1-50 of 1,016 names.

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1. Elsa Lanchester Elsa Lanchester Actress, Witness for the Prosecution Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the institution of marriage and being tied to any conventions of legality for that matter...
2. Yvonne De Carlo Yvonne De Carlo Actress, The Ten Commandments Yvonne De Carlo was born Margaret Yvonne Middleton on September 1, 1922 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She was three when her father abandoned the family. Her mother turned to waitressing in a restaurant to make ends meet--a rough beginning for an actress who would, one day, be one of Hollywood's elite...
3. Lee J. Cobb Lee J. Cobb Actor, 12 Angry Men Lee J. Cobb, one of the premier character actors in American film for three decades in the post-World War II period, was born Leo Jacoby in New York City's Lower East Side on December 8, 1911. The son of a Jewish newspaper editor, young Leo was a child prodigy in music, mastering the violin and the harmonica...
4. Lois Nettleton Lois Nettleton Actress, In the Heat of the Night Lois Nettleton was a versatile and accomplished actress who appeared on stage, in films and on TV in her long career. The former Miss Chicago of 1948 beauty pageant contest winner was born in Oak Park, Illinois, She studied acting at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and then at the Actors' Studio in New York City...
5. Richard Jaeckel Richard Jaeckel Actor, The Dirty Dozen Stocky tough-guy character actor Richard Jaeckel was one of Hollywood's most prolific supporting stars. Born in Long Island, New York, on October 10, 1926, Jaeckel's family moved to Los Angeles when he was still in his teens. After graduation from Hollywood High School, Jaeckel was discovered by a casting director while working as a mailboy for 20th Century-Fox...
6. Charmian Carr Charmian Carr Actress, The Sound of Music Charmian Carr was born Charmian Farnon on December 27, 1942. She got her name because, supposedly, her father liked the name after reading William Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra". Charmian was the name of one of Cleopatra's maids. She was the second of three daughters. Her mother, Rita Oehmen, had been a vaudeville actress with her brother Eddy...
7. Geoffrey Lewis Geoffrey Lewis Actor, The Way of the Gun Talented and highly capable character actor Geoffrey Lewis, with rustic (sometimes sour-faced) looks, grew up in Rhode Island but was moved out to California at the age of ten. Lewis was very keen on the dramatic arts at high school, but often preferred to put on his own one-man shows rather than participate in larger school productions...
8. Edmund Gwenn Edmund Gwenn Actor, Miracle on 34th Street There are very few character actors from the 1930s, '40s or '50s who rose to the rank of stardom. Only a rare man or woman reached the level of renown and admiration, and had enough audience appeal, to be the first name in a cast's billing, a name that got marquee posting. Charles Coburn comes to mind, but there aren't many others. However, one who made it was Edmund Gwenn...
9. DeForest Kelley DeForest Kelley Actor, Star Trek Jackson DeForest Kelley was born on January 20, 1920 in Toccoa, Georgia, to Clora (Casey) and Ernest David Kelley. He graduated from high school at age 16 and went on to sing at the Baptist church where his father was a minister. At age 17, he made his first trip outside the state to visit an uncle in Long Beach...
10. Ellen Corby Ellen Corby Actress, The Waltons Ellen Hansen (aka Ellen Corby aka Grandma Walton) was born June 3, 1911 (or 1913), in Racine, WI. She grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and left for Hollywood in the early 1930s to become an actress, which she became only after working as a script assistant for twelve years. She appeared in over 25 uncredited or small character parts before taking the role of the lovelorn Aunt Trina...
11. Susan Oliver Susan Oliver Actress, Star Trek Susan Oliver was born on February 13, 1932 in New York City. Her parents divorced when she was just three years old. One of the highlights of an economically challenged childhood during the Great Depression was the time she was spent in and around Pennsylvania's Hedgerow Theatre, known today as "America's First Repertory Theatre." Co-founded by Ms...
