Joel McCrea

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Joel Albert McCrea, (November 5, 1905 - October 20, 1990) was an American film actor.

Born in South Pasadena, California, McCrea became interested in films after graduating from the Pomona College. He worked as an extra in films from 1927 before being cast in a major role in The Jazz Age (1929). A contract with MGM Studios followed, and then another contract with RKO Studios. He established himself as a leading man who was considered versatile enough to star in both drama and comedy. In the early 1940s he reached the peak of this stage of his career in such films as Alfred Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940), Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels (1941) and The Palm Beach Story (1942).

From the mid 1940s he appeared predominantly in westerns and became one of the most highly regarded actors of this genre. He costarred with fellow veteran western star Randolph Scott in Ride the High Country (1962) but only appeared in a few more films after this, as he preferred to live the remainder of his life as a rancher. In 1969, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Joel McCrea has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Blvd. and another star at 6241 Hollywood Blvd. for his contribution to radio.

He was married to the actress Frances Dee from 1933 until his death at Woodland Hills, California from pneumonia.

During his lifetime, McCrea and his wife, Frances Dee McCrea, lived, raised their children, and rode their horses on their ranch in what was then an unincorporated area of Eastern Ventura County, California. The civic-minded and philanthropic McCreas ultimately donated several hundred acres of their personal property to the newly formed Conejo Valley YMCA for the City of Thousand Oaks (which both recently celebrated their respective 40th anniversaries). Today, the Joel McCrea Park on which the Conejo Valley YMCA rests is a perpetual testament to the McCreas' generosity and community spirit, for which the people of the region are very grateful.


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