Photo of Harve Presnell Harve Presnell

A Broadway baritone turned character actor, Harve Presnell -- whose film debut in the movie musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964) earned him a Golden Globe for Most Promising Male Newcomer -- was born Sept. 14, 1933, in Modesto, Calif.

The onetime scholarship athlete switched to singing when the head of the University of Southern California's music department heard Presnell's voice. He later left school to sing in Europe before landing the role in the stage version of "Molly Brown" that would make him famous. In time, he amassed an impressive list of leading-man stage credits, playing Daddy Warbucks in "Annie," among other roles.

Presnell also starred alongside Clint Eastwood as a crooning saloon owner in Paint Your Wagon (1969) but is perhaps best known for portraying William H. Macy's doomed father-in-law in Fargo (1996). Presnell succumbed to pancreatic cancer June 30, 2009.

Harve Presnell in Fargo


1996 R

Police chief Marge Gunderson -- a serious sleuth who's sharper than her folksy accent suggests -- is hot on the trail of a Minneapolis car dealer conspiring with two kidnappers to snatch his wife so he can pocket part of the hefty ransom.

  • Harve Presnell in Paint Your Wagon Paint Your Wagon
  • Harve Presnell in Old School Old School
  • Harve Presnell in The Legend of Bagger Vance The Legend of Bagger Vance
  • Harve Presnell in The Unsinkable Molly Brown The Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • Harve Presnell in Face/Off Face/Off
  • Harve Presnell in The Family Man The Family Man
  • Harve Presnell in Escanaba in da Moonlight Escanaba in da Moonlight
  • Harve Presnell in Mr. Deeds Mr. Deeds
  • Harve Presnell in The Pretender The Pretender
  • Harve Presnell in Andy Barker P.I. Andy Barker P.I.
  • Harve Presnell in Pretender 2001 / Island of the Haunted Pretender 2001 / Island of the Haunted
  • Harve Presnell in Bait Shop Bait Shop