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CaveGirl

Unheralded Actors Who Deserve Our Admiration

74 posts in this topic

I will start with one of my favorites that only the esteemed members of this forum would probably know.

William "Billy" Benedict! I have loved him since birth. My birth, not his!

I can hardly remember a time when I was watching a movie that Billy did not seem to just show up accidentally, and make the whole film seem more real. Born in Tulsa, in 1917, Billy migrated to California hoping to become a dancer, but when he was offered roles in films starting in 1935, he took to it and just never stopped, working in over 307 movies in his career.

Okay, so he was not the lead or even the support to the lead, but he always brings a smile to one's face, with his shock of blonde hair, his half opened eyes, his air of complete innocence and sincerity. Looking like a pre-teen for eons, his career credits consisted of roles always followed by the word "boy" in parts like Newsboy, Telegraph Boy, Singing Telegraph Boy, Cabin Boy, Office Boy, Copy Boy, Delivery Boy, Elevator Boy, Bellhop, Caddy, Soda Jerk and so on.

Finally at an advanced age, Billy finally achieved the right to be called a man in parts and was assigned roles like Ice Cream Man, and Hotel Desk Clerk, which required more maturity than he had previously needed in serials or work at Monogram, with the likes of the Bowery Boys and others. Billy died in 1999, at the age of 83 and ended up playing many parts on tv shows, where he finally even got to play parts classified as "old man" yet he still retained that youthful innocence of his early days. I was always happy to see him in anything and it was a serendipitous moment every time I saw his face in any film or tv show. One of his last most significant parts was as a Roulette Dealer in "The Sting" with Redford and Newman, who obviously knew a good thing when they saw it, and he brought joy to that film as he did to all the others.
 

Billy is buried at Forest Lawn under a tombstone which mentions he was "Beloved by Son, Brother, Uncle, Actor and Friend" and it also mentions he was "Adored by All" which I can believe. I saw some had left flowers on the site for Billy, so maybe I am not his only fan which makes me happy, that others also appreciated his talents at being just an average human being in films.

Share your tribute to your favorite unheralded actor here with us.

P.S. If the name really does not ring a bell, just do a search on Google for Billy Benedict, and I'm sure all will come clear...

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My, my, you are amazingly prolific as a top starter my hat is off to you! What planet are you smoking in that cave of yours, BTW?

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Back on topic I'll go with Frank Wolff

2qUVVnW.jpg

From total crap to iconic films. I liked him in:

America America (1963), Villa Rides (1968), The Great Silence (1968), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), not so good.....

When Women Had Tails (1970) and its follow up When Women Lost Their Tails (1972)

 

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46 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

My, my, you are amazingly prolific as a top starter my hat is off to you! What planet are you smoking in that cave of yours, BTW?

As a child, I used to enjoy opening the cedar closet and sniffing the naphthalene in moth balls, but no illicit substances are allowed in the cave, except for banned in Boston movies, Cigar Joe.

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35 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Back on topic I'll go with Frank Wolff

2qUVVnW.jpg

From total crap to iconic films. I liked him in:

America America (1963), Villa Rides (1968), The Great Silence (1968), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), not so good.....

When Women Had Tails (1970) and its follow up When Women Lost Their Tails (1972)

 

Now that is an exemplary choice!

The more famous films we've all seen probably yet how many people actually know his name and face, but I shall get out my copies of "The Wasp Woman" and "Beast from Haunted Cave" tonight, just to catch his earlier roles too. Thanks, CJ!

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28 minutes ago, CaveGirl said:

Now that is an exemplary choice!

The more famous films we've all seen probably yet how many people actually know his name and face, but I shall get out my copies of "The Wasp Woman" and "Beast from Haunted Cave" tonight, just to catch his earlier roles too. Thanks, CJ!

Wow..... you have copies of The Wasp Woman and Beast from the Haunted Cave?

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5 minutes ago, cigarjoe said:

Wow..... you have copies of The Wasp Woman and Beast from the Haunted Cave?

Doesn't everyone?

Just like toothpaste, some Guinness and Fritos...all homes should contain both movies.

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Just now, CaveGirl said:

Doesn't everyone?
 

I know I do.

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How could I possibly forget William "Billy" Benedict, I mean he was in one of the greatest film serials of all time, "Adventures of Captain Marvel", right along with Tom Tyler. 

CaptainMarvel48.JPG

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Someone I'd probably nominate for the honor of Unheralded Actor Who Deserves Our Admiration is Oskar Homolka. Always a dependable on-screen presence. I don't think I've ever seen him give a subpar performance, even in a subpar movie!

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3 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I know I do.

I also have a copy of The Wasp Woman

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8 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I also have a copy of The Wasp Woman

****, I've never seen it, lol, did you first see these on TV, or were attracted to the box cover, is it in some Monster Film set?

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Actually, one could pick one out of ANY number of all the great "character actors" we've mentioned many times in these forums.  Or maybe even ALL of them!  ;)

Sepiatone

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5 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

****, I've never seen it, lol, did you first see these on TV, or were attracted to the box cover, is it in some Monster Film set?

The Wasp Woman is a fun kind of 'rainy day' movie and in some circles, a cult classic.  I try and catch it every time is shows up on TCM.  Unless you're a cosmetic company mogul, it may not be your cup of tea!  ?

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16 hours ago, MaryGH said:

How could I possibly forget William "Billy" Benedict, I mean he was in one of the greatest film serials of all time, "Adventures of Captain Marvel", right along with Tom Tyler. 

