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Your Favorite Film Of These Classic Character Actors And Actresses


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Here is the list, name your favorite film of each

1. Stuart Erwin

2. Eugene Pallette

3. Sig Ruman

4. Charles Winninger

5. Roland Young

6. Fay Bainter

7. Marjorie Bennett

8. Patricia Collinge

9. Gladys Cooper

10. Margaret Wycherly

Here's mine

 

1. Stuart Erwin-he was Oscar nominated as the yokel who becomes a college quarterback in Pigskin Parade (1936)

2. Eugene Pallette-he was always hilarious with his bullfrog voice and exasperated expressions. He was a running joke in the Abbott & Costello comedy It Ain't Hay (1942), constantly being fired from several jobs because of the duo.

3. Sig Ruman-I liked his Sgt. Schultz from Stalag 17 (1953), the Nazi guard who tries to play both sides of the fence

4. Charles Winninger-very likable as Cap'n Andy in Show Boat (1936)

5. Roland Young-very funny in the title role in Topper (1937), haunted by screwball ghosts Constance Bennett and Cary Grant

6. Fay Bainter-I liked her as the understanding mother of Young Tom Edison (1940)

7. Marjorie Bennett-she played Victor Buono's funny accented mom in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane (1962)

8. Patricia Collinge-great as the kind hearted but clueless sister of murderer Joseph Cotten in Shadow Of A Doubt (1943)

9. Gladys Cooper-very memorable as the nun who is so mean to Jennifer Jones in The Song Of Bernadette (1943)

10. Margaret Wycherly-unforgettable as the clinging, scheming mom to psycho gangster James Cagney in White Heat (1949)

 

 

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Stuart Erwin - Viva Villa (keep envisioning Lee Tracy in the same role - what a contrast)

Eugene Pallette - Adventures of Robin Hood

Sig Rumann - To Be Or Not To Be ("So they call me Concentration Camp Erhardt.")

Charles Winninger - Destry Rides Again

Roland Young - Topper

Fay Bainter - Jezebel

Marjorie Bennett - Recognize the face but can't think of any films

Patricia Collinge - Shadow of a Doubt

Gladys Cooper - Now Voyager

Margaret Wycherly - tie: Sergeant York, White Heat

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All were such experienced players adept at myriad characterizations that favorites are a bit pointless for me (not intending to poo-poo the thread by any means). Except one. Charlie Winninger's role of Captain Andy in SHOW BOAT is one of the theatrical immortals. From Broadway to touring to film to radio, Winninger WAS Captain Andy. And I have never seen another actor come close to matching the character's puckish enthusiasm and genuine emotion.

 

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Here are my selections.    

1. Stuart Erwin -  All American Chump (1936)

2. Eugene Pallette -   My Man Godfrey (1936) 

3. Sig Ruman -  - Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

4. Charles Winninger - Nothing Scared (1937)

5. Roland Young - Topper (1937)

6. Fay Bainter - The Lady and the Mob (1939)

7. Marjorie Bennett -  Sabrina - (1954)

8. Patricia Collinge - The Little Foxes (1941)

9. Gladys Cooper - Now, Voyager (1942)

10. Margaret Wycherly - Forever Amber (1947)

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Here are my selections:

Screen Shot 2022-07-25 at 7.48.59 AM

1. Stuart Erwin -- MAKE ME A STAR (1932) which I reviewed not long ago in the Neglected Films thread. 

2. Eugene Pallette -- too many to mention but recently I watched him to do a dramatic role in SILVER QUEEN (1942) which I felt was a nice change of pace for him. 

