Born 1912 in Roanoke, Virginia, American film actor John Payne had his first role in Goldwyn’s Dodsworth (1936) presented him as an affable, handsome character actor. He had the male lead in Hats Off (1936), an independent “B” film.
Payne is mainly remembered from film noir crime stories and 20th Century Fox musical films, and for his leading roles in Miracle on 34th Street and the NBC Western television series The Restless Gun.
In 1961, Payne suffered extensive, life-threatening injuries when struck by a car in New York City. His recovery took two years. In his later roles, facial scars from the accident can be detected in close-ups; he chose not to have them removed.
Payne directed one of his last films, They Ran for Their Lives (1968), his final role was in 1975 in the Columbo episode “Forgotten Lady”.
Payne died in Malibu, California, of congestive heart failure in 1989, aged 77. He has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in motion pictures and television.
Take a look at these gorgeous photos to see portrait of a young and handsome John Payne in the 1930s and 1940s.