Larry
Date of Birth
Feb 07, 1908
Birth Place:
Oakland, CA

Biography

Athletic actor Buster Crabbe, born Clarence Crabbe, grew up in Hawaii where he developed into a first-rate swimmer and athlete, going on to win the gold medal in 400-meter swimming at the 1932 Olympics (he broke the record held by another actor-athlete, Johnny Weissmuller). After the Olympics he found work in Hollywood playing Tarzan, branching out from this character to eventually play Flash Gordon, Billy the Kid, and Buck Rogers, among other action heroes. He became enormously popular with young audiences for his appearances in many serials and action flicks of the '30s and '40s, and ultimately starred in over 100 films. He also made westerns (in the '40s he was teamed with sidekick Al "Fuzzy" St. John), and was on the list of Top Ten Western Stars at the box office in 1936. Crabbe went on to star in the '50s TV series Captain Gallant, which also featured his son Cullen "Cuffy" Crabbe. He considerably slowed down his acting output in the '50s and '60s, becoming the athletic director for a resort hotel in the Catskills and investing in the swimming pool business. He also authored Energetics, a book on physical fitness for people over 50. Crabbe later returned to the screen once, for a large role in The Alien Dead (1980). ~ Rovi

Provided by Rovi