American film actor Bruce Cabot, perhaps best remembered as Jack Driscoll in the 1933 film King Kong or as one of “John Wayne’s Regulars,” was born today in 1904. Now WE know em

Bruce_Cabot_in_Sinners_in_Paradise

Jacques De Bujac was born April 20, 1904 in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

His mother died shortly after giving birth to him.

He grew up working at many jobs, never quit finding anything that he liked.

Then one day he met film producer David O.Selznick at a party (Selznick would go on to produce the 1939 film Gone with the Wind).

As a result of this meeting, he decided to give acting a try and Selznick signed him as a contract player and changed his name to Bruce Cabot.

Bruce Cabot’s acting debut came in the 1931 film “Heroes of the Flames.”

He then auditioned for the 1932 film “The Most Dangerous Game.”

The films plot concerned a big game hunter on an island who hunts humans for sport. Bruce did not get the part, but did meet producer Merian C. Cooper.

King Kong

When Bruce showed up for an audition for the 1933 film King Kong, he thought he was trying out as a stunt double for Joel McCrea.

Bruce almost walked out, before Merian Cooper and David Selznick convinced him to audition for the role of Jack Driscoll.

They hired him for the role, explaining to the inexperienced actor that all he had to do was stand in the right place, do what he was told and collect a paycheck.

Bruce Cabot with Fay Wray in the 1933 film King Kong

Bruce Cabot with Fay Wray in the 1933 film King Kong

The film became an enormous hit and established Bruce Cabot as at rising star.

Then in an unusual move, producer Merian Cooper casted Bruce Cabot in his film “Flying Devils” opposite Ralph Bellamy as the villain. The film went on to become a minor box-office hit as well.

Bruce next played a soldier who seduced a naive woman played by Irene Dunne, and got her pregnant as he left for war, in the 1933 film “Ann Vickers.”

He then played in 14 films as a consistent box office draw leading up to World War II.

World War II

Bruce Cabot enlisted in December of 1942 and, after Officer Training School in Miami Beach, became a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

He was as an Air Transport Command operations officer at el Aouina, Tunis from July to November of 1943.

It is alleged from Counter Intelligence Corps documents that Cabot became a courier for a smuggling ring fun by high-ranking Air Transport Command officers to arbitrage Middle Eastern gold prices.

Cabot (real name Lt. De Bujac), was apprehended in Cairo in November of 1943 and after an investigation posted to the remote desert outpost of Atar in Mauritania, where he did odd jobs.

Cabot left the service on July 19, 1944.

Bruce Cabot headed back to Hollywood and appeared in a couple films before becoming friends with John Wayne during filming of the 1947 film “Angel and the Badman.”

He then became part of what became known as “Wayne’s Regulars,” appearing in ten of John Wayne’s films.

waynecabot

Bruce Cabot appeared in nearly one hundred feature films before making his final screen appearance in the 1971 James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever.”

He died May 3, 1972 at the Motion Picture Country Home at Woodland Hills, California from lung cancer and was buried in his hometown of Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Now WE know em

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