William Talman - Rotten Tomatoes

William Talman



The scion of a wealthy Detroit family, William Talman would later claim that he learned to "champion the underdog" while a member of his Episcopal church boxing team. In his 20s, Talman became an evangelist for the Moral Re-Armament Movement, and later made at stab at studying law. He drifted to New York, where, through the intervention of an actor friend of his father, he began picking up small stage roles. After extensive experience in New York and in the touring company of Of Mice and Men, Talman moved to Hollywood, where in 1949 he played his first important screen role as a gangster in Red, Hot and Blue (1949). At his best when his characters were at their worst, Talman developed into one of Tinseltown's most fearsome screen villains, never more so than when he played a psycho killer who slept with one eye open in the noir classic The Hitchhiker (1955). In 1957, Talman was cast as Hamilton Burger, the perennially losing District Attorney on the popular TV weekly Perry Mason. He remained with the series until March of 1960, when he was arrested for throwing a wild party where vast quantities of illegal substances were consumed. The Perry Mason producers had every intention of firing Talman from the series, but he was reinstated thanks to the loyal intervention of his co-stars -- particularly Raymond Burr, who threatened to quit the show if Talman wasn't given a second chance. William Talman was last seen on TV in a series of anti-smoking public service announcements; these spots were run posthumously, at Talman's request, following his death from lung cancer at the age of 53.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Smoke Signal
  • Actor
2013
No Score Yet The Ballad of Josie
  • Lord
1967
No Score Yet Big House, U.S.A.
  • Machinegun Mason
1955
No Score Yet Crashout
  • Luther Remsen / Swanee Rawlins / Reverend Remington
1955
No Score Yet Two-Gun Lady
  • Marshal Dan Corbin
1955
No Score Yet City That Never Sleeps
  • Hayes Stewart
1953
100% The Hitch-hiker
  • Emmett Myers
1953
No Score Yet One Minute to Zero
  • Col. John Parker
1952
33% The Racket
  • Johnson
1951
No Score Yet Armored Car Robbery
  • Dave Purvis aka Martin Bell
1950
No Score Yet The Woman on Pier 13 (I Married a Communist)
  • Bailey
1949
No Score Yet Edmond O'Brien Film Noir
  • Actor
1949

Quotes from William Talman's Characters

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