Thursday, December 06, 2012

Holiday Movies & Character Actors

Of course this time of year the airwaves are full of holiday themed movies and television shows. In many cases, we remember some of the great character actors and actresses of the past specifically from their roles in these well remembered seasonal parts... If we start with the classic Miracle on 34th Street from 1947, we obviously remember the grand old character-star Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, the star of the piece. We may even remember some of those "second tier" character actors, such as Gene Lockhart as the Judge in the great closing scene; William Frawley (from tv's I Love Lucy) as Halloran, the Judge's associate; Porter Hall as the Mr. Sawyer, a villain in the piece; Jerome Cowan as the District Attorney; and maybe even Phillip Tonge as Mr. Shellhammer, a manager at Macy's Department store. But then you delve even deeper into the, shall we say, third tier of character people and you find an incredible list of performers with a tremendous amount of experience... some had been in the business for years and and some would remain in the business for many years to come... do you remember...? 

Percy Helton (1894-1971)
as the Drunken Santa Claus
Harry Antrim (1884-1967)
as R.H. Macy
Herbert Heyes (1889-1958)
as Mr. Gimbel, rival to Mr. Macy
James Seay (1914-92)
as Kris' friend Dr. Pierce

Mary Field (1909-96)
as the Dutch girl's

Anne O'Neal (1893-1971)
as Mr. Sawyer's

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