ROYAL DANO, as ‘Corey’ in Johnny Guitar.(John Carradine in background.)

ROYAL DANO (1922- 1994).Tall (6′ 2″), usually gaunt, care-worn, with a hang- dog expression and a deep, sonorous voice.

However  small the role, Dano stood out. Some actors have presence and he was one of them. Always solid support to the stars of a film, he inhabited his characters with pathos and believability.

Royal Dano ( his  real name and  isn’t it memorable) played Abraham Lincoln on television in 1952, and in 1964 became the voice of Lincoln at Disneyland.

The vinyl record talks about the “authentic, sincere, almost homespun quality of Dano’s voice….”


The above shot is from SADDLE THE WIND, in which he is memorable as the Civil War veteran  who stands up to Robert Taylor’s villainous brother,John Cassavetes.


Not much of a role for Royal in BEND OF THE RIVER. He and Harry Morgan back Arthur Kennedy in the confrontation with the settlers.


Dano’s films were mainly westerns, so it was a nice surprise to see him in a modern role in CRIME OF PASSION, as a fellow police officer of Sterling  Hayden. ( Above with Hayden and Barbara Stanwyck.)


Another shot from Crime Of Passion.



A soulful, sensitive face. As one of Scott Brady’s gang in JOHNNY  GUITAR, his character, the sickly Corey,  was a sharp contrast to Ernest Borgnine.


Moby Dick

Another small but memorable part as the ‘prophet’ Elijah in MOBY DICK who warns Richard Basehart not to join Ahab’s voyage.

Dano was very active, mainly in television up to 1990, appearing in nearly every TV western of the time.


Royal’s son pre -deceased him by just 3 months.

A fine actor who probably deserved bigger roles. Another of the great supporting actors Classic  Hollywood was famous for.

Imagine Royal Dano and John Qualen on screen, saying nothing , but looking at us the way only they can, plus Julie London singing ‘Cry Me A River’ in the back ground. No, it’s too much!

Anthony Mann, Royal Dano, Gary Cooper.MAN OF THE WEST



4 responses »

  1. Great spotlight on a face and voice that one doesn’t easily forget after seeing him in most any film role.

  2. Superb tribute.
    One of my favorite later Dano roles in in “cult classic”
    ELECTRA GLIDE IN BLUE. The sheer contempt he shows
    for Robert Blake’s character is jaw dropping.
    Oddly enough,and according to imdb he is listed in
    the cast of a Britflick THE BOY AND THE BRIDGE.
    Royal’s cast an an evangelist,which seems perfect
    casting.Never seen THE BOY AND THE BRIDGE but would
    really love to.

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