Todd Gault's Movie Serial Experience

Todd Gault's Film Serial Experience: Movie serials, cliffhangers and reviews. A gallery of movie serial stars.
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"Sky Raiders"; Universal, 1941

Donald Woods came to Hollywood as a young supporting player in the thirties. He appeared in ďA Tale of Two Cities" (1936), "The Story of Louis Pasteur" (1936), and "Sea Devils" (1937). His first big leading roles were in two of Universal's Crime Club films with Nan Grey, "The Black Doll" (1938) and "Danger on the Air" (1938). From there he went to playing Lupe Velez's husband in RKO's first three Mexican Spitfire films; "The Girl From Mexico" (1939), "Mexican Spitfire" (1939), and "Mexican Spitfire Out West" (1940).

Woods returned to Universal the following year to star in his only serial, "Sky Raiders" (1941). Woods played an ex-military pilot who owns his own airplane factory and has to battle a group of spies who want his plans for a new fighter plane.

The rest of the forties was confined with playing supporting parts in big budget films like "Watch on the Rhine" (1943), "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" (1944), and "Never Say Goodbye" (1946). Though he would occasionally snag a lead in a low budget programmer like "Bells of San Fernando" (1947), he was to spend the next two decades as a dependable character actor.

Some of his later film work includes Bing Crosby's "Mr. Music" (1950), the Ed Wood cult classic "Glen or Glenda" (1953), William Castle's "13 Ghosts" (1960), and the Elvis Presley romp "Kissing Cousins" (1964).

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