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Character actors SOTM April 2017

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I assume we will find out next week sometime who will be featured as Star of the Month on TCM in April. It's been a while since we've had a group SOTM. It would be nice to see a bunch of character actors and actresses honored for a change.

 

I wouldn't even mind seeing someone who was popular in the 80s, though I think a lot of people who frequent our message boards wouldn't care for it. If they ever did (correction: when they ever do) an 80s star, it would be fun to see them pick an actress like Sally Field, Sissy Spacek or Jessica Lange; or an actor like Michael Douglas, Nick Nolte or Robin Williams. Think of all the great films that could be shown! 

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I assume we will find out next week sometime who will be featured as Star of the Month on TCM in April. It's been a while since we've had a group SOTM. It would be nice to see a bunch of character actors and actresses honored for a change.

 

I wouldn't even mind seeing someone who was popular in the 80s, though I think a lot of people who frequent our message boards wouldn't care for it. If they ever did (correction: when they ever do) an 80s star, it would be fun to see them pick an actress like Sally Field, Sissy Spacek or Jessica Lange; or an actor like Michael Douglas, Nick Nolte or Robin Williams. Think of all the great films that could be shown! 

 

April is the perfect month for a bunch of character actors to be honored as part of SOTM.

 

Call it April Fools - SOTM:  While these actors may not be 'stars' they were key to the industry and here are some of the films that wouldn't be the same without these actors.

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April is the perfect month for a bunch of character actors to be honored as part of SOTM.

 

Call it April Fools - SOTM:  While these actors may not be 'stars' they were key to the industry and here are some of the films that wouldn't be the same without these actors.

 

I like your idea. They deserve to be celebrated. I don't know why TCM continues to neglect honoring them--maybe because there are so many great ones, and how can you possibly narrow down the selections...?

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I like your idea. They deserve to be celebrated. I don't know why TCM continues to neglect honoring them--maybe because there are so many great ones, and how can you possibly narrow down the selections...?

 

I believe the overall reason is what you have stated before;  That TCM is very star driven.   This is a very common marketing business model.     E.g. the NFL;   while each team has over 80 players only a handful are used for marketing purposes.  

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I believe the overall reason is what you have stated before;  That TCM is very star driven.   This is a very common marketing business model.     E.g. the NFL;   while each team has over 80 players only a handful are used for marketing purposes.  

 

Yes, we've discussed this before in other threads. TCM really pushes the "star" thing. But we have seen some exceptions-- like Charles Coburn, Mary Boland and Thelma Ritter getting Summer Under the Stars days. So I would imagine TCM does consider some character actors and actresses as having 'star quality.'

 

I would also think that a month honoring these people could be marketed in a way that viewers would appreciate.

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FYC: Edna May Oliver for SOTM.

 

She would be a great one to include with other character actors and actresses. They could air all her Hildegarde Withers films in order during primetime. Fans would enjoy it.

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How about Lee J. Cobb for April?

 

He's a good actor and would certainly work for a Summer Under the Stars day. Not sure if they consider him enough of a household name to get a month-long tribute. Another one, similar in style, is Charles Bickford. Of course, we all know Bickford replaced Cobb on TV's long-running western series The Virginian.

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I just found out the April 2017 schedule information is now available.

 

The Star of the Month is (drum roll)...Character Actors-- Tuesdays and Thursdays all month long.

 

I'm renaming the thread to reflect this.

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Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-13%2Bat%2B12.25.

I'm guessing on a few of these, but it looks like they'll be honoring:

 

Tuesday April 4

Guy Kibbee / Edward Everett Horton / Walter Connolly / Adolphe Menjou

 

Thursday April 6

May Robson / Zasu Pitts/ W.C. Fields / Helen Broderick / Edgar Buchanan

 

Tuesday April 11

Charles Coburn / Eugene Pallette / Jack Benny / Fay Bainter / Jack Carson

 

Thursday April 13

Charles Winninger / Roland Young / Nigel Bruce (?) / Alexander Knox / Don Ameche (?)

 

Tuesday April 18

Alan Hale Sr. / Frank Morgan / Charles Bickford / Edward Arnold

 

Thursday April 20

Alice Pearce / Mary Wickes / Marjorie Main / Thelma Ritter / Paul Stewart

 

Tuesday April 25

Thomas Mitchell / Victor Moore / Walter Brennan / S.Z. Sakall / Jimmy Durante

 

Thursday April 27

Leslie Nielsen / Eve Arden / Patsy Kelly / Judy Holliday / Hugh Herbert

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-13%2Bat%2B12.22.

