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Charles Coburn

Charles Coburn

Overview
Charles Douville Coburn (June 19, 1877 – August 30, 1961) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 and theater
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

 actor
Actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

.

Coburn was born in Macon, Georgia
Macon, Georgia
Macon is a city located in central Georgia, US. Founded at the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, it is part of the Macon metropolitan area, and the county seat of Bibb County. A small portion of the city extends into Jones County. Macon is the biggest city in central Georgia...

, the son of Scots-Irish Americans Emma Louise Sprigman and Moses Douville Coburn. Growing up in Savannah, he started out doing odd jobs at the local Savannah Theater, handing out programs, ushering, or being the doorman. By age 17 or 18, he was the theater manager.
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Encyclopedia
Charles Douville Coburn (June 19, 1877 – August 30, 1961) was an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

 and theater
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

 actor
Actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

.

Biography


Coburn was born in Macon, Georgia
Macon, Georgia
Macon is a city located in central Georgia, US. Founded at the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, it is part of the Macon metropolitan area, and the county seat of Bibb County. A small portion of the city extends into Jones County. Macon is the biggest city in central Georgia...

, the son of Scots-Irish Americans Emma Louise Sprigman and Moses Douville Coburn. Growing up in Savannah, he started out doing odd jobs at the local Savannah Theater, handing out programs, ushering, or being the doorman. By age 17 or 18, he was the theater manager. He later became an actor, making his debut on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 in 1901. Coburn formed an acting company with actress Ivah Wills in 1905. They married in 1906. In addition to managing the company, the couple performed frequently on Broadway.

After his wife's death in 1937, Coburn relocated to Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

 and began film work. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

 for his role as a retired millionaire playing Cupid
Cupid
In Roman mythology, Cupid is the god of desire, affection and erotic love. He is the son of the goddess Venus and the god Mars. His Greek counterpart is Eros...

 in The More the Merrier
The More the Merrier
The More the Merrier is a 1943 American comedy film made by Columbia Pictures which makes fun of the housing shortage during World War II, especially in Washington, D.C.. The picture stars Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Stanley Clements and Richard Gaines. The movie was directed by...

in 1943. He was also nominated for The Devil and Miss Jones
The Devil and Miss Jones
The Devil and Miss Jones is a 1941 comedy film starring Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn. Directed by Sam Wood and scripted by Norman Krasna, the film was the product of an independent collaboration between Krasna and producer Frank Ross...

in 1941 and The Green Years
The Green Years (film)
The Green Years is a 1946 American comedy-drama film featuring Charles Coburn, Tom Drake, Hume Cronyn, Gladys Cooper, Dean Stockwell, and Jessica Tandy, based on A. J. Cronin's novel of the same title...

in 1946. Other notable film credits include Of Human Hearts
Of Human Hearts
Of Human Hearts is a 1938 film directed by Clarence Brown and starring Walter Huston, James Stewart and Beulah Bondi. Bondi was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress....

(1938), The Lady Eve
The Lady Eve
The Lady Eve is a 1941 American screwball comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges, and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. The film is based on a story by Monckton Hoffe about a mismatched couple who meet on board a luxury liner...

(1941), Kings Row
Kings Row
Kings Row is a 1942 film starring Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, and Ronald Reagan that tells a story of young people growing up in a small American town at the turn of the twentieth century, beset by social pressure, dark secrets, and the challenges and tragedies one must face as a result of these...

(1942), The Constant Nymph
The Constant Nymph (1943 film)
The Constant Nymph is a 1943 romantic drama film starring Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Alexis Smith, Brenda Marshall, Charles Coburn, Dame May Whitty and Peter Lorre...

(1943), Heaven Can Wait
Heaven Can Wait (1943 film)
Heaven Can Wait is a 1943 American comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. The screenplay was by Samson Raphaelson based on the play Birthday by Leslie Bush-Fekete. The music score was by Alfred Newman and the cinematography by Edward Cronjager.The film tells the story of a man who has...

(1943), Wilson (1944), Impact (1949), The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case is a 1947 American courtroom drama film, set in England, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by David O. Selznick. The screenplay was written by Selznick and an uncredited Ben Hecht, from an adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie of the novel by Robert Smythe Hichens...

(1947), Everybody Does It
Everybody Does It
Everybody Does It is a 1949 comedy film starring Paul Douglas, Linda Darnell and Celeste Holm.In the film, a businessman's wife tries to become an opera star, failing miserably due to her lack of talent...