CaptainMarvel48.JPG

Right on, Mary and thanks for the cute pic!

Billy always looked like he should have been the illegitimate son of Dan Duryea to me. Unfortunately they were probably too close in age for this to be possible, but Billy looked so much younger.

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15 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Someone I'd probably nominate for the honor of Unheralded Actor Who Deserves Our Admiration is Oskar Homolka. Always a dependable on-screen presence. I don't think I've ever seen him give a subpar performance, even in a subpar movie!

You win the Gold Ring for that one, TB! What an excellent choice. As a child, good old Oskar kind of scared me, he was so stern, but then I saw him in "I Remember Mama" and he was so endearing and amusing as Uncle Chris, I no longer was frightened. A great actor and good in all films as you say. Thanks for participating!

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14 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I also have a copy of The Wasp Woman

Now you've done it, bringing up that Susan Cabot film!

Talk about life imitating art. What a bizarre maelstrom of freakazoidish tendencies in her life. First she's in the film where she is partaking of the queen wasp jelly to stay young and then later in life, she has the baby, Timothy who is getting the drugs for growth hormone replacement from I think the pituitaries of cadavers and wasn't there something about her stealing some of his medicine for herself? Years of physical and mental abuse by her cause him to murder her, and then the lies about his parentage come out, where people thought his father was Christopher Jones but it really was King Hussein. And guess who has an autographed photo of King Hussein? Well, me! Now I had a friend who was my aunt's hair stylist who had a business of sending stars their photos and asking for signatures. He had scads of 8 x 10 glossies, but wasn't always sure who was in the pictures. My fun aunt told him I was a big movie fan and could probably identify some of them. So we meet, and he would give me stacks of pictures and wanted to pay me, but I said no, so he said I could just keep any I wanted. Then one day he says, here is a gift from me to you. A signed photo of King Hussein. Now at the time, I had to kind of pretend I was really thrilled being that I'd rather have had a signed photo of Grant Williams, but I acted happy. Now though, due to the bizarre Susan Cabot story, I am kind of thinking this photo is kind of unique. Well, I'm blaming this long post on you mentioning "The Wasp Woman". For shame...tsk tsk!

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6 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

****, I've never seen it, lol, did you first see these on TV, or were attracted to the box cover, is it in some Monster Film set?

Cigar Joe, you have never seen "The Wasp Woman"???

This is simply shocking and completely unacceptable.

You didn't ask me but yes, I first saw it on tv, but if I'd only seen the box cover that would have attracted me too, or even just the title. THE WASP WOMAN!!!!! Who could resist buying such a film.

Sorry for the interruption.

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3 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Actually, one could pick one out of ANY number of all the great "character actors" we've mentioned many times in these forums.  Or maybe even ALL of them!  ;)

Sepiatone

Well, not so fast, Sepia. You being smart and an avid film fan probably are thinking of many great character actors, but that in itself means that they are already a bit acclaimed, in film circles.

I'm looking for the mostly unacclaimed, who toil on day by day for us, but never got much appreciation by the masses or even film fans. That's why I dig Billy Benedict. TB's, Homolka is a bit more well known, but still not always mentioned even by the cognescenti in films. I'm sure with your acumen you can come up with at least one person in films, who's not that well known but always is a joy to see and that you alone maybe recognize.


I'm waiting with bated breath, Sepia...

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51 minutes ago, midwestan said:

The Wasp Woman is a fun kind of 'rainy day' movie and in some circles, a cult classic.  I try and catch it every time is shows up on TCM.  Unless you're a cosmetic company mogul, it may not be your cup of tea!  ?

You are so right to catch it every time it shows up on tv or TCM, Midwestan!

A cult classic it is, and for those not into cosmetic company scientific developments, they should be ashamed at this gap in their knowledge, and watch it if only to catch up to the rest of society in appreciating  all the fab info gleaned from watching "The Wasp Woman". Then they can move on to read Roald Dahl's story "Royal Jelly" and expand their consciousness. Thanks for your astute post!

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7 hours ago, cigarjoe said:

****, I've never seen it, lol, did you first see these on TV, or were attracted to the box cover, is it in some Monster Film set?

I first saw it on TCM. I then got the DVD after seeing it really cheap at one of the used DVD stores I frequent. 

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7 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I first saw it on TCM. I then got the DVD after seeing it really cheap at one of the used DVD stores I frequent. 

My copy was included in a box set. However, for your hardcore Wasp Woman fans, the fine folks at Scream Factory have a collector's edition blu-ray due out this October.

WaspWoman.BR.Cover.72dpi.png

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8 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

My copy was included in a box set. However, for your hardcore Wasp Woman fans, the fine folks at Scream Factory have a collector's edition blu-ray due out this October.

WaspWoman.BR.Cover.72dpi.png

GREAT POSTER ART!

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10 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

My copy was included in a box set. However, for your hardcore Wasp Woman fans, the fine folks at Scream Factory have a collector's edition blu-ray due out this October.

WaspWoman.BR.Cover.72dpi.png

Yay! I bet deep down that soon to be ravished guy is really excited to be with the Wasp Woman. Just like they say in France, La Petite Mort is worth the time and trouble and if this guy's seen "In the Realm of the Senses" he already knows what he is in for...just look at all the smiles on those male skeleton skulls in the pile!

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In keeping with the "Monster" thread  you started I would suggest Richard Carlson. Maybe he did get some acclaim of which I'm not aware that would disqualify him, but he wasn't a big star as far as I know. 

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