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Canton Greats

Stage and Screen
Famous Canton Hollywood Personalities
Canton is also home to many prominent Hollywood actors and actresses, as well as those who worked behind the scenes to ensure the success of the industry and those who were a part of it.

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Canton Great - Peggy Ann Garner

 

Peggy Ann Garner
Born in Canton, Ohio, Peggy Ann Garner was seen by her mother, Virginia, as a child prodigy. Virginia took Peggy to the John Robert Powers Modeling Agency in New York where, at five years old, she received several modeling jobs. Peggy's success prompted Virginia to take her six year old daughter to Hollywood where she received some minor acting roles. When she was twelve years old, Peggy received a major role in the film, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Playing the role of Francie, she won the hearts of Americans and won a special Oscar.

Shortly after that, she starred in a film, Junior Miss and shared the spotlight with Barbara Whiting. Garner starred in her own TV series, Two Girls Named Smith, in the early 1950's. In 1953 she moved to the New York Stage. At the success of the play, Bus Stop, she was asked to star in the play, Traveling across the Country. After her national tour, she married Albert Salmi and gave birth to a daughter, Catherine Ann. By the 1960's she made several appearances on TV shows such as the Eddie Cantor Show, Hollywood Star Time, Cavalcade of America, The Abbot and Costello Show, Somerset Maugham Theatre, and Meet Me in St. Louis.


Canton Great - Jean Peters

 

Jean Peters
Jean Peters was born in Canton, Ohio on October 15, 1926. After winning the Miss Ohio State Pageant, Jean moved to Hollywood and made her screen debut in the film Captain of Castile in 1947. In a series of films from 1947 to 1955 she starred opposite Marlon Brando, Tyrone Power, Ray Milland, Dorothy McGuire, Burt Lancaster and Spencer Tracy. In 1957 she married Howard Hughes and retreated from her film career until 1973 when she returned to acting in television. She starred in Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio in 1973. She appeared in the miniseries, The Moneychangers in 1976. Her last role was in the CBS television movie, Peter and Paul. Her many films include A Man Called Peter, Broken Lance, Three Coins in the Fountain, Niagara, Anne of the Indies, It Happens Every Spring, and Captain from Castile. Her life is chronicled in the book, Howard Hughes the Untold Story.


Canton Great - Jack Parr

 

Jack Parr
Jack Paar was born in Canton, Ohio on May 1, 1918. His parents moved to Michigan when he was in elementary school, and he left school when he was sixteen to become a radio announcer at WIBM in Jackson, Michigan. He served as a disk jockey in Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Buffalo. He claims in his autobiography to have worked at WGAR in Cleveland when Orson Welles' broadcast of War of the Worlds caused panic throughout the country. He entertained troops in the South Pacific during World War II.

After several jobs with RKO, He starred with Marilyn Monroe in Love Nest. And he hosted the shows, The $64 Question, Up To Paar, Bank on the Stars, and in 1954, The Morning Show. While guest-hosting the Jack Benny Show, he was offered his major role as host of The Tonight Show. In 1973 he alternatively hosted ABC's Wide World of Entertainment with Dick Cavett. In the Tonight Show years, he interviewed Peter Ustinov, Peggy Cass, Albert Schweitzer, Dody Goodman, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Robert Kennedy after his brother's assassination. He is credited with launching the careers of Woody Allen and Freddie Prinze. He was the first to introduce the Beatles to the American Public through film clips obtained from BBC.


Canton Great - Frank De Vol

 

Frank De Vol
Frank De Vol was born on September 20, 1911 in Moundsville, West Virginia. His father, Herman Frank De Vol moved his family to Canton, Ohio where young Frank grew up in a Vaudevillian atmosphere and joined the Musician's Union at 14. He played violin in his father's orchestra and did arranging for the Horace Heidt Orchestra in the 1930's. His arrangement of string and piano accompaniment led to a No. 1 placement on the charts for Nature Boy. De Vol was nominated for four Oscars for his scores of Pillow Talk, Cat Ballou, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Hush...Hush Sweet Charlie. He also produced the scores for The Longest Yard and The Dirty Dozen. De Vol is remembered for his theme tunes for The Brady Bunch, Family Affair and My Three Sons. He also provided scores for TV episodes of Love Boat, and Mc Cloud. He appeared in several TV series including I Dream of Jeannie, Bonanza, Petticoat Junction, Get Smart and The Jeffersons.


Canton Great - Brannon Braga

 

Brannon Braga
Brannon Braga graduated from McKinley High School in Canton and was educated at Kent State University and the University of California at Santa Cruz. He won a writing internship from the Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990. In that same year he was a writer/producer of Star Trek: the First Generation, and in 1995 he was appointed Executive Producer of Star Trek Voyager. He wrote over a hundred episodes of the series and won a Hugo for excellence in science fiction writing in the episode, "All Good Things." He co-wrote the screenplays for the movies, Star Trek Generations (1994) and Star Trek First Contact, which was the highest grossing of the Star Trek Films bringing in $149 million. He co-wrote the screenplay for Mission Impossible II.


James Allardice

 

James Allardice
Born in Canton, Ohio March 20, 1919, James went to Wooster College where he collaborated in musicals with James Wise, the writer of the musical, Dames at Sea. Later serving in World War II he wrote the play, At War with the Army. After the war he studied play writing at Yale, and he produced his play there and later on Broadway. He then went to Hollywood where he produced his play with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis. He then wrote scripts for General Electric Theater, Lux Video Theater and The George Goebel Show, which comedy writing earned him an Emmy in 1954. He wrote scripts for My Three Sons, The Andy Griffith Show, The Munsters and Hogan's Heroes. He is most famous for writing the introductory monologues of Alfred Hitchcock in the Alfred Hitchcock series. Considered indispensable by Hitchcock, James died in 1966 and the series was discontinued. 


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Canton Greats

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