“Film Star, Ex-Rice Fullback, Returns”, 1956

For reasons that are far too boring to go into here, I spent much of the afternoon looking for something in one of the old alumni scrapbooks. (I talk about these behemoths here.) Anyway, these scrapbooks are just crazy and every time I open one there’s going to be a trip down a rabbit hole.

Here’s the first unexpected thing I ran across:

James Craig clip 1956

I looked pretty hard but couldn’t find a photo of Jim Meador, the student. He came to Rice from Tennessee in 1933, the middle of the Great Depression, a time when many students didn’t have their pictures taken for the yearbook. He did indeed play football, first as an end and then as a fullback.

Naturally, I did find a lot of pictures of James Craig, the actor. Here’s a link to his imdb listing. It looks like he had a nice, long career–lots of westerns.



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15 Responses to “Film Star, Ex-Rice Fullback, Returns”, 1956

  1. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    Melissa, did you learn whether James Craig (Meador) graduated from Rice, what year, what degree?

    Very interesting picture at the URL — imdb listing. It shows a rack of Hollywood beefcake, all of whom placed football.
    The greatest of those was All American and Rosebowl hero Johny Mack Brown, my favorite as a kid. When he walked into a saloon I knew he was going to clean some plows. He would single handedly whip 6 or more. I can’t recall whether his hat ever got knocked off.

    Where are they all now? Like the Kerry Pipers, “gone, alas, like our youth too soon.”

  2. mjthannisch says:

    I recognise a couple of the movies by name, and have seen at least one, Kismet, but so many I’ve never heard of.

  3. john wolda says:

    I checked the Rice Football archives fof Jim Meador. It doesn’t show that he lettered.

  4. Angela Wren Wall says:

    What did they say back when? “Hubba hubba”? I think I’ll be frequenting Turner Classic Movies to catch this fella in the very near future….

    • Melissa Kean says:

      No kidding! He’s smoking hot.

      • Angela Wren Wall says:

        On fire!!! 🙂 I just reviewed his filmography on IMDB and realized I’ve seen him in Kitty Foyle (which I viewed many moons ago to see Ginger Rogers in her only Oscar-winning role). JC played the somewhat tamer companion to title character Kitty, who naturally only had eyes for wealthy, unattainable Dennis Morgan – another humdinger!

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

      Angela W-W:
      Besides attracting Kitty Foyle, Dennis Morgan could SING — and a fine Irish Tenor he was too, in his earlier days.
      Also, I seem to recall, that Morgan played the role of an Irish song writer of the 1890’s (I think) — perhaps Ernest Ball. But there was another one of that period whose name eludes me, and it doesn’t have to move very fast to do that, with my memory.

  5. Hugh Welsh says:

    Craig indeed played football in the 30’s at Rice.My dad took my mom,sister and I on a trip to Hollywood about 1947 to a national medical meeting-he was team Dr.Hugh Welsh.Somehow James Craig saw him and invited him to bring our family to The Brown Palace as his guests.When check time arrived Mr Craig had to take an important phone call and disappeared never to return-my dad was stuck with a big bill!That was how this 4-flusher star of B-movies operated!

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

      Hello, Hugh, It’s good to see you’re still around and functioning.
      I would NOT be surprised that Craig pulled a walk-the-check with your dad. Craig seemed a less than honest person.
      I assume Craig remembered your daddy — whom I worked under at the Rice Infirmary in West Hall -from his team physician days.
      You said Brown Palace. I never heard that name. Might you have meant the Brown Derby which was a Hollywood see-and-be-seen eatery?
      BTW, you should know, our class has a Class of 1956 website. If you would like an invite, e-mail me at fepratt@comcast.net and request it.
      Chou, gene

  6. hughconnie says:

    Brown Derby is correct,Gene.My 16 year old sister was crushed to see how our dad was taken.

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

      “Hugh Welsh says …”
      “hughconnie …”

      Melissa, what’s happening here? Is Hugh Welsh and/or hughconnie a double agent?
      I only got one nom de plume.
      It’s just not fair !

  7. Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT, Institute Class of '56 says:

    Oh, I could get away with it.
    All I would have to do is to quit posting all this serious material and become whimsical, jocular, and enigmatic.

    And … maybe grow a mustache, inasmuch as that seems to influence some of your readership..

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