Charley Grapewin Poster


Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (4)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 20 December 1869Xenia, Ohio, USA
Date of Death 2 February 1956Corona, California, USA  (natural causes)
Birth NameCharles Ellsworth Grapewin
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

This old codger film favorite, born in 1869 (some reports say 1875), got into the entertainment field at an early age, first as a circus performer (aerialist and trapeze artist). Acting having then sparked his interest, he worked in a series of stock companies while writing stage plays on the side that he himself could star in. He married actress Anna Chance around the turn of the century, and they remained a devoted couple until her death 47 years later. They had no children. Charley came into his own in films at the ripe old age of 60 as the ultimate humorous, toothless character in a range of films with rustic settings. Notable movies include The Petrified Forest (1936) with Leslie Howard and Humphrey Bogart, The Good Earth (1937) with Paul Muniand Luise Rainer, and They Died with Their Boots On (1941) with Errol Flynn. However, his best-remembered parts were as huggable Uncle Henry in the classic The Wizard of Oz (1939), ornery Grandpa Joad, who refused to leave the homestead, in The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Inspector Queen in the Ellery Queen whodunits that ran from 1940 through 1942, and the amiable ne'er-do-well Jeeter Lester in Tobacco Road (1941). A soft, humorous presence who seemed frail around the edges, he was a thorough delight, his folksy presence gracing over 100 films. He died in 1956.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Anna Chance (1895 - 11 September 1943) (her death)
Ella Wilson (1889 - 1895) (divorced)

Trivia (4)

Interred at Forest Lawn (Glendale), Glendale, California, USA, in the Great Mausoleum.
Best known for his portrayal of Dorothy's Uncle Henry in The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Grapewin Street in Corona, California, where he died, is named after him.
Died the same year that his most famous film, "The Wizard of Oz", first came to television, but did not live long enough to see the telecast, which took place in November of 1956.

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