Crahan Denton (born Arthur Denton, March 20, 1914 – December 4, 1966) (pronunciation: “kran”) was an American stage and television actor. One of his most famous film roles was in To Kill a Mockingbird where he portrays “Walter Cunningham,” a client of the main character, Atticus Finch, and the leader of a mob which attempts to lynch another of Finch’s clients.
The son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Denton, he was born in Seattle, Washington, United States. He studied drama at the University of California, Berkeley and at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre in New York City.
Denton was active in Little Theater productions during his time as a student at the University of California, Berkeley.
His Broadway credits include Winesburg, Ohio (1958), Orpheus Descending (1957), Bus Stop (1955), Fragile Fox (1954), Liberty Jones (1941), and Key Largo (1940).
From 1945 until his death in 1966, Denton starred in many films, including The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery, The Parent Trap, Birdman of Alcatraz, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Bus Riley’s Back in Town. He was also a guest star on many television shows, including Bonanza (1961 episode “The Secret”), Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, The Fugitive, The Donna Reed Show (1962 episode Once Upon a Timepiece).
In 1960, he also co-starred in an unsold pilot titled, “Mountain Man” about a Rocky Mountain fur trading station in the 1840s.
Denton made two guest appearances on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason, including the role of murder victim Frank Jarrett in the 1960 episode, “The Case of the Nimble Nephew” and the role of Templeton Cortland in the 1961 episode “The Case of the Missing Melody”.
In 1963 Denton appeared as John Lewis on The Virginian in the episode “Run Away Home.”
Denton married Eleanor Brown in 1955.
In 1966, Denton died after suffering a heart attack in Piedmont, California. He was 52 years old.
Denton won an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Performances in Supporting Roles for 1954-1955 for his work in Bus Stop (1955).
|Crime, Inc.||1945||Vannie Denton||Uncredited|
|The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery||1959||John Egan|
|The Young One||1960||Jackson|
|The Parent Trap||1961||Hecky|
|Walk on the Wild Side||1962||Bit Part||Uncredited|
|Birdman of Alcatraz||1962||Kramer|
|To Kill a Mockingbird||1962||Walter Cunningham Sr.|
|Captain Newman, M.D.||1963||Major Snowden|
|Bus Riley’s Back in Town||1965||Spencer|