Wendell Corey

Wendell Corey

54 (passed away Nov. 8th, 1968)
Mar. 20th, 1914
Born in
Dracut, Massachusetts, USA
6' 1 1/2"

Wendell Corey's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Channing TV Show
Harbor Command TV Show
Harbor Command
The Road West TV Show
The Road West
Bus Stop TV Show
Bus Stop
ABC Album TV Show
ABC Album

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


Wendell Corey was a hard-working American character actor who appeared in numerous movies and television productions in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Born on March 20, 1914 in Dracut, Massachusetts, in the northeastern part of the Commonwealth near the New Hampshire border, Corey was the son of a Congregationalist clergyman. After receiving his education, Corey began his acting career in summer stock. During the Depression, he worked with the Federal Theater Project that was part of the the Works Progress Administration, which had been created by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to put the unemployed to work. It was while working with the Federal Theater Project in the late 1930s that he met his wife, Alice Wiley.

He made his Broadway debut was in the play "Comes the Revelation" in 1942, a flop that lasted only two performances. His next play, "Strip for Action" (1942-43), was more successful, lasting 110 performances. He appeared in give more plays in supporting roles from 1943-45, before making his reputation as the cynical newspaperman in Elmer Rice's hit comedy "Dream Girl," which ran for 341 performances in the 1945-46 season. He was discovered during the run of the play by producer Hal B. Wallis, the former head of production at Warner Bros' who, as an independent producer affiliated with Paramount Pictures. Wallis, who discovered Burt Lancaster shortly after the War, signed Corey to a Paramount contract.

It was at Paramount that he made his movie debut in Desert Fury (1947). He went on to a career as a supporting player in the '40s and '50s in A-level productions with the top Hollywood stars. He also carved a niche for himself in television and in the late 1950s starred in the TV series "Peck's Bad Girl" (1959). In the 1960s, he worked mostly in television.

Like Ronald Reagan (I), who was then a Democrat, the Republican Wendell Corey was interested in politics. He was elected to membership on the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild and served as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1961 to 1963. As a Republican, he was elected to the City Council in Santa Monica, California in 1965. His made a bid for the Republican nomination to contest a seat in Congress in 1966, but was defeated in the primary.

Wendell Corey was still serving on the Santa Monica City Council when he died on November 8, 1968 at the Motion Picture & Television Hospital in Woodland Hills, California. He was 54 years old.

  • Had four children: son Jonathan, and daughters Robin, Jennifer and Bonnie Alice.
  • President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 1961 to 1963
  • Father of 'Jonathan Corey' (qv) and 'Robin Corey' (qv), who appeared as his children in _The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)_ (qv).
  • Son of actor 'Milton R. Corey Sr.' (qv).
  • Career was acutely damaged by his problems with alcohol.

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