John Payne

Miracle On 34th Street

Co-starring John Payne Miracle on 34th street is one of the best Christmas movies of all time. Here is a biography of Jerome Cowan and his movie career.

Full Name: John Payne
DOB: 28th May, 1912
DOD: 6th December, 1989
Where born: Roanoke, Virginia, USA.

John's role in that wonderful Christmas Movie Miracle on 34th Street was playing attorney Fred Gailey.

Miracle of 34th Street 1947 was the original and is still critically acclaimed as the best. It can still be seen today and is many family's stock TV viewing over the Christmas period.

That John was to play in this film seems quite natural. He had previously played in light-hearted movies, particularly those with a musical theme. Though later in his career he was to develop a quite differing acting persona.

John Payne's first move into the world of acting was in 1930 when he moved to New York to study drama at Columbia University. He also went on to study voice in the Juillard School, now part of the Lincoln Centre for Performing Arts.

john payne miracle on 34th street

Of course, John had to support himself during his studies and he developed his show biz skills by singing in vaudeville, and his tough persona, which was to become his trademark later in his movie career, by taking up wrestling.

He gained a foothold in show business in 1934 when he joined the Schubert Players after being spotted a by a talent scout.

John's singing abilities led to him featuring on radio in New York. And his talents were not going unnoticed. In 1936 he made a dream move to Hollywood after being signed up by Samuel Goldwyn. Four year's later John switched to 20th Century Fox who give him the opportunity to feature in musicals.

John Payne featured in the 1940 musical Tin Pan Alley, Sun Valley Serenade in 1941, and the 1943 movie Hello Frisco, Hello. John's stock rose in 1946 when he co-starred with Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney in the Razor's Edge.

Miracle on 34th Street was to prove to be something of a watershed for John as he was later to become the tough guy in his films. Whether it was his experience as a pro wrestler in the 1930s which persuaded his to change image may never be known.

John played the tough guy in several movies including Kansas City Confidential in 1952 and Slightly Scarlett four years later. He was also able to successfully make the transition from the cinema to the TV screen, starring in The Restless Gun and Tales of Wells Fargo series in the late 1950s.

John Payne both acted in and directed the 1968 movie They Ran for their Lives, and in 1975 made his last small screen appearance in an episode of Columbo.

Related Articles