Mr. Clarke appeared in such films as "Adam's Rib," "The Set-Up," "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery" and "The Asphalt Jungle," and played many stage roles in a long career.
Mr. Clarke was born in Chicago. His first stage appearance was at age five as the groom in Tom Thumb's Wedding in 1913, in Verona, WI. His professional debut was as Barabbas in the American version of The Frieburg Passion Play in Chicago and on the West Coast in 1929. He appeared in several summer stock seasons at the Ivoryton Playhouse in Ivoryton, CT.
His first New York assignment was as stage manager for Roadside in 1930. He was a replacement actor in Bury the Dead at the Barrymore Theatre in 1936. He first created a role on Broadway in 200 Were Chosen in 1936.
Mr. Clarke was described in the Times as a having rugged good looks and was sometimes typed as a solider or workman in movies and on stage. He would rarely play breakout lead roles.
During World War II, the former college football player served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Over several decades he played on Broadway and off, stock and regional theatre, as well in films and TV (as early as 1950). His Broadway credits include Abe Lincoln in Illinois, The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, The Visit, See the Jaguar, a double bill of Arthur Miller's A View From the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays in 1955, Tennesse Williams' Orpheus Descending in 1957, a 1974 revival of Of Mice and Men with James Earl Jones and more.
The Times reported that Mr. Clarke had a close professional relationship with actor Will Geer. As young actors, they both appeared in 200 Were Chosen and acted in the film "Intruder in the Dust" (1949). Mr. Clarke guested on "The Waltons," the TV series in which Geer played Grandpa Walton.
Mr. Clarke married actress Nora Dean Dunfee in 1946. She died in 1994.
Survivors include two daughters, K.C. Ligon and Susan Bennett, and two grandchildren.