Gravel-voiced Neville Brand was born in Griswold, Iowa. He started his big screen career in D.O.A. (1950) as a henchman named Chester. The worst career move of his life was to kill the Elvis Presley character in Love Me Tender. He played the villain in so many movies, his self-image became affected, culminating in a television interview on Entertainment Tonight with the actor moving about in agitation repeating, I'm a loser. I'm a loser.
However, he played a very romantic lead in the movie Return From the Sea with Jan Sterling and a heartwarming character who was brain damaged and misunderstood in an episode of the TV show Daniel Boone. He played Hoss Cartwright's (Dan Blocker) Uncle Guntur on Bonanza.
Of the hundreds of roles he has played, he is probably most well known as Al Capone in the TV show The Untouchables. The characterization caused an outcry from the Italian American community over stereotypes.
Many will remember him as Bull Hansom, the prison guard of The Birdman of Alcatraz, and as the antagonistic prisoner in Stalag 17.
Known also for his cowboy roles, he starred in his own TV series, Laredo, with William Smith, Peter Brown, and Claude Akins.
One of the most heart wrenching scenes on TV showed Brand's character, Reese Bennet, waiting in torment when he realizes he has been stood up by the love of his life.
One of the funnier moments was the twin episode in which gruff and dusty Reese has an immaculate and proper lookalike that confounds the other Texas Rangers.
It should also be pointed out that Brand was a real life hero. He served in the US Army during World War II and was the fourth most decorated soldier of the war (Actor Audie Murphy being the first). It should also be pointed out that, according to the imdb, the claim that he was the fourth most decorated soldier is often repeated but is incorrect, though that same imdb article does list a lot of decorations that he did receive.
Neville Brand Facts
|August 13, 1920
|Griswald, Iowa, USA
|Date of death
|April 16, 1992 (Sacremento, California, USA, age 71)
|The Last Viking
|That Darn Cat!
|Cahill, U.S. Marshal
|Cahill: U.S. Marshall