John Bleifer

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John Bleifer
File:JohnBleifer.1945.jpg
Bleifer ca. 1945
Born John Melvin Bleifer
(1901-07-26)July 26, 1901
Zawiercie, Poland
Died January 24, 1992(1992-01-24) (aged 90)
Los Angeles County, California, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1927–86
Spouse(s) Grace Klestick

John Bleifer, also known as John Melvin Bleifer, was an American actor whose career began at the very tail end of the silent film era, and lasted all the way through the mid-1980s. He appeared on the big screen in feature films and film serials, and on the small screen in a number of television series and miniseries. Bleifer also acted on stage, and appeared in several Broadway productions.

Life and career

John Melvin Bleifer was born on July 26, 1901, in Zawiercie, Poland. After moving to the United States, he began his acting career in 1927, with a small role in the Edward Sloman film, Surrender.[1] Over the course of his career, he would appear in well over 100 films, serials, television shows and Broadway plays. His European accent allowed him to play several different nationalities, while using essentially the same accent.[2] Bleifer did not make many silent films, but his career took off in 1933, after the advent of sound pictures.

Bleifer appeared in dozens of films during the 1930s, mostly in smaller un-credited roles, such as in Blood Money (1933), starring George Bancroft;[3] Howard Hawks' 1937 war film The Road to Glory, starring Fredric March, Warner Baxter, and Lionel Barrymore;[4] Ladies in Love, a 1936 romantic comedy starring Janet Gaynor, Constance Bennett, and Loretta Young;[5] the romantic comedy The Baroness and the Butler (1938) starring William Powell and Annabella;[6] and the comedy-drama Everything Happens at Night, starring Sonja Henning, Ray Milland, and Robert Cummings.[7] He did have a number of featured roles during the decade as well, including: as Dr. Alexander Dexter in Night Alarm, a 1934 drama;[8] the role of Chenildieu in the 1935 version of Les Misérables, starring Fredric March and Charles Laughton;[9] Ludwig in 1937's Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo, with Warner Oland in the title role;[10] and as Wendling in the 1937 installment of the Mr. Moto series, Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation, starring Peter Lorre.[11] Bleifer also appeared on stage during the 1930s, including the 1932 Broadway production of Clear All Wires, in the role of Sozanoff,[12] which he would reprise the following year in the similarly titled film, Clear All Wires!, starring Lee Tracy, Benita Hume, Una Merkel, and James Gleason.[13]

The 1940s saw Bleifer's career continue on the same path he had taken in the prior decade. He had numerous small roles, many nameless and un-credited, as in: Archie Mayo's 1940 version of Four Sons, starring Don Ameche;[14] the war film Paris Calling (1942), starring Basil Rathbone, Randolph Scott, and Elisabeth Bergner;[15] the comedy They Got Me Covered (1943), starring Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour;[16] Mr. Lucky, starring Cary Grant and Laraine Day;[17] the classic For Whom the Bell Tolls, starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman;[18] and the 1946 comedy Without Reservations, starring John Wayne and Claudette Colbert.[19] He also had several featured roles, such as: Pedro in the classic 1940 swashbuckler, The Mark of Zorro, starring Tyrone Power;[20] as Oscar Zimmerman in the spy drama Waterfront, starring J. Carrol Naish and John Carradine;[21] and as Franz Leiber in The Bowery Boys comedy, Smugglers' Cove (1948).[22] During this decade Bleifer appeared in several film serials, including Perils of Nyoka (1942),[23] and Secret Service in Darkest Africa (1943),[24] In 1944 Bleifer appeared in the role of Lopakhin, in the successful Broadway production of Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre,[25] a role he would reprise for a short run the following year at New York's City Center.[26]

