82 (passed away Dec. 9th, 1990)
Dec. 25th, 1907
Tarnopol, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Ternopil, Ukraine]
Guest TV Roles
With an intimidating face like craggy granite, and his towering 6'5" solid, frame Mike Mazurki (born Mikhail Mazurski) was one of the cinema's first serial thugs and specialized in playing strong-arm men, gangsters and bullies for over 50 years on screen. Nearly always portrayed as a lowbrow muscle, in real life Mazurski was highly intelligent, very well read and a witty conversationalist. He was also an accomplished sportsman with his ventures in American football and wrestling. He first appeared onscreen in uncredited roles in films such as Gentleman Jim (1942) and About Face (1942);, however, his daunting bruiser looks were soon noticed and he became phenomenally busy in the 1940s, appearing in nearly 50 movies during the decade, including his well remembered performance as ex-con "Moose Malloy" in the film noir thriller Murder, My Sweet (1944), and as the gruesome "Splitface" in Dick Tracy (1945).
He continued his menacing onscreen presence throughout the 1950s and 1960s, often showing he could be quite adept at deadpan comedy roles in films including _Abbott and Costello in Hollywood (1945)_, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), Donovan's Reef (1963) and The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin (1967). Demand for his talents slowed down in the late 1970s and most of the 1980s, as younger villains came to the fore; however, he still turned up in support roles and was still acting at the age of 83 when he passed away in December, 1990.
- Well known to generations of wrestling fans as "Iron" Mike Mazurki, whom he delighted with several world-class battles in during his long career. Outside the squared circle, Mike was dedicated to serving those in his wrestling brotherhood, and in the 1960s founded the "Cauliflower Alley Club", a non-profit organization that awarded scholarships and financial assistance to retired or injured wrestlers and their families.
- Contrary to his image as a brawny, not very smart tough guy, Mazurki graduated at the top of his class from Manhattan College, class of 1930, with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
- Wrestler turned actor in tough guy roles.
- In 1936 he played minor league football with the Wessington Passiac (NJ) Red Devils. The Red Devils were a member of the American Football Association.
- American actor of Ukrainian origin.
- Father of actress 'Michelle Mazurki' (qv).
- Best remembered as the lumbering, intense yet soft-hearted Moose Malloy in the classic 1945 film-noir adaptation of Raymond Chandler's novel 'Farewell, My Lovely', called 'Murder, My Sweet' in the US (while retaining the novel's title overseas).
- Awarded the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame's New York State Award, which was presented to an individual who made significant contributions to the sport of Professional Wrestling in the PWHF's home state of New York.
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