The top 210 actors (supporting role) in the golden age of Hollywood

by sergi_sabate_ruano | created - 05 Jun 2011 | updated - 05 Nov 2017 | Public

1. Thelma Ritter

Actress | All About Eve

Thelma Ritter appeared in high school plays and was trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. In the 1940s she worked in radio. Her movie career was started with a bit part in the 1946 Miracle on 34th Street (1947). In the movie she played a weary Xmas shopper. Her performance in the short ...

2. James Gleason

Actor | Arsenic and Old Lace

James Gleason was born in New York City to William Gleason and Mina Crolius, who were both in the theatre. He was married to Lucile Gleason (born Lucile Webster), and had a son, Russell Gleason. As a young man James fought in the Spanish-American War. After the war he joined the stock company at ...

3. Judith Anderson

Actress | Rebecca

Dame Judith Anderson was born Frances Margaret Anderson on February 10, 1897 in Adelaide, South Australia. She began her acting career in Australia before moving to New York in 1918. There she established herself as one of the greatest theatrical actresses and was a major star on Broadway ...

4. Ernest Borgnine

Actor | Marty

Ernest Borgnine was born Ermes Effron Borgnino on January 24, 1917 in Hamden, Connecticut. His parents were Anna (Boselli), who had emigrated from Carpi (MO), Italy, and Camillo Borgnino, who had emigrated from Ottiglio (AL), Italy. As an only child, Ernest enjoyed most sports, especially boxing, ...

5. Gladys Cooper

Actress | My Fair Lady

Gladys Cooper was the daughter of journalist William Frederick Cooper and his wife Mabel Barnett. As a child she was very striking and was used as a photographic model beginning at six years old. She wanted to become an actress and started on that road in 1905 after being discovered by Seymour ...

6. Claude Rains

Actor | Casablanca

William Claude Rains, born in the Clapham area of London, was the son of the British stage actor Frederick Rains. The younger Rains followed, making his stage debut at the age of eleven in "Nell of Old Drury." Growing up in the world of theater, he saw not only acting up close but the down-to-earth...

7. Ethel Barrymore

Actress | None But the Lonely Heart

Ethel Barrymore was the second of three children seemingly destined for the actor's life of their parents Maurice and Georgiana. Maurice Barrymore had emigrated from England in 1875, and after graduating from Cambridge in law had shocked his family by becoming an actor. Georgiana Drew of ...

8. Walter Brennan

Actor | Red River

In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and ...

9. Mary Astor

Actress | The Maltese Falcon

Mary Astor was born, Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke, on May 3, 1906 in Quincy, Illinois to a German immigrant father, Otto Ludwig Langhanke, and an American mother from Illinois, Helen Marie Vasconcellos, of Portuguese and Irish ancestry. Her parents were very ambitious for her as they recognized ...

10. Thomas Mitchell

Actor | Stagecoach

Thomas Mitchell was one of the great American character actors, whose credits read like a list of the greatest films of the 20th century: Lost Horizon (1937); Stagecoach (1939); The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939); Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939); Gone with the Wind (1939); It's a Wonderful Life...

11. Donald Crisp

Actor | How Green Was My Valley

Donald Crisp was born George William Crisp at the family home in Bow, London. Donald's parents were James Crisp and Elizabeth Crisp, his birth was registered by his mother on 4th September 1882. Donald's sisters were Elizabeth, Ann, Alice (known as Louisa) and Eliza and his brothers were James, ...

12. Charles Coburn

Actor | The More the Merrier

A cigar-smoking, monocled, swag-bellied character actor known for his Old South manners and charm. In 1918 he and his first wife formed the Coburn Players and appeared on Broadway in many plays. With her death in 1937, he accepted a Hollywood contract and began making films at the age of sixty.

