hart, and Elvis Presley. RIGHT: Promotional photo with Lizabeth Scott

The Nanette Fabray Show (1961 NBC TV Series)

Nanette Fabray and Wendell Corey

Corey portrayed the new husband of Nanette Fabray in the short-lived situation comedy The Nanette Fabray Show, which aired on NBC in early 1961

Blood on the Arrow (1964)

Wendell Corey and Martha Hyer

With Martha Hyer in the Allied Artists western Blood on the Arrow

Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966)

Wendell Corey

Corey as Admiral David King in the low-budget independent science fiction production Women of the Prehistoric Planet

later years

As his film career began to slow down in the early 1960s, Corey focused his attentions on politics. Corey was the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1961 to 1963 and was a member of the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild. Corey ran for and won a seat on the Santa Monica City Council, and in the mid 1960s he ran for California's Republican congressional seat but lost. During this period, Corey worked mostly in television, making guest appearances on such programs as Burke's Law, Branded, and Perry Mason. After his political defeat, Corey went back into films, but these were very low-budget affairs, unlike the quality films in which he had once starred. His later films include Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966; with Peter Mark Richman); Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966; with Merry Anders and John Agar), both of which aired on Mystery Science Theater 3000; and Ted V. Mikels' The Astro-Zombies (1969; with Tura Santana), which was his last release. In his final film appearances, Corey's alcoholism is readily apparent, and sadly he often slurred his lines in Agent for H.A.R.M. and The Astro-Zombies. Nonetheless, he continued to serve on the Santa Monica City Council until his death from an alcohol-related illness on November 8, 1968, at the age of 54. Corey was survived by his wife, Alice, a son, and three daughters.

wendell corey dvds available from


The Astro-Zombies (1968) with John Carradine, Tom Pace, Tura Satana, and Rafael Campos
Buckskin (1968) with Barry Sullivan, Joan Caulfield, Lon Chaney Jr., John Russell, Barbara Hale, Bill Williams, and Richard Arlen
The Star Maker (1968) with Barbara Valentin
Red Tomahawk (1967) with Howard Keel, Joan Caulfield, Broderick Crawford, Scott Brady, Richard Arlen, Ben Cooper, and Don 'Red' Barry
Picture Mommy Dead (1966) with Don Ameche, Martha Hyer, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Susan Gordon, Signe Hasso, and Anna Lee; directed by Bert I. Gordon
Waco (1966) with Howard Keel, Jane Russell, Brian Donlevy, Terry Moore, John Smith, John Agar, Richard Arlen, Ben Cooper, and Jeff Richards
Women of the Prehistoric Planet (1966) with Keith Larsen, John Agar, Merry Anders, Stuart Margolin, Adam Roarke, and Suzie Kaye
Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966) with Peter Mark Richman, Carl Esmond, Barbara Bouchet, Robert Quarry, Rafael Campos, and Donna Michelle
Cyborg 2087 (1966) with Michael Rennie, Karen Steele, Warren Stevens, and Adam Rourke
Blood on the Arrow (1964) with Dale Robertson, Martha Hyer, Paul Mantee, and Elisha Cook Jr.
Alias Jesse James (1959) with Bob Hope, Rhonda Fleming, Gloria Talbott, Jim Davis, and Glenn Strange
The Light in the Forest (1958) with Fess Parker, Joanne Dru, James MacArthur, Jessica Tandy, John McIntire, Carol Lynley, and Rafael Campos
Loving You (1957) with Elvis Presley, Lizabeth Scott, and Dolores Hart
The Rainmaker (1956) with Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Lloyd Bridges, Earl Holliman, Wallace Ford, and Yvonne Lime
The Rack (1956) with Paul Newman, Walter Pidgeon, Edmond O'Brien, Anne Francis, Lee Marvin, Cloris Leachman, and James Best
The Bold and the Brave (1956) with Mickey Rooney, Nicole Maurey, and John Smith
The Killer Is Loose (1956) with Joseph Cotten, Rhonda Fleming, Alan Hale Jr., John Larch, Dee J. Thompson, John Beradino, and Virginia Christine
The Big Knife (1955) with Jack Palance, Ida Lupino, Jean Hagen, Rod Steiger, Shelley Winters, Ilka Chase, Everett Sloane, and Wesley Addy
Rear Window (1954) with James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn, Georgine Darcy, Frank Cady, and Marla English
Hell's Half Acre (1954) with Evelyn Keyes, Elsa Lanchester, Marie Windsor, Nancy Gates, and Jesse White
The Backbone of America (1953) with Yvonne De Carlo, Gene Lockhart, Thomas Mitchell, and Gloria Talbott
Laughing Anne (1953) with Margaret Lockwood and Forrest Tucker
Jamaica Run (1953) with Ray Milland, Arlene Dahl, Patric Knowles, and Kasey Rogers
My Man and I (1952) with Shelley Winters, Ricardo Montalban, Claire Trevor, and Jack Elam
Carbine Williams (1952) with James Stewart, Jean Hagen, Carl Benton Reid, James Arness, and Leif Erickson
The Wild North (1952) with Stewart Granger and Cyd Charisse
The Wild Blue Yonder (1951) with Vera Ralston, Forrest Tucker, Phil Harris, Walter Brennan, and Penny Edwards
Rich, Young and Pretty (1951) with Jane Powell, Danielle Darrieux, Vic Damone, Fernando Lamas, Una Merkel, Richard Anderson, and Hans Conried
The Great Missouri Raid (1951) with Macdonald Carey, Ellen Drew, Ward Bond, Bruce Bennett, Bill Williams, Anne Revere, Edgar Buchanan, Guy Wilkerson, and Tom Tyler
Harriet Craig (1950) with Joan Crawford, Lucile Watson, Allyn Joslyn, and Ellen Corby
The Furies (1950) with Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Huston, Judith Anderson, Gilbert Roland, Beulah Bondi, Albert Dekker, John Bromfield, and Wallace Ford
No Sad Songs for Me (1950) with Margaret Sullavan, Viveca Lindfors, Natalie Wood, John McIntire, Ann Doran, and Jeanette Nolan
The File on Thelma Jordon (1950) with Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Kelly, and Kasey Rogers
Holiday Affair (1949) with Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh
Any Number Can Play (1949) with Clark Gable, Alexis Smith, Audrey Totter, Mary Astor, Lewis Stone, Barry Sullivan, Marjorie Rambeau, Edgar Buchanan, William Conrad, and Darryl Hickman
The Accused (1949) with Loretta Young, Robert Cummings, Sam Jaffe, Ann Doran, and Carole Mathews
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) with Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Ed Begley, Leif Erickson, William Conrad, and John Bromfield Man-Eater of Kumaon (1948) with Sabu and Joy Page
The Search (1948) with Montgomery Clift
I Walk Alone (1948) with Burt Lancaster, Lizabeth Scott, and Kirk Douglas
Desert Fury (1947) with John Hodiak, Lizabeth Scott, Burt Lancaster, and Mary Astor

