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Classic Movie - Phile



    George O'Brien was born on April 19, 1899 in San Francisco, California.  He participated in football, track, baseball and swimming in high school and college.

    He enlisted in the Navy in World War I.  While in the Navy he became the fleet light-heavyweight boxing champ.  He also volunteered to be a stretcher bearer for the Marines and received five decorations for valor.

    In the early twenties Tom Mix was making a movie near San Francisco.  It was his habit to visit the local law enforcement chief.  In San Francisco that was George O'Brien's father.  He met Tom Mix and Tom got him a job carrying a camera.  The cameras were quite heavy in those days and George O'Brien seemed to be able to handle that.

    He began with bit roles and was making $15.00 a week when Director, John Ford noticed him and cast him in the lead of the epic western The Iron Horse.

    After that, he was a leading man in some silent movies. Then when sound became the rage, George O'Brien made the transition well.

    It was at this time that he became almost exclusively a star of b-westerns.  He was one of the top 10 makers of the

the genre until World War II.

    He re-enlisted in the Navy and served until the end of the war.

    After the war there were few roles for him, however he did appear in two John Ford westerns, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and Fort Apache.

    When the Korean War broke out, he again went into the Navy and remained there until the beginning of the Vietnam War.  He retired from the Navy as an Admiral.  After retiring he spent his time ranching.  In September of 1985 he pass away in Oklahoma.