one of America’s most beloved film actors Van Heflin was one of the most unusual and talented actors ever to appear on screen. Known as an "actor’s actor," he gave strong performances without resorting to showy flourishes and histrionics.He had both starring roles and character parts. He was a tall, medium built man, with wavy sandy-hair, a lived-in face, with sleepy eyes and an introverted demeanor. He was equally adept at playing bad guys or heroes and he gave them an air of complexity. In private life, he shunned the Hollywood limelight and his career suffered. (Eric Niderost : the classic image)
An Academy Award-winning actor whose career spanned 45 years and 57 films, Heflin appeared mostly in dramatic roles, winning his Oscar for his supporting performance in Johnny Eager (1942). He appeared opposite Barbara Stanwyck in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), B.F.'s Daughter (1948), East Side, West Side (1949), and enjoyed starring roles in several westerns, most notably Shane (1953) and Stagecoach (1966). He also made a couple of forays into the musical genre, starring opposite Judy Garland in Presenting Lily Mars (1943) and Till The Clouds Roll By (1946), then working under her husband Vincente Minnelli's direction for Madame Bovary (1949).