Sign in to follow this  
TopBilled

Classic Character Actors

853 posts in this topic

*Beulah Bondi* is the best. I think, in many ways, she personifies what was so grand about the classic films. The most moving moment on ANY award show that I've ever seen was when Ms. Bondi won an Emmy as Best Actress for an episode of The Waltons. The ovation she received -- I think she was 86 at the time -- was amazing!

 

It would be very difficult for me to pick out my favorite Beulah Bondi performance. But her role in The Trail of the Lonesome Pine would certainly be near the top of the list, as would the wicked Beulah Bondi in The Shepherd of the Hills.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Two of my favorites are Burgess Meredith and Gene Hackman. NOBODY has better acting resume's than these two.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is the difference between a character actor and a supporting actor? Since there isn't a category for character actors at the academy awards, and to my knowledge there has never been such a category, is character actor a true category or is it just used to describe a type of supporting actor? Also, can a charactor actor be the lead actor of a film, or are they typecast as character actors aka supporting actors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me a character actor is someone who plays anything other than a traditional ingenue or hero, which is probably too broad, but that's the only way I can think of it. But by my definition, a character actor can be a lead in a movie, yes indeed. Just like Ward Bond is the main character in WAGON MASTER.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I pretty much agree with your definition of a character actor. It is usually someone who cannot carry a film because they lack sex appeal and the physical good looks that cause young movie patrons to buy tickets. It may be a star who was very attractive back in the day but no longer holds that distinction.

 

Charles Coburn is a good example of a character actor that was allowed to take top billing in several films of the mid-1940s.

 

When we do see a character actor top-billed, it is likely to be in a B-film, not an A-budget release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beulah won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. It was for her special appearance as Martha Corinne on The Waltons in the episode entitled 'The Pony Cart' which was broadcast in late 1976. She received the award in 1977 at the age of 88. She died three years later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Much as I love Jane Darwell and her award-winning performance in The Grapes of Wrath, I wish Beulah Bondi had played Ma Joad. She wanted the role and would have been perfect.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Much as I love Jane Darwell and her award-winning performance in The Grapes of Wrath, I wish Beulah Bondi had played Ma Joad. She wanted the role and would have been perfect.

 

I think Darwell knows how to nail rural types and I do like her performance very much in this film, but I agree that the part should've gone to Beulah.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images38.jpg

*Cedric Hardwicke*

 

To Jimmy Lydon in TOM BROWN'S SCHOOL DAYS:

 

I believe you, Brown, because you are your father's son and because a liar would have told a more plausible story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The rules seem to be different for British actors and actresses. Glynis Johns is another one.

 

Things really change in Hollywood at the end of the classic studio era. I watched FATSO which aired recently on FMC. Dom DeLuise has above-the-title billing, ahead of Anne Bancroft. It's a character-driven piece, but he's the star of it, and it's not necessarily a low-budget film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images-215.jpg

*Una Merkel*

 

To Eleanor Powell in BORN TO DANCE:

 

Say, whoever gave _you_ the gong ought to be hit over the head with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images-216.jpg

*Guy Kibbee*

 

To Alice Brady in JOY OF LIVING:

 

I've been drinking over 40 years, and I haven't acquired the habit yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OHMSS69 wrote: "Two of my favorites are Burgess Meredith and Gene Hackman. NOBODY has better acting resume's than these two."

 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

While I certainly agree that both of these gentlemen were great actors(Hackman especially being on the top of my list of favorites the last three or four decades), I'm not so sure that either gentleman could be categorized as a "Character Actor"...especially considering that Hackman in particular "starred" and usually got top billing in films until his fairly recent retirement.

 

 

(...a retirement, as maybe you can tell, I was sorry to hear about)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree. I don't see Hackman as a character actor. As for Burgess Meredith, he began as a leading actor in film, and after the blacklist era, he returned to do mostly character roles.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Burgess Meredith* had an incredible career in theater, including classics and modern plays. I had some dealings with him around 1996/7. He was so kind, did me a big professional favor and followed up with a very sweet personal favor. I thought he should have won the Oscar for The Day of the Locust.

 

I've never liked Hackman much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images42.jpg

*Mary Gordon*

 

To Pat O'Brien in THE IRISH IN US:

 

Pat, did you ever see your father, drunk or sober, go out of that door without kissing me goodbye?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images-218.jpg

*George 'Gabby' Hayes*

 

In TRAIL STREET:

 

Larkin, you're gonna get thirty days for that killing. Then we're gonna hang you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images44.jpg

*Esther Dale*

 

To Claudette Colbert in PRIVATE WORLDS:

 

In the old days we fed our patients well and dosed them on castor oil.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images-311.jpg

*Arthur Treacher*

 

To John Harrington in STEP LIVELY JEEVES:

 

One's tie is to one's suit what one's wine is to one's dinner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images-220.jpg

*Margaret Hamilton*

 

To Wallace Beery in STABLEMATES:

 

I look the same, wet or dry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}

> *Margaret Hamilton*

>

> To Wallace Beery in STABLEMATES:

>

> I look the same, wet or dry.

 

 

Of course a year later in THE WIZARD OF OZ she'd prove that not to be true at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Of course a year later in THE WIZARD OF OZ she'd prove that not to be true at all.

 

Clever!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images-315.jpg

*H.B. Warner*

 

To Gary Cooper in MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN:

 

In the opinion of this court, you are not only sane, you're the sanest man who ever walked into this courtroom.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

images-63.jpg

*Lucile Watson*

 

To Carole Lombard in MADE FOR EACH OTHER:

 

I wasn't always a bitter old woman...I wasn't always a pest and a nuisance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us