12. Jack Klugman Jack Klugman Actor, The Odd Couple As a film character actor, Klugman was the epitome of the everyman. He was one of the pioneers of television acting in the 1950s, and is best remembered for his 1970s TV work as Oscar Madison on The Odd Couple and as the medical examiner on Quincy M.E..
13. Mary Astor Mary Astor Actress, The Maltese Falcon Her German immigrant father pushed her into a beauty contest at 14 and her first movie Sentimental Tommy at 15. After a number of minor parts she starred in John Barrymore's Beau Brummel. She had a lively affair with Barrymore, over with before she starred a second time with him, in Don Juan...
14. Gale Sondergaard Gale Sondergaard Actress, The Mark of Zorro Sly, manipulative, dangerously cunning and sinister were the key words that best described the roles that Gale Sondergaard played in motion pictures, making her one of the most talented character actresses ever seen on the screen. She was educated at the University of Minnesota and later married director Herbert J. Biberman...
15. Alan Young Alan Young Actor, The Time Machine Alan Young was born in Northern England in 1919, but his Scots father moved the family to Edinburgh, Scotland, when Young was a toddler and then to Canada when Young was about 6 years old. As a boy, he suffered from severe asthma, which kept him bedridden for long periods of time but encouraged his love of radio...
16. Hal Smith Hal Smith Actor, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
17. Forrest Tucker Forrest Tucker Actor, The Crawling Eye Forrest Tucker, best known to the Baby Boom generation as Sergeant O'Rourke on the classic TV sitcom F Troop, was born on February 12, 1919, in Plainfield, Indiana. He began his performing career at age 14 at the 1933 Chicago "Century of Progress" World's Fair, pushing big wicker tourists' chairs by day and singing at night...
18. Madlyn Rhue Madlyn Rhue Actress, It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World American character actress Madlyn Rhue was one of television's most prolific actresses and has starred in everything from sitcoms to soap operas to drama series and films for nearly 40 years. Her beautiful looks, black/dark brown hair and hazel eyes got her the attention of television producers and she found herself guest starring on such series as Rawhide...
19. Beulah Bondi Beulah Bondi Actress, It's a Wonderful Life Character actress Beulah Bondi was a favorite of directors and audiences and is one of the reasons so many films from the 1930s and 1940s remain so enjoyable, as she was an integral part of many of the ensemble casts (a hallmark of the studio system) of major and/or great films, including The Trail of the Lonesome Pine...
20. Jan Sterling Jan Sterling Actress, Ace in the Hole One of Hollywood's more talented and watchable stars on screen was sullen, strikingly stick-thin 50s actress Jan Sterling who didn't quite reach the top echelon of stardom but certainly ensured audiences of a real good time with her sexy pout and flashy style in soaps, film noir and saucy comedy. Jan was born Jane Sterling Adriance in Manhattan in 1921 to a well-to-do family...
21. Diana Douglas Diana Douglas Actress, Planes, Trains & Automobiles
22. Hattie McDaniel Hattie McDaniel Actress, Gone with the Wind After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West. Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams. In this one, directed by George Stevens and aided and abetted by star Katharine Hepburn...
23. H.B. Warner H.B. Warner Actor, It's a Wonderful Life Henry Byron Warner was the definitive cinematic Jesus Christ in Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings. He was born into a prominent theatrical family on October 26, 1875 in London. His father was Charles Warner, and his grandfather was James Warner, both prominent English actors. He replaced J.B. Warner as Jesus in The King of Kings when J.B...
24. Joel McCrea Joel McCrea Actor, Foreign Correspondent One of the great stars of American Westerns, and a very popular leading man in non-Westerns as well. He was born and raised in the surroundings of Hollywood and as a boy became interested in the movies that were being made all around. He studied acting at Pomona College and got some stage experience at the Pasadena Community Playhouse...
25. Douglas M. Lackey Douglas M. Lackey Music Department, Independence Day Prolific composer of film and television scores, educated at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He has also composed the musical scorings for a number of industrial motion pictures. Joining the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1963, his chief musical collaborator has been Gene Kauer...
