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William Gargan (July 17, 1905 – February 17, 1979) was a radio, film and television actor of American nationality.
His full name was William Dennis Gargan, and he was born in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City. His older brother was also actor Edward Gargan.
After completing his studies, Gargan worked as a smuggler whiskey seller in New York speakeasy stores, forming part of a detective agency. While visiting his brother in a musical theater, he was offered a theatrical work, which he accepted, beginning his theatrical career acting in the play Aloma of the South Seas.
Gargan played roles as a character actor in many productions filmed in Hollywood, with characters such as cops, priests, reporters, adventurers and stereotyped Irish. Among his characters are Detective Ellery Queen, whom he played twice, although he became better known as Detective Martin Kane in the 1949-51 radio series Martin Kane, Private Eye. He was also a private detective on the NBC radio show Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator, broadcast between 1951 and 1955.
Gargan’s career came to an end in 1958 when he became ill due to cancer of the larynx, and it was necessary to remove it. Speaking with an artificial voice, Gargan became an activist and spokesperson for the American Cancer Society, warning many times about the dangers of smoking.
William Gargan died of a heart attack in 1979 while traveling by plane from New York to San Diego (California). He was 73 years old. He was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego.
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