13. John Carradine

Actor | The Grapes of Wrath

John Carradine, the son of a reporter/artist and a surgeon, grew up in Poughkeepsie, New York. He attended Christ Church School and Graphic Art School, studying sculpture, and afterward roamed the South selling sketches. He made his acting debut in "Camille" in a New Orleans theatre in 1925. ...

14. Andy Devine

Actor | Robin Hood

Rotund comic character actor of American films. Born Andrew Vabre Devine in Flagstaff, Arizona, the later-to-be Rotund comic character actor was raised in nearby Kingman, Arizona, the son of Irish-American hotel operator Thomas Devine and his wife Amy. Devine was an able athlete as a student and ...

15. Lewis Stone

Actor | The Sin of Madelon Claudet

By the time that he was 20, Lewis Stone had turned prematurely grey. He enlisted to fight in the Spanish American War and when he returned, he returned to be a writer. This turned to acting and he began to appear in films during the middle teens. His career was again interrupted by war as he served...

16. Eugene Pallette

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

This eminently recognisable, bulbous, beetle-browed character actor left Culver Military Academy and began acting in repertory companies before becoming a Hollywood extra and stunt man. Eugene's father had also been a thesp at one time but eventually ended his career as an insurance salesman. In ...

17. Alan Hale

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Alan Hale decided on a film career after his attempt at becoming an opera singer didn't pan out. He quickly became much in demand as a supporting actor, starred in several films for Cecil B. DeMille and directed others for him. With the advent of sound Hale played leads in a few films, but soon ...

18. John Garfield

Actor | Four Daughters

John Garfield was born Jacob Julius Garfinkle on the Lower East Side of New York City, to Hannah Basia (Margolis) and David Garfinkle, who were Jewish immigrants from Zhytomyr (now in Ukraine). Jules was raised by his father, a clothes presser and part-time cantor, after his mother's death in 1920,...

19. Gene Lockhart

Actor | His Girl Friday

Gene Lockhart was born on July 18, 1891, in London, Ontario, Canada, the son of John Coates Lockhart and Ellen Mary (Delany) Lockhart. His father had studied singing and young Gene displayed an early interest in drama and music. Shortly after the 7-year-old danced a Highland fling in a concert ...

20. Robert Morley

Actor | Marie Antoinette

English character actor Robert Morley was educated in England, Germany, France and Italy. His family planned for him to go into the diplomatic service but he liked the idea of acting more. After studying at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London he appeared on the London stage in 1929 ...

21. Basil Rathbone

Actor | The Adventures of Robin Hood

Basil Rathbone was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1892, but three years later his family was forced to flee the country because his father was accused by the Boers of being a British spy at a time when Dutch-British conflicts were leading to the Boer War. The Rathbones escaped to England, ...

22. Eve Arden

Actress | Our Miss Brooks

Eve Arden was born Eunice Mary Quedens in Mill Valley, California (near San Francisco), and was interested in show business from an early age. At 16, she made her stage debut after quitting school to joined a stock company. After appearing in minor roles in two films under her real name, Eunice ...

23. C. Aubrey Smith

Actor | Rebecca

Movie roles are sometimes based upon what the audience expects to see. If the role called for the tall stereotypical Englishmen with the stiff upper lip and stern determination, that man would be C. Aubrey Smith, graduate of Cambridge University, a leading Freemason and a test cricketer for England...

24. Edward Everett Horton

Actor | Arsenic and Old Lace

It seemed like Edward Everett Horton appeared in just about every Hollywood comedy made in the 1930s. He was always the perfect counterpart to the great gentlemen and protagonists of the films. Horton was born in Brooklyn, New York City, to Isabella S. (Diack) and Edward Everett Horton, a ...

25. Herbert Marshall

Actor | Trouble in Paradise

Herbert Marshall had trained to become a certified accountant, but his interest turned to the stage. He lost a leg while serving in World War I, he was rehabilitated with a wooden leg. This did not stop him from making good his decision to make the stage as his vocation. He used a very deliberate ...

