Not many people know the name of Jim Dolen, even among the true aficionados of Italian cinema. And, admittedly, he was hardly the most important of figures to have made his career in the Italian film industry during La dolce vita period. He was, however, another of the numerous foreigners who made their living in the successful dubbing industry of the 1950s and 60s, and he also appeared as a character actor in over half a dozen movies between 1958 and 1963.
His first role came in Totò nella luna (58), in which he played one of a pair of secret agents (alongside fellow dubber Richard McNamara) who, due to a series of misunderstandings, becomes convinced that the idiotic Ugo Tognazzi is a natural born astronaut. There was another good role in Antonio Margheriti’s Battle ofthe Worlds (61), in which he played the experienced sidekick to space commander Bill Carter. These were followed up, though, by a series of small, uncredited parts: in the big budget Barabbas (61), one of those films which seems to feature 50% of the American actors in Rome at the time; as a priest in the early Mario Bava thriller The Evil Eye (63); and in Gidget Goes to Rome (63), which also featured other dubbers like Rodd Dana and John Stacy.
There were two further films in 1963. In The Fall of Rome (63) he was reunited with Margheriti for a mid range peplum also featuring Carl Möhner; and Margheriti called him back for his gothic horror / giallo film The Castle of Terror (64), in a decent role as an FBI agent.
As far as biographical information is concerned, little is known about Jim Dolen beyond the fact that he was born in 1918 and died in 1965. There is some indication that he was English rather than American, although this is unconfirmed at present.