James Cardwell


JAMES CARDWELL, born and raised in Camden, appeared in 26 movies, beginning in the 1944. According to the Internet Movie Database, he was born Albert Paine Cardwell on November 21, 1920, his New Jersey birth certificate and the State of California Death Index reports his birthday as November 21, 1921. His parents were Raymond and Bessie McCarroll Cardwell. He was named after his grandfather, Albert Paine Cardwell, an editor for a Philadelphia-based publishing company. His father, a World War I veteran, worked at a gas station when the census was taken in April of 1930. The family then lived in East Camden, at 3510 Westfield Avenue. His widowed grandmother and his uncle Norman Stanley Caldwell lived around the corner at 241 North 36th Street. Soon after the Westfield Acres projects opened in 1938, both Caldwell households relocated there. Raymond and Bessie 

Caldwell were living at 364 North Dudley Street Apartment 411, when the 1940 Camden City Directory was compiled. By 1947 both households had moved to apartments at the Westfield Acres homes on Westfield Avenue, his parents to 3163 Westfield Avenue, his uncle to 3161 Westfield Avenue.

Albert "Al" Cardwell graduated from the Alfred Cramer Junior High School at 28th and Mickle Streets in East Camden, and went on to Woodrow Wilson High School on Federal Street, graduating in February of 1940. He became interested in acting at an early age, and as a sophomore played Basil, the male lead in the school play A Painting for the Duchess, staged December 17, 1938 to a sold out house. On of his co-stars in the play, Fisher Weinhold, was killed in a plane crash while serving in the Army Air Corps in January of 1943.

Al Cardwell remained interested in theater and was recognized in his high school yearbook as "Did the Most for the School" and, with Maureen Wallace, as "Class Actor". He chaired his class finance committee, which included Robert Hearn, who was killed in action during the World War that America was soon to be involved in. Other members of his graduating class included Robert Stanton and Rocco Piligno.

According to the 1940 Camden City Directory, Albert Caldwell worked as a clerk at the Iron Rock Golf Course in Pennsauken and as a laborer at the RCA Victor plant in Camden. He also took part in several theatrical productions, with the Camden Drama Guild and the Merchantville Playcrafters, and with the Hedgerow Theater Group, in Moylan PA.

He progressed to he shipping department at RCA, and in June of 1942 married a co-worker, Esther Borton, of Watsontown, in Clementon Township. In 1943, while appearing with the Hedgerow Theater group, he was "discovered" by Hollywood talent scouts, and brought to Hollywood. By the time the 1943 City Directory was compiled, he had left Camden for California. His wife, however, did not like Hollywood, and the couple divorced. Esther Borton Caldwell returned to New Jersey.

As James Cardwell, he made his debut in the 1944 war movie, The Sullivans. His next appearance was as the male lead in Sweet and Low-Down, which featured Benny Goodman and his band. Both were nominated for Oscars. After appearing in two B-movie mysteries, one being the Charlie Chan vehicle The Shanghai Cobra, James Cardwell returned to major films in A Walk in the Sun

On November 26, 1945 James Cardwell appeared on the LUX Radio Theater program, which originated out of Hollywood CA, in the hour-long production of Salty O'Rourke, a long shot race track story with predictable plot. Also appearing on the air with James Cardwell were Alan Ladd, Marjorie Reynolds, William Demarest, Charles Seel, Edward Marr, Melville Ruick, Griff Barnett, Leora Thatcher, Robert Cole, Jack Carrington, Herb Lytton, Jack Bruskoff, Robert Quarry, Joseph Agnello, Frank Gerstle, Virginia Agnello, and Katherine Connors.

After A Walk in the Sun James Cardwell appeared in 20 films. Some were major productions, like the Humphrey Bogart vehicle Tokyo Joe, others less so. He made several Westerns, including roles with Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and Rex Allen. He appeared in the film noir classic, He Walked by Night, which spawned the log-running television show Dragnet, and the Christmas classic It Happened on 5th Avenue, which was nominated for an Oscar, as was Canyon Passage, which received an Oscar nomination for Hoagy Carmichael's song Ole Buttermilk Sky James Cardwell also was in Daughter of the Jungle, which has become somewhat of a camp classic. In 1950 James Cardwell appeared in  Arizona Cowboy. 

The theatrical pressbook for the movie The Shadow: The Missing Lady states that James Cardwell was attending UCLA at night, taking pre-med courses. 

In 1950 James Cardwell went to Hawaii with comedian Joe E. Brown, and then toured Australia with Brown. He next joined a comedy-acrobatic act, the Coleano Troupe, and toured the U.S., Australia, and the United Kingdom. In 1953 he returned to the United States.