3. Sig Ruman -- not really a fan

4. Charles Winninger -- as the grandfather in SUNDAY DINNER FOR A SOLDIER (1944)

5. Roland Young -- TOPPER (1937) of course!

screen-shot-2017-05-02-at-8-07-40-pm.png

6. Fay Bainter -- THE WAR AGAINST MRS. HADLEY (1942) a sensational star turn for her.

7. Marjorie Bennett -- SABRINA (1954)

8. Patricia Collinge -- TERESA (1951)

Screen Shot 2022-09-13 at 6.26.19 AM

9. Gladys Cooper -- yesterday I watched BEWARE OF PITY (1946) and I felt she gave the best performance in a cast that included Lilli Palmer and Cedric Hardwicke.

10. Margaret Wycherly -- yesterday I also watched JOHNNY ANGEL (1945) and she has a boffo scene at the end where she saves George Raft's life. 

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I'll go along with Charles Winninger as Cap'n Andy in Show Boat and Faye Bainter as Aunt Belle Massey in Jezebel.  But it was fun seeing them as husband and wife Abel and Melissa Frake in the 1945 musical State Fair.   Patricia Coolinge was so good in both The Little Foxes (Oscar nod) and Shadow of a Doubt, I'm hard pressed to pick just one.

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34 minutes ago, filmnoirguy said:

Faye Bainter as Aunt Belle Massey in Jezebel.

Jezebel is likely my favorite Bainter-is-in-this-film selection,   but I selected The Lady and the Mob (1939),   because  Bainter is the lead in this film.   

The film is also the last one Ida Lupino made while under contact with Columbia,  before making a few films with other studios because signing her long term deal with Warner Bros.     Notice how the poster plays up that Bainter is an academy award winner.    Yea,  for her wonderful performance in Jezebel.

The Lady and the Mob - Wikipedia

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I realize that Edna May Oliver is off topic here, but since her name has now been brought up, I have to give a vote for her delivering one of my all time favourite character performances as Aunt Betsey in DAVID COPPERFIELD. If ever there was an endearing Dickensian eccentric (with a protective warmth at her core) this characterization is it.

David Copperfield (1935) Edna May Oliver | Trotwood, Edna, David

76 Edna May Oliver!!! ideas | edna, oliver, character actress

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Here are my ten:

Thelma Ritter - All About Eve, Rear Window

Chill Wills - The Harvey Girls, Giant, McClintock

John Carradine - Stage Coach, The Grapes of Wrath, Jesse James and so many more films

Fay Bainter - Jezebel, in which she won an Oscar,  The Children's Hour, The President's Lady

Donald Crisp - He won the Oscar he deserved for How Green Was My Valley, but he did great work in National Velvet, Jezebel, Wuthering Heights and so many more films.

Alan Hale, Sr. - Always noticed in tons of Warner Brother films like Of Human Bondage, The Adventures of Robinhood, Stella Dallas, Dodge City, The Sea Hawk (1940)

Joan Blondell - She was an incredible actress; not just in the 30's gangster films, but in other films where she showed her true acting skills; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Nightmare Alley (1947),  Footlight Parade,  and a small part in Grease.

Virginia Mayo - White Heat, The West Point Story, a very good singer and dancer, The Best Years  of Our Lives, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) and The Princess and the Pirate.

John Ireland, whose name always escapes me until I see him a film. - Red River, Spartacus, All the Kings Men, Gunfight at the OK Corral

Gloria Grahame - An Oscar winner in 1952 for The Bad and the Beautiful, she was always interesting to watch. My favorite role for her was Addo Annie in Oklahoma, she was so funny. I liked her in film noir, The Big Heat, classics like It's A Wonderful Life, and her performance in The Greatest Show on Earth doesn't go unnoticed.