26. Peter Lorre

Actor | Casablanca

Peter Lorre was born László Lowenstein on Rózsahegy, Hungary. He was educated in elementary and secondary schools in Vienna, Austria. As a youth, he ran away from home, worked as a bank clerk and, after stage training in Vienna, made his acting debut in Zurich. He remained unknown, traveling for ...

27. Roddy McDowall

Actor | Fright Night

Roddy McDowall was born in Herne Hill, London, England, to Winifriede Lucinda (Corcoran), an Irish-born aspiring actress, and Thomas Andrew McDowall, a merchant seaman. Roddy was enrolled in elocution courses at age five and by ten had appeared in his first film, Murder in the Family (1938), ...

28. Elsa Lanchester

Actress | Witness for the Prosecution

Elsa Sullivan Lanchester was born into an unconventional a family at the turn of the 20th century. Her parents, James "Shamus" Sullivan and Edith "Biddy" Lanchester, were socialists - very active members of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) in a rather broad sense and did not believe in the ...

29. Peter Falk

Actor | Columbo

Peter Michael Falk was born on September 16, 1927, in New York City, New York. At the age of 3, his right eye was surgically removed due to cancer. He graduated from Ossining High School, where he was president of his class. His early career choices involved becoming a certified public accountant, ...

30. Victor McLaglen

Actor | The Quiet Man

Rambunctious British leading man (contrary to popular belief, he was of Scottish ancestry, not Irish) and later character actor primarily in American films, Victor McLaglen was a vital presence in a number of great motion pictures, especially those of director John Ford. McLaglen (pronounced ...

31. Ben Johnson

Actor | The Last Picture Show

Born in Oklahoma, Ben Johnson was a ranch hand and rodeo performer when, in 1940, Howard Hughes hired him to take a load of horses to California. He decided to stick around (the pay was good), and for some years was a stunt man, horse wrangler, and double for such stars as John Wayne, Gary Cooper ...

32. Wilfrid Hyde-White

Actor | My Fair Lady

British character actor of wry charm, equally at home in amused or strait-laced characters. A native of Bourton-on-the-Water in Gloucestershire, he attended Marlborough College and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. His stage debut came in 1922, and by 1925 he was a busy London actor. He married ...

33. Alan Mowbray

Actor | The Man Who Knew Too Much

Alan Mowbray, the American film actor who was one of the founding members of the Screen Actors Guild, was born Ernest Allen on August 18, 1896, in London, England, to a non-theatrical family. He served in the British army during World War I and received the Military Medal and the French Croix De ...

34. Louis Calhern

Actor | Duck Soup

Tall, distinguished, aristocratic Louis Calhern seemed to be the poster boy for old-money, upper-crust urban society, but he was actually born Carl Vogt, to middle-class parents in New York City. His family moved to St. Louis when he was a child, and it was while playing football in high school ...

35. John McIntire

Actor | Psycho

John McIntire possessed the requisite grit, craggy features and crusty, steely-eyed countenance to make for one of television and film's most durable supporting players of western settings. Born in Spokane, Washington in 1907 and the son of a lawyer, he grew up in Montana where he learned to raise ...

36. Beulah Bondi

Actress | It's a Wonderful Life

Character actress Beulah Bondi was a favorite of directors and audiences and is one of the reasons so many films from the 1930s and 1940s remain so enjoyable, as she was an integral part of many of the ensemble casts (a hallmark of the studio system) of major and/or great films, including The Trail...

37. Jack Elam

Actor | C'era una volta il West

Colorful American character actor equally adept at vicious killers or grizzled sidekicks. As a child he worked in the cotton fields. He attended Santa Monica Junior College in California and subsequently became an accountant and, at one time, manager of the Bel Air Hotel. Elam got his first movie ...

38. Burl Ives

Actor | The Big Country

Burl Ives was one of six children born to a Scottish-Irish farming family. He first sang in public for a soldiers' reunion when he was age 4. In high school, he learned the banjo and played fullback, intending to become a football coach when he enrolled at Eastern Illinois State Teacher's College ...

