|From the September 28th 1985 edition of the Oregonian:
HOLLYWOOD -- Lloyd Nolan, whose dramatic skills enabled him to overcome the secondary gangster and tough cop roles he was given in minor Hollywood sagas of the 1930s and '40s and go on to become Broadway's and television's sympathetically despicable Captain Queeg, died Friday. He was 83.
Nolan, who had been battling lung cancer, died in his home in the Brentwood district of Los Angeles.
Nolan was to both critics and audiences the "veteran actor" who worked often and well regardless of is material. From his film debut in the long-forgotten "Stolen Harmony" in 1934 to his warm portrayal of the neighborhood cop in 1945's "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn," Nolan came to symbolize the journeyman artist plying his trade.
The Actor, who was generally credited with "A" performances in a decade-long series of "B" films, became so good, in fact, he permitted himself the luxury of turning down work, a privilege that ordinarily falls to far better known stars.
Ironically, it was to TV that he owed his most singular honor. For despite the dozens of film credits he had acquired before his death, he won but one national accolade: a 1955 Emmy for his now firmly established portrayal of the crazed Philip Queeg in a television adaptation of "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial."
But all this was years later -- years after his dramatic studies at the Pasadena Playhouse in the late 1920s, when he kept one eye peeled toward Gower Gulch in Hollywood, where pictures were being made for little more reason than that they could now make noise. The other eye was on Broadway, where he soon was to find work, not as an actor but as a chorus boy.
Nolan was out of Santa Clara Preparatory School and Stanford University when he went south to study in Pasadena.
He left Stanford in his senior year to study Shakespeare and Ibsen in Pasadena and then joined a touring company of "The Front Page." Nolan ended up in New England, where he took a nighttime job as a stagehand on Cape Cod while awaiting a role that might get him back in front of the curtain.
That opportunity came, he recalled, because he was spending most of his days on the beach.
The resultant tan brought him the role of a pirate in "Cape Cod Follies," which eventually went to Broadway with Nolan in the chorus.
He toured briefly in a series of unremarkable plays before returning to New York in 1931 as an office boy in "Sweet Stranger." He said the only memorable thing about the show was that he and an actress named Mell Efird "were in the first and third acts of the show. That gave us the whole second act for romance."
They married in 1933, the same year he became a critics' favorite as Biff Grimes in "One Sunday Afternoon," a pleasant comedy about a dentist who fears he has married the wrong woman.
From 1934 to 1954 he appeared in about 70 films, but only a few are remembered today: "Michael Shane: Private Detective," "Johnny Apollo" and, during the war, "Bataan" and Guadalcanal Diary." The rest found him as a gangster, a prisoner or as the guy wearing the black hat in a series of Westerns.
In 1957 he was chosen with Lana Turner, Arthur Kennedy and Hope Lang to bring Grace Metalious' scandalous novel "Peyton Place" to the screen, and again critics found his performance generally superior to the script.
In 1972, Nolan finally revealed a tragic secret he had carried with him for years. His son, Jay, who died in 1969, had been diagnosed as autistic, one of the first children in the United States known to be afflicted with the little-understood malady.
What Nolan described as a "perfect marriage" survived the strain of bringing up an autistic child and ended only with his wife's death in 1981. He remarried in 1983 and is survived by his second wife, Virginia, a daughter and two grand-children.