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Jack Warden


mrroberts
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Inspired by the response to my little Keenan Wynn thread another actor I'd like to throw out for discussion is Jack Warden. Like Wynn, Warden was a excellent supporting/character actor who had a long career playing many kinds of roles and a ton of credits to his name. Early on he had small roles (but to me always noticeable) and then graduated to more substantial parts.  He was quite active in films well into his late 70's.  Warden is the kind of actor that always gets my attention without "overacting" and yet  he  can stand tall right along side  the biggest name stars.  He did a lot of tv work in the fifties and sixties but then stayed mostly in films later. I can remember first seeing him in the short lived tv series THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY  , he had a costarring role with Gary Collins. Then my father would point Warden  out to me in the many film roles he did. Good actors like him mean so much to the enjoyment of any film.

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Inspired by the response to my little Keenan Wynn thread another actor I'd like to throw out for discussion is Jack Warden. Like Wynn, Warden was a excellent supporting/character actor who had a long career playing many kinds of roles and a ton of credits to his name. Early on he had small roles (but to me always noticeable) and then graduated to more substantial parts.  He was quite active in films well into his late 70's.  Warden is the kind of actor that always gets my attention without "overacting" and yet  he  can stand tall right along side  the biggest name stars.  He did a lot of tv work in the fifties and sixties but then stayed mostly in films later. I can remember first seeing him in the short lived tv series THE WACKIEST SHIP IN THE ARMY  , he had a costarring role with Gary Collins. Then my father would point Warden  out to me in the many film roles he did. Good actors like him mean so much to the enjoyment of any film.

 

I know about Warden mostly from his later films,  like the two he did with Warren Beatty;  Shampoo and Heaven Can Wait and even his last movie, The Replacements.   I had seen 12 Angry Men but really didn't connect that this was the same guy.    It looks like his early T.V. career kind of derailed his movie one,  until the 70s,  but he was in a lot of movies until that final one in 2000.

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As I believe you and I are close in age Mr.R, I too first became of aware of Jack Warden while watching "The Wackiest Ship in the Army" television program as a kid myself. And just as in your case, I remember immediately forging a lifelong appreciation of his work from then on out.

 

Truly a gifted actor who I would occasionally use later on to gauge if a newly released film might be worth going to see if he might have been included in the cast.

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Jack Warden had a lengthy acting career, much of his early work in television.

 

Two of the key Warden character roles for me were both relatively early in his career: a downright mean, contemptible role as a racist longshoreman in Edge of the City, bullying John Cassavetes and getting into that memorable fight with hook picks with Sidney Poitier; and, of course, as the juror more concerned with getting to a ball game on time than justice in Twelve Angry Men.

 

Both performances were vivid and utterly convincing. There was always a touch of the street about Warden. He didn't have the looks of standard leading men (though there would be others of similarly everyman appearances like Gene Hackman who would find stardom), but his character support always added credibility to his multitude of acting assignments.

 

17923-201451_zps272535ad.gif

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Jack Warden had a lengthy acting career, much of his early work in television.

 

Two of the key Warden character roles for me were both relatively early in his career: a downright mean, contemptible role as a racist longshoreman in Edge of the City, bullying John Cassavetes and getting into that memorable fight with hook picks with Sidney Poitier; and, of course, as the juror more concerned with getting to a ball game on time than justice in Twelve Angry Men.

 

Both performances were vivid and utterly convincing. There was always a touch of the street about Warden. He didn't have the looks of standard leading men (though there would be others of similarly everyman appearances like Gene Hackman who would find stardom), but his character support always added credibility to his multitude of acting assignments.

 

17923-201451_zps272535ad.gif

he woulda been a good choice to play oscar madison. :)

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