Jack Warden | Biography
John Warden Lebzelter popularly known by his stage name Jack Warden was an American character actor for the big and small screen. He was born in the year 1920 and celebrated his birthday on September 18 every year. He is best known for his roles in movies such as Shampoo, Heaven Can Wait, Brian’s Song and Crazy Like a Fox. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, once for Shampoo and the second time for Heaven Can Wait. He won an Emmy and received a BAFTA nomination for his performance in the movie Brian's Song. He died on July 19, 2006 of kidney failure.
Warden is a native of Newark, New Jersey, United States of America as he was born and raised there. He was welcomed to the family as the son of Laura M. and John Warden Lebzelter, an engineer and technician. He had Pennsylvania Dutch (German) and Irish ancestry. He grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, and he was expelled from high school for fighting. Eventually, under the name Johnny Costello, he fought as a professional boxer and had 13 welterweight bouts. He worked as a nightclub bouncer, tugboat deckhand and lifeguard and then in 1938, joined the United States Navy. He was stationed in China for three years with the Yangtze River Patrol. He joined the United States Army in 1942 and left the military with the rank of master sergeant. Then, he shifted his focus to acting and moved to New York City to study acting on the G.I. Bill. He joined the Dallas Alley Theatre and performed on stage for 5 years.
He debut on television in 1948 he with the anthology series, The Philco Television Playhouse and Studio One. In 1951, he had his first credited film role, in The Man with My Face. From 1952 to 1955, he appeared in the TV series Mr. Peepers. His breakthrough film role came with the movie 12 Angry Men as Juror No. 7. Warden guest-starred on numerous TV series over the years, including NBC’s The Outlaws, ABC’s Bus Stop, and The Fugitive. He received an Emmy Award for the supporting actor for his role as Chicago Bears coach George Halas in the TV movie, Brian's Song, and was twice nominated for his starring role in comedy/drama series, Crazy Like a Fox. He also earned nominations for Academy Awards as Best Supporting Actor for his performances in and Heaven Can Wait Shampoo. He other notable films include While You Were Sleeping, All the President's Men, Being There, …And Justice for All, The Verdict, Used Cars, Problem Child and its sequel, Guilty as Sin and Dirty Work. His last film was the 2000film The Replacements.
Talking about his personal life, Warden married Vanda Dupre in the year 1958. His wife was a French actress. He had one son, Christopher, with her. The couple separated in the 1970s, but never divorced and were still legally married at the time of their death. Because of his declining health in his last years, he re retired from acting in 2000. At the age of 85, on July 19, 2006, he died of heart and kidney failure in a New York hospital.
Warden stood tall at the height of 5 feet and 10 and a half inch and had a charming personality. His hard work into the industry has made him both famous and fortunate. The actor has a good number of followers and admirers all over the world. Although he is no longer physically with us, his fans have created numerous fan pages on his name which gives the sense of his virtual existence. More information on him is available on his recent and detailed biography on the Wiki and IMDb website.