Van Heflin, (1910-71) began his acting career on Broadway in the early 1930s before signing with RKO Studios. His first film, A WOMAN REBELS (1936), featured him opposite Katharine Hepburn, and although he received good reviews, RKO did not try to build his potential. Signed by MGM Studios, he was initially cast in supporting roles in films such as SANTA FE TRAIL (1940) and JOHNNY EAGER (1942), winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the latter performance. MGM began to groom him as a leading man in B movies and provided him with strong supporting roles in more prestigious productions. Among his more notable film credits are PRESENTING LILY MARS (1943), THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946), POSSESSED (1947), THE PROWLER (1951), SHANE (1953), PATTERNS (1956) and the lead in the classic 1948 film noir ACT OF VIOLENCE.