John Craven

Stage, film and TV actor

IMDB | Wikipedia | Variety obituary

John Craven, actor and father of Frank Craven

My Father

My Dad, John Craven, was TV's first series lead actor in The Egg & I, the pioneer leading man on CBS and other early experimental TV shows, Ford's theater, Shakespeare, and appeared in various early TV shows, Gunsmoke, Hitchcock Presents, Twilight Zone and also starred as the original juvenile lead in Our Town: George Gibbs; and many other Bdwy Hits, opposite Uta Hagen, Martha Scott, Lauren Bacall.

He was my Dad, Boy Scout troop guide, go-kart builder, bike and horse riding instructor, Little League coach and Drama Theater director in High School (at The American Institute of Barcelona 1968-75), a very erudite & charming, generous gentleman who could wiz through the NY Times crossword before you could say Rumpelstiltskin...a WW2 sharpshooter, ran the USO theater in Naples. He always had a funny pun to share and would order a glass of beer for any student that happened into the bar after school...like his famous Dad, they enjoyed smoking tobacco.

His style of directing was after the initial blocking, he'd pace up & down the aisle just listening and would shout "STOP!" when one of us cast members hit a false note. He'd ask, what do you mean by that? We not only had to learn our lines but really dig out a solid character choice in the subtext and bring those lines to life honestly, passionately and with a courteous professional projection and articulation. NO MUMBLING! I once showed up a little late to rehearsal and was replaced! Punctuality, pronunciation & projection were pet peeves we had to master prior any performance.

A good Dad, friend and teacher that always encouraged me to "look it up," the dictionary and encyclopedia were almost daily consulted despite his willingness to teach & explain things. Animal lover, multi pet owner and a loyal friend to many....but he told me in the end, if you can count your friends on one hand, you're a lucky guy....