39. Herbert Lom

Actor | The Pink Panther Strikes Again

Herbert Lom was born Herbert Charles Angelo Kuchacevich Schluderpacheru on September 11, 1917. He made his film debut in the Czech film Woman Below the Cross (1937) and played supporting and, occasionally, lead roles. His career picked up in the 1940s and he played, among other roles, Napoleon ...

40. Donald Meek

Actor | Stagecoach

One Hollywood stalwart whose screen incarnations more than lived up to his name was bald-domed character actor Donald Meek, forever typecast as mousy, timorous or browbeaten Casper Milquetoasts. He stood at 5 ft. 6 in. in his boots and weighed a mere 81 pounds. However, the little Glaswegian's ...

41. Guy Kibbee

Actor | Captain January

Beginning his show business career at age 13 as an entertainer on Mississippi riverboats, Guy Kibbee graduated to the legitimate stage and spent many years in the theater. In the 1930s he was signed by Warner Brothers, and became part of what was known as "the Warner Brothers Stock Company", a ...

42. Harry Davenport

Actor | Gone with the Wind

Character fame on film came quite late for long-time stage actor Harry Davenport at age 70, but he made up for lost time in very quick fashion with well over a hundred film roles registered from the advent of sound to the time of his death in 1949. Beloved for his twinkle-eyed avuncular and/or ...

43. Henry Hull

Actor | High Sierra

Henry Hull, the actor who created the role of Jeeter on Broadway in "Tobacco Road," was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on October 13, 1890, the son of a drama critic. Originally intending to become an engineer, Hull became an actor and made his Broadway debut in "Green Stockings" less than two weeks...

44. Hattie McDaniel

Actress | Gone with the Wind

After working as early as the 1910s as a band vocalist, Hattie McDaniel debuted as a maid in The Golden West (1932). Her maid-mammy characters became steadily more assertive, showing up first in Judge Priest (1934) and becoming pronounced in Alice Adams (1935). In this one, directed by George ...

45. Leigh Whipper

Actor | Of Mice and Men

Leigh Whipper was an consummate actor who led an impressive life. Born in South Carolina in 1876, at the end of the Reconstruction Era in which his parents had participated, he was educated in Washington, D.C., attending Howard University, before turning permanently to a life in the theater. At a ...

46. Oskar Homolka

Actor | The Seven Year Itch

Because of his heavy generically "European" accent and Slavic-sounding surname (not an uncommon one among Czechs or Slovaks), many people assumed Oscar Homolka was Eastern European or Russian. In fact, he was born in Vienna (then Austria-Hungary), the multicultural capital of a large multi-ethnic ...

47. Chuck Connors

Actor | Soylent Green

Chuck Connors was born Kevin Joseph Connors in Brooklyn, New York, to Marcella (nee Lundrigan; died 1971) and Alban Francis "Allan" Connors (died 1966), Roman Catholic immigrants of Irish descent from the Dominion of Newfoundland (now part of Canada). Chuck and his two-years-younger sister, Gloria,...

48. Paul Harvey

Actor | Spellbound

Paul Harvey was born on September 10, 1882 in Sandwich, Illinois, USA as Roy Paul Harvey. He was an actor, known for Spellbound (1945), Calamity Jane (1953) and High Sierra (1941). He was married to Ottye Henrietta Cramer (actress) and Merle Stanton. He died on December 15, 1955 in Los Angeles, ...

49. Richard Haydn

Actor | The Sound of Music

Inimitable London-born character actor, noted for his put-on nasal delivery and pompous, fussy manner. Richard Haydn had a laborious start to his show business career, selling tickets in the box office of London's Daly Theatre. This was followed by an unsuccessful stint with a comedy act in musical...