 

 

 

 

 

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1. Stuart Erwin: The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941)

2. Eugene Pallette: The Lady Eve (1941)

3. Sig Ruman: The Saint in New York (1938)

4. Charles Winninger: She Wouldn't Say Yes (1945)

5. Roland Young: Topper Returns (1941)

6. Fay Bainter: The Heavenly Body (1944)

7. Marjorie Bennett: June Bride (1948)

8. Patricia Collinge: Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

9. Gladys Cooper: Rebecca (1940)

10. Margaret Wycherly: White Heat (1949)

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1. Stuart Erwin - After Office Hours

2. Eugene Pallette - My Man Godfrey

3. Sig Ruman - Ninotchka

4. Charles Winninger - Nothing Sacred

5. Roland Young - The Philadelphia Story

6. Fay Bainter - Woman of the Year

7. Marjorie Bennett - Sabrina

8. Patricia Collinge - Tender Comrade

9. Gladys Cooper - Tie between Rebecca & Now, Voyager

10. Margaret Wycherly - White Heat

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1. Stuart Erwin - Viva Viva (1934), in which he plays a character based on John Reed, about whom Warren Beatty later made the film Reds (1981).

2. Eugene Pallette - The Lady Eve (1941)

3. Sig Ruman -- A Night at the Opera (1935)

4. Charles Winninger -- The Sun Shines Bright (1953) -- great performance in an overlooked film. (John Ford's favorite of his own films). For comedy, my favorite Winninger film is Every Day's a Holiday (1937). For musical, of course Show Boat (1936).

5. Roland Young -- Topper Returns (1941)

6. Fay Bainter -- The War Against Mrs. Hadley (1942)

7. Marjorie Bennett -- Dressed to Kill (1946) -- a small role, but she plays it so well.

8. Patricia Collinge -- The Little Foxes (1941)

9. Gladys Cooper -- Forever and a Day (1941) -- With one heartbreaking scene, she steals this film. Second place Cooper performance would be as Sophie Patourel in Green Dolphin Street (1947).

10. Margaret Wycherly -- Sergeant York (1941), though I also love her in the small role of Mrs. Deventer in Random Harvest (1942).

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Charles Butterworth, Mae West, Charles Winninger in Every Day's a Holiday (1937)

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On 9/14/2022 at 10:38 AM, Oneeyeopen said:

Here are my ten:

Thelma Ritter - All About Eve, Rear Window

Chill Wills - The Harvey Girls, Giant, McClintock

John Carradine - Stage Coach, The Grapes of Wrath, Jesse James and so many more films

Fay Bainter - Jezebel, in which she won an Oscar,  The Children's Hour, The President's Lady

Donald Crisp - He won the Oscar he deserved for How Green Was My Valley, but he did great work in National Velvet, Jezebel, Wuthering Heights and so many more films.

Alan Hale, Sr. - Always noticed in tons of Warner Brother films like Of Human Bondage, The Adventures of Robinhood, Stella Dallas, Dodge City, The Sea Hawk (1940)

Joan Blondell - She was an incredible actress; not just in the 30's gangster films, but in other films where she showed her true acting skills; A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Nightmare Alley (1947),  Footlight Parade,  and a small part in Grease.

Virginia Mayo - White Heat, The West Point Story, a very good singer and dancer, The Best Years  of Our Lives, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) and The Princess and the Pirate.

John Ireland, whose name always escapes me until I see him a film. - Red River, Spartacus, All the Kings Men, Gunfight at the OK Corral

Gloria Grahame - An Oscar winner in 1952 for The Bad and the Beautiful, she was always interesting to watch. My favorite role for her was Addo Annie in Oklahoma, she was so funny. I liked her in film noir, The Big Heat, classics like It's A Wonderful Life, and her performance in The Greatest Show on Earth doesn't go unnoticed.

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite Gloria Grahame performance:  as Irene Neves in Sudden Fear (1952, same year she won her supporting Oscar).  Also liked her in 1954's Human Desire and 1950's In a Lonely Place.

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1 hour ago, filmnoirguy said:

My favorite Gloria Grahame performance:  as Irene Neves in Sudden Fear (1952, same year she won her supporting Oscar).  Also liked her in 1954's Human Desire and 1950's In a Lonely Place.

Just curious,  but do you view Gloria Grahame as a "character actor"?      She was very early in her career (It's A Wonderful Life,   Song of the Thin Man,  Crossfire),  but she was the primary female lead in most of the 50s films she was in. 

