Bradford Dillman, the original Edmund in “Long Day’s Journey into Night” and star of “Compulsion,” died on Jan. 16 in Santa Barbara after complications from pneumonia. He was 87.
Dillman began his Broadway stint as Edmund Tyrone in Eugene O’Neil’s play “Long Day’s Journey into Night” in 1956. He played the role for 390 performances and won a Theater World Award for his portrayal in 1957. He also starred in Katharine Cornell’s production of “There Shall Be No Night.” He then transitioned to film and signed a contract with 20th Century Fox. He was awarded a Golden Globe for most promising newcomer – male, for his role in “A Certain Smile,” before taking on a series of darker roles.
He shared the 1959 Cannes Film Festival Award for best actor with co-stars Orson Welles and Dean Stockwell for his work as Arthur A. Straus in “Compulsion.” Among his other appearances were “Sudden Impact” with Clint Eastwood and “The Way We Were” with Robert Redford.
He also had guest starring roles on television shows including “Wild, Wild West,” “Mission: Impossible,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
His autobiography titled “Are You Anybody?” An Actor’s Life,” was published in 1997 following his first book “Inside the New York Giants” being released in 1995.
Born in San Francisco, Dillman acted in local theater productions in Santa Barbara before attending Yale University. He entered the United States Marine Corps as an officer candidate and served as a lieutenant during the Korean conflict. After being honorably discharged, he auditioned for Lee Strasburg and enrolled in the Actors Studio. He was classmates with James Dean and Marilyn Monroe.
He is survived by his six children, eight grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.