Born in Mexico in 1915 to Irish-Mexican parents, Quinn was raised in Los Angeles and went on to marry Cecil B. DeMille’s adopted daughter. That didn’t advance his career any, so he decided to get serious about his work by taking on Broadway in the early 1950s. From character parts to lead roles, he was soon in demand both in America and Europe.
For most people, he will always be remembered as being Zorba the Greek. His macho image saw him through several marriages and a life that would have offered up enough material for several interesting movies. He was an Academy Award® winner who wasn’t afraid to take chances with his extremely diverse acting career.
In the Western genre, Quinn portrayed Chief Crazy Horse in They Died with Their Boots On, Chief Oscelola in Seminole and Emiliano Zapata in Viva Zapata. Some of this other worthy Western roles were Union Pacific, The Oxbow Incident, Warlock and The Last Train from Gun Hill.