Born at 2:10am-PDT
Singer-actor, originally from the legitimate stage, best known for playing the male lead in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" on both Broadway and film and playing the role of "Daddy Warbucks" in "Annie" almost a thousand times on Broadway and on tour.
Presnell was once a soloist with the Roger Wagner Chorale. He soloed on the Christmas classic "O Holy Night" in their 1956 "Joy To The World" LP. This was one of Capitol Records earliest stereo efforts. In addition, he sang with Marilyn Horne in "He's Gone Away" and also soloed on "O, Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie," both of which can be found on the RWC album "Folk Songs Of The New World."
Presnell has had very two distinct portions to his career: that of a smooth, silky-voiced and handsome actor cast as the romantic lead in musicals; and that of a balding, gravelly-voiced older man who frequently plays cruel men of power due to his towering, imposing presence.
He is the outstanding baritone soloist in the spirited 1960 Columbia recording of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, with Eugene Ormandy conducting the Rutgers University Choirs and the Philadephia Orchestra. The recording, still available, was reissued on CD in 1990 by Sony.
He was nominated for a 1992 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Musical for "Annie Warbucks", at the Marriott Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
In later years he maintained a ranch in Livingston, Montana, and flew to Hollywood when he had TV or film work.
An avid pilot since childhood, he had already learned how to fly a plane by age 10.
Played Brigham Young in the musical "Brigham!", written for the 100th anniversary of the founding of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
One of Mr. Presnell's first recordings was with his church choir at Hollywood Presbyterian (RCA Victor LPM 1258). On their album he soloed on The Lord's Prayer and was part of the quartet featured on Come Thou Almighty King.
Took a 20-year hiatus from movie appearances between 1976 and 1996, focusing more on theater roles and rare TV appearances, returning with great effect in Fargo (1996) which made him a more regular presence in motion pictures.