James Cardwell tried to break into television in New York with no success. He returned to Hollywood, and landed some small parts in the television show City Detective. He had a brief role in Them!, a monster movie which was released in 1954. 

Determined that he was, in his own words, "going to be an actor or nothing", James Cardwell appears to have grown despondent about the lack of progress in his career. Behind in his Screen Actors Guild dues and apparently in his rent, on January 31, 1954 James Cardwell committed suicide in Hollywood, California. He was brought home to Camden, and rests in Harleigh Cemetery. James  


Filmography
from www.imdb.com database

1 The Sullivans (1944) .... aka The Fighting Sullivans George Thomas Sullivan
2 Sweet and Low-Down (1944) Johnny Birch
3 The Shanghai Cobra (1945)  Ned Stewart
4 Voice of the Whistler (1945) Fred (Doc) Graham
5 A Walk in the Sun (1945) 
... aka Salerno Beachhead (USA: reissue title)
Sgt. Hoskins
6 Fear (1946) .... aka Black Tower (USA: reissue title) Ben
7 Behind the Mask (1946) 
... aka The Shadow Behind the Mask (USA)
Jeff Mann
8 Canyon Passage (1946)  Gray Bartlett
9 The Missing Lady (1946)
... aka The Shadow and the Missing Lady
Gary Blake
10 The Devil On Wheels (1947) 

     The Devil On Wheels Web Page

Jeff Clark
11 It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947)  (uncredited) .... Young Man
12 Robin Hood of Texas (1947) Duke Mantel
13 The Return of the Whistler (1948) John aka Charlie
14 King of the Gamblers (1948) 'Speed' Lacey
15 Daredevils of the Clouds (1948) Johnny Martin
16 Harpoon (1948) Red Dorsett Jr.
17 Parole, Inc. (1948) (uncredited) .... Duke Vigili
18 He Walked by Night (1948) (as Jimmy Cardwell)
... aka The L.A. Investigator (USA)
Sgt. Chuck Jones
19 Trouble Preferred (1948) Hal 'Tuffy' Tucker
20 Daughter of the Jungle (1949) Paul Cooper
21 Down Dakota Way (1949) Saunders (McKenzie's foreman)
22 San Antone Ambush (1949) Clint Wheeler
23 Tokyo Joe (1949) (uncredited) .... Military Police captain
24 And Baby Makes Three (1949) Police Officer
25 Arizona Cowboy (1950) Hugh Davenport
26 Them! (1954) ... aka Them (USA: poster title) (uncredited) .... Officer
 

Woodrow Wilson High School
"Orange and Black" Yearbook
June, 1936

10B Class News

THANKS to some rubber bands, many of the rookies passed their typing tests.

A few weeks ago in Miss Simon's typing class, two or three boys passed their twenty-five words a minute with rubber bands around their wrists. After that, everyone wore a rubber band; and, superstition or not, only a few failed. Flash! Many rookies are growing up; they have changed their knickers to long pants. Talking about clothes, we are here to tell you that anyone who wants to find what will be new in Palm Beach attire, will please consult Joseph Fanning in G-15.

What about that beau brummel, Robert Biehler? Too much attention to the girls and not enough to studies. William "Hercules" Crowley put the shot the unheard of distance of seven feet, breaking all records. Better watch out, Levine. What a good job these 10B secretaries did getting subscriptions for THE WILSONIAN!, (See page 16.) We hope that they continue their good work next term. Well, for that matter, we hope that we shall all do good work next term. A happy vacation!

ALBERT P. CARDWELL, 1939


Woodrow Wilson High School - "Orange and Black" Yearbook
January, 1938

The Dramatic Club 

On December 17, in spite of the rain, hundreds of people crowded into the audi­torium to see the
members of the Dramatic Club produce a play that will live long in their memories. There was
a great rush for tickets. All tickets were sold out three days before the performance. So great was
the crowd that seats were put in the back of the auditorium to accommodate late arrivals. 

The club scored another big hit with "A Painting for the Duchess," by Marion Holbrook. The leading roles were portrayed by Albert Cardwell, Maureen Wallace, Fisher Weinhold, and Louise Tomaselli. Albert Cardwell proved that he possesses a great deal of talent and gave an excellent performance of the inspiring young artist. Maureen Wallace was a stately and cruel duchess. Mr Weinhold acted his role so satisfactorily that one received the impression he was actually living back in days when the play took place. Although Miss Tomaselli didn't have a word to say, the beauty of the picture she made brought alive the spirit of the play. 