50. Victor Jory

Actor | Gone with the Wind

Victor Jory was born in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada. His burly physique made him a wrestling and boxing champion during his military service in the United States Coast Guard. After a few appearances on Broadway, he made his way into Hollywood in the early 1930s. His acting career spanned exactly 50 ...

51. Charles Bickford

Actor | The Farmer's Daughter

American character actor of gruff voice and appearance who was a fixture in Hollywood pictures from the earliest days of the talkies. The fifth of seven children, he was born in the first minute of 1891. He was a boisterous child, and at nine was tried and acquitted for attempted murder in the ...

52. Lionel Barrymore

Actor | Key Largo

Famed actor, composer, artist, author and director. His talents extended to the authoring of the novel "Mr. Cartonwine: A Moral Tale" as well as his autobiography. In 1944, he joined ASCAP, and composed "Russian Dances", "Partita", "Ballet Viennois", "The Woodman and the Elves", "Behind the Horizon...

53. Henry Travers

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

British-born Henry Travers was a veteran of the English stage before emigrating to the U.S. in 1917. He gained more stage experience there on Broadway working with the Theatre Guild, and began his long film career with Reunion in Vienna (1933). Travers' kindly, grandfatherly demeanor became ...

54. Ward Bond

Actor | The Quiet Man

Gruff, burly American character actor. Born in 1903 in Benkelman, Nebraska (confirmed by Social Security records; sources stating 1905 or Denver, Colorado are in error.) Bond grew up in Denver, the son of a lumberyard worker. He attended the University of Southern California, where he got work as ...

55. Gloria Grahame

Actress | The Bad and the Beautiful

Gloria Hallward, an acting pupil of her mother (stage actress and teacher Jean Grahame), acted professionally while still in high school. In 1944 Louis B. Mayer saw her on Broadway and gave her an MGM contract under the name Gloria Grahame. Her debut in the title role of Blonde Fever (1944) was ...

56. H.B. Warner

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

Henry Byron Warner was the definitive cinematic Jesus Christ in Cecil B. DeMille's The King of Kings (1927). He was born into a prominent theatrical family on October 26, 1875 in London. His father was Charles Warner, and his grandfather was James Warner, both prominent English actors. He replaced ...

57. Samuel S. Hinds

Actor | It's a Wonderful Life

Samuel S. Hinds, a Harvard graduate, was a lawyer in Hollywood until the stock market crash of 1929, in which he lost most of his money. Hinds, who had an interest in theater acting, decided to embark on a career in acting, albeit it age 54. The tall, dignified-looking Hinds appeared in over 200 ...

58. Finlay Currie

Actor | Ben-Hur

Scottish-born Finlay Currie was a former church organist and choirmaster, who made his stage debut at 20 years of age. It took him 34 more years before making his first film, but he worked steadily for another 30 years after that. Although he was a large, imposing figure, with a rich, deep voice ...

59. Hume Cronyn

Actor | Cocoon

Hume Cronyn was born on July 18, 1911 in London, Ontario, Canada as Hume Blake Cronyn Jr. He was an actor and producer, known for Cocoon (1985), Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and *batteries not included (1987). He was married to Susan Cooper, Jessica Tandy and Emily Woodruff. He died on June 15, 2003 in...

60. Henry Daniell

Actor | The Great Dictator

London-born Henry Daniell began his career on the British stage, and continued it on the Broadway stage when he emigrated to the US. He entered films in 1929, and excelled at playing the suave, well-bred villain who could kill an enemy or start a war with a certain air of upper-class disdain, as if...

61. Walter Slezak

Actor | Born to Kill

Tall, portly Viennese character actor Walter Slezak simultaneously pursued two different careers after his arrival in America in 1930: one, as a star of musical comedy on the stage, and another, as a portrayer of villains, impish rogues or pompous buffoons on screen.

Walter was born in May 1902 in ...

62. Sidney Blackmer

Actor | Rosemary's Baby

Sidney Blackmer, the Tony-award winning actor who played Teddy Roosevelt in seven movies, is best remembered by today's movie audiences for his turn as the warlock/coven-leader Roman Castevet in Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (1968).

