From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Brian Donlevy (February 9, 1901 – April 5, 1972) was an Ulster-born American film actor, noted for playing tough guys from the 1930s to the 1960s. He usually appeared in supporting roles. Among his best known films are Beau Geste (1939) and The Great McGinty (1940). For his role as Sergeant Markoff in Beau Geste he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His obituary in The Times newspaper in the United Kingdom stated that any consideration of the American film noir of the 1940s would be incomplete without him.