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Do You Know Me?


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Another quickie:

 

I started in silents, and worked steadily through the decades in film and television. I'm one of those supporting actors whose face you recognize but may not be able to put a name to. I hope I was never as dumb in real life as I appeared on the screen. I kept my private life very private, as was necessary for some of us in classic Hollywood. Some of my dearest friends were Hollywood VIPs and I appeared in many of their movies.

 

I appeared in films, mostly comedies, but dramas as well, with the industry's leading stars and comedians. I made many commercials, co-starred in TV sitcoms, appeared as a guest star on many other TV shows, and was even in a film with Elvis.

 

Who am I?

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> are you....Jackie Coogan?

 

No - I was young when I made my first film, but not a child.

 

In almost all my movies I played characters who were rather passive, and not too bright. Most of them could hardly be called city boys, even in an urban setting.

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> "> You are Sterling Holloway.

>

> No, but you are in the right casting call."

>

>

> Are you Ann Doran?

>

> Dan N.

 

No, I am male, and I am quite tall. Here's a hint:

 

I was in a full-length feature with Laurel & Hardy, and late in my career I was in a movie with Audrey Hepburn directed by a very close friend. In both films, my character wore a morning coat.

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> > "> You are Sterling Holloway.

> >

> > No, but you are in the right casting call."

> >

> >

> > Are you Ann Doran?

> >

> > Dan N.

>

> No, I am male, and I am quite tall. Here's a hint:

>

> I was in a full-length feature with Laurel & Hardy,

> and late in my career I was in a movie with Audrey

> Hepburn directed by a very close friend. In both

> films, my character wore a morning coat.

 

How do you define "quite tall". In another thread, you used a similar reference to describe Tony Perkins and Buddy Ebsen. I wouldn't describe either of these fellows as quite tall. But then, I have a friend who is 4' 11" and she thinks I am quite tall at 6' 2". However to me, quite tall is 6' 6" and above. :-)

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I'm short, too. Anyone over 5'10" looks very tall to me, but this gentleman was, I believe, over 6', and noticeably tall next to his co-stars. However, that isn't really his most salient feature - I just threw that in as a sort of identifier to help you picture him. It was part of his persona - tall, awkward, bumpkinish, not quite the same as the wraithlike Sterling Holloway.

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Happy Winter Solstice, everyone. I can't stay on long, so I"m giving you one more hint:

 

One of my dearest friend was an esteemed director, and I appeared in supporting roles in many of his films, generally as comic relief. However, in one of his most renowned films, which starred one of the world's great singer/actresses, I got to play against type. In a brief and uncredited bit, I played a pushy Hollywood columnist who had nothing funny about him.

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> I'm so confused! ;-) Walter Matthau?

 

 

No, much older than Matthau. Now, how can I give a clue without giving it away completely?

 

In one movie, I danced with an awkward Katharine Hepburn, and in another, I was Una Merkel's boyfriend, with a funny name.

 

On TV I co-starred in two short-lived sitcoms with two different, very different, blondes. One was sweet-voiced, and one was more frog-voiced, especially her laugh.

 

I never lost my "Volunteer" accent.

 

For gosh sakes, y'all, who am I?

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Oh me, oh my. I think my fellow Trivians are being a trifle too analytical, and missing an obvious answer. This man was in countless movies, very often uncredited, but always recognizable. He was in several W.C. Fields films, and reportedly Fields often instisted on his being there, especially in "The Bank Dick."

 

And, I apologize, but I made an error in an earlier description. The star in question did not co-star with the sweet-voiced blonde in a sitcom, but rather in 2 movies.

 

This man was very popular. So, what have we got so far:

 

Very long career

Tall country bumpkin type, but could play dignified as well

Tennessee accent ("Volunteer" - get it?)

Mostly comic supporting roles

Frequent appearances on television, including as a regular on a failed sitcom

Movies with Elvis and with one of America's most talented singer/actresses

 

Maybe this will help:

 

I often played nerdy types who were left at the altar. For instance, I was the wrong man at a wedding in a Laurel and Hardy movie, and I was the jilted groom of Carole Lombard in one of her most popular movies.

 

Don't you know me?

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> Now how in the heck did I miss Grady Sutton?!?

 

 

Phew -- finally. I had a feeling you all might be kicking yourselves when you realized who it was. He was one of Hollywood's great "old reliables," and made many a movie a lot funnier than it might have been, just because he was in it. Og Oggilby, indeed.

 

Gotta put another photo of him on the Gallery.

 

How about one from you, MM?

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> > Now how in the heck did I miss Grady Sutton?!?

>

>

> Phew -- finally. I had a feeling you all might be

> kicking yourselves when you realized who it was. He

> was one of Hollywood's great "old reliables," and

> made many a movie a lot funnier than it might have

> been, just because he was in it. Og Oggilby,

> indeed.

>

> Gotta put another photo of him on the Gallery.

>

> How about one from you, MM?

 

It was the Una Merkel reference that gave it away for me. She is one of my favorites and made a ton of movies. But, the boyfriend with the odd name immediately brought Og Oggilby to mind.

 

If no one else has one, I will chime in later. Hopefully, with one that is a little harder this time. For the moment I am knee deep in alligators.

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You are:

 

Harriet Hoctor.

 

HH danced with Fred Astaire in "Shall We Dance" (1937). She had previously appeared on Broadway in "Simple Simon" (1930) with Ruth Etting, and in "Show Girl" (1929) with Ruby Keeler.

 

HH also appeared in THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936), which won the Oscar as Best Picture.

 

Dan N.

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I got lucky with the Harriet Hoctor thing. But I must tell you, I am absolutely in awe at the expertise of some of you on this board.

 

Time after time, I'll see a trivia question posted that I'll think: Aw, NOBODY is going to guess that! And time after time, I am proved wrong. You guys are great!

 

Which is my little way of explaining WHY, for this trivia question, I am going to withhold all but the barest clues. If I gave you any more than this, you'd come up with the answer in a heartbeat.

 

Do you know me?

 

I only appeared in a few films, but I was the writer of many movies.

 

Giants of literature have called me "America's Greatest Poet." Who am I?

 

Dan N.

 

http://www.silentfilmguide.com

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