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Buster Crabbe

From Openwaterpedia
Duke Kahanamoku, Buster Crabbe, Stubby Kruger and Johnny Weissmuller shown in El Segundo, California

Clarence Linden "Buster" Crabbe II (7 February 1908 – 23 April 1983) was an American competitive swimmer and actor. He won the 1932 Los Angeles Olympic Games gold medal for 400m freestyle and the bronze medal in the 1500m freestyle in the 1928 Olympics before subsequently breaking into acting. In 1971, Crabbe broke the world swimming record for the 60-64 masters swimming age group in the 400m freestyle.

Clarence Linden Crabbe graduated from Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii and the University of Southern California and was inducted in the Hawaii Swimming Hall of Fame and the USC Athletic Hall of Fame (Class of 1994).

Acting Career

He starred in a number of popular films in the 1930s and 1940s. He also played the title role in the serials Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers and was only actor who has played Tarzan, Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon - the top 3 pulp fiction heroes of the 1930s. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6901 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.

In 1931, while working on That's My Boy (1932) for Columbia Pictures, he was tested by MGM for Tarzan and rejected. Paramount Pictures put him in King of the Jungle (1933) as Kaspa, the Lion Man (after a book of that title but clearly a copy of the Tarzan stories). Publicity for this film emphasized his having won the 1932 Olympic 400m freestyle and suggested a rivalry with Johnny Weissmuller. Producer Sol Lesser wanted Crabbe for an independent Tarzan the Fearless (1933), though he first had to get James Pierce to waive rights to the part already promised to him by his father-in-law, Edgar Rice Burroughs. The film was released as both a feature and a serial; most houses showed only the first serial episode, which critics panned as a badly organized feature.

Paramount put him in a number of Zane Grey westerns, then Universal Pictures gave him the lead him in very successful sci-fi serials (Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers) from 1936-40. In 1940, he began a string of Billy the Kid westerns for low-budget (very low-budget) studio PRC and starred in Swamp Fire, a film starring him and Johnny Weissmuller. After World War II, he had devoted much of his time to his swimming pool corporation and operation of a boys' camp in New York.

In 1950, he made the serials Pirates of the High Seas (1950) and King of the Congo (1952). In addition, he was very active on television in the 1950s. In 1953, he hosted a local show in New York City that featured his serials. He played the title role of the adventure series, Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion (1955). During television's "Golden Age", he had several "meaty" lead roles on such weekly anthology series as "Kraft Theater" ("Million Dollar Rookie") and "Philco Television Playhouse" ("Cowboy for Chris") He later returned to western features to play Wyatt Earp in Badman's Country (1958) and gave a stellar performance.

Aquapreneurism

Crabbe invested in, produced, and starred in The Aqua Parade, a 2-hour water show. In 1947, his show played in cities and state fairs across the United States over a 5-month period. The show got good reviews. Crabbe was in the water ballet and in a part of the show called "The Evolution of Swimming". After a successful run throughout the United States and Canada, the show went to Europe in 1950 where it ran into logistical and financial problems.

Milestones

  • 1908 Born as "Clarence Linden Crabbe" in Oakland
  • 1910 US Census with the Crabbes in California
  • 1928 Participated in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games
  • 1931 Graduated from the University of Southern California
  • 1932 Participated in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, won gold medal in 400m freestyle
  • 1933 played title role in Tarzan the Fearless
  • 1936 played title role in Flash Gordon
  • 1938 played title role in Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars
  • 1939 played title role in Buck Rogers
  • 1940 played title role in Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe
  • 1941 begins work with Producers Releasing Corporation in a variety of westerns and jungle films
  • 1955 Start of Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion
  • 1957 End of Captain Gallant of the Foreign Legion
  • 1960–1983 Sales VP and promoter of the Buster Crabbe range of Cascade swimming pools
  • 1980 Guest-starred in the Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Planet of the Slave Girls" as an aged pilot named "Brigadier Gordon," a tongue-in-cheek reference – and salute – to his Flash Gordon roles
  • 1983 Died in Scottsdale, Arizona at age 75

Swamp Fire

Greatest Watermen in Open Water Swimming History

He was named as one of the Greatest Watermen in Open Water Swimming History by the World Open Water Swimming Association in 2015:

