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Adolphe Menjou Dead at 73

Oct. 29, 1963 - Adolphe Menjou (pictured in 1932), suave, debonair actor in more than 200 motion pictures, died in his home today of chronic hepatitis. He had been ill nearly nine months. His age was 73. The actor was widely known for his sartorial elegance. Until a few years ago, Mr. Menjou’s name was consistently prominent on the annual list of the nation’s best-dressed men. In recent years, Mr. Menjou was more active in Republican party politics than acting. In the 1920s, Mr. Menjou earned as much as $7,500 a week. Later, he was active in radio and television. Because of steady work and wise investments, he was reputed to have been one of Hollywood’s wealthiest men. A vigorous anti-Communist, Mr. Menjou testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities in its investigation of Communist infiltration into the film industry in 1947. At that time, he named alleged Communists and stated that Hollywood “is one of the main centers of Communist activity in America.” He added: “It is the desire and wish of the masters of Moscow to use this medium for their purposes, which is to overthrow the American government.” The actor’s career continued to flourish after the war in prominent supporting roles. The best known were his portrayals of a political boss in “State of the Union” (1948); a Communist henchman in “Man on a Tightrope” (1953); a French Army officer in “Paths of Glory” (1957); and an unkempt eccentric in Walt Disney’s “Pollyanna” (1960), marking his last feature film role. Mr. Menjou was a staunch member of the John Birch Society. An ardent Republican who equated the Democratic party with socialism, he was a vigorous supporter of Vice President Richard M. Nixon in the latter’s unsuccessful campaign for the Presidency. His last filmed appearances were in 1962 on the Merv Griffin and Johnny Carson television shows.

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