Fredric March was both a major star and an imposing acting talent, and in many ways the quintessential actor’s actor from the 1930s through the 1960s. Born Ernest Frederick McIntyre Bickel in Racine, WI, he aspired to a career in business as a young man, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in economics after serving in the First World War as an artillery lieutenant. He entered the banking business in New York in 1920, working at what was then known as First National City Bank (now Citibank), but while recovering from an attack of appendicitis, he decided to give up banking and to try for a career on the stage. March made his debut that same year in Deburau, produced by David Belasco in Baltimore, and also began appearing as an extra in movies being shot in New York City. In 1926, while working in a stock company in Denver, he met an actress named Florence Eldridge. At the very end of that same year, March got his first Broadway leading role, in The Devil in… read more
He was a very fine actor who distinguished himself in many genres. Not an icon, he preferred to dedicate himself to expressing the complexities of the varied characters he played on screen and on stage. In "So Ends Our Night" he lends warmth and dignity to his role as a courageous man, and then in "Nothing Sacred" he spars with Lombard and matches her timing perfectly.