1. Zacharias Alexandrakis (Macedonia): Marathon swimming enthusiast, open water swimming promoter, lifeguard, swimming coach and lifesaving leader.
2. Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González (Mexico): Triathlete, ultra-endurance athlete, channel swimmer and author
3. Stathis Avramidis, Ph.D. (Greece): Researcher, swimmer, author, speaker, and lecturer
4. Peter Bales (South Africa): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, governing body administrator and escort pilot
5. Vito Bialla (U.S.A.): Extreme relay swimmer, professional sailor, and escort pilot of the Farallon Islands, California
6. Paul Blackbeard (South Africa): World-class pool swimmer, ocean swimmer, and life saver
7. Lord Byron (Great Britain): Poet, author and pioneering sea swimmer
8. Dick Campion (Australia): Olympian, coach, trainer, author, promoter, and professional marathon swimmer
9. Daniel Eulogio Carpio Massioti (Peru): Four-time Olympian, Channel swimmer, professional racer, and solo swimmer
10. Bruckner Chase (U.S.A.): marathon swimmer, ocean advocate, ambassador to the disabled, filmmaker, paddler and surf lifesaver
11. Buster Crabbe (U.S.A.): Olympic champion, ice swimmer, promoter, and movie star of 3 pulp fiction heroes
12. Guy Delage (France): Ocean swimmer, extreme adventurer, diver, submariner, and sailor
13. Marcos Díaz (Dominican Republic): Marathon racer, extreme swimmer, surfer, governing body administrator, and event director
14. Shannon Eckstein (Australia): Ironman lifesaver, paddler, kayaker, surf skier and ocean swimmer
15. Ian Emberson (Kauai, U.S.A.): Channel swimmer, original Ironman triathlete, ocean swimmer, event director, and triathlete
16. George Freeth (Hawai, U.S.A.): Ocean swimmer, surfer, paddler, and lifesaver organizer
17. Alfréd Hajós (Hungary): Olympic champion, professional racer, and architect
18. Trevor Hendy (Australia): Ironman lifesaver, paddler, kayaker, surf skier and ocean swimmer
19. Colin Hill (Great Britain): Ice swimmer, Channel swimmer, television commentator, and event director
20. Craig Hummer (U.S.A.): Competitive swimmer, kayaker, paddler, Ironman lifesaver, and Olympic television commentator
21. Ky Hurst (Australia): Ocean swimmer, two-time Olympian, body surfer extraordinaire, and champion life saver
22. Zhang Jian (China): Marathon swimmer, Channel swimmer, ice swimmer and university sports director
23. Captain Tim Johnson (U.S.A.): Marathon swimmer, author, professor, shark cage designer, analyst, and historian
24. Duke Kahanamoku (Hawaii): Ocean swimmer, Olympic champion, surfing legend and ambassador of aloha
25. Grant Kenny (Australia): Ironman lifesaver, paddler, kayaker, surf skier and ocean swimmer
26. Guy Leech (Australia): Ironman lifesaver, paddler, kayaker, surf skier and ocean swimmer
27. Luiz Eduardo Carneiro da Silva de Souza Lima (Brazil): Two-time Olympian, stand-up paddler, ocean swimming coach, pioneering ocean swimmer and promoter
28. Pádraig Mallon (Ireland): Marathon swimmer, Channel swimmer, ice swimmer, event organizer, promoter and triathlete
29. Vojislav Mijić (Serbia): Marathon swimmer, professional racer, solo pioneer and event organizer
30. Masayuki Moriya (Japan): Coach, channel swimmer, event organizer, clinician, and governing body administrator
31. Keo Nakama (Hawaii/U.S.A.): World champion, world record holder, pioneering ocean swimmer, event organizer and coach
32. Aaron Peirsol (U.S.A.): 7-time Olympic medalist, surfer, lifeguard, coach, and body surfer extraordinaire
33. Lewis Pugh (Great Britain): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, ocean advocate, ambassador, author, and speaker
34. Kevin Richards (South Africa): Competitive swimmer, triathlete, surf lifesaver, and coach
35. Philip Rush (New Zealand): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, professional racer, escort pilot, channel administrator, and fire fighter
36. Wayne Riddin (South Africa): Competitive swimmer, race director, aquapreneur, coach and promoter
37. Veljko Rogošić (Croatia): Two-time Olympic swimmer, professional racer, solo pioneer, swimming ambassador and marathon swimmer
38. Kenny Rust (Hawaii, U.S.A.): Ocean swimmer, lifeguard, aquapreneur, and event safety official
39. Ori Sela (Israel): Sea swimmer, coach, therapist, pioneer relay swimmer and aquapreneur
40. Borut Strel (Slovenia): Coach, swimmer, clinician, planner and logistic expert
41. Martin Strel (Slovenia): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, extreme adventurer, film protagonist, and camp clinician
42. Georgios-Ioannis Tsianos, M.D., Ph.D. (Greece): Research scientist, physician, expedition medic and Channel swimmer
43. Christof Wandratsch (Germany): Channel swimmer, professional racer, solo pioneer, ice swimming record holder and event promoter
44. Captain Matthew Webb (Great Britain): Channel swimmer, extreme adventurer, and professional racer
45. Johnny Weissmuller (U.S.A.): 4-time Olympic champion and movie star with a household name
46. Alick Wickham (Solomon Islands): Ocean swimmer, high diver, body surfing promoter, surfboard shaper, and freestyle ambassador
47. Patrick Winkler (Brazil): Competitive swimmer, ocean swimmer, stand-up paddler, race promoter and publisher of The Swim Channel Magazine
48. Jabez Wolffe (Great Britain): Channel aspirant and coach in the early generations of channel swimming
49. Doug Woodring (Hong Kong/U.S.A.): Marine environment ambassador, ecology advocate, aquapreneur, ocean event director, paddler, diver, and ocean swimmer
50. David Yudovin (U.S.A.): Channel swimmer, marathon swimmer, aquapreneur, benefactor and mariner

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