John McGiver

1913 - 1975

John Irwin McGiver came to acting relatively late in life. He held a B.A. and Masters degrees in English from Fordham, Columbia and Catholic Universities and spent his early years teaching drama and speech at Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx. He had an early flirt with the acting profession in 1938 as actor/director for the Irish Repertory Theatre but found his weekly income of $26.42 insufficient to live on. He enlisted the next year and saw action during World War II, fighting with the U.S. 7th Armored Division in Europe (including the Battle of the Bulge). When he was demobbed after six years in the army, he held the rank of captain. He returned to teaching drama, with occasional forays into off-Broadway acting. In 1947, he married Chicago scenic designer Ruth Shmigelsky and settled down to live in a converted 19th century former Baptist church.There are conflicting stories as to how McGiver ended up becoming a film and television actor, but it happened sometime after o

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