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How do you remember them?


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Character actors are often described as being the faces you know, and the names you can't remember. Thankfully, many of us do now remember their names, but they are often endeared to us through the characters they play. For instance, whenever Irving Bacon comes on the screen, I think "There's Gus!" for Gus was the character he played in Holiday Inn (1942), my favorite movie. Following are several more examples of my illogical memory of character actors.

 

Erik Rhodes is likely to be "skuzee please", the fractured version of "excuse please" he keeps uttering in The Gay Divorcee (1935)

 

Allen Jenkins is "the garbage man" because of Ball of Fire (1941)

 

Louise Beavers is "Mamie", again because of Holiday Inn (1942)

 

The appearance of Felix Bressart in any film brings on a recital of the "Papa, and not Otchi Tchorniye" bit from The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

 

What comes to mind when you see one of those familiar faces?

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I know the faces but have never really known alot of these character actor's names I am just starting to learn about them .I can't tell you how many times I have seen movies and said "I know that guy or girl"and have been amazed at how many films they have been in .I think it is Guy kibee I might not have spelled this right but I see him now in alot of the classics and am now pleased that I know his name . Good thread !

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Frank Faylen was Dobie Gillis' dad on T.V. and I notice him in everything from comedies to war movies, to drama. He was the taxi driver in 'A Wonderful Life'. BTW did anyone ever notice the cop (Ward Bond) was Bert, and the taxi driver (Faylen) was Ernie?

 

Who gets the connection? Anyone?

 

Mrs l (formerly anne lindley)

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Hello, Currently Mrs I,

 

I'm a great fan of Frank Faylen, and although he was a wonderful 'Everyman,' I will forever think of him as the unsavory male nurse Bim in "The Lost Weekend." Based on his other performances, who would have believed he could play that part? He was even ickier than Milland's character.

 

 

Every character actor who is called upon to play insinuating villany should study Faylen in that film.

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To me, Allan Jenkins will always be the cranky stooge in a mob headed by Bogart.

 

Thelma Ritter will be the star's assistant who spits venom at you until you crack through her hard shell and realize there beats a very tender heart there.

 

Edward Arnold is always the evil millionaire controlling things.

 

If I get into an elevator, the operator will be Elisha Cook, Jr.

 

Joan Blondell will be the girl I notice in love with someone but he doesn't notice her attachment to him because he is stupidly in love with some rich dame playing him for laughs.

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Since my late husband had bad alcoholic tendencies, I've never been able to watch 'Lost Weekend' , someday I'll try.

 

Did you get the connection between the cop and rhe taxi driver?

 

BTW it's mrs L not I

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> I think we all get the connection. It's a bit of

> trivia that has long been around. : )

 

I'm too overmatched to try trivia very often, but if it is an old trivia item DID Jim Henson get the names from '. . . Wonderful Life'?

 

formerly, anne lindley

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> Did you get the connection between the cop and rhe

> taxi driver?

>

> BTW it's mrs L not I

 

I got it too, Mme. L, but as a former nursery school teacher, I'm just plumb Muppeted out.

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I just watched "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue" this weekend, and recognized a familiar face.

 

He was playing a longshoreman called "Midget" and it took me until the end credits to place a name to the face.

 

The name is Nick Dennis.

 

Although his performance was quite remarkable/memorable in this film, he will be forever to me known as the "VA-VA-VOOM" guy [that lovable car mechanic] from "Kiss Me Deadly".

 

I'll have to keep on the lookout for other films he is in. [Just checked his filmography on imdb - he's been in some interesting movies, in roles of varying sizes: "The Big Knife", "Too Late Blues", "A Streetcar Named Desire", to name a few.]

 

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wordmaster

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A lot of character actors ended up doing TV-that makes it a little easier to remember them...Recently spotted-Will Geer ("The Waltons") as Wyatt Earp in "Winchester '73" and Frank Cady (Sam Drucker on "Green Acres") as Jane Powell's Pop in "The Girl Most Likely." I've also been seeing a lot of John McGiver lately-in "Man's Favorite Sport?" and on an episode of "Bonanza" (wearing a toupee in both.) I'm also always excited to spot Victor Kilian-he ended up as "the Fernwood flasher" on "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman." He was another actor blacklisted in the '50's and was beaten to death in his Hollywood apartment in '79-by robbers...

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Victor Kilian. I've never seen him in a large part, but I can always recognize him by his voice (it kinda reminds me of Elvis). He plays Abe Lincoln in Virginia City where he pardons Errol Flynn for his war crime, and, most recently, I saw him in King of the Lumberjacks as a saloon-keeper with John Payne.

 

As far as associating actors with particular parts, Arthur Treacher always comes to mind as a butler; Franklin Pangborn is usually the easily-frustrated, snooty maitre d'/hotel manager; Earle Hodgins is the quintessential barker/spieler/sideshow pitchman; and Charles Lane (101 and counting) is the skinflint businessman/forecloser/taxman.

 

And, watching TV shows does help identify particular actors. Most notably for me here lately is Warren Oates. I've seen him battle Paladin, Josh Randall and the Barkleys on numerous occasions, and he even turns up as a wayward astronaut on Lost in Space.

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I just realized yesterday that Victor Kilian is the mustachioed policeman who nearly nabs Claudette Colbert for stealing artichokes in Tovarich (1937). I remember him mostly as the male nurse in This Gun for Hire (1942).

 

Morris Carnovsky, also in Tovarich as the bald and bearded representative of the Bank of France, is forever rooted in my memory as Papa Gershwin in Rhapsody in Blue (1945). He was terrific as the villain of Saigon (1948).

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I remember Victor Kilian as the bartender in "The Ox - Bow Incident "., Morris Carnovsky I always remember as Martinelli, the mobster - casino owner " in "Dead Reckoning", a so- - so Bogart vehicle.

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