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Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-13%2Bat%2B12.25.

I'm guessing on a few of these, but it looks like they'll be honoring:

 

Tuesday April 4

Guy Kibbee / Edward Everett Horton / Walter Connolly / Adolphe Menjou

 

Thursday April 6

May Robson / Zasu Pitts/ W.C. Fields / Helen Broderick / Edgar Buchanan

 

Tuesday April 11

Charles Coburn / Eugene Pallette / Jack Benny / Fay Bainter / Jack Carson

 

Thursday April 13

Charles Winninger / Roland Young / Nigel Bruce (?) / Alexander Knox / Don Ameche (?)

 

Tuesday April 18

Alan Hale Sr. / Frank Morgan / Charles Bickford / Edward Arnold

 

Thursday April 20

Alice Pearce / Mary Wickes / Marjorie Main / Thelma Ritter / Paul Stewart

 

Tuesday April 25

Thomas Mitchell / Victor Moore / Walter Brennan / S.Z. Sakall / Jimmy Durante

 

Thursday April 27

Leslie Nielsen / Eve Arden / Patsy Kelly / Judy Holliday / Hugh Herbert

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-13%2Bat%2B12.22.

Thanks, TopBilled. This is great news. I'm so glad to learn they're featuring the great character actors on Tuesdays and Thursdays in April 2017.  The names you've provided certainly merit being honored.  In the ladies category, it's wonderful to see the names Alice Pearce, Mary Wickes, Marjorie Main, Zasu Pitts, and of course the indomitable Eve Arden.  No list could be complete without "The Lady Eve".  She's the female Walter Brennan.  I'm so glad that TCM listens and responds to suggestions from their viewers.  I'm thrilled and look forward to watching the movies TCM has chosen featuring these character actor greats.  Thanks again for bringing this to my attention.

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Thanks, TopBilled. This is great news. I'm so glad to learn they're featuring the great character actors on Tuesdays and Thursdays in April 2017.  The names you've provided certainly merit being honored.  In the ladies category, it's wonderful to see the names Alice Pearce, Mary Wickes, Marjorie Main, Zasu Pitts, and of course the indomitable Eve Arden.  No list could be complete without "The Lady Eve".  She's the female Walter Brennan.  I'm so glad that TCM listens and responds to suggestions from their viewers.  I'm thrilled and look forward to watching the movies TCM has chosen featuring these character actor greats.  Thanks again for bringing this to my attention.

Yes, character actors of this calibre were often so instrumental to a film's success.

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This might be Robert Osborne's last column, on character actors (originally published in the April 2017 issue of Now Playing): http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/1302451%7C0/Character-Actors-Tuesdays-Thursdays-in-April.html.

 

He shares, quite warmly, the story of how character actress Jane Darwell is largely responsible for giving Osborne his start in Hollywood.

 

I also loved this line from the column: "Many a film has limped along, enjoyable but less than awesome, until a door opens and in saunters Eve Arden--looking chic but somewhat bored, and soon saying something brittle, wise and very funny."

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This might be Robert Osborne's last column, on character actors (originally published in the April 2017 issue of Now Playing): http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/1302451%7C0/Character-Actors-Tuesdays-Thursdays-in-April.html.

 

He shares, quite warmly, the story of how character actress Jane Darwell is largely responsible for giving Osborne his start in Hollywood.

 

I also loved this line from the column: "Many a film has limped along, enjoyable but less than awesome, until a door opens and in saunters Eve Arden--looking chic but somewhat bored, and soon saying something brittle, wise and very funny."

 

That's great. Thanks for providing the link. I see all the ones featured are listed. We guessed earlier in the thread, but wasn't sure if we had them all correctly identified. Of course, some of the films being shown have more than one character actor/actress.

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Robert's article was a really nice tribute to the great character actors. There are so many.  I'm very glad TCM is doing this and honoring them.  When I think of Jane Darwell, I remember her sensitive portrait in THE GRAPES OF WRATH and her cold, callous b**** in THE OXBOW INCIDENT - polar opposite.  Great actress.

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I like the star of the month for April on TCM. It finally gives the unseen character actors their time to shine, even if they are not leading star material. You will be able to get a kick out of them.

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I remember Mary Wickes, who is on the list for star of the month, she became a well-known tv actor in the 1980s and 1990s. I remember she was in the recent movies such as Sister Act (1992) and Sister Act 2 (1993), Little Women (1994), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996). She played a gargoyle in that film. 

