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John Payne's Roles

December 17, 1989

Since the death of John Payne on Dec. 6, so much has been said in the media of his memorable participation in "Miracle on 34th Street" that his other very real accomplishments as an actor are apt to be overlooked. They ranged from a song-and-dance man for Alice Faye and Betty Grable to his role of Gray Maturin in Maugham's "The Razor's Edge" to a corrupt politician in "The Boss."

I was in my late teens and early 20s during Mr. Payne's tough-guy period, and unlike many other kids at that time whose favorite movie John was Wayne, my favorite film John was Payne--especially when he was paired with Gail Russell, Rhonda Fleming, Maureen O'Hara, Lizabeth Scott or Ruth Roman. What a pity the film industry neglected him so totally during the '60s, '70s and '80s.

JIM MEYER

Los Angeles

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