Laird Cregar had a three-year career in Hollywood during the World War II years. He was a large man, 6'3" tall and weighing over 300 pounds. He was noticed in his first part, and soon became known for his villainous roles.
As you will read in this article by Barbara G. Jackson, Cregar was not satisfied with being the bad guy, and went on several crash diets to slim down for more traditional leading roles. Alas. It was the dieting that killed him. (Remind me to show this article to my doctor next time she suggests I "lose a few pounds.")
The article appeared in Monster Fantasy #3, August 1975, and is Copyright © Mayfair Publications, Inc.
Probably Cregar’s most famous role is that of Jack the Ripper in The Lodger. The full movie is available on YouTube. As always, YouTube giveth and YouTube can taketh away. If you encounter a black screen, well, sorry about that, but it is not my fault. You might be able to find it from other sources, including DVD.