(1950), Has Anybody Seen My Gal?
Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (film)
Has Anybody Seen My Gal? is a 1952 film comedy film directed by Douglas Sirk, and starring Piper Laurie, Rock Hudson, Lynn Bari, and Charles Coburn. Set in the 1920s, the film is named after The California Ramblers jazz tune Has Anybody Seen My Gal?....

(1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) and John Paul Jones
John Paul Jones (film)
John Paul Jones is a 1959 biographical epic film about John Paul Jones. The film was made by Samuel Bronston Productions and released by Warner Bros. It was directed by John Farrow and produced by Samuel Bronston from a screenplay by John Farrow, Ben Hecht, Jesse Lasky Jr. from the story Nor'wester...

(1959). He usually played comedic parts, but Kings Row and Wilson were dramatic parts, showing his versatility.

For his contributions to motion pictures, Coburn has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame consists of more than 2,400 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along fifteen blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California...

 at 6240 Hollywood Boulevard.

Politics



In the 1940s, Coburn served as vice-president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals
Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals
The Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals was an American organization of high-profile, politically conservative members of the Hollywood film industry...

, a group opposed to alleged Communist infiltration and proselytization in Hollywood during the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

.

Marriages


Coburn's first wife was Ivah Wills (ca. 1882–1937), an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 actress and theatrical producer. In 1959, Coburn married Winifred Natzka (born February 16, 1921 – still alive ), who was more than 40 years his junior and the widow of Oscar Natzka
Oscar Natzka
-Early life:Born as Franz Oscar Natzke at Wharepuhunga, North Island, New Zealand, he was the son of August Natzke , who had emigrated to New Zealand and settled in Otorohanga, and Emma Carter Natzke, of Christchurch, New Zealand, who was a singer.As a boy, the young Natzke worked...

, a famed New Zealand operatic bass baritone.

Death


He died from a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 on August 30, 1961, in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, aged 84.

Selected filmography



  • Of Human Hearts
    Of Human Hearts
    Of Human Hearts is a 1938 film directed by Clarence Brown and starring Walter Huston, James Stewart and Beulah Bondi. Bondi was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress....

    (1938)
  • Vivacious Lady
    Vivacious Lady
    Vivacious Lady is a 1938 American black-and-white romantic comedy film starring Ginger Rogers and James Stewart, produced and directed by George Stevens, and released by RKO Radio Pictures. The screenplay was written by P.J. Wolfson and Ernest Pagano and adapted from a short story by I. A. R. Wylie...

    (1938)
  • Lord Jeff
    Lord Jeff
    Lord Jeff is a 1938 film starring Freddie Bartholomew as a spoiled orphan who gets mixed up with some crooks, but gets set straight by a stint in a school.-Plot:...

    (1938)
  • Idiot's Delight (1939)
  • Made for Each Other
    Made for Each Other (1939 film)
    Made for Each Other is a 1939 drama film directed by John Cromwell and produced by David O. Selznick. It stars Carole Lombard and James Stewart as a couple who get married after only knowing each other very briefly.-Plot:...

    (1939)
  • Bachelor Mother
    Bachelor Mother
    Bachelor Mother is an American comedy film directed by Garson Kanin, and starring Ginger Rogers , David Niven, and Charles Coburn. The screenplay was written by Norman Krasna based on a Academy Award nominated story by Felix Jackson...

    (1939)
  • Stanley and Livingstone
    Stanley and Livingstone
    Stanley and Livingstone is a movie about reporter Sir Henry M. Stanley's quest for Dr. David Livingstone, a missionary presumed lost in Africa. Spencer Tracy played Stanley, Sir Cedric Hardwicke portrayed Livingstone, and other cast members included Nancy Kelly, Walter Brennan, Charles Coburn,...

    (1939)
  • In Name Only
    In Name Only
    In Name Only is a 1939 romantic film starring Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis. It was based on the 1935 novel Memory of Love by Bessie Breuer.-Plot:...

    (1939)
  • Road to Singapore
    Road to Singapore
    Road to Singapore is a 1940 Paramount Pictures film starring Bing Crosby, Dorothy Lamour, and Bob Hope, which marked the debut of the long-running and popular "Road to …" series of pictures spotlighting the trio.-Plot:...

    (1940)
  • Three Faces West
    Three Faces West
    Three Faces West is a 1940 film starring John Wayne, Sigrid Gurie and Charles Coburn. An unusual film, with a political agenda that seems to be part pro New Deal, it is part anti-fascist and part pro good old American community values...

    (1940)
  • The Lady Eve
    The Lady Eve
    The Lady Eve is a 1941 American screwball comedy film written and directed by Preston Sturges, and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda. The film is based on a story by Monckton Hoffe about a mismatched couple who meet on board a luxury liner...

