During World War II, "victory casting" referred to the practice of placing draft-proof male actors in the plum roles that would normally have gone to Hollywood's top leading men, most of whom were in uniform. Though some of the "4-F" male stars were inadequate substitutes for the old favorites, a few were better-than-average performers. One of the best of the "victory" bunch was handsome, outgoing William Eythe, who signed with 20th Century-Fox in 1943. Eythe was excellent in his first film, The Ox-Bow Incident, as the conscience-stricken son of martinet lynch-mob leader Frank Conroy, and was no less impressive in such subsequent films as Song of Bernadette (1944), Wilson (1944), Wing and a Prayer (1944) and House on 92nd Street (1946). But once the war ended, Eythe seemed to lack the staying power that would have permitted him to compete on equal footing with such returning stars as Tyrone Power and James Stewart; he gradually left films to concentrate on theatre work. William Eythe died of hepatitis at the age of 38.