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,The Best Character Actors?

Discussion of the actors, directors and film-makers who 'made it all happen'

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Garbomaniac
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby Garbomaniac » June 12th, 2009, 5:13 pm

I have The Sivler Cord. I taped it off AMC years ago. I hardly watch it though. It is a great film, but pretty depressing. It is as close to a reality film back then as you can get: over-protective, domineering mother, children trying to break away, and STRESS! Laura is excellent. Two other great ladies capable of both comedy and drama are Alice Brady and Billie Burke. Love all three of those gals!

And, MAN! I forgot about James Gregory. He is one in a million. He always adds depth and presence to any role he is given, and it always helps make the project a success.

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Birdy
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby Birdy » June 13th, 2009, 1:00 pm

I'm not sure where I can get 'THe Silver Chord', I'll have to look around.
b

Ollie
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby Ollie » January 21st, 2010, 6:50 pm

(I'm going to resurrect this thread as part of J. Carrol Naish's birthday tribute, thanks to Mongo's included pix over on CANDIDS.)

I counted up 51 of his films and TV shows that we have on our shelves. Then I discovered we have 71 with Nestor Paiva!

Honestly, I could not argue that either would make my 'favorite supporting/character actor' lists, but I'm scratching my head thinking, "Who cares? What about Most Frequently Cast? Isn't that worth something?"

To them, yes.

I'd probably list Franklin Pangborn as one of my favorite supporting actors, just because I notice him in so many favorite (and often, excellent) films. But we've only got 21 of his pieces on DVD. I was going thru his early work and I was counting, "5, 10, 11 - wow, I didn't know he was in so many Torchy films! Wait - uh - I didn't know there WERE that many Torchy Blaine films!"

Gulp. There aren't. This is another character called "Torchy" in the early '30s Shorts. But Franklin's in those.

Did Franklin receive his Ph.D in Hotel Management? I think so. He must have done 50 of his 200+ roles as a desk clerk. The original Basil Fawlty, too - he could have ALWAYS run those desks much better without any pest-customers!

Allen Jenkins appears in 48 of our shelves' entries.

I don't know that I'd want more of Nestor's or Naish's films necessarily. I would, however, grab up most every Pangborn and Jenkins film. Those guys made a living off of that 1-character career, but I'm not sure that criticism couldn't be applied to almost every actor.

Darn... sure wish Hollis was around to type in a new entry. I hope he's chuckling, though.

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JackFavell
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby JackFavell » January 21st, 2010, 7:37 pm

Ollie,

I remember looking through a movie book I had when I was a kid, one that was filled with photo after photo from different movies. I counted who had the most index listings - it was Spencer Charters, hands down....I didn't even know what he looked like, but I was impressed with the numbers.

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Oh, and guess who else was on the page where I found good old Spencer's picture?

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The movie? Arsenic and Old Lace.

Ollie
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby Ollie » January 21st, 2010, 7:51 pm

Wendy, you're right - Spencer Charters had a relatively brief career (ending with his death in 1943, and 1944's release of ARSENIC & OLD LACE was his last credit). He's got so many "uncredited" roles but they almost all have names to them - that's pretty good. I wonder how much those characters received. $100 a film? $200? $50? I mean, they couldn't have received a lot for a single page or two of dialog, or maybe 3-minutes of film-footage.

But they worked constantly. Spencer didn't last into TV, even, and Charles Lane and so many others were piled up 50 or 100 TV roles.

I've been impressed with SH! THE OCTOPUS (1937 with Hugh Herbert and Allen Jenkins) and CRIME BY NIGHT (1944 with Jerome Cowan) because these were starring vehicles for those actors, and they carried them off wonderfully. "Stars? We don' need no steenkin' stars-!" Of course, Jerome had Jane Wyman with him but, still, put him in a Lead Role with her, and he does a great job in a fun film.

I know Hollywood's formula for success is Stars Mean BoxOffice Profits. Fine. But finding some of these never-before-seen-by-me gems is a bigger treat than Cary Grant or Errol Flynn.

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JackFavell
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby JackFavell » January 21st, 2010, 8:15 pm

I would have to agree, Ollie...

There have been times when TCM was running in the background, and I heard Pat Flaherty's voice. I have been known to leap out of my chair, run into the living room screaming, "IT'S PAT FLAHERTY!" only to find that his role is almost over. I mentally chalk up another notch in Pat's belt.... feeling kind of good that he was in this or that classic. The last one was Treasure of the Sierra Madre. My husband and daughter were amazed to see me zoom past them to the TV.... all the time telling them to look at the guy standing at the bar, who warns the boys about Barton MacLane...

