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"In the Spotlight"


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Scenes from "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn"

 

Peggy with Dorothy McGuire & Ted Donaldson

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Peggy with Ted Donaldson & Joan Blondell

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Peggy with Dorothy McGuire

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Peggy with Oscar winner James Dunn as Johnny Nolan

 

Message was edited by: mongo

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Hi Mongo, Thanks for posting the lovely photo of Peggy Ann Garner after winning her special Oscar. She looks very pretty and happy in the pic. Peggy Ann was marvelous as Francie in A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Her scenes with James Dunn were especially moving. In Name Only is a favorite film of mine, and I watched this movie during the holidays.

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In the Spotlight: CHARLES COBURN

 

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Charles Douville Coburn, the cigar-smoking, monocled, swag-bellied character actor known for his Old South manners and charm was born on June 19, 1877 in Savannah, Georgia, the son of Scots-Irish Americans.

 

He started out doing odd jobs at the local theater, handing out programs, ushering, being the doorman. By the age of 17 or 18, he was the theater manager. He later moved on to acting and made his debut on Broadway in 1901. Coburn formed an acting company with Ivah Wills in 1905 and they married in 1906.

In addition to managing the company, the couple performed frequently on Broadway. After his wife's death in 1937, Coburn relocated to Los Angeles, California and began acting in films.

 

His notable film credits include "Of Human Hearts", "Vivacious Lady", "Bachelor Mother", "Made for Each Other", "In Name Only" as Cary Grant's father, "The Lady Eve", "Kings Row", "In This Our Life", "The Constant Nymph", "Heaven Can Wait", "Wilson", "A Royal Scandal" with Tallulah, Hitchcock's "The Paradine Case", "B.F.'s Daughter", "Everybody Does It", and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" with Mailyn Monroe and Jane Russell.

He usually played comedic parts, but "Kings Row", "In This Our Life" and "Wilson" were dramatic parts, showing his versatility.

 

Coburn won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "The More the Merrier" opposite Jean Arthur, in 1943. He was also nominated for "The Devil and Miss Jones" again with Miss Arthur, in 1941 and "The Green Years" in 1946, in which he was hilarious as a rascal.

 

In the 1940s, Coburn served as vice-president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a right-wing group opposed to Communists in Hollywood. His leadership of the Hollywood blacklist of anyone with any connection to Communism, supported by such luminaries as John Wayne, Hedda Hopper, Adolphe Menjou, Ward Bond, Robert Taylor, Ronald Reagan and Ginger Rogers, to name a few, led to a myriad of talented actors, writers and directors being driven out of Hollywood and deprived of their livelihood.

 

He married two times. His first wife was Ivah Wills Coburn from 1906 thru 1937 (her death). She was an American actress and theatrical producer. In 1959, Coburn married Winifred Natzka, who was forty-one years his junior and the former wife of Oscar Natzka, an opera singer.

He was one of the few Hollywood actors who actually lived on Hollywood Blvd.

His famous monocle was no affectation, but actually corrected an eye deficiency. "No point having two window panes where one will do," was always his explanation.

 

He appeared in his last role, in a stage production of "You Can't Take It with You", in Indianapolis, Indiana, a week before his death. Coburn, who visited Georgia throughout his adult life, bequeathed his collection of theatrical papers and photographs to the University of Georgia's Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

 

The gent died from a heart attack on August 30, 1961 (aged 84) at Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City. His ashes were scattered in Georgia, Massachusetts, and New York.

 

Coburn has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to motion pictures.

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Hi Mongo, You have a knack for selecting the most interesting actors to profile. Two of my favorite Charles Coburn performances 1939 was James Stewart`s stingy boss in Made For Each Other, and Cary Grant`s father In Name Only. It was worth the wait for Charles to tell Cary`s greedy wife Kay Francis where she could go at the finale. I also enjoyed his performance as Father Burke in Trouble Along The Way 1953. This movie is not a typical John Wayne film, but it is very entertaining. In order to keep St Anthony`s College open, Charles recruits former football coach John Wayne to reorganize the poorly equipped and ineffective football team. Father Burke and Coach Wayne differ in their methods of improving the team.

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