26. Vito Scotti Vito Scotti Actor, The Godfather With his dark features and having spent much of his early years in Naples, Italy, Vito Scotti was understandably typecast as Italian waiters, government functionaries, policemen, maitre d's and barbers. When Vito was seven, the Scottis moved back to the U.S. where his mother became a diva in the Italian theatre in New York...
27. Jay Silverheels Jay Silverheels Actor, The Lone Ranger Jay Silverheels was born on Canada's Six Nation's Reserve and was one of 10 children. He was a star lacrosse player and a boxer before he entered films as a stuntman in 1938. He worked in a number of films through the 1940s before gaining notice as the Osceola brother in a Humphrey Bogart film Key Largo...
28. Richard Fleischer Richard Fleischer Director, Soylent Green
29. Arthur Hunnicutt Arthur Hunnicutt Actor, El Dorado Lean, tall American character actor Arthur Hunnicutt was known for playing humorously wise rural roles. He attended Arkansas State Teachers College in his native state, but was forced to drop out in his third year due to lack of funds. He joined a theatre company in Massachusetts, then migrated to New York...
30. Irene Hervey Irene Hervey Actress, The Count of Monte Cristo Attractive, blond, dimple-cheeked artist's daughter, Irene Hervey was trained at the MGM School of Acting before being signed as a contract player in 1933. Often on loan to other studios, she was assigned bit parts until meatier co-starring roles came along in The Girl Said No and Say It in French. While at MGM...
31. Walter Burke Walter Burke Actor, Support Your Local Sheriff! Highly recognizable Irish-American character actor whose small stature and wizened features made him resemble a leprechaun (a role which he played on more than one occasion). Probably best known as Willie Stark's bodyguard in All the King's Men.
32. Ralph Meeker Ralph Meeker Actor, Kiss Me Deadly Burly American character actor Ralph Meeker first acted on stage at his Alma mater, Northwestern University, alongside other budding performers Charlton Heston and Patricia Neal. He graduated as a music major, because his dean had discouraged him from pursuing a theatrical career. Ignoring that advice...
33. Pat McCormick Pat McCormick Actor, Smokey and the Bandit Veteran comic Pat McCormick was one of those second-tier funnymen whose careers enjoy great longevity on the stand-up and TV variety circuits but fall just short of making it to the all-stars. As a gag writer, however, he reigned supreme. Pat was born on June 30, 1927, in Lakewood, Ohio. Already a king-sized presence in high school...
34. Whit Bissell Whit Bissell Actor, The Magnificent Seven Whit Bissell came to Hollywood in the 1940s, and by the time he retired he had appeared in more than 200 movies and scores of TV series. He is best known for playing the evil scientist who turned Michael Landon into a half beast in the 1957 cult classic film I Was a Teenage Werewolf. Bissell specialized in playing doctors...
35. Brian Donlevy Brian Donlevy Actor, Beau Geste It seems that Brian Donlevy started out life as colorfully as any character he ever played on the stage or screen. He lied about his age (he was actually 14) in 1916 so he could join the army. When Gen. John J. Pershing sent American troops to invade Mexico in pursuit of Pancho Villa--Mexican rebels under Villa's command raided Columbus...
36. Harold Gould Harold Gould Actor, Patch Adams Harold Gould earned a Ph.D. in theatre and taught speech and drama at Cornell University. Pursuing some off-Broadway work in the 1950s, he decided to practice what he preached, and became a full-time professional actor in the 1960s. He has appeared in hundreds of TV shows since, usually playing a father, grandfather or other authority figure.
37. Jane Darwell Jane Darwell Actress, The Grapes of Wrath Missouri-born Jane Darwell was the daughter of a railroad president and grew up on a ranch in Missouri. She nursed ambitions to be an opera singer, but put it off because of her father's disapproval (she eventually changed her name to Darwell from the family name of Woodward so as not to "sully" the family name)...