    (1941)
  • The Devil and Miss Jones
    The Devil and Miss Jones
    The Devil and Miss Jones is a 1941 comedy film starring Jean Arthur and Charles Coburn. Directed by Sam Wood and scripted by Norman Krasna, the film was the product of an independent collaboration between Krasna and producer Frank Ross...

    (1941)
  • H. M. Pulham, Esq.
    H. M. Pulham, Esq.
    H.M. Pulham, Esq. is a 1941 film, directed by King Vidor and based on a novel by John P. Marquand. Vidor co-wrote the screenplay with his wife, Elizabeth Hill Vidor. The movie starred Robert Young in the title role, with Hedy Lamarr, Ruth Hussey, Charles Coburn, and Van Heflin. There is also an...

    (1941)
  • Kings Row
    Kings Row
    Kings Row is a 1942 film starring Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, and Ronald Reagan that tells a story of young people growing up in a small American town at the turn of the twentieth century, beset by social pressure, dark secrets, and the challenges and tragedies one must face as a result of these...

    (1942)
  • In This Our Life
    In This Our Life
    In This Our Life is a 1942 American drama film, the second to be directed by John Huston. The screenplay by Howard Koch is based on the 1941 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same title by Ellen Glasgow. The cast included the established stars Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland as sisters and...

    (1942)
  • George Washington Slept Here
    George Washington Slept Here
    George Washington Slept Here is a 1942 comedy film starring Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan. It was based on the 1940 play of the same name by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, adapted by Everett Freeman, and was directed by William Keighley...

    (1942)
  • The More the Merrier
    The More the Merrier
    The More the Merrier is a 1943 American comedy film made by Columbia Pictures which makes fun of the housing shortage during World War II, especially in Washington, D.C.. The picture stars Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Stanley Clements and Richard Gaines. The movie was directed by...

    (1943)
  • The Constant Nymph
    The Constant Nymph (1943 film)
    The Constant Nymph is a 1943 romantic drama film starring Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine, Alexis Smith, Brenda Marshall, Charles Coburn, Dame May Whitty and Peter Lorre...

    (1943)
  • Heaven Can Wait
    Heaven Can Wait (1943 film)
    Heaven Can Wait is a 1943 American comedy film produced and directed by Ernst Lubitsch. The screenplay was by Samson Raphaelson based on the play Birthday by Leslie Bush-Fekete. The music score was by Alfred Newman and the cinematography by Edward Cronjager.The film tells the story of a man who has...

    (1943)
  • Princess O'Rourke
    Princess O'Rourke
    Princess O'Rourke is a 1943 romantic comedy film. It was directed and written by Norman Krasna and starring Olivia de Havilland, Robert Cummings and Charles Coburn...

    (1943)
  • Wilson
    Wilson (film)
    Wilson is a 1944 biographical film in Technicolor about President Woodrow Wilson. It stars Charles Coburn, Alexander Knox, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Thomas Mitchell and Sir Cedric Hardwicke.The movie was written by Lamar Trotti and directed by Henry King...

    (1944)
  • The Impatient Years
    The Impatient Years
    The Impatient Years is a 1944 romance film made by Columbia Pictures, directed by Irving Cummings, and written by Virginia Van Upp.-Plot:...

    (1944)

  • A Royal Scandal
    A Royal Scandal (film)
    A Royal Scandal, also known as Czarina, is a 1945 film about the love life of Russian Empress Catherine the Great. It stars Tallulah Bankhead, Charles Coburn, Anne Baxter, and William Eythe...

    (1945)
  • Over 21
    Over 21
    Over 21 is a 1945 comedy film about a wife who supports her husband's decision to enlist in the army for World War II over the objections of his boss...

    (1945)
  • The Green Years
    The Green Years (film)
    The Green Years is a 1946 American comedy-drama film featuring Charles Coburn, Tom Drake, Hume Cronyn, Gladys Cooper, Dean Stockwell, and Jessica Tandy, based on A. J. Cronin's novel of the same title...

    (1946)
  • Colonel Effingham's Raid
    Colonel Effingham's Raid
    Colonel Effingham's Raid is a 1946 comedy film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Irving Pichel. The screenplay was written by Kathryn Scola, based on a novel by Berry Fleming. The music score is by Cyril J. Mockridge...

    (1946)
  • Lured
    Lured
    Lured is the title of a film noir released by United Artists, directed by Douglas Sirk, and starring Lucille Ball, George Sanders, Boris Karloff, Charles Coburn, and Sir Cedric Hardwicke.-Plot:...

