Karl Swenson

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  • 70
  • Male
  • 1908-07-23
  • 1978-10-08
  • Acting
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Karl Swenson (July 23, 1908 – October 8, 1978) was an American theatre, radio, film, and television actor. Early in his career, he was credited as Peter Wayne Swenson was born in Brooklyn, New York, of Swedish parentage. Planning to be a doctor, he enrolled at Marietta College and undertook pre-medical studies but left that field to pursue acting. Swenson appeared extensively on the radio from the 1930s through the 1950s. Swenson entered the film industry in 1943 with two wartime documentary shorts, December 7 and The Sikorsky Helicopter, followed by more than thirty-five roles in feature films and television movies. No Name on the Bullet (1959) is only one of the many westerns in which he performed for both film and television. Swenson is remembered for his role as the doomsayer in the diner in Alfred Hitchcock's classic The Birds (1963) and had roles in The Prize (1963), Major Dundee (1965), The Sons of Katie Elder (1965), The Cincinnati Kid (1965) and Seconds (1966). In 1967, Swenson appeared in the western Hour of the Gun, and played the role of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt in the western film Brighty of the Grand Canyon, with co-stars Pat Conway and Joseph Cotten. His later film appearances included roles in ...tick...tick...tick... (1970), The Wild Country (1970), Vanishing Point (1971) and Ulzana's Raid (1972). Swenson was married to actress Joan Tompkins. Swenson died of a heart attack at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, Connecticut on October 8, 1978, shortly after filming the Little House on the Prairie episode in which his character dies. The episode aired on October 16, 1978, eight days after Swenson's death. Swenson was interred at Center Cemetery in New Milford, Connecticut. CLR
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