Samuel Laird Cregar (July 28, 1913 – December 9, 1944) was an American stage and film actor. Cregar was best known for his villainous performances in films such as I Wake Up Screaming and The Lodger.
Cregar's screen career began in 1940 working as an extra in films. By 1941, he had signed a film contract with 20th Century Fox. Cregar quickly rose to stardom, appearing in a variety of genres from screwball comedy to horror. He was a popular actor until his death in 1944 at the age of 31.
The crash diet that Cregar followed for his role in The Lodger (which included prescribed amphetamines) placed a strain on his system, resulting in severe abdominal problems. He underwent surgery in December 1944. It was intended that Cregar's next film would be Les Misérables, directed by John Brahm, and Billy Rose wanted to star him on Broadway in Henry VIII. A few days after surgery, Cregar had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital. He rallied briefly when put in an oxygen tent, but died on December 9, aged 31 years. His mother was at his bedside. Hangover Square was released two months after his death.
The funeral was held on December 13, 1944. Vincent Price, Cregar's co-star in his first film Hudson's Bay (1941), delivered the eulogy. Cregar is interred in Eventide Section, lot 37, space 2 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California. His estate was valued at $10,000.
On February 8, 1960, Cregar received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion pictures industry, at 1716 Vine Street.