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1 hour ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

Just curious,  but do you view Gloria Grahame as a "character actor"?      She was very early in her career (It's A Wonderful Life,   Song of the Thin Man,  Crossfire),  but she was the primary female lead in most of the 50s films she was in. 

Yes, I do think of Grahame as a "character actor."  However, I'm of the opinion that a character actor can be supporting or at times, the lead in a movie as Grahame was in 1954's Human Desire.   1952 was a great year for her supporting roles in The Bad and the Beautiful, Sudden Fear and The Greatest Show on Earth.  Likewise with one of my favorite male character actors, Clifton Webb.  He received 2 supporting Oscar nods in the 1940s for Laura and The Razor's Edge, plus a lead actor nod for Sitting Pretty.  After which, all of his roles seemed to be as lead actor.  Yet, I still regard him as a "character actor."  My favorite character actor, Thelma Ritter, was a supporting actress in virtually all of her roles with two exceptions in 1951:  She was one of the three leads with her name above the title in The Model and the Marriage Broker (and I do think she had more screen time than Jeanne Crain) and as Monty Woolley's co-star in As Young As You Feel.

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2 hours ago, filmnoirguy said:

Yes, I do think of Grahame as a "character actor."  However, I'm of the opinion that a character actor can be supporting or at times, the lead in a movie as Grahame was in 1954's Human Desire.   1952 was a great year for her supporting roles in The Bad and the Beautiful, Sudden Fear and The Greatest Show on Earth.  Likewise with one of my favorite male character actors, Clifton Webb.  He received 2 supporting Oscar nods in the 1940s for Laura and The Razor's Edge, plus a lead actor nod for Sitting Pretty.  After which, all of his roles seemed to be as lead actor.  Yet, I still regard him as a "character actor."  My favorite character actor, Thelma Ritter, was a supporting actress in virtually all of her roles with two exceptions in 1951:  She was one of the three leads with her name above the title in The Model and the Marriage Broker (and I do think she had more screen time than Jeanne Crain) and as Monty Woolley's co-star in As Young As You Feel.

Solid points about Grahame;  Now on Sudden Fear I would define Grahame as a secondary-lead but I'm sure Joan defined her as a character\supporting actor.     

I try not to use the term "character actor" since,  I have found how people define it is all over the map;   I just like Lead,  secondary-lead,  or supporting.    E.g.  Gone with the Wind;   Gable and Leigh are the leads,    Howard and Dehaviland are the secondary-leads and every other actor is supporting.

Thus when I see someone saying character actor I assume they are just saying supporting actor and I need to remind myself not to assume,  which is why I asked.

Of course even the most well  known actors (E.g.  Bogie,   Davis),  were supporting actors  (typically at the start or end of their career).

To understand how you define character actor;  can you name a few actors you believe are not character actors? 

 

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1 hour ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

Solid points about Grahame;  Now on Sudden Fear I would define Grahame as a secondary-lead but I'm sure Joan defined her as a character\supporting actor.     

I try not to use the term "character actor" since,  I have round  how people define it is all over the map;   I just like Lead,  secondary-lead,  or supporting.    E.g.  Gone with the Wind;   Gable and Leigh are the leads,    Howard and Dehaviland are the secondary-leads and every other actor is supporting.

Thus when I see someone saying character actor I assume they are just saying supporting actor and I need to remind myself not to assume,  which is why I asked.

Of course even the most well  known actors (E.g.  Bogie,   Davis),  were supporting actors  (typically at the start or end of their career).

To understand how you define character actor;  can you name a few actors you believe are not character actors? 

 

That sounds like a new Thread!  Why don't you start one?

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1 hour ago, filmnoirguy said:

That sounds like a new Thread!  Why don't you start one?

I believe there is already one related to;  what is  the difference between a character actor and a supporting actor.

If I find it I'll add a post to it so it shows up "on top".

 

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