Elisha Cook Jr. - biography

Actor from United States of America

Elisha Cook Jr. Elisha Vanslyck Cook, Jr. (December 26, 1903 – May 18, 1995) was an American character actor who made a career out of playing cowardly villains and weedy neurotics in dozens of films. He was perhaps most noted for his portrayal of the "gunsel" Wilmer, who tries to intimidate Humphrey Bogart's Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon. Cook was born in San Francisco, the son of Elisha Vanslyck Cook, Sr., a pharmacist. He grew up in Chicago. He started out in vaudeville and stock by the age of 14. He was a traveling actor in the East and Midwest before arriving in New York City, where Eugene O'Neill cast him in his play Ah, Wilderness!, which ran on Broadway for two years. In 1936, Cook settled in Hollywood and, after playing a series of college-aged parts, began a long stint playing weaklings or sadistic losers and hoods. His acting career spanned more than 60 years. Cook's characters usually ended up being killed off (strangled, poisoned or shot); he was arguably Hollywood's most notable fall guy for many years. He made a rare appearance in slapstick comedy in the cameo role of The Screenwriter in 1941's Hellzapoppin'. In Universal's Phantom Lady of 1944, he portrays a slimy, intoxicated  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Known as
Hollywood's Lightest Heavy,Elisha Cook, Jr.,Elisha Vanslyck Cook, Jr.,Cookie,Elisha Vanslyck Cook Jr.,elisha_cook_jr,Elisa Cook,Elisha Cook,Cook
Date of birth
Place of birth
San Francisco
United States of America
Peggy McKenna Mary Lou Cook


Institution From To
St. Alban's College
School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Year Performance Character
1979 The Champ
1977 Mad Bull
1975 The Black Bird Wilmer Cook
1973 Electra Glide in Blue
1972 The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid
1970 Condor, El
1967 Welcome to Hard Times
1963 The Haunted Palace
1956 The Indian Fighter
1953 Shane Frank 'Stonewall' Torrey
1953 Thunder Over the Plains
1947 The Long Night
1946 The Big Sleep Harry Jones
1941 The Maltese Falcon Wilmer Cook
1940 Tin Pan Alley
1936 Two in a Crowd Skeeter


Date of death
Cause of death
Place of death
Big Pine

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