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I like Edward Everett Horton when he was the narrator for the Fractured Fairy Tales segment from the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons. I am glad that he is part of the character actors for the star of the month in April.

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Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-13%2Bat%2B12.25.

I'm guessing on a few of these, but it looks like they'll be honoring:

 

Tuesday April 4

Guy Kibbee / Edward Everett Horton / Walter Connolly / Adolphe Menjou

 

Thursday April 6

May Robson / Zasu Pitts/ W.C. Fields / Helen Broderick / Edgar Buchanan

 

Tuesday April 11

Charles Coburn / Eugene Pallette / Jack Benny / Fay Bainter / Jack Carson

 

Thursday April 13

Charles Winninger / Roland Young / Nigel Bruce (?) / Alexander Knox / Don Ameche (?)

 

Tuesday April 18

Alan Hale Sr. / Frank Morgan / Charles Bickford / Edward Arnold

 

Thursday April 20

Alice Pearce / Mary Wickes / Marjorie Main / Thelma Ritter / Paul Stewart

 

Tuesday April 25

Thomas Mitchell / Victor Moore / Walter Brennan / S.Z. Sakall / Jimmy Durante

 

Thursday April 27

Leslie Nielsen / Eve Arden / Patsy Kelly / Judy Holliday / Hugh Herbert

 

Screen%2Bshot%2B2017-01-13%2Bat%2B12.22.

I like just about all of these folks. The Ameche choice seems odd as I see him as a star. I am a big fan of his.

So many of them are favorites and I enjoy Edgar Buchanan, Roland Young, Jack Carson, Arden and Ritter.

 

I really love Joseph Calleia, Charles Ruggles, Aline McMahon, Ned Sparks, Allen Jenkins. Also, would Paul Douglas be considered a character actor? I think he was great!   

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I like just about all of these folks. The Ameche choice seems odd as I see him as a star. I am a big fan of his.

So many of them are favorites and I enjoy Edgar Buchanan, Roland Young, Jack Carson, Arden and Ritter.

 

I really love Joseph Calleia, Charles Ruggles, Aline McMahon, Ned Sparks, Allen Jenkins. Also, would Paul Douglas be considered a character actor? I think he was great!   

 

Paul Douglas is someone I'd consider a character actor though he had leads and second leads in quality films. 

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I was really happy that TCM decided to honor character actors as this month's SOTM. I must say that I am disappointed in the movies that they have chosen as representative of the actors' work. In just about every instance, I can think a of film that gives the actors more screen time and a better script than the films that have been chosen. It's like the person who programmed this went out their way to pick what I consider to be the "wrong" movies. You want to see these actors in movies where they SHINE. I say this as someone who is not an expert but who has been watching TCM for a number of years. I know all these character actors and I know the movies that made me love them. And I do love them. Hope TCM will do this again next year with a better line-up of movies.

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I was really happy that TCM decided to honor character actors as this month's SOTM. I must say that I am disappointed in the movies that they have chosen as representative of the actors' work. In just about every instance, I can think a of film that gives the actors more screen time and a better script than the films that have been chosen. It's like the person who programmed this went out their way to pick what I consider to be the "wrong" movies. You want to see these actors in movies where they SHINE. I say this as someone who is not an expert but who has been watching TCM for a number of years. I know all these character actors and I know the movies that made me love them. And I do love them. Hope TCM will do this again next year with a better line-up of movies.

 

Good comment. I agree. The films that feature the spotlighted performers at their best are the ones to show. Otherwise, what's the point?

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I find it disappointing that the GREAT Thomas Mitchell is given such short-shrift by being passed over again and again for the singular spot of SOTM! Although I could make the argument that several of these "character" actors who are included in this month's salute are so much more than... well, Character Actors, there is no question that Thomas Mitchell is a bona fide STAR!!! In the year 1939 ( the year many film scholars consider Hollywood's greatest) he appeared in five  major films, three of which were nominated for Best Picture. In that same year he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Doc Boone in John Ford's iconic film, "Stagecoach". Mitchell is among a very small group (roughly less than a dozen) of actors who have won the triple crown of acting- Oscar, Tony, and Emmy. He worked in every medium and across all genres. His roles were major, and although supporting other actors he often stole the scenes in which he appeared. He handled the comedic and the dramatic with equal aplomb. Yes, he played "characters", but like Walter Brennan he never became a cliche or stereotype. His performances were very nuanced, his film work prolific. Let's give him his due- I nominate Thomas Mitchell for STAR of the Month!!!!! 

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