Crenna, Richard Donald, Cpl

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Corporal
Last Service Branch
Infantry
Last Primary MOS
05B-Radio Operator
Last MOS Group
Military Intelligence (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1944-1945, 05B, 3rd Army
Service Years
1944 - 1945

Corporal



Two Overseas Service Bars


 Last Photo   Personal Details 

54 kb

Home State
California
California
Year of Birth
1926
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Ken Logue-Deceased to remember Crenna, Richard Donald, Cpl.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Los Angeles
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Jan 17, 2003
 
Location of Interment
Not Specified
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Cremated

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Honorably Discharged WW II


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 Unit Assignments
3rd Army
  1944-1945, 05B, 3rd Army
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1944-1945 Ardennes Alsace Campaign (1944-45)/Battle of the Bulge
 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

 Richard Crenna, Veteran Actor, Is Dead at 76

Richard Crenna, the prolific actor who went from being a child performer in radio and eventually progressed to roles of complexity and nuance in serious films, died Friday morning in Los Angeles. He was 76. Mr. Crenna had pancreatic cancer and died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, with his wife, Penni, and his three adult children by his side, said his daughter Seana Crenna,. Mr. Crenna worked continuously throughout a 65-year career, and much of his longevity stemmed from his remarkable range as an actor. He earned an Emmy Award for his performance as a macho police officer who is sexually assaulted in the 1985 television movie, ''The Rape of Richard Beck.'' His portrayal of a card shark opposite Matt Dillon in the 1984 film ''The Flamingo Kid'' earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor. And who could forget him as the grizzled Army colonel called in to soothe the savage Sylvester Stallone in the Rambo movies? Richard Crenna, the prolific actor who went from being a child performer in radio and eventually progressed to roles of complexity and nuance in serious films, died Friday morning in Los Angeles. He was 76. Mr. Crenna had pancreatic cancer and died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, with his wife, Penni, and his three adult children by his side, said his daughter Seana Crenna,. Mr. Crenna worked continuously throughout a 65-year career, and much of his longevity stemmed from his remarkable range as an actor. He earned an Emmy Award for his performance as a macho police officer who is sexually assaulted in the 1985 television movie, ''The Rape of Richard Beck.'' His portrayal of a card shark opposite Matt Dillon in the 1984 film ''The Flamingo Kid'' earned him a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor. And who could forget him as the grizzled Army colonel called in to soothe the savage Sylvester Stallone in the Rambo movies? ''He had such a full career because he lived for his work,'' said Seana Crenna. ''If you never saw him on the screen as an actor, you surely heard him through radio roles and voice-overs.'' Ms. Crenna said that her father seemed in excellent health until about two months ago: ''At Thanksgiving he began getting sick, losing his appetite and getting weaker,'' she said. Illness kept Mr. Crenna from filming several episodes of the CBS television series, ''Judging Amy,'' on which he played Jared Duff. But he never lost his vibrancy and good humor, Ms. Crenna said, nor the belief that he would recover. ''Every turn seemed to get worse, but he never lost hope,'' she said. ''In fact, he was holding us together.'' Richard Donald Crenna was born in Los Angeles in 1926. At age 10, he played a squeaky-voiced kid on radio's ''Burns and Allen Show.'' After serving in the Army during World War II, Mr. Crenna was cast as the squeaky-voiced teenager Walter Denton on the radio comedy ''Our Miss Brooks'' with Eve Arden and moved with the show to television in 1952. After that, he began working steadily, moving effortlessly between television and film roles. Mr. Crenna played the pitcher Daffy Dean in the 1953 film ''Pride of St. Louis.'' From 1957 through 1963, he starred with Walter Brennan on the long-running CBS comedy ''The Real McCoys.'' He directed television movies and episodes of popular shows, including ''The Andy Griffith Show'' and ''Lou Grant.'' Mr. Crenna played the goofy high school student Denton until he was 29, and appeared in the movie version of ''Our Miss Brooks'' in 1955. But after ''The Real McCoys,'' he concentrated on more serious roles. In 1966, he appeared with Steve McQueen in ''The Sand Pebbles.'' He was a villian opposite Audrey Hepburn in the 1967 thriller ''Wait Until Dark,'' and played Kathleen Turner's cuckolded husband in the 1981 film ''Body Heat.'' In 1986, after a run of successful roles, he told The New York Times that he felt he had shaken his early career typecasting. ''People no longer look at me and say, 'That's a part for Dick Crenna,' '' he said. ''They don't know who Dick Crenna is any more. And it's wonderful for me at this stage in my career to have people discovering me.'' Mr. Crenna also told The Times that he viewed ''Rambo'' as ''a giant cartoon,'' but that he was delighted at its commercial success. ''You do a lot of things that you think are very good and nobody sees them,'' he said. Working with Mr. Stallone, he said, ''was a phenomenon not at all familiar to me.'' ''I've not been in that kind of film before,'' he said. ''I can't wait for 'Rambo III' and 'V' and 'VIII.' '' Mr. Crenna is also survived by another daughter Maria Crenna, his son, Richard, and three granddaughters.

Source: www.nytimes.com/2003/01/19/nyregion/richard-crenna-veteran-actor-is-dead-at-76.html


Crenna was born in Los Angeles, the only child of Edith J. (née Pollette), who was a hotel manager in Los Angeles, and Domenick Anthony Crenna, a pharmacist. His parents were both of Italian descent. Crenna attended Virgil Junior High School, followed by Belmont High School in Los Angeles. Following high school, Crenna served in the US Army during World War II. Crenna participated in World War II serving in the infantry as a Radioman - where he saw combat duty in the European theater at the Battle of the Bulge. Crenna also served in the Pacific theater decoding Japanese intercepts. Following World War II, Crenna attended the University of Southern California where he Majored in English.

Colonel Samuel "Sam" Trautman is a fictional character in the Rambo novel and film series. His first appearance was in David Morrell's novel First Blood. His character was expanded on in the film series where he was played by Richard Crenna, although Kirk Douglas was cast in the part, been outfitted and shown up on the first day of shooting. It was then that Douglas, already unhappy with the ending, decided more rewrites were required. Director Ted Kotcheff and producers Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna strongly disagreed and Douglas left the production. Richard Crenna was then contacted and arrived on set the next day.
   
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