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Jack Kruschen

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Jack Kruschen
Kruschen in 1976
Jacob Kruschen

(1922-03-20)March 20, 1922
DiedApril 2, 2002(2002-04-02) (aged 80)
Years active1949–97
Marjorie Ullman
(m. 1947; div. 1961)

Violet Rafaella Mooring
(m. 1962; died 1978)

Mary Pender
(m. 1979)
Military career
Allegiance United States
United States Army
Armed Forces Radio Service
Battles/warsWorld War II

Jacob "Jack" Kruschen (March 20, 1922 – April 2, 2002) was a Canadian character actor who worked primarily in American film, television and radio. Kruschen was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Dr. Dreyfuss in the 1960 comedy-drama The Apartment.

Early life

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba,[1] as Jacob Kruschen, to Moses (aka Maurice and Morris) Kruschen and Sophie (née Bogushevsky) Kruschen, both of Russian Jewish descent, Kruschen and his family migrated to New York City in the early 1920s, and then to California. His sister, Miriam, was born in New York City in 1927.[citation needed] His acting in an operetta produced at Hollywood High School brought him to the attention of CBS.[1]



Kruschen began working at a station in Los Angeles when he was 16[2] and in high school. During the 1940s, he became a staple of American West Coast radio drama.[citation needed] During World War II, he served in the Army, assigned to the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS).[3] Following the war, he resumed working on network programs,[1] including Broadway Is My Beat (as Mugovin, a detective),[4] and Pete Kelly's Blues (as club owner George Lupo),[4]:269 as well as frequent episodic roles on anthology series, westerns and crime dramas.

He also performed on Escape, Dragnet, Gunsmoke (usually as law-abiding locals), Crime Classics, Frontier Gentleman, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, Nightbeat and Suspense.


Front row, from left to right: Jack Kruschen, John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara and Chill Wills in McLintock!
Front row, from left to right: Jack Kruschen, John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara and Chill Wills in McLintock!

Kruschen received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Dr. Dreyfuss in Billy Wilder's The Apartment.[5]

Kruschen's film debut came in Red, Hot, and Blue.[6] His other films included George Pal's The War of the Worlds (as Salvatore, one of the first three victims, a role he reprised on the Lux Radio Theater adaptation), in Cecil B. DeMille's final film, The Buccaneer, as astronaut Sam Jacobs in the 1959 cult classic The Angry Red Planet, The Unsinkable Molly Brown (as saloon owner Christmas Morgan), Abbott and Costello Go to Mars, Lover Come Back, McLintock! (with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara), Follow That Dream (with Elvis Presley), Cape Fear, starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum, and Money to Burn with Eve McVeagh.


Kruschen appeared as Maurice Pulvermacher in the original 1962 Broadway production of I Can Get It for You Wholesale.[7] In 1969, he co-starred in the London staging of the musical drama Promises, Promises, reprising his film role in this show based on The Apartment.


Kruschen was performing on television as early as 1939, appearing in dramas on Don Lee's experimental television station in Los Angeles, where he was seen on some two hundred television sets with three-inch screens. Thereafter, Kruschen's television career included guest villain Eivol Ekdol, a villainous magicians' craftsman on Batman (episodes 9 and 10). He was seen in twelve episodes of NBC's Dragnet (portraying a pedophile in one infamous episode) as well as the ABC/Desilu series, Zorro. He had a recurring role across three seasons on Bonanza (Italian grapegrower Giorgio Rossi). He also played Clyde Bailey in "The Retired Gun" (episode 17) and Sammy in "One Went to Denver" (episode 25).

In 1969, Kruschen co-starred with Stefanie Powers in an unsold ABC sitcom pilot, Holly Golighty,[8]:467 adapted from Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. The husky, mustachioed Kruschen seemed to specialize in playing benevolent ethnic paternal figures.[citation needed] His roles included Sam Markowitz on Busting Loose,[8] fireman Mike Woiski on Emergency!,[8]:306 Morris Sheinfeld on E/R,[8]:310 Tully on Hong Kong,[8]:474 and Jay Burrage on The Rifleman.[8]:895 He also appeared on Columbo (The Most Dangerous Match, 1973), Barney Miller, Odd Couple (TV series), The Incredible Hulk, and, in later years, Murphy Brown, Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

He appeared in the recurring role of "Grandpa Papadopolis" on Webster series (1985–87), and in the early 1990s, as another Greek grandfather and as Pam and Jesse's grandfather, Iorgos "Papouli" Katsopolis on Full House, appearing in only two episodes before his character is killed off in the episode, "The Last Dance".

His final on-screen appearance was in the 1997 film 'Til There Was You as "Mr. Katz".

Personal life and death

Kruschen was married to Marjorie Ullman from January 1947 to 1961, to Violet Rafaella Mooring from 1962 to 1978 (her death), and to Mary Pender from July 23, 1979, until his death.[citation needed]

Kruschen died on April 2, 2002,[1] in Chandler, Arizona, while vacationing. He had been in ill health for some time. He was 80. Though he died on April 2, his death was not widely reported to the media until late May 2002.

Complete filmography

Partial television credits

For TV movies, see above.


  1. ^ a b c d Lavietes, Stuart (May 23, 2002). "Jack Kruschen, 80, a Stalwart Of Radio, TV and the Movies". The New York Times. p. C 14. ProQuest 92412589. Retrieved January 11, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  2. ^ Schumach, Murray (December 29, 1961). "Film actor sings way to the stage". The New York Times. p. 15. ProQuest 115312672. Retrieved January 11, 2021 – via ProQuest.
  3. ^ Jack Kruschen, 80; ‘Apartment’ Neighbor. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 14, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (1999). Radio Programs, 1924-1984: A Catalog of More Than 1800 Shows. McFarland & Company, Inc. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-7864-4513-4.
  5. ^ "Jack Kruschen Proves Language Study Pays Off". The La Crosse Tribune. Wisconsin, La Crosse. March 26, 1967. p. 35. Retrieved January 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Scott, Vernon (May 19, 1977). "Jack Kruschen enjoys 'busting loose' around beach home". Valley News. California, Van Nuys. p. 51. Retrieved January 11, 2021 – via Newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Jack Kruschen". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
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