John Payne was born May, 1912 in Roanoke, VA. After graduating Roanoke College, he studied drama at Columbia University and
voice at Juilliard School of Music. Payne became an understudy in a 1935 Bea Lillie revue, which lead to his screen debut
in Dodsworth (1936.) His film work in the 1940s included a number of lead roles in musicals such as Tin Pan Alley, The Great American Broadcast, Sun Valley Serenade, Hello, Frisco, Hello and The Dolly Sisters. He is well remembered for his role in the film, Miracle on 34th Street (1947.) In the 1950s Payne switched to Westerns and action films and went on to star in his own television series Restless Gun (1957-59.) He directed one of his last films, They Ran for Their Lives (1968.) Payne died 1989.
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