From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Dick Purcell (August 6, 1908 - April 10, 1944) was an American actor best known for playing Marvel Comics Captain America in the 1943 film serial. The strain of filming Captain America had been too much for his heart and he collapsed in the locker room at a Los Angeles country club. Purcell was born in Greenwich, Connecticut. Description above from the Wikipedia article Dick Purcell, licensed under CC-BY-SA, full list of contributors on Wikipedia.