Lane Bradford (born John Myrtland Le Varre, Jr., August 29, 1922 – June 6, 1973) was an American actor, who appeared inmore than 250 films and television series between 1940 and 1973, specializing in supporting “tough-guy” roles predominantly in Westerns but also in more contemporary crime dramas such as Dragnet, The Fugitive, and Hawaii Five-O.
Lane Bradford was born in 1922 in Yonkers, New York, the son of John Merton who had an extensive acting career between 1927 and 1959, performing almost exclusively in film as well in some early television series. Bradford was also the brother of actor Robert Lavarre. Uncle of James W. Sparks, actress Diane Delano, and actor/stage director Rick Sparks.
Bradford appeared in many television series and “B” western films. On stage, he co-starred in Desperadoes’ Outpost (1952), The Great Sioux Uprising (1953, and Apache Warrior (1957).
Bradford played the historical figure, Sequoyah, the namesake of Sequoia National Park, in the 1954 episode “Sequoia” of the western anthology series Death Valley Days hosted by Stanley Andrews. The segment covers Sequoyah from earliest years to his development of the Cherokee alphabet. Carol Thurston and Angie Dickinson played Sali and Ayoka, respectively. In ak 1959 Death Valley Days episode, “The Blonde King,” Bradford played California pioneer Jim Savage, a friend of the Indians who works to stop a threat to the peace of the Yosemite Valley.
In the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s, Bradford guest-starred on nearly all of the Western series broadcast on American television during that period. He was cast on the ABC/Warner Brothers series, Colt .45 as Pete Jesup in the 1959 episode “The Devil’s Godson”. He also appeared on Hopalong Cassidy, The Lone Ranger (fifteen times), Buffalo Bill, Jr. (six times), Laredo (five times), The Cisco Kid, Tales of the Texas Rangers (twice), Jefferson Drum, Johnny Ringo, Maverick, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin (five times), Lassie (TV series) (1965), The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp (six times), Cheyenne (seven times), Wagon Train (eight times), The High Chaparral (twice), The Restless Gun (four times), times), Bat Masterson, Bonanza (fourteen times), Gunsmoke (thirteen times), The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters, Storefront Lawyers, Ripcord, and Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.
Bradford guest-starred on the religion anthology series, Crossroads. He made two appearances on CBS’s Perry Mason, including the role of Detective Arnold Buck in the 1962 episode “The Case of the Absent Artist.”
His last television appearance was in 1973 on an episode of the CBS private-detective series Cannon, with William Conrad. The episode, titled “Press Pass to the Slammer”, aired that year on March 13, just three months before Bradford’s death.
In early June 1973, Bradford collapsed while boating in Hawaii. Rushed to Kaiser Memorial Hospital in Honolulu, the 50-year-old actor died at that facility four days later of a cerebral hemorrhage. Although most biographical profiles of Bradford cite his death date as June 7, 1973, that date is actually incorrect. His official death certificate, which was issued by Kaiser Memorial Hospital, documents that he died on June 6, 1973. In accordance with Bradford’s wishes, the Oahu Cemetery Association administered the cremation of his remains.