Friday, October 11, 2013

James Bradbury, Jr. -- A Terrible Way to Die

Mark of the Vampire (Bradbury third from left)
In films since 1921 (Bits of Life), Bradbury was a supporting actor throughout the twenties and thirties.  His credits include Classmates (1924), The Little Giants (1926), Hellship Bronson (1928), Alibi (1929), The Rogue Song (1930), The Cisco Kid (1931), Gorilla Ship (1932), Helldorado (1934), and Mark of the Vampire, director Tod Browning's 1935 remake of his silent classic London After Midnight (1927).  In Los Angeles on June 21, 1936, the 41-year-old actor turned on the gas in a room he had rented for the day at 1008 West Eleventh Street and struck a match.  Police found Bradbury in the hallway of the apartment house horribly burned about the face and body.  According to authorities, Bradbury told them that a friend he had given $258 for safekeeping had disappeared with the money.  "It's a terrible way to commit suicide," he whispered to nurses moments before dying later that day at Georgia Street Receiving Hospital.

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