The supporting cast consisted of Warren Jones, Walter Bobson, Earl Idell, Hazel Jones, Hazel Fowler, Doris Hart, Adelaide Smith, Rita McCoy, Estella Miller, Thomas Carroll, Barbara Berger, Charles McKisson, Helen Marlys, and William Kelly. The beauty of the play was greatly due to the different colors and elaborateness of the costumes. 

Other members of the Dramatic Club who participated in the schools' celebration were William McGhee, stage manager; Jack O'Donnell, assistant manager; LeRoy Seeds, electrician; Mary Keun, assistant director; Lena Schriber, assistant; Pearl Schepacarter, mistress of the wardrobe; Charles Gary, master of the wardrobe; Joseph Lanzilotta, assistant; Mae O'Donnell, Doris Hart, Adelaide Smith, property. Rose Govoni and Rose Durkin were pages.

Sincere thanks are extended to the faculty members who rendered their services in making this beautiful playa success. Miss Carey, Miss Polivnick, Miss Gravatt, Miss English, Mr. Ungerlieder, Dr. Townsend, Miss Warner, Mr. Marston, Miss Hawkes, and Mr. Long constituted the faculty committee.

The Play Production Committee consisted of eighteen girls and fourteen boys. The chairman of the committee was Harry Anderson, and the vice-chairman was Helen Walz.

No words can express our gratitude to the directress, Miss Jean C. Welsh.

HELEN MARLYS, 1938.

Albert P. Cardwell, known on film as James Cardwell, on stage in Camden NJ
 December 17, 1938

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Fall of 1939

These pictures were published in the Woodrow Wilson High School "Orange and Black" Yearbook, February, 1940 edition. The girl is Maureen Wallace, selected as "Best Actress" in the graduating class. She had appeared opposite Albert Cardwell in the December 1937 production of "A Painting for the Duchess."


December 1939

THE CULTURAL OLYMPICS

On December 9, Albert Cardwell read three of Shakespeare's sonnets in the non­original poetry department of the Cultural Olympics held at the University of Pennsylvania. Albert Cardwell had been chosen from seventy contestants, who had tried out in a preliminary contest on November 7. Only four schools were finally represented in the non-original poetry contest: Simon Gratz, Woodbury High, Frankford High, and Woodrow Wilson High.

Virginia Daniels also read "Annabelle Lee" in the preliminary contest.

As this issue goes to press, we learn that Albert Cardwell has received an award of merit, which will be granted at special program on May 25.

This article was published in the Woodrow Wilson High School "Orange and Black" Yearbook, February, 1940 edition. 


Woodrow Wilson High School
"
Orange and Black" Yearbook
February, 1940

Click on Images to Enlarge

THE SULLIVANS aka THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS
1944

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THE SULLIVANS
aka
THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS
1944

This picture is from the
Camden Evening Courier
May 23, 1944

Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Courier-Post - May 23, 1944

.,..continued...

THE SULLIVANS
aka
THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS
1944

This picture is from the
Camden Courier-Post
May 30, 1944

Click on Image to Enlarge

Camden Courier-Post - May 31, 1944

.,..continued...

THE SULLIVANS
aka
THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS
1944

This picture is from the
Camden Courier-Post
May 31, 1944

Click on Image to Enlarge

THE SULLIVANS
aka
THE FIGHTING SULLIVANS
1944

This picture is from the
Camden Courier-Post
June 1, 1944

Click on Image to Enlarge

SWEET AND LOW DOWN
1944

Click on Images to Enlarge

THE SHANGHAI COBRA
1945



Click on Images to Enlarge

A WALK IN THE SUN

1945


VOICE OF THE WHISTLER
1945


FEAR

1946


THE SHADOW: BEHIND THE MASK

1946


CANYON PASSAGE

1946


THE SHADOW:
THE MISSING LADY

1946

Click to download 
the theatrical pressbook for 
The Shadow: The Missing Lady

From the theatrical pressbook promoting the movie:


THE DEVIL ON WHEELS

1947

Click on Image Below to Enlarge


IT HAPPENED ON 5th AVENUE

1947


ROBIN
HOOD
OF
TEXAS

1947


RETURN
OF THE
WHISTLER

1947


 


KING OF THE GAMBLERS

1948

 


Parole, Inc.

1948


 

HE WALKED BY NIGHT

1948


DAUGHTER
OF THE
JUNGLE

1949


DOWN DAKOTA WAY

1949


TOKYO JOE

1949


AND BABY MAKES THREE

1949

Click Here to View Trailer
Look for James Cardwell
as the Police Officer on left of screen


The
ARIZONA
COWBOY

1950


Camden Courier-Post
February 2, 1954

 
 
 

Redlands Facts
Redlands CA

February 2, 1954


Camden Courier-Post

February 4, 1954


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