Biography: Big, gravelly voiced actor best known for playing tough guys and heavies on the big and small screens. Crawford got his show biz start in vaudeville with his parents who were vaudevillians and stage actors. He won acclaim on Broadway in 1937 for his portrayal of Lenny in Of Mice and Men but success in Hollywood eluded him until 1949 when he won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance as corrupt politico Willie Stark in All the King's Men. Crawford later ventured into television in the mid-50's starring in Highway Patrol. Typecasting and a chronic drinking problem led to a career decline into a morass of minor films during the last years of his career but Crawford did have time to guest host Saturday Night Live and win critical kudos for his performance in the title role in The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover.