Character Actors - The Mortar Between the Bricks

by benhere | created - 17 Jun 2016 | updated - 2 weeks ago | Public

An ever growing list...

Not all of 'em, just the ones I know by face and name

1. Frank McHugh

Actor | All Through the Night

The parents of Frank McHugh ran their own stock company and he was on the stage as a child. When he was 10 he was part of an act that include his brother Matt McHugh and sister Kitty McHugh. After vaudeville and other stock companies, Frank debuted on Broadway "The Fall Guy" (1925). In 1930 he was ...

My #1. His laugh always makes me laugh

2. Joan Blondell

Actress | Grease

With blonde hair, big blue eyes and a big smile, Joan was usually cast as the wisecracking working girl who was the lead's best friend. Born into vaudeville to a comic named Eddie, Joan was on the stage when she was three years old. For years, she toured the circuit with her parents and joined a ...

Adorable 'saucer-eyed' wise-cracking dame.

3. Edward Everett Horton

Actor | Arsenic and Old Lace

It seemed like Edward Everett Horton appeared in just about every Hollywood comedy made in the 1930s. He was always the perfect counterpart to the great gentlemen and protagonists of the films. Horton was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to Isabella S. (Diack) and Edward Everett Horton, a ...

A true character actor - created one character and played it brilliantly throughout his career.

4. Marjorie Main

Actress | The Egg and I

Her father was a minister, and when she joined a local stock company as a youngster she changed her name to avoid embarrassing her family. She worked in vaudeville and debuted on Broadway in 1916. Her film debut was in A House Divided (1931). She repeated her stage role in Dead End (1937) as Baby ...

Played 'country' characters, even in the city.

5. Eric Blore

Actor | Top Hat

Born in London, Eric Blore came out of college and started his working life as an insurance agent. But while touring in Australia he took an interest in the stage and theater. He gave up his insurance job and turned to acting after returning to England. With his elfish long, straight nose, ...

One of my 2 favorite butlers.

6. Robert Greig

Actor | Animal Crackers

Robert Greig was born on December 27, 1879 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He was an actor, known for Animal Crackers (1930), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) and Sullivan's Travels (1941). He was married to Beatrice Denver Holloway. He died on June 27, 1958 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Played butlers and bureaucrats.

7. Al Bridge

Actor | Hail the Conquering Hero

American character actor, a fixture both in Westerns and in the comedies of Preston Sturges. Although frequently billed as "Alan" Bridge, he was born Alfred Morton Bridge in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1891 (not as "Alford" Bridge in 1890, as his tombstone erroneously states), he and his sister, ...

Part of the Preston Sturges stock company

8. Donald MacBride

Actor | The Seven Year Itch

Best known for his work in slapstick comedy and detective whodunits, character actor Donald MacBride lent his serious, craggy mug and determined professionalism to scores of 30s and 40s crimers. Born in Brooklyn, he first appeared on the vaudeville and Broadway stages as a teenage singer in such ...

9. William Demarest

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, William Demarest was a prolific actor in movies and TV, making more than 140 films. Demarest started his acting career in vaudeville and made his way to Broadway. His most famous role was in My Three Sons (1960), replacing a very sick William Frawley. Demarest was ...

Sharp-tongued sidekick or father.

10. Polly Moran

Actress | Show People

She was one rowdy, no-holds-barred entertainer. Comedienne Polly Moran was considered second only to perhaps Louise Fazenda as Mack Sennett's funniest lady during her silent-era heyday. Born in 1883, Polly was made for vaudeville, touring all over the world, notably Europe. Sennett snapped her up ...

Paired a lot with Marie Dressler. Got on my nerves.

11. Patsy Kelly

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

Patsy Kelly was born Bridget Sarah Veronica Rose Kelly on January 12, 1910, in Brooklyn, New York. She began performing in vaudeville when she was just twelve years old. Patsy worked with comedian Frank Fay and starred in several Broadway shows. She was discovered by producer Hal Roach who paired ...

Also got on my nerves.

12. Thomas Mitchell

Actor | Stagecoach

Thomas Mitchell was one of the great American character actors, whose credits read like a list of the greatest films of the 20th century: Lost Horizon (1937); Stagecoach (1939); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939); Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939); Gone with the Wind (1939); It's a Wonderful Life...

More than just a character actor

13. Mary Boland

Actress | The Women

Lively, buxom character actress Mary Boland made a name for herself playing vacuous or pixillated motherly types during the 1930's. One of her most memorable performances was as the addle-brained Mrs. Rimplegar of Three Cornered Moon (1933), who gives away her family fortune to a swindler because ...

14. John Qualen

Actor | Casablanca

One of the best and most familiar character actors of the first four decades of sound films, although few who knew his face also knew his name, John Qualen was born in Canada to Norwegian parents. His father was a minister. The family moved to the United States and Qualen (whose real name was ...

American born of Swedish stock. Played many 'yumpin' yiminy' roles.

15. S.Z. Sakall

Actor | Casablanca

Hungarian-born S.Z. Sakall was a veteran of German, Hungarian and British films when he left Europe because of the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement. In Hollywood from shortly after the outbreak of World War II, Sakall began appearing in comedies and musicals, often playing a lovable if ...

Cuddles

16. Andy Devine

Actor | Robin Hood

Rotund comic character actor of American films. Born Andrew Vabre Devine in Flagstaff, Arizona, the later-to-be Rotund comic character actor was raised in nearby Kingman, Arizona, the son of Irish-American hotel operator Thomas Devine and his wife Amy. Devine was an able athlete as a student and ...

17. Victor Kilian

Actor | Dr. Cyclops

American character actor of gruff demeanor who played in dozens of films through the Thirties and Forties. A native of New Jersey, he was a wagon driver for his father's laundry business before joining a vaudeville company. He played in stock and touring companies, then was cast in the Walter Huston...

18. Noah Beery Jr.

Actor | The Rockford Files

Familiar and well-liked character actor of very different persona than either his father, Noah Beery, or his uncle, Wallace Beery. He attended Harvard Military Academy but managed to make a number of appearances on film and on stage with his father before adulthood. At age 19, he began playing ...

19. Edward Arnold

Actor | Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Edward Arnold was born as Gunther Edward Arnold Schneider in 1890, on the Lower East Side of New York City, the son of German immigrants, Elizabeth (Ohse) and Carl Schneider. Arnold began his acting career on the New York stage and became a film actor in 1916. A burly man with a commanding style ...

20. Mischa Auer

Actor | My Man Godfrey

Mischa Auer, the American screen's supreme exponent of the "Mad Russian" stereotype so dear to Yankee hearts before and after World War II, was born Mischa Ounskowsky on November 17, 1905, in St. Petersburg, Russia, the grandson of violinist Leopold Auer, whose surname he took when he became a ...

21. Donald Meek

Actor | Stagecoach

One Hollywood stalwart whose screen incarnations more than lived up to his name was bald-domed character actor Donald Meek, forever typecast as mousy, timorous or browbeaten Casper Milquetoasts. He stood at 5 ft. 6 in. in his boots and weighed a mere 81 pounds. However, the little Glaswegian's ...

Played his name very well.

22. Spring Byington

Actress | You Can't Take It with You

The possessor of one of Hollywood's gentlest faces and warmest voices, and about as sweet as Tupelo honey both on-and-off camera, character actress Spring Byington was seldom called upon to play callous or unsympathetic (she did once play a half-crazed housekeeper in Dragonwyck (1946)). Although ...

Very adept at lovable goofballs.

23. Samuel S. Hinds

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

Samuel S. Hinds, a Harvard graduate, was a lawyer in Hollywood until the stock market crash of 1929, in which he lost most of his money. Hinds, who had an interest in theater acting, decided to embark on a career in acting, albeit it age 54. The tall, dignified-looking Hinds appeared in over 200 ...

24. Henry O'Neill

Actor | The Story of Louis Pasteur

Suave, well-mannered, silvery-haired character actor Henry O'Neill played top supports in hundreds of films, often as a benign, wise, sensible father, judge, doctor, executive or lawyer. Most of his uppercrust career was split between two studios: Warner Bros in the 1930s and MGM in the 1940s. ...

25. Henry Stephenson

Actor | Tomorrow at Seven

Stephenson was a firm, dignified, worldly presence in Hollywood's classic history-based films of the 30s and 40s. The tall British character actor Henry Stephenson could be both imposing and benevolent in his patrician portrayals, usually expounding words of wisdom or offering gentlemanly aid. He ...

26. Dewey Robinson

Actor | A Midsummer Night's Dream

Dewey Robinson was born on August 17, 1898 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. He was an actor, known for A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935), 6 Hours to Live (1932) and The Big Broadcast (1932). He was married to Louise Arlene Woolner. He died on December 11, 1950 in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.

27. C. Aubrey Smith

Actor | Rebecca

Movie roles are sometimes based upon what the audience expects to see. If the role called for the tall stereotypical Englishmen with the stiff upper lip and stern determination, that man would be C. Aubrey Smith, graduate of Cambridge University, a leading Freemason and a test cricketer for England...

Played every flavor of upper-crusty British gentleman.

28. Eduardo Ciannelli

Actor | Foreign Correspondent

Eduardo Ciannelli was born on the beautiful island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples, which is renowned for its thermal baths. His father, a physician, owned a health spa there and Eduardo briefly followed the same career path and studied medicine at the University of Naples, graduating as a fully ...

29. J. Carrol Naish

Actor | Sahara

One of the most versatile character actors in the business, Joseph Patrick Carrol Naish (pronounced Nash) was born of Irish descent in New York City. His illustrious ancestors hailed from county Limerick and were listed in Burke's Peerage. He had a Catholic education at St. Cecilia's Academy, but ...

30. 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 (1927). 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 ...

Part of Capra's stock company

31. Halliwell Hobbes

Actor | You Can't Take It with You

Born at Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford-on-Avon, Halliwell Hobbes could perhaps not aspire to anything else but to be an actor. He made his stage debut in 1898 playing Shakespearean repertory with the famous acting company of Sir Frank Benson throughout England. Among others he played opposite ...

Usually a butler, occasionally a politician.

32. Dub Taylor

Actor | The Wild Bunch

Dub Taylor was born on February 26, 1907 in Richmond, Virginia, USA as Walter Clarence Taylor II. He was an actor, known for The Wild Bunch (1969), The Getaway (1972) and Bonnie and Clyde (1967). He was married to Florence Gertrude Heffernan. He died on October 3, 1994 in Los Angeles, California, ...

33. Mary Forbes

Actress | You Can't Take It with You

Mary Forbes was born on January 1, 1883 in Hornsey, Middlesex [now in Haringey, London], England as Ethel Louise Young. She was an actress, known for You Can't Take It with You (1938), The Awful Truth (1937) and The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945). She was married to Wesley Wall, Charles Quatermaine ...

Very good at snobby matron roles.

34. Grady Sutton

Actor | Waikiki Wedding

Grady Sutton was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He arrived in California in 1924. He got his first break in Hollywood from director William A. Seiter who used him as an extra in The Mad Whirl (1925) starring May McAvoy. Grady remained a Hollywood staple for the next 55 years.

He specialized in ...

35. Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

The son of a minstrel and circus tightrope walker, Eddie Anderson developed a gravel voice early in life which would become his trademark to fame. He joined his older brother Cornelius as members of "The Three Black Aces" during his vaudeville years, singing for pennies in the hotel lobby. He ...

36. Leonid Kinskey

Actor | Casablanca

Leonid Kinskey, originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, performed across Europe and much of Latin America before his arrival in the United States. By 1932 he landed a small role as a radical in Ernst Lubitsch's comedy, Trouble in Paradise (1932). The next year he played an agitator in Duck Soup (...

37. Akim Tamiroff

Actor | Touch of Evil

Though born in Russia and having a Russian-sounding name, Akim Tamiroff is actually of Armenian descent. At 19 he decided to pursue acting as a career and was chosen from among 500 applicants to the Moscow Art Theater School. There he studied under the great Konstantin Stanislavski, and launched a ...

38. Dooley Wilson

Actor | Casablanca

"You must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh; the fundamental things apply, as time goes by...". . The gentleman who crooned this now legendary tune for the morose Humphrey Bogart and moist-eyed Ingrid Bergman at Rick's Cafe Americain amid the bleak WWII backdrop was none ...

39. Walter Brennan

Actor | To Have and Have Not

In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and ...

Versatile, but a putz in real life.

40. George Bancroft

Actor | Stagecoach

George Bancroft was raised in Philadelphia and attended high school at Tomes Institute (Philadelphia). He won an impressive appointment to the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis and graduated as a commissioned officer. He served in the Navy for the prescribed period of required service but no...

41. Berton Churchill

Actor | Stagecoach

Berton Churchill was born on December 9, 1876 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was an actor, known for Stagecoach (1939), The County Chairman (1935) and Sweethearts (1938). He was married to Harriet Gardner. He died on October 10, 1940 in New York City, New York, USA.

42. Ward Bond

Actor | The Quiet Man

Gruff, burly American character actor. Born in 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska (confirmed by Social Security records; sources stating 1905 or Denver, Colorado are in error.) Bond grew up in Denver, the son of a lumberyard worker. He attended the University of Southern California, where he got work as ...

43. Walter Connolly

Actor | It Happened One Night

The name may have been forgotten, especially today (seven decades later), but the portly, apoplectic, exasperated figure on the 1930s screen wasn't. While his film career, save a couple of silents, lasted a paltry seven years (1932-1939), character actor Walter Connolly certainly ran the distance. ...

44. Leo Carrillo

Actor | 20 Mule Team

Leo Carrillo was born on August 6, 1881 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He was an actor, known for 20 Mule Team (1940), The Guilty Generation (1931) and Manhattan Melodrama (1934). He was married to Edith Shakespear Haeselbarth. He died on September 10, 1961 in Santa Monica, California.

45. Charles Lane

Actor | The Music Man

Mean, miserly and miserable-looking, they didn't come packaged with a more annoying and irksome bow than Charles Lane. Glimpsing even a bent smile from this unending sourpuss was extremely rare, unless one perhaps caught him in a moment of insidious glee after carrying out one of his many nefarious...

46. Charles Halton

Actor | To Be or Not to Be

A respected stage actor -- he trained at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts -- since the 1920s, birdlike Charles Halton's thinning hair, rimless glasses and officious manner were familiar to generations of moviegoers. Whether playing the neighborhood busybody, a stern government bureaucrat or ...

47. Charles 'Chic' Sale

Actor | The Expert

Charles "Chic" Sale was primarily a stage comedian who, although he infrequently appeared on Broadway from 1902-30 and appeared in a handful of silent films, spent the majority of his career treading the boards of vaudeville as a comedian, usually in the persona of "Lem Putt," a carpenter from ...

48. Charles Sellon

Actor | Bright Eyes

Charles Sellon was born on August 24, 1870 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He was an actor, known for Bright Eyes (1934), Make Me a Star (1932) and Lovers' Lane (1924). He was married to Florence E. Willis. He died on June 26, 1937 in La Crescenta, California, USA.

49. Ruth Donnelly

Actress | Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Feisty, ebullient character comedienne who, for three decades, enlivened Hollywood films with her drollery and quick-fire repartee. The daughter of a newspaper editor and music critic, Ruth made her stage debut in the chorus of the touring production 'The Quaker Girl' in 1913. Four years later, she...

50. Billie Burke

Actress | The Wizard of Oz

Billie Burke was born Mary William Ethelbert Appleton Burke on August 7, 1885 in Washington, D.C. Her father was a circus clown, and as a child she toured the United States and Europe with the circus (before motion pictures and after the stage, circuses were the biggest form of entertainment in the...

51. Allen Jenkins

Actor | Tomorrow at Seven

Both of Allen Jenkins' parents were musical comedy performers, and he entered the theater as a stage mechanic after World War I, after having spent time working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Although his screen persona was that of a not-too-bright Brooklyn tough guy, Jenkins attended the American ...

Part of Warner Bros.' Irish gang

52. Walter Catlett

Actor | Bringing Up Baby

Walter Catlett carved out a career for himself playing excitable, officious blowhards, and few actors did it better. A San Francisco native, he started out in vaudeville - with a detour for a while in opera - before breaking into films in the mid-1920s. Two of his best remembered roles were as the ...

53. Hugh Herbert

Actor | Sh! The Octopus

Former stage actor and playwright - he wrote over 150 plays and vaudeville sketches - Hugh Herbert went in the early 30s to Hollywood as comedian. In the 30s he worked mostly for Warner, impersonating often eccentric millionaires, tycoons and dimwitted professors, in a few movies he collaborated on...

54. Al Shean

Actor | The Blue Bird

Al Shean was born on May 12, 1868 in Dornum, Lower Saxony, Germany as Abraham Elieser Adolph Schoenberg. He was an actor, known for The Blue Bird (1940), Live, Love and Learn (1937) and Ziegfeld Girl (1941). He was married to Johanna Davidson. He died on August 12, 1949 in New York City, New York, ...

55. Willie Fung

Actor | The Gay Falcon

Willie Fung was born on March 3, 1896 in Canton, China. He was an actor, known for The Gay Falcon (1941), Shanghai (1935) and 6,000 Enemies (1939). He died on April 16, 1945 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

56. Virginia Weidler

Actress | The Philadelphia Story

Delightful child/juvenile actress Virginia Weidler (her friends called her "Ginny") had that knowing gleam in her eye that usually spelled trouble in one form or another for anyone at arm's reach. Born in Eagle Rock, California in 1926, she was one of six children born to Alfred Weidler, an ...

57. Mary Nash

Actress | The Philadelphia Story

When her Hollywood career began in 1934, Mary Nash was already a veteran performer, having appeared in vaudeville and on Broadway. Following a brief appearance as a dancer in 1904, she joined Ethel Barrymore in a 1905 off- Broadway production, 'Alice-Sit-by-the-Fire'. This was followed by 'Captain ...

58. Cecil Cunningham

Actress | The Awful Truth

Cecil Cunningham was born on August 2, 1888 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Edna Cecil Cunningham. She was an actress, known for The Awful Truth (1937), Playboy of Paris (1930) and Cowboy Serenade (1942). She was married to Jean C. Havez. She died on April 17, 1959 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

59. George Chandler

Actor | The High and the Mighty

After military service during the First World War, Chandler studied at the University of Illinois, financing his studies by playing jazz violin in a band. During the early 1920's, he returned to the vaudeville circuit and began in films from 1928. Most of his early efforts were short one- and ...

342 film credits + 85 TV credits

60. Frank Albertson

Actor | Psycho

Frank Albertson entered the film industry in 1922 as a prop boy, but soon graduated into acting. He was a prolific and reliable character actor who occasionally played the lead in a "B" picture, but was used mainly as a supporting actor in scores of films, often cast as a wisecracking cab driver, a...

61. Wallace Ford

Actor | Freaks

A stocky, friendly-faced character actor, Ford was born Samuel Jones in England and his childhood rivaled the brutality that Charles Dickens ever dreamed up. He lived for a while in an orphanage after being separated from his parents. While still young, he was sent to a Toronto branch of the ...

62. Sara Allgood

Actress | How Green Was My Valley

Dublin-born Sara Allgood started her acting career in her native country with the famed Abbey Theatre. From there she traveled to the English stage, where she played for many years before making her film debut in 1918. Her warm, open Irish face meant that she spent a lot of time playing Irish ...

63. Margaret Wycherly

Actress | Sergeant York

Margaret Wycherly was born in London, England on October 26, 1881. She was predominately a stage actress, continuing stage work even after performing in films. Her first film role came when she appeared in The Fight (1915) at 34 years old. It was not until 1929 that audiences got another glimpse of...

Played the mother of both Sergeant York and Cody Jarrett.

64. Beryl Mercer

Actress | The Little Princess

Too short to be a leading lady, Beryl Mercer had a very active and productive career playing motherly characters. She had played opposite of great leading men like Colin Clive, Robert Montgomery, James Cagney, Gary Cooper, Leslie Howard, Spencer Tracy, and Randolph Scott. Beryl played Queen ...

65. Henry Armetta

Actor | Speed to Burn

Sicilian-born character actor who appeared in scores of American films, usually as an exuberant and demonstrative Italian. As a teenager in 1902, Armetta stowed away on a boat bound for New York. There he did menial jobs until landing a position as a valet and presser at the Lambs Club, the New ...

66. James Gleason

Actor | The Night of the Hunter

James Gleason was born in New York City to William Gleason and Mina Crolius, who were both in the theatre. He was married to Lucile Gleason (born Lucile Webster), and had a son, Russell Gleason. As a young man James fought in the Spanish-American War. After the war he joined the stock company at ...

67. William Gargan

Actor | The Story of Temple Drake

William Gargan was born on July 17, 1905 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as William Dennis Gargan. He was an actor, known for The Story of Temple Drake (1933), I Wake Up Screaming (1941) and The Line-Up (1934). He was married to Mary Kenny. He died on February 17, 1979 in San Diego, California, USA.

68. Edward Gargan

Actor | The Falcon's Brother

Edward Gargan was born on July 17, 1902 in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor, known for The Falcon's Brother (1942), The Falcon and the Co-eds (1943) and The Falcon in Danger (1943). He was married to Catherine Conlan. He died on February 19, 1964 in New York City.

69. Hank Worden

Actor | The Searchers

Raised on a cattle ranch in Montana. Educated at Stanford and the University of Nevada as an engineer. Washed out as an Army pilot. Toured the country in rodeos as a saddle bronc rider. Broke his neck in a horsefall in his 20s, but didn't know it until his 40s. Chosen along with Tex Ritter from a ...

70. Stanley Fields

Actor | Little Caesar

Stanley Fields was born on May 20, 1883 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA as Walter L. Agnew. He was an actor, known for Little Caesar (1931), Cimarron (1931) and Island of Lost Souls (1932). He was married to Alta Bailey. He died on April 23, 1941 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

71. Arthur Shields

Actor | The Quiet Man

Though not as well known as his nearly decade-older brother Barry Fitzgerald, Shields was a talented actor with well over twice the film roles in his career. Fitzgerald was already a well established player at the renowned Dublin Abbey Theater when Shields, also bitten by the acting bug, joined in ...

72. George K. Arthur

Actor | Chasing Rainbows

The son of a travelling salesman and a department store merchandise demonstrator, Arthur was obliged to fend for himself from an early age, selling newspapers and working at starvation wages for a condiment manufacturer. Although underage, he escaped from this life by joining the Bugle Corps at the...

73. Charles Arnt

Actor | Sudan

Charles Arnt was born on August 20, 1906 in Michigan City, Indiana, USA. He was an actor, known for Sudan (1945), Dangerous Intruder (1945) and The Great Gildersleeve (1942). He died on August 6, 1990 in Orcas Island, Washington, USA.

74. Roscoe Ates

Actor | Freaks

Roscoe Ates was born on January 20, 1895 in Grange, Mississippi, USA as Roscoe Blevel Ates. He was an actor, known for Freaks (1932), Politics (1931) and Inner Sanctum (1948). He was married to Beatrice Heisser, Barbara Ray and Clara C. Adrian. He died on March 1, 1962 in Hollywood, California, USA.

75. Cliff Edwards

Actor | His Girl Friday

Becoming popular with playing the ukulele, his unique singing and supplying the voice of animated movies, Cliff Edwards was one of the most popular singers in America.

Born in Hannibal, Missouri, Edwards left school at the age of 14, moved to St. Louis, and started to work as a singer in saloons. ...

Reliable, entertaining sidekick. Also Ukelele Ike. Also Jiminy Cricket.

76. Irving Bacon

Actor | Meet John Doe

A minor character actor who appeared in literally hundreds of films, actor Irving Bacon could always be counted on for expressing bug-eyed bewilderment or cautious frustration in small-town settings with his revolving door of friendly, servile parts - mailmen, milkmen, clerks, chauffeurs, cab ...

77. George Barbier

Actor | The Man Who Came to Dinner

Barbier was educated for the ministry before going to work on the stage. He appeared on Broadway in such successes as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "The Man Who Came Back," among others. He signed a contract with Paramount Pictures in 1929 and later worked as an actor for most of the major ...

78. Butterfly McQueen

Actress | Gone with the Wind

Thelma McQueen attended public school in Augusta, Georgia and graduated from high school in Long Island, New York. She studied dance with Katherine Dunham, Geoffrey Holder, and Janet Collins. She danced with the Venezuela Jones Negro Youth Group. The "Butterfly" stage name, which does describe her ...

79. Vince Barnett

Actor | Scarface

Former vaudevillian, who acquired a solid reputation as a practical joker and master of insult, second only to the great Groucho Marx. Celebrity hosts would often hire Vince to perform gags and put-on jokes at their lavish parties, where he would insult the guests and create mayhem in his wake. He ...

80. Zasu Pitts

Actress | Greed

Classic comedienne Zasu Pitts, of the timid, forlorn blue eyes and trademark woebegone vocal pattern and fidgety hands, was born to Rulandus and Nellie (Shay) Pitts, the third of four children on January 3, 1894. Her aged New York-native father, who lost a leg back in the Civil War era, had settled...

Dramatic silent actress, her voice moved her straight into comedy in talkies.

81. Florence Bates

Actress | Rebecca

The American character actress, Florence Rabe, was the daughter of an antique store owner. She gained a degree in Mathematics from the University of Texas in 1906 and went on to a career in teaching and social work. She changed course after being persuaded by a friend to study law, and, passing her...

82. Louise Beavers

Actress | Imitation of Life

1930s and 1940s film actress Louise Beavers was merely one of a dominant gallery of plus-sized and plus-talented African-American character actresses forced to endure blatant, discouraging and demeaning stereotypes during Depression-era and WWII Hollywood. It wasn't until Louise's triumphant role in...

Many many many maids.

83. Oskar Homolka

Actor | The Seven Year Itch

Because of his heavy generically "European" accent and Slavic-sounding surname (not an uncommon one among Czechs or Slovaks), many people assumed Oscar Homolka was Eastern European or Russian. In fact, he was born in Vienna (then Austria-Hungary), the multicultural capital of a large multi-ethnic ...

Uncle Chris.

84. Ellen Corby

Actress | The Waltons

Ellen Corby was born Ellen Hansen on June 3, 1911, in Racine, Wisconsin. She began her career as a bit player in the film Speed Limited (1935) in 1940. Ellen would not be seen on the big screen again until 1945 in Cornered (1945). In 1946, she appeared in 14 films, although mostly in small, minor ...

85. Charles C. Wilson

Actor | It Happened One Night

Charles C. Wilson was born on July 29, 1894 in New York City, New York, USA as Charles Cahill Wilson. He was an actor and director, known for It Happened One Night (1934), Blazing Across the Pecos (1948) and Week-End at the Waldorf (1945). He died on January 7, 1948 in Los Angeles County, ...

Cops, newspaper editors, office managers

86. William 'Billy' Benedict

Actor | Adventures of Captain Marvel

William Benedict was active in the drama department of his Tulsa, Oklahoma, high school and, at the height of the Depression (1934), decided to relocate to California. At first, he wanted to be a dancer, but when he discovered that dancers were a dime-a-dozen in Hollywood, he concentrated on acting...

87. Edward Brophy

Actor | The Whole Town's Talking

Edward S. Brophy was born on February 27, 1895 in New York City and educated at the University of Virginia. He became a bit and small-part in the movies starting in 1919, but switched to behind-the-scenes work for job security, though he continued appearing in small parts. While serving as a ...

88. Minna Gombell

Actress | The Thin Man

A doctor's daughter, the versatile actress Minna Gombell had a successful career on the stage from 1912 to the end of the 1920's, appearing often in comedic roles, almost always in leads. She had a reputation as a fast learner, capable of reading and comprehending a script in a matter of hours. This...

89. Erik Rhodes

Actor | Top Hat

With his slicked back hair and thin moustache Erik Rhodes arrived in Hollywood to recreate his stage role of Rudolfo Tonetti (which he had performed first on Broadway and then in London, 1932-1933) for the filming of The Gay Divorcee (1934), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Contrary to his ...

Born in Oklahoma but known for his comic Italian Lothario roles.

90. Helen Broderick

Actress | Swing Time

Helen Broderick was a deliciously funny character comedienne with vaudeville and stage experience, a close friend of Jeanne Eagels. The story goes that, at the age of 14, she ran away from home because her mother (who featured in operatic comedy) was totally obsessed by the theatre. Ironically, all...

Cynical but reliable best friend.

91. Eugene Pallette

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Gargantuan-bellied, frog-voiced character actor who was a staple in forties movies. After World War II his ultra-right-wing political views fuelled his 'bomb' paranoia and he bought a property in Oregon which he turned into a well-stocked compound in case the Russians attacked. Many of his old ...

The gravelliest voice ever.

92. Jean Dixon

Actress | My Man Godfrey

Connecticut-born Jean Dixon had an auspicious theatre debut: on a Parisian stage with Sarah Bernhardt while still a student at a French university. Upon her return to the U.S. in 1921, she made her Broadway debut, and thereafter appeared in many stage productions, on Broadway and across the country...

93. Alan Mowbray

Actor | Topper

Alan Mowbray, the American film actor who was one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild, was born Ernest Allen on August 18, 1896, in London, England, to a non-theatrical family. He served in the British army during World War I and received the Military Medal and the French Croix De ...

94. Alice White

Actress | Broadway Babies

This Hollywood High graduate began her career as a secretary and script girl, working for Josef von Sternberg and Charles Chaplin. A sexy and bubbly player, she was repeatedly miscast as a singer-dancer. She toured the vaudeville circuit after her career spluttered, returning to Hollywood only to ...

95. Bess Flowers

Actress | We Faw Down

Bess Flowers was born on November 23, 1898 in Sherman, Texas, USA. She was an actress, known for We Faw Down (1928), The Shadow (1937) and Song of the Thin Man (1947). She was married to Cullen Tate and William S. Holman. She died on July 28, 1984 in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA.

96. Russell Wade

Actor | The Body Snatcher

Russell Wade was born on June 21, 1917 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA. He was an actor, known for The Body Snatcher (1945), Shoot to Kill (1947) and Sundown Riders (1944). He was married to Janie. He died on December 9, 2006 in Riverside, California, USA.

97. Robert McWade

Actor | The Kennel Murder Case

Robert McWade was born on January 25, 1872 in Buffalo, New York, USA as Robert McWade Jr. He was an actor, known for The Kennel Murder Case (1933), The Big Cage (1933) and Cappy Ricks Returns (1935). He was married to Almina Lee. He died on January 19, 1938 in Culver City, California, USA.

98. Robert Emmett O'Connor

Actor | A Night at the Opera

Stalwart Irish-American character actor Robert Emmet O'Connor, who was born on March 18, 1885, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He made his bones performing in circuses and in vaudeville. He made his Broadway debut in the musical "Fritz in Tammany Hall" at the Herald Square Theatre on October 16, 1905, ...

Usually a cop.

99. May Robson

Actress | Bringing Up Baby

Born Mary Jeanette Robison. She was the youngest daughter of Henry Robison of Penrith, Cumberland, England and Julia Schelesinger of Liverpool, Lancashire, England. Her father died in 1860 and her mother remarried. In 1866/67 they were living in St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and moved ...

Played dames, dowagers, drunks, and grandmas.

100. May Whitty

Actress | Night Must Fall

Born Mary Whitty on June 19, 1865 to a Liverpool newspaper editor and his wife, she became known as May Whitty to the world.

She first stepped on the London stage in 1882. She worked as an understudy at the St. James Theatre, and then, began playing leading roles when she joined a traveling stock ...



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