William Scott "Jack" Elam
(November 13, 1918 – October 20, 2003) was an American
film actor best known for his numerous roles as villains in Western films
Elam was born in Miami, Arizona
, to Millard Elam and Alice Amelia Kerby. Kerby died in 1924, when young Jack was not quite five years old. By 1930, he was once again living with his father, older sister Mildred, and their stepmother, Flossie (Varney).
He grew up picking cotton
. He lost the sight in his left eye during a boyhood accident. He was a student of both Miami High School in Gila County
and Phoenix Union High School
in Maricopa County
and graduated from the latter in the late 1930s.
He attended Santa Monica Junior College
and subsequently became an accountant
; one of his clients was movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn
. At one time, he was the manager of the Bel Air Hotel
in Los Angeles
In 1949, Elam made his debut in She Shoulda Said No!
, an exploitation film
wherein a chorus girl's marijuana smoking ruins her career and drives her brother to suicide. He appeared mostly in westerns and gangster films playing villains. In 1961, Elam played a slightly crazed character in an episode of The Twilight Zone
, "Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?
In 1963, he... Read More