Barton MacLane? Oh no.... :D

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Birdy
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby Birdy » January 21st, 2010, 11:16 pm

I'm a huge fan of character actors and you've recently mentioned a couple of my favorites: Allen Jenkins, Hugh Herbert, Franklin Pangborn, E.E. Horton. I recorded a couple of movies today...it's always a treat to see who pops up because the character actors don't show up in the listings.
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby klondike » January 22nd, 2010, 8:13 am

JackFavell wrote:.... all the time telling them to look at the guy standing at the bar, who warns the boys about Barton MacLane...
Barton MacLane? Oh no.... :D



It could have been "worse", JF . . MacLane could've been chauffered by a brylcreemed Frank Faylen !!
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

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JackFavell
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby JackFavell » January 22nd, 2010, 9:08 am

I may have mentioned this before, but my dad got his first alcoholic drink from Frank Faylen. He dated Mr. Faylen's daughter. I wish it was me who got that driink... I would have been putty in Frank's hands. I love him best as Herb Gillis.

I see your Frank Faylen and raise you a Jay C. Flippen....

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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby jdb1 » January 22nd, 2010, 9:24 am

JackFavell wrote:I may have mentioned this before, but my dad got his first alcoholic drink from Frank Faylen. He dated Mr. Faylen's daughter. I wish it was me who got that driink... I would have been putty in Frank's hands. I love him best as Herb Gillis.



Wow. You're way closer than six degrees. Was it the daughter who married Regis Philbin?

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JackFavell
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby JackFavell » January 22nd, 2010, 10:26 am

I don't know, I'll have to ask him.... He's never elaborated. I think she might be the one who he asked to marry him, and she asked, "Are you serious?" and he chickened out and said, "No" , then regretted it from that day on.

I wish Herb Gillis was my grandpa! Can you imagine the stories he could tell? Oh, now I feel terrible. What might have been... :)

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movieman1957
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby movieman1957 » January 22nd, 2010, 10:58 am

I didn't think you were old enough to know anything about "Dobie Gillis." Reruns can be very educational.
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"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."

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moira finnie
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby moira finnie » January 22nd, 2010, 11:05 am

JackFavell wrote:I may have mentioned this before, but my dad got his first alcoholic drink from Frank Faylen. He dated Mr. Faylen's daughter. I wish it was me who got that driink... I would have been putty in Frank's hands. I love him best as Herb Gillis.

I see your Frank Faylen and raise you a Jay C. Flippen....


Wait a minute!! According to IMDb, Frank Faylen had two daughters, Catherine and Carolyn. Once upon a time Faylen's son-in-law was Regis Philbin! So, does that mean that your Dad threw Frank's daughter over and she consoled herself with Philbin for a few years?

I'll see your Frank Faylen, and your Jay C. Flippen, and raise you one Broderick Crawford, if we can get him out of hibernation mode!
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JackFavell
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Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby JackFavell » January 22nd, 2010, 11:40 am

I called him, and apparently my dad and the one who married Regis were in a show together in Columbia, Missouri, where he went to college. I am not sure if she was a classmate or not. He then went with her on vacation to the ancestral home in L.A. where he received said first drink from the hands of Frank Faylen. This is where the story ends. She was NOT the one who he proposed to and thought better of it. He is being quite curmudgeonly and closed mouth about it... annoyingly so! It makes me wonder what really happened on that trip to L.A..... Did Frank take one look at him and say, "I gotta kill that boy! "? I am obviously going to have to slip my dad a mickey to get more info out of him. He likes his anecdotes, but try to get some real information out of him and he clams up. Don't get me wrong... he is very honest, so I believe him when he says he did something... but he is pretty private, like a lot of folks of that generation.

Movieman,

I found Dobie Gillis in college - I would stay up all night, because there were reruns of early Maverick episodes on, so I discovered Dobie Gillis, which was on afterwards, then The Millionaire, then (oddly!!!) The First Churchills. weird. But I loved everyone of those shows and the memory has stuck with me all these years.

Moira!

Broderick Crawford! He's wonderful - I think my first experience was watching him in A Little Romance....or maybe Born Yesterday. Little did I know what a treat I had in store...

In the stage version of Born Yesterday, the role of Harry was played by Paul Douglas - another favorite.

jdb1

Re: ,The Best Character Actors?

Postby jdb1 » January 22nd, 2010, 1:07 pm

JackFavell wrote:I called him, and apparently my dad and the one who married Regis were in a show together in Columbia, Missouri, where he went to college. I am not sure if she was a classmate or not. He then went with her on vacation to the ancestral home in L.A. where he received said first drink from the hands of Frank Faylen. This is where the story ends. She was NOT the one who he proposed to and thought better of it. He is being quite curmudgeonly and closed mouth about it... annoyingly so! It makes me wonder what really happened on that trip to L.A..... Did Frank take one look at him and say, "I gotta kill that boy! "? I am obviously going to have to slip my dad a mickey to get more info out of him. He likes his anecdotes, but try to get some real information out of him and he clams up. Don't get me wrong... he is very honest, so I believe him when he says he did something... but he is pretty private, like a lot of folks of that generation.



Very cool. I looked up FF and Philbin on IMBd -- there were two Faylen daughters, Carol, an actress who is the one who married Reege(they divorced), and Catherine, apparently a civilian. Maybe Carol broke your father's heart. Be gentle with him.


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