Born and raised in Salisbury, North Carolina, where he made his ...

63. Ruth Gordon

Actress | Rosemary's Baby

When Ruth Gordon convinced her father, a sea captain, to let her pursue acting she came to New York and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She acted in a few silents made at Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1915. She made her Broadway debut in "Peter Pan" as Nibs the same year. The next 20 ...

64. Irene Seidner

Actress | All Through the Night

Irene Seidner was born on December 10, 1880 in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. She was an actress, known for All Through the Night (1942), Miracle in the Rain (1956) and We Who Are Young (1940). She died on November 17, 1959 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

65. Raymond Massey

Actor | Arsenic and Old Lace

Educated at the University of Toronto & Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the Canadian Field Artillery in World War I, served in France & was wounded. His first appearance was in a stage production in Siberia, during its occupation by American Forces in 1918. Raymond returned to Canada & the farm ...

66. Josephine Hall

Actress | The Love Parade

Josephine Hall is an actress, known for The Love Parade (1929), Potluck Pards (1934) and Pop's Pal (1933).

67. Jean Adair

Actress | Arsenic and Old Lace

Slight, birdlike Jean Adair came to the screen after playing a succession of crotchety or maternal roles on the stage. She was born Violet McNaughton in Ontario, Canada, and absolved her acting studies in Chicago. After extensive touring with local stock companies and a few seasons on the ...

68. Jack Carson

Actor | Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

When Jack Carson arrived in Hollywood in 1937, he found work at RKO as an extra. His first major acting role came alongside Humphrey Bogart in the romantic comedy Stand-In (1937). After a few years, he developed into a popular character actor who would be seen in a large number of comedies, ...

69. Ruth Hussey

Actress | The Philadelphia Story

A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Drama, Ruth Hussey's first show-business job was as a fashion commentator on a local radio station. She journeyed to New York City, where she was signed as a model by the world-famous Powers agency. She obtained some stage roles with touring ...

70. John Howard

Actor | Mad Max: Fury Road

Has a sister, Jan. Grew up in Warrawee, NSW Australia and went to Knox Grammar School. Dropped out of medicine and law at university. Graduated in 1978 from NIDA with Penny Cook, Robert Grubb. Played leading roles from 1981 to 2012 in various plays. Won a Critics Circle award in 1992 for "The ...

71. Roland Young

Actor | Topper

Best remembered for the many meek characters he played -- think Cosmo Topper, of the screwball classic Topper (1937) -- this balding, short, yet distinguished actor was born in London, England, to an architect and his wife. Young was educated at Sherborne College and University College London and ...

72. Wendy Hiller

Actress | Murder on the Orient Express

Wendy Hiller, daughter of Frank and Marie Hiller, was born on 15th August 1912 in Bramhall, near Stockport, Cheshire, England. She was educated at Winceby House School, Bexhill then moved on to Manchester Repertory Theatre. She appeared on stage in Sir John Barry's tour of Evensong, then as Sally ...

73. Mickey Rooney

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Mickey Rooney was born Joe Yule Jr. on September 23, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He first took the stage as a toddler in his parents vaudeville act at 17 months old. He made his first film appearance in 1926. The following year, he played the lead character in the first Mickey McGuire short film. ...

74. Karl Malden

Actor | A Streetcar Named Desire

Born to a Czech mother and a Serbian father in Chicago as Mladen Sekulovich, on March 22, 1912, Karl Malden did not speak English until he was in kindergarten. After graduating from high school in the nearby steel town of Gary, Indiana, Malden worked in the industry for three years until 1934, when...

75. Angela Lansbury

Actress | The Manchurian Candidate

The daughter of an actress and the granddaughter of a high-ranking politician, Angela Brigid Lansbury studied acting from her youth, departing for the United States in 1940 during the Battle of Britain. She was contracted by MGM while still a teenager and nominated for an Academy Award for her ...