The Nanette Fabray Show, 1961 NBC TV series. Corey portrayed Dan McGovern
Peck's Bad Girl, 1959 CBS TV series. Corey portrayed Steven Peck
Harbor Command, 1957-1958 syndicated TV series. Corey portrayed Captain Ralph Baxter

The Wild Wild West, episode The Night of the Death-Maker, originally aired February 23, 1968
The Guns of Will Sonnett, episode The Natural Way, originally aired September 29, 1967
The Road West, episode Piece of Tin, originally aired October 31, 1966
Run for Your Life, episode The Committee for the 25th, originally aired October 2, 1966
Perry Mason, episode The Case of the Unwelcome Well, originally aired April 3, 1966
Branded, episode The Mission, originally aired March 28, 1965
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Annie Foran?, originally aired April 10, 1964
Channing, episode A Window on the War, originally aired November 27, 1963
The Eleventh Hour, episode Cry a Little for Mary Too, originally aired November 29, 1962
Bus Stop, episode Turn Home Again, originally aired January 28, 1962
Target: The Corruptors, episode Mr. Meglomania, originally aired November 17, 1961
The New Breed, episode Til Death Do Us Part, originally aired November 7, 1961
The Untouchables, episode Power Play, originally aired October 19, 1961
Zane Grey Theater, episode The Man from Yesterday, originally aired December 22, 1960
Zane Grey Theater, episode Killer Instinct, originally aired March 17, 1960
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode Poison, originally aired October 5, 1958
Frontier Justice, episode A Quiet Sunday in San Ardo, originally aired September 8, 1958
Studio One, episode The Desperate Age, originally aired April 21, 1958
The 20th Century-Fox Hour, episode Man of the Law, originally aired June 2, 1957
Eye on New York, episode Night of the Auk, originally aired December 1, 1956
Celebrity Playhouse, episode Stagecoach to Paradise, originally aired May 8, 1956
Climax!, episode The Lou Gehrig Story, originally aired April 19, 1956
Studio One, episode The Arena, originally aired April 9, 1956
Studio One, episode My Son Johnny, originally aired January 30, 1956
The Alcoa Hour, episode The Black Wings, originally aired October 16, 1955
Climax!, episode To Wake at Midnight, originally aired June 23, 1955
The United States Steel Hour, episode The Rack, originally aired April 12, 1955
Studio One, episode Donovan's Brain, originally aired February 28, 1955

wendell corey film now showing

Watch Wendell Corey's 1950 film noir thriller The File on Thelma Jordon

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This page premiered September 25, 2008.