|Date of Birth||3 October 1874, Elizabethtown, Kentucky, USA|
|Date of Death||22 April 1949, Los Angeles, California, USA (heart attack)|
|Height||6' (1.83 m)|
Mini Bio (1)
Charles Middleton was born on October 3, 1874 in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. He was the son of a millionaire and did not have to work, but apparently went into acting because he needed to find a way to express himself. He worked in a traveling circus, in vaudeville, and acted in live theatre before he turned to motion pictures in 1920. His career as a character actor came into full flower with the advent of sound films. His ominous baritone voice was perfect for villainous roles, and he became an excellent foil for comedy stars Harold Lloyd, Eddie Cantor, Wheeler and Woolsey, and Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Middleton was then cast in Warner Brothers' Safe in Hell (1931), and in The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932) opposite Ann Dvorak and Richard Cromwell. His other notable performances during this period were both released the very next year from Paramount Pictures: first as the district attorney in This Day and Age (1933) directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and then as the prosecutor opposite The Marx Brothers in Duck Soup (1933). He also played Sheriff Ike Valton, the official who tries to arrest Julie La Verne (Helen Morgan) and her husband for being illegally married in Universal Pictures' version of the musical Show Boat (1936).
Middleton's granite-hard features resemble those of Abraham Lincoln. He played Lincoln in a public-service short subject, The Road Is Open Again, appeared in a rare comic role as an actor exasperated at being typecast as Lincoln in the comedy film Stand-In (1937), and played Lincoln's father in the film version of Robert E. Sherwood's Abe Lincoln in Illinois (1940). Middleton was also featured in many adventure serials from 1935 to 1947. He is most famous for his villainous role as the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless in the three Flash Gordon serials: Rocket Ship (1936), Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938), and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940). He was also featured in such serials as Dick Tracy Returns (1938), Daredevils of the Red Circle (1939), and Jack Armstrong (1947). Charles Middleton died at age 74 of a heart attack on April 22, 1949 in Los Angeles, California. He was interred in the Hollywood Forever Cemetary next to his wife of many years, stage and film actress Leora Spellman.
- IMDb Mini Biography By: Bill Takacs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
|Leora Spellman||(? - ?)|