76. Milton Berle

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Milton Berle was born Milton Berlinger on July 12, 1908, in New York City, to Sarah (Glantz) and Moses Berlinger, a paint and varnish salesman. He was educated at New York Professional Children's School and began performing at age 5. His first stage appearance was in "Florodora" in Atlantic City, ...

77. Sid Caesar

Actor | Grease

Comedian, saxophonist, composer, actor and musician, he performed within the orchestras of Charlie Spivak, Shep Fields and Claude Thornhill as saxophonist. Later, as super-hip jazz musician "Cool Cees" in television skits, he played tenor saxophone, and sang with the satirical trio "The Hair Cuts" ...

78. Buddy Hackett

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Brooklyn-born Buddy Hackett was known mainly as a nightclub comic, especially in Las Vegas, where he first performed in 1952 and wound up being one of the biggest headliners in that city's history. Hackett always referred to himself as a "saloon comic" and preferred the intimacy of his stage act--...

79. Ethel Merman

Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Born in the Astoria section of Queens, New York City, Ethel Merman surely is the pre-eminent star of 'Broadway' musical comedy. Though untrained in singing, she could belt out a song like quite no one else, and was sought after by major songwriters such as Irving Berlin and Cole Porter. Having ...

80. Dick Shawn

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

One-of-a-kind nightclub comedian/singer Dick Shawn (ne Richard Schulefand) was as off-the-wall as they came and, as such, proved to be rather an acquired taste. Way ahead of his time most say, it was extremely difficult indeed to know how to properly tap into this man's eclectic talents. Shawn ...

81. Phil Silvers

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Phil Silvers was born on May 11, 1911 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA as Philip Silver. He was an actor, known for It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), The Phil Silvers Show (1955) and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966). He was married to Evelyn Patrick and ...

82. Terry-Thomas

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

One of Britain's most beloved eccentric comedians, the irrepressible, gap-toothed Terry-Thomas was born Thomas Terry Hoar-Stevens in Lichfield Grove, Finchley. He was the son of Ellen Elizabeth (Hoar) and Ernest Frederick Stevens, a fairly well-to-do London businessman. He was afforded a private ...

83. Jonathan Winters

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Jonathan Harshman Winters III was born on November 11, 1925 in Dayton, Ohio. His father, Jonathan Harshman Winters II, was a banker who became an alcoholic after being crushed in the Great Depression. His parents divorced in 1932. Jonathan and his mother then moved to Springfield to live with his ...

84. Edie Adams

Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

The scintillating, sultry-eyed blonde (formerly a redhead) star of screen, TV and award-winning stage went on to become best known, however, for her sensual delivery pitching cigars in taunting '60s ads and commercials with her Mae Westian come-on line "Why don't you pick one up and smoke it ...

85. Dorothy Provine

Actress | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

Flashy, leggy, bouffant blonde Dorothy Provine was a solid screen representation of the Kennedyesque era when life seemed so full of fun, so innocent and so optimistic. This sparkling beauty also gave TV audiences a double dose blast to the past via her popular co-starring roles on late 50s/early ...

86. Joe E. Brown

Actor | Some Like It Hot

Joe E. Brown happily claimed that he was the only youngster in show business who ran way from home to join the circus with the blessings of his parents. In 1902, the ten-year-old Brown joined a circus tumbling act called the Five Marvellous Ashtons, which toured various circuses and vaudeville ...

87. William Demarest

Actor | It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World

A stocky, serious-looking character, Carl William Demarest started off in vaudeville in 1905 along with two older brothers. At one time he also performed in a stage act with his wife Estelle Collette (billed as 'Demarest and Collette') and then moved on to Broadway. He entered movies in 1926 and ...

88. Edmond O'Brien

Actor | The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Oscar-winner Edmond O'Brien was one of the most-respected character actors in American cinema, from his heyday of the mid-1940s through the late 1960s. Born on September 10, 1915, in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, O'Brien learned the craft of performance as a magician, reportedly tutored by...