    (1947)
  • The Paradine Case
    The Paradine Case
    The Paradine Case is a 1947 American courtroom drama film, set in England, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by David O. Selznick. The screenplay was written by Selznick and an uncredited Ben Hecht, from an adaptation by Alma Reville and James Bridie of the novel by Robert Smythe Hichens...

    (1947)
  • Green Grass of Wyoming
    Green Grass of Wyoming
    Green Grass of Wyoming is a 1948 film starring Peggy Cummins and Charles Coburn. The film is based on the third book in the popular, "My Friend Flicka" trilogy, written by Mary O'Hara...

    (1948)
  • B.F.'s Daughter
    B.F.'s Daughter
    B.F.'s Daughter is a 1948 drama film directed by Robert Z. Leonard and starring Barbara Stanwyck and Van Heflin. It is adapted from John P. Marquand's controversial 1946 novel of the same name, but the movie script soft-pedals the controversial elements and is a fairly conventional love...

    (1948)
  • Impact (1949)
  • Everybody Does It
    Everybody Does It
    Everybody Does It is a 1949 comedy film starring Paul Douglas, Linda Darnell and Celeste Holm.In the film, a businessman's wife tries to become an opera star, failing miserably due to her lack of talent...

    (1949)
  • Louisa
    Louisa (film)
    Louisa is a 1950 comedy film directed by Alexander Hall and starring Ronald Reagan and Spring Byington in the title role. This film was Piper Larie's film debut. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Sound Louisa is a 1950 comedy film directed by Alexander Hall and starring Ronald Reagan...

    (1950)
  • Trouble Along the Way
    Trouble Along the Way
    Trouble Along the Way was a 1953 film starring John Wayne and Donna Reed, with a supporting cast including Charles Coburn and Marie Windsor. The movie was directed by Michael Curtiz, director of Casablanca. The black-and-white comedy was released by Warner Bros...

    (1952)
  • Has Anybody Seen My Gal?
    Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (film)
    Has Anybody Seen My Gal? is a 1952 film comedy film directed by Douglas Sirk, and starring Piper Laurie, Rock Hudson, Lynn Bari, and Charles Coburn. Set in the 1920s, the film is named after The California Ramblers jazz tune Has Anybody Seen My Gal?....

    (1952)
  • Monkey Business
    Monkey Business (1952 film)
    Monkey Business is a screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Charles Coburn, Marilyn Monroe, and Hugh Marlowe. To avoid confusion with the famous Marx Brothers movie of the same name, this film is sometimes referred to as Howard Hawks' Monkey...

    (1952)
  • Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  • The Long Wait
    The Long Wait
    -Plot:Johnny McBride is badly hurt while hitch hiking and loses his memory when the car he is riding in crashes. Two years later, a clue leads him to his old home town, where he finds he is a murder suspect. Johnny tries to clear his name of the presumed murder charges...

    (1954)
  • The Best of Broadway
    The Best of Broadway
    The Best of Broadway is a 60-minute television anthology series telecast on CBS from 1954 to 1955 for a total of 9 episodes.*Episode 1: The Royal Family *Episode 2: The Man Who Came to Dinner...

    episode "The Royal Family" (1954) (TV)
  • Town on Trial
    Town on Trial
    Town on Trial is a 1957 British mystery film directed by John Guillermin and starring John Mills, Charles Coburn, Barbara Bates and Derek Farr. A whole town comes under suspicion when a series of grisly murders are carried out - particularly members of the local tennis club.-Cast:* Charles Coburn...

    (1957)
  • How to Murder a Rich Uncle
    How to Murder a Rich Uncle
    How to Murder a Rich Uncle is a 1957 British comedy film directed by Nigel Patrick and starring Patrick, Wendy Hiller, Charles Coburn and Anthony Newley. A man plans to kill his wealthy Uncle George...

    (1957)
  • The Story of Mankind (1957)
  • Around the World in Eighty Days
    Around the World in Eighty Days (1956 film)
    Around the World in 80 Days is a 1956 adventure film produced by the Michael Todd Company and released by United Artists. It was directed by Michael Anderson. It was produced by Michael Todd, with Kevin McClory and William Cameron Menzies as associate producers. The screenplay was written by James...

    (1958) (cameo)
  • John Paul Jones
    John Paul Jones (film)
    John Paul Jones is a 1959 biographical epic film about John Paul Jones. The film was made by Samuel Bronston Productions and released by Warner Bros. It was directed by John Farrow and produced by Samuel Bronston from a screenplay by John Farrow, Ben Hecht, Jesse Lasky Jr. from the story Nor'wester...

    (1959)


External links