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Laird Cregar
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    (July 28, 1913-December 9, 1944)
    Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Samuel Laird Cregar
    Appeared in the films ‘Charley’s Aunt’ (1941), ‘I Wake Up Screaming’ (1941), ‘Joan of Paris’ (1942), ‘Rings On Her Fingers’ (1942), ‘This Gun For Hire’ (1942), ‘Heaven Can Wait’ (1943), ‘The Lodger’ (1944) and ‘Hangover Square’ (1945)
    He lived in his car while trying to land a film contract.
    He often played characters twice his actual age.
    He got so typecast as heavies that he was turned down for a leading role in ‘Laura’ (1944) because director Otto Preminger felt the audience would instantly know his character was the villain.
    In hope of playing romantic leads, he went on a crash diet and took amphetamines.
    After rapidly losing 100 pounds, he had to undergo emergency surgery for a severe stomach disorder, and died of heart failure days after the operation.
    He got the studios to take notice of him by staging a one-man show in which he starred as Oscar Wilde.
    He was graceful for his size.
    ’Lodger’ director John Brahm said, ‘Laird was magic to direct.’
    The eulogy at his funeral was delivered by Vincent Price.

Credit: C. Fishel

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