Biography

American character actor of rather bizarre range, a member of the so-called 'John Ford Stock Company.' Originally a New York stage actor of some repute, Whitehead entered films in the 1930s. He played a wide variety of character parts, often quite different from his own actual age and type. He is probably most familiar as Al Joad in John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940). But twenty-two years later, in his fifth film for Ford, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Whitehead at 51 was playing a lollipop-licking schoolboy! He continued to work predominantly on the stage, appearing now and again in films or on television. In his last years, he suffered from cancer and died in 1998 in Dublin, Ireland, where he had lived in semi-retirement for many years.

American character actor of rather bizarre range, a member of the so-called 'John Ford Stock Company.' Originally a New York stage actor of some repute, Whitehead entered films in the 1930s. He played a wide variety of character parts, often quite different from his own actual age and type. He is probably most familiar as Al Joad in John Ford's The Grapes of Wrath (1940). But twenty-two years later, in his fifth film for Ford, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), Whitehead at 51 was playing a lollipop-licking schoolboy! He continued to work predominantly on the stage, appearing now and again in films or on television. In his last years, he suffered from cancer and died in 1998 in Dublin, Ireland, where he had lived in semi-retirement for many years.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 30

Birthday 1911-03-01

Day of Death 1998-07-29

Place of Birth New York City, New York,

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Oothout Zabriskie Whitehead
  • Zebby
  • O. Z. Whitehead

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1968 The Lion in Winter as Bishop of Durham
1963 Summer Magic as Mr. Perkins
1962 Panic in Year Zero! as Hogan
1962 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance as Herbert Carruthers
1961 Hazel (1 episode)
1961 Two Rode Together as Lt. Whitehead
1959 The Horse Soldiers as Otis 'Hoppy' Hopkins
1958 Rally 'Round the Flag, Boys! as Isaac Goodpasture
1958 The Last Hurrah as Norman Cass Jr.
1958 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse (1 episode)
1957 Perry Mason (1 episode)
1955 Alfred Hitchcock Presents (2 episodes)
1955 Gunsmoke (1 episode)
1952 Cavalcade of America (1 episode)
1952 Beware, My Lovely as Mr. Franks
1952 The San Francisco Story as Alfey
1952 For Men Only as Prof. Bixby
1951 FBI Girl as Chauncey - Undertaker
1951 The Hoodlum as Breckenridge
1951 The Scarf as Whoopie
1951 Comin' Round the Mountain as Zeke
1950 One Way Street as Gas Station Proprietor (uncredited)
1949 Ma and Pa Kettle as Mr. Billings
1949 Suspense (1 episode)
1948 Studio One (1 episode)
1948 A Song Is Born as Professor Oddly
1948 Road House as Arthur
1947 The Romance of Rosy Ridge as Ninny Nat
1940 The Grapes of Wrath as Al Joad
1935 The Scoundrel as Calhoun

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