John Merton
Date of Birth
Feb 18, 1901
Birth Place:
Washington

Biography

Born John Myrtland LaVarre, John Merton has appeared on Broadway as "Myrtland LaVarre" in the Theatre Guild's hit production of Karel Capek's R.U.R. (1922). More theater work followed and he was spotted in the background of several silent films, including as a fireman in W.C. Fields' It's the Old Army Game (1926). But the handsome, slightly frosty-looking actor found his rightful place in B-Westerns and serials. He would appear in a total of 170 films, turning up as an assortment of blackguards. Usually a bit more sophisticated than the average "dog heavy," Merton could nevertheless rough it with the best of 'em, a talent he passed on to his equally tough-looking son, Lane Bradford. Father and son appeared in six films together, including 1947's Jack Armstrong. (Another son played supporting roles on television in the '50s under the moniker of Robert La Varre.) Retiring after a bit in Cecil B. DeMille's gigantic The Ten Commandments (1956), Merton died of a heart attack at the age of 58. ~ Hans J. Wollstein, Rovi

Provided by Rovi