During the 1950s Bleifer's film career slowed down, as he became more involved with the new medium of television. He only had a few featured roles in film, such as in: Lew Landers' State Penitentiary (1950), starring Warner Baxter, where Bleifer had the role of Jailbreak Jimmy;[27] and in the role of Jake Haberman in the 1957 police drama, Chain of Evidence.[28] He continued to appear in smaller roles in a number of features, including: the 1951 Humphrey Bogart film noir, Sirocco;[29] 1953's The Juggler, starring Kirk Douglas and directed by Edward Dmytryk;[30] the 1955 musical Kismet, starring Howard Keel and Ann Blyth;[31] the 1955 Bowery Boys comedy, Spy Chasers;[32] the 1957 musical Silk Stockings, starring Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse;[33] and Edward Dmytryk's 1959 remake of The Blue Angel.[34] In the 1950s Bleifer appeared in numerous television shows, such as Dangerous Assignment (1952), Navy Log (1956), I Love Lucy (1956), The Count of Monte Cristo (1956), The Adventures of Jim Bowie (1956), Shirley Temple's Storybook (1958), Perry Mason (1958), Peter Gunn (1959), and Rawhide (1959).[35]

Bleifer continued working through the 1960s, 1970s, and into the 1980s. He made numerous television appearances on shows such as Death Valley Days (1960), The Lawless Years (1961), The Untouchables (1961), Dr. Kildare (1962-3), The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1966), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969), Adam-12 (1971), Kolchak: The Night Stalker (1974), S.W.A.T. (1975), Police Woman (1976), Little House on the Prairie (1979), The White Shadow (1979), and Highway to Heaven (1984). Bleifer also appeared in the television miniseries QB VII, in the role of Ben-Dan.[35] While his activity in films decreased, he did continue in the medium, with roles in such films as: the tobacconist in the 1962 comedy If a Man Answers, starring Bobby Darrin and Sandra Dee;[36] the Steward in The Hook, starring Kirk Douglas;[37] a small role in W.C. Fields and Me (1976), starring Rod Steiger and Valerie Perrine;[38] as Mishka in F.I.S.T. (1978), starring Sylvester Stallone, Rod Steiger, and Peter Boyle;[39] and as one of the Rabbis in the Robert Aldrich comedy, The Frisco Kid, starring Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford.[40] Bleifer's final performance was in the featured role of Hyman in 1986's Inside Out, starring Elliott Gould.[41] Bleifer died on January 24, 1992 in Los Angeles County, California, and was interred in the Hillside Memorial Park, in Culver City, California, next to his wife, Grace, who had died three years previously, in 1989.[42]

Filmography

(Per AFI database)[43][44][45]

References

  1. "Surrender". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Erickson, Hal. "John Bleifer: Biography". AllMovie. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Blood Money: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "The Road to Glory: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Ladies in Love: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "The Baroness and the Butler: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Everything Happens at Night: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Night Alarm: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Les Misérables: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Charlie Chan at Monte Carlo: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Mr. Moto Takes a Vacation: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Clear All Wires". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Clear All Wires!: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Four Sons: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Paris Calling: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "They Got Me Covered: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Mr. Lucky: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "For Whom the Bell Tolls: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Without Reservations: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "The Mark of Zorro: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Waterfront: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Smugglers' Cove: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "Perils of Nyoka (1942)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Secret Service in Darkest Africa (1943)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "The Cherry Orchard". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  26. "The Cherry Orchard". Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. "State Penitentiary: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  28. "Chain of Evidence: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  29. "Sirocco: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  30. "The Juggler: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  31. "Kismet: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  32. "Spy Chasers: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  33. "Silk Stockings: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. "The Blue Angel: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. 35.0 35.1 "John Bleifer (1901–1992)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  36. "If a Man Answers: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  37. "The Hook: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  38. "W.C. Fields and Me: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  39. "F.I.S.T.: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  40. "The Frisco Kid: Detail View". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  41. "Inside Out (1986)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  42. "John Bleifer". Find a Grave. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  43. "John Bleifer: Filmography". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  44. "John Bleiffer: Filmography". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  45. "John Blieffer: Filmography". American Film Institute. Retrieved July 26, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links