John Craven never intended to follow his father, actor Frank Craven, into show business, but became a respected stage and screen actor almost despite himself. Craven worked as a junior stage manager and landed his first major role on Broadway in 1938, when he was cast in Thornton Wilder's "Our Town" as the sensitive George Gibbs. He appeared alongside his father for nearly two years before leaving to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. While stationed in Italy, he served as a theater director for the USO and organized morale-boosting plays and performances for the war-weary troops. Upon his return from the war, Craven--whose only film credit so far had been a small role in the 1937 football comedy "Over the Goal"--portrayed a soldier longing for the comforts of family in the small-town drama "The Human Comedy," and appeared as a conflicted Army sergeant in the patriotic "The Purple Heart." He took over the role of the convicted and potentially insane serial killer Roy Todwell in 1944's "Dr. Gillespie's Criminal Case," and returned to war-time dramas with "Swell Guy," about a duplicitous con man who poses as a war hero to exploit his hometown's generous nature. Craven transitioned to television in the '50s and enjoyed a steady string of supporting roles on anthology and comedy shows like "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" and "The Jack Benny Program" before moving to Spain and becoming a drama coach and theater director.