38. Norma Shearer Norma Shearer Actress, The Divorcee She won a beauty contest at age fourteen. In 1920 her mother, Edith Shearer, took Norma and her sister Athole Shearer (Mrs. Howard Hawks) to New York. Ziegfeld rejected her for his "Follies," but she got work as an extra in several movies. She spent much money on eye doctor's services trying to correct her cross-eyed stare caused by a muscle weakness...
39. Hope Summers Hope Summers Actress, Rosemary's Baby Hope Summers could portray a friendly neighbor or companion as she did for Frances Bavier's Aunt Bee character on many episodes of The Andy Griffith Show or a seemingly amiable satanist in Rosemary's Baby. Born in Mattoon, Illinois, she developed an early interest in the theater. Graduating from Northwestern School of Speech in Evanston...
40. Otto Kruger Otto Kruger Actor, High Noon The grandnephew of South African pioneer and former president Paul Krüger, Otto Kruger trained for a musical career from childhood, but after enrolling in Columbia University he switched his career choice to acting. Making his Broadway debut in 1915, at 30, he shortly became a matinée idol of the day...
41. Edward Winter Edward Winter Actor, M*A*S*H
42. Peggy Ann Garner Peggy Ann Garner Actress, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Actress Peggy Ann Garner was was born Feb. 3, 1932, in Canton, Ohio. Her father was an English-born attorney, William H. Garner, who served as a U.S. Army officer during World War II. Virginia, her determined mother, got Peggy into summer stock and modeling before she was six. Estranged from her husband...
43. Virginia Bruce Virginia Bruce Actress, The Invisible Woman American leading lady of the 1930s and 1940s, Virginia Bruce was born in Minnesota but grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, and came to California to attend college. Her blond good looks got her an entry into films, and after a few extra roles and bit parts she began to make serious inroads as a leading woman in secondary films and as the "other" woman in more prestigious productions...
44. Robert Cummings Robert Cummings Actor, Dial M for Murder Effective light comedian of '30s and '40s films and '50s and '60s TV series, Robert Cummings was renowned for his eternally youthful looks (which he attributed to a strict vitamin and health-food diet). He was educated at Carnegie Tech and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Deciding that Broadway producers would be more interested in an upper-crust Englishman than a kid from Joplin...
45. Kent Smith Kent Smith Actor, Cat People He was one of Hollywood's more interesting curiosities. Kent Smith, by most standards, had the makings of a topflight 40s and 50s film star -- handsome; virile; personable; highly dedicated; equipped with a rich stage background; no slouch in the talent department. For some reason all these fine qualities...
46. Norman Fell Norman Fell Actor, Three's Company Norman Fell was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1924. He graduated from Temple University with a bachelor's degree in drama. During World War II, he was an Air Force tail gunner in the Pacific. After the war, he studied acting and obtained small parts in television and on stage. His first regular TV appearance was in the comedy series Joe & Mabel...
47. Shug Fisher Shug Fisher Actor, The Reivers This country singing-and-playing perennial earned the nickname of "Shug" early in life from his mother, who used to call him "sugar" as an infant. The native Oklahoman was born George Clinton Fisher in 1907, the son of a Scots-Irish father and part Choctaw mother. He learned how to play the mandolin...
48. Gail Kobe Gail Kobe Actress, The Ten Commandments During the 1950s and 1960s, she made dozens of guest appearances on such television programs as The Twilight Zone, Dr. Kildare, Felony Squad, Gunsmoke, Daniel Boone, and Mannix. She had a short role as Doris Schuster on Peyton Place. She also appeared on daytime's Bright Promise as Ann Boyd Jones (1970-1972)...
49. Julius Harris Julius Harris Actor, Live and Let Die Prior to breaking into films, Philadelphia native Julius Harris worked as a bouncer in New York City. It was due to his many associations with struggling actors, that on a dare, Harris auditioned for his first role, in the well-received picture Nothing But a Man, in which he played a father in the South, alongside Ivan Dixon and Abbey Lincoln...
50. Herb Edelman Herb Edelman Actor, The Odd Couple
1-50 of 1,016 names.