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Paul Wexler's Geni Profile

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Paul Wexler

Birthdate: (50)
Death: November 21, 1979 (50)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Place of Burial: Los Angeles, California, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Herman Wexler and Jennie Wexler
Husband of Susan Wexler and Private
Father of Private
Brother of Myrtle Williams

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Paul Wexler

Paul Wexler was a Hollywood character actor. He was gangly in a Lincolnesque way, 6'6" with a big hooked nose and a deep bass voice, and was typecast in many villainous roles.

An early starring role on TV, which his cousin Barbara F. Rueda remembers watching, was a Death Valley Days episode entitled "The Homeliest Man in Nevada" (aired Oct. 24, 1955). He also played a TV repairman on the only "Lassie" episode to involve a TV (1955). His profile picture is from his role of Captain Seas in "Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze" (1975).

Apparently, he was among the legions of towel-wearing Hebrew extras in Cecil B. DeMille's "The Ten Commandments" (1956), and when his mother Jennie visited her niece Frances Fingerhut in Brooklyn she asked in all seriousness, "Did you see Paul?"

He was married twice, to actress Susan McAndie (1931-1958), who died in a car accident, and then to actress Carole Minor, who seems to have divorced him.

Here's what All Movie Guide has to say about him:

"Paul Wexler was born to play character roles -- well over six feet tall but seemingly thinner than the young Frank Sinatra, he was no one's idea of a leading man, but he could dominate a scene simply by standing in the shot with his long features and imposing height, and embellish the effect with his deep voice. Born in Oregon, Wexler's screen career began in 1952, when he was 23 years old, with a performance as a hillbilly in the Bowery Boys comedy "Feudin' Fools." He had little to do in the movie except look and act like a slow-witted country bumpkin, in tandem with such gifted young players as Robert Easton and veterans like Russell Simpson; he obviously made an impression on the producers, because two years later he appeared in one of the most popular of all the movies in that series, "The Bowery Boys Meet the Monsters," playing Grissom, the butler to a household of mad scientists seemingly lifted right out of "Arsenic and Old Lace." He was funny in that film, but Wexler's first truly memorable role was much more serious, in Lewis Allen's presidential assassination thriller "Suddenly" (1954); portraying Slim the deputy, he managed to melt into the scenery despite his appearance, and into the part as well, portraying a tough, no-nonsense peace officer to the hilt, culminating with a violent shootout midway through the movie. In "The Kentuckian," released the following year, it was back to playing backwoods roles as one of the murderous Frome brothers, alongside Douglas Spencer.

"Perhaps owing to his appearance, Wexler tended to get roles with a certain component of the macabre, or an element of threat, but he never had a role stranger or more memorable than his non-speaking part in Edward L. Cahn's "The Four Skulls of Jonathan Drake" (1959). His portrayal of Zutai, the mute Jivaro Indian zombie (his tissues permeated with curare), always ready with a curare-tipped blade to paralyze a victim and a basket for their head, was a brilliantly mimed portrayal and one of the grisliest elements of a very nasty horror film. Seemingly almost as a balance to his mute role in that movie, Wexler's next film involved only speaking, as he was one of the voice actors in Disney's original "101 Dalmatians" (1961) [he was also the model for the male lead Roger Radcliffe]. He made appearances onscreen in roles of various sizes as late as 1967, in Andrew V. McLaglen's "The Way West" and the William Castle comedy "The Busy Body." He cut back on his acting after that, possibly due to declining health, and gave one last film performance in the 1975 in Michael Anderson's feature "Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze."

"On television, Wexler tended to work in Westerns, including "The Rifleman," "Gunsmoke," and "Death Valley Days," although he also turned up during the later '60s in episodes of "Get Smart" and made his final onscreen appearance on an episode of "Charlie's Angels" in 1976. Wexler died of leukemia in 1979."

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Paul's personal life was in disarray. His first wife, Susan McAndie Wexler, died in a car crash when the two were going to a racing car rally (of all things). Their only child, Alan Wexler, was raised by relatives in Oregon, joined the Hare Krishnas, and became estranged from his father. Paul's second wife, Marcella Wexler, described in one source as a "busty blonde," lead the struggle over Paul's estate.

Paul was a partner in a Dean Martin-themed restaurant, "Dino's Lodge," around 1960, but the venture dissolved into lawsuits. Paul Wexler was also president of the Independent Film Producers of America, and president of the Mini-Owners of America.

Yahrzeit: 1 Kislev 5740

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Paul Wexler's Timeline

1929
May 23, 1929
1979
November 21, 1979
Age 50
Los Angeles, California, United States
November 25, 1979
Age 50
Los Angeles, California, United States