Charles Winninger

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Charles Winniger (1937)

Charles Winninger (born May 26, 1884 in Athens , Wisconsin , † January 27, 1969 in Palm Springs , California ) was an American actor who was successful in film, television, radio and theater. From 1915 to 1960 inclusive, he was seen in more than 70 film and television productions.

life and career

Charles Winninger, whose family consisted largely of entertainers, began his show career as a child at the side of his parents. He had left school when he was eight. The first home of his long career was various vaudeville shows, in 1910 he appeared for the first time on Broadway in the musical comedy The Yankee Girl . In the 1910s and 1920s, Winninger was a regular guest on Broadway, playing in over a dozen plays, mostly musicals or comedies. He had his greatest theatrical success in 1927 when he played the role of the lovable Mississippi steamship captain Cap'n Andy in the world premiere of the classic musical Show Boat by Jerome David Kern and Oscar Hammerstein . He was to represent this role again in the film adaptation of the same name by James Whale from 1936.

Winninger had already made his film debut in 1915, but his appearances in this medium remained in short supply during the silent film era. It was not until the start of the talkies in the early 1930s that Winninger regularly took on supporting roles in Hollywood . Although he was mainly seen in cheerful films there, he was occasionally able to act in more serious films such as Night Nurse and The Sin of Madelon Claudet . With his white hair and his small, corpulent figure, Winninger specialized in depicting somewhat quirky but kind-hearted fathers, doctors, uncles and showmen. In addition to Carole Lombard and Fredric March , he played, among others, a goofy country doctor from Vermont in the screwball comedy Denen Is Nothing Sacred (1937), which falsely diagnosed Lombard as having a fatal disease. He also played Washington Dimsdale, the drunk sheriff of a corrupt small town, in the western comedy The Great Bluff (1939) with Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart . In the 1940s, Winninger played primarily for MGM, where he was cast as the father of Judy Garland in Little Nellie Kelly and Ziegfeld Girl . He had one of his few leading roles in 1953 as the eccentric small town judge in John Ford's Whom the Sun Is Smiling . Winninger, who also had some parts in the emerging television in the 1950s, made his last film in 1960 and then retired into private life.

From 1912 to 1951 Winninger was married to the actress Blanche Ring (1871 / 1877–1961), a sister of Cyril Ring , alongside whom he also played in several plays. In 1951 he married the actress Gertrude Walker (1902-1995), with whom he was married until his death - in 1969 at the age of 84. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his high-profile, but now almost forgotten radio work, in which he had his own show Showboat Hour from 1932 .

Filmography (selection)

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Internet Broadway Database
  2. Article in the Los Angeles Times