A burly, handsome supporting player and occasional lead, Brad Dexter was often cast as villainous or menacing types in a variety of films starting with 1950's "The Asphalt Jungle. " Of Serbian heritage, he was born Boris Milanovich in Nevada. Raised in poverty, Dexter began working as early as age seven in order to help support his parents. After stints as a shoeshine boy, meatpacker and amateur boxer, he studied acting at the famed Pasadena Playhouse. While serving in the military during WWII, he was cast in Moss Hart's stage show "Winged Victory," appearing under the stage name Barry Mitchell. Following other stage and radio roles, director John Huston spotted the hulking performer and cast him in "The Asphalt Jungle," for which he was newly christened Brad Dexter.