• 24 November 1901
  •  St. Paul, Minnesota, USA

Roman Bohnen


Roman Bohnen, known as "Bud" to his family and friends was not only an excellent film actor but also a stage actor of note. As a member of the prestigious Group Theatre from 1934-40, he appeared in such classic productions as "Waiting for Lefty", "Golden Boy", "Awake and Sing" and "The Gentle People". He left for Hollywood in the late 30's to pursue a film career mainly as an effort to earn money for his family and ailing wife, Hilda. In film he is perhaps best known for his performances as: Candy in "Of Mice and Men" with Burgess Meredith and Lon Chaney Jr., Francois Soubirous in the "Song of Bernadette" and as Pat Derry in William Wyler's classic, "The Best Years of Our Lives". The latter role although a small one is beautifully played. It is a rare opportunity to see a full life artfully created in a few short scenes. Take a look in particular at the scene where "Bud" reads the citations awarded to his son, Fred Derry (ably played by Dana Andrews). It is rich with the feeling and pride of a father, helpless to provide for his son (with beautiful support by the great Gladys George as Hortense). Roman was also an integral member of "The Actor's Laboratory Theatre" in Hollywood. He was stricken with a heart attack while performing on stage for the Lab Theatre and died shortly after at age 54. A rare talent, an underrated actor who left us too soon.