89. Felix Bressart

Actor | Ninotchka

With his lanky frame, big nose, toothbrush moustache and horn-rimmed glasses he looked like someone had decided to cross Groucho Marx with Albert Einstein. The perennial scene-stealer Felix Bressart had two distinct careers as a comic actor: an earlier one, on stage and screen in his native Germany...

90. Jack Benny

Actor | The Jack Benny Program

The son of a saloon keeper, Jack Benny (born Benny Kubelsky) began to study the violin at the age six, and his "ineptness" at it, would later become his trademark (in reality, he was a very accomplished player). When given the opportunity to play in live theatre professionally, Benny quit school ...

91. Robert Stack

Actor | Airplane!

"Straight Shooting" - whether skeet shooting, or portraying Eliot Ness, Robert Stack always tells it like it is, and shoots straight. Robert was the second child of Elizabeth Modini Wood (who named him Charles after his grandfather) and James Langford Stack (who changed his name to Robert, after no...

92. Stanley Ridges

Actor | Black Friday

Born in England in 1891, Stanley Ridges would become a protégé of Beatrice Lillie, a star of musical comedies, and spent a great many years learning and honing his craft on the stage. He eventually would make his way over to America, and become a romantic leading man on Broadway. His first film ...

93. Lionel Atwill

Actor | Captain Blood

Lionel Atwill was born into a wealthy family and was educated at London's prestigious Mercer School to become an architect, but his interest turned to the stage. He worked his way progressively into the craft and debuted at age 20 at the Garrick Theatre in London. He acted and improved regularly ...

94. Sig Ruman

Actor | A Night at the Opera

Wonderfully talented German-born actor, capable of tremendous comedic and dramatic performances, usually as some type of pompous bureaucrat or similarly arrogant individual. Ruman was born on October 11, 1884, in Hamburg, Germany, and actually studied electrotechnology in college before making the ...

95. Tom Dugan

Actor | Lights of New York

Prolific Irish character actor Thomas J. Dugan was born in Dublin on New Year's Day 1889. At a young age, his family moved to Philadelphia, where Dugan attended high school. He had a good tenor voice so, after leaving school, he decided to pursue a career in show business. Before appearing on stage...

96. Charles Halton

Actor | Mr. & Mrs. Smith

A respected stage actor -- he trained at the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts -- since the 1920s, birdlike Charles Halton's thinning hair, rimless glasses and officious manner were familiar to generations of moviegoers. Whether playing the neighborhood busybody, a stern government bureaucrat or ...

97. George Lynn

Actor | The Great Dictator

George Lynn was born on January 28, 1906 in Cumberland, Maryland, USA. He was an actor, known for The Great Dictator (1940), The Werewolf (1956) and Adventures of Captain Marvel (1941). He died on December 3, 1964 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

98. Joanne Dru

Actress | Red River

The daughter of a West Virginia druggist, Joanne Dru came to New York in 1940. In New York she worked as a model and was cast by Al Jolson as one of the showgirls in his Broadway play "Hold Onto Your Hats." When the show closed in 1941, she married popular singer Dick Haymes and went with him to ...

99. Harry Carey Jr.

Actor | Tombstone

Harry Carey, Jr., had been reliable character actor for decades, mostly in Westerns, before he retired. He is the son of the actor Harry Carey and the actress Olive Carey. He was born on his parents' 1000-acre ranch near Saugus, in the northwestern part of Los Angeles County, which is now next door...

100. Mildred Natwick

Actress | Dangerous Liaisons

A disarming character lady quite capable of scene-stealing, Mildred Natwick was a well-rounded talent with distinctively dowdy features and idiosyncratic tendencies who, over a six-decade period, assembled together a number of unforgettable matrons on stage and (eventually) film and TV. Whimsical, ...



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