What about Walter Pidgeon in movies?

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Lance
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What about Walter Pidgeon in movies?

Post by Lance » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:35 pm

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Actor Walter Pidgeon (1939)

Walter Pidgeon made a lot of movies, including some in the silent era. How do you think time will treat this actor. His black & whites seem to show him at his best. Some of the later films, such as Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961) didn't show him, IMHO, in the best light. Still, apparently, the man loved being an actor.

PERSONAL:
Born Walter Davis Pidgeon
September 23, 1897(1897-09-23)
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
Died September 25, 1984 (aged 87)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Occupation Actor
Years active 1926–1978
Spouse(s) Edna (Muriel) Pickles (1919–1921)
Ruth Walker (1931–1984)

HIS STORY:
Walter Davis Pidgeon (September 23, 1897 – September 25, 1984) was a Canadian actor who lived most of his adult life in the United States.

EARLY LIFE:
Born in Saint John, New Brunswick, he attended local public schools followed by the University of New Brunswick, where he studied law and drama. His studies were interrupted by World War I and his enlistment in the 65th Battery of the Canadian Field Artillery. He never saw combat, as he was severely injured when he was crushed between two gun carriages and hospitalized for 17 months. After the war, he moved to Boston, where he worked as a bank runner. His earnings financed his voice studies at the New England Conservatory of Music. He was a classically trained baritone.

CAREER:
Discontented with banking, he moved to New York City, where he made his entrance as an actor by walking into the office of E. E. Clive and announcing that he could act and sing, and was ready to prove it. After working as an actor on stage for a few years, he made his Broadway debut in 1925.

Pidgeon made several silent movies in the 1920s. He became a huge star with the arrival of talkies, because he was able to sing pleasantly. He starred in several extravagant early Technicolor musicals, such as The Bride of the Regiment (1930), Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930), Viennese Nights (1930) and Kiss Me Again (1931). He quickly became associated with musicals; however, when the public grew weary of them late in 1930, his career began to falter. Afterwards, Pidgeon played secondary roles in such films as Saratoga and The Girl of the Golden West. During this period one of his better known roles was in The Dark Command, where he portrayed the villain opposite John Wayne and Claire Trevor.

It was not until he starred in How Green Was My Valley that his popularity rebounded. He starred opposite Greer Garson in Blossoms in the Dust, Mrs. Miniver (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor) and its sequel, The Miniver Story. He was also nominated in 1944 for Madame Curie, again opposite Garson. His partnership with Garson continued into the 1950s, and concluded with Scandal at Scourie in 1953.

Although he continued making films, including Week-End at the Waldorf and Forbidden Planet, based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, Pidgeon returned to work on Broadway in the mid-1950s after a twenty-year absence, and was featured in Take Me Along with Jackie Gleason. He continued making films, playing Admiral Harriman Nelson in 1961's Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, in Walt Disney's Big Red (1962), and in Otto Preminger's Advise and Consent. His role as Florenz Ziegfield in Funny Girl (1968) was well received. He also played Casey, James Coburn's sidekick in Harry in Your Pocket (1973). In addition, Pidgeon guest-starred in many television programs, including Perry Mason, Breaking Point, The F.B.I., and Marcus Welby, M.D..

Pidgeon was active in the Screen Actors Guild, and served as president from 1952-1957. As such, he tried to stop the production of the film Salt of the Earth, which was made by a team blacklisted during the Red Scare.

He retired in 1973.

Pidgeon has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6414 Hollywood Blvd.

PERSONAL LIFE:
Pidgeon married twice. In 1919, he wed Edna (Muriel) Pickles, who died during the birth of their daughter, also named Edna, in 1921. In 1931, he married his secretary, Ruth Walker, to whom he remained married until his death. They had no children.

He died of a stroke in Santa Monica, California, in 1984. In accordance with his wishes, his body was donated to the UCLA Medical School for medical research. ♪
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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jbuck919
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Re: What about Walter Pidgeon in movies?

Post by jbuck919 » Fri Apr 09, 2010 4:09 pm

Voyage had a lot of problems not related to Pidgeon's performance (in fact it is a bit of a rich man's Plan 9 from Outer Space).

The only memorable movie I've seen him in is the SF classic Forbidden Planet, which still holds up as a great film. Unfortunately people (well, at least one person) remember him for delivering the line "the number one raised almost literally to the power of infinity."

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

HoustonDavid
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Re: What about Walter Pidgeon in movies?

Post by HoustonDavid » Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:23 pm

As a youngster in the early '40s, I remember "How Green Was My Valley" as one of the first serious
films to make an impression on me. Pidgeon had a critical role, but I most remember young Roddy
McMcDowall, who was just a couple years older. He was certainly the "young boy" character in those
years and did a good job, but never reached the same level of popularity as an adult, although he
continued acting; he was often associated with Elizabeth Taylor as a "friend", never a romantic
interest. I believe he had some success as a professional photographer off the set. As noted above,
Walter Pidgeon also played a primary character in the science fiction classic "Forbidden Planet" which
is a real hoot in this age of "realism" and DGI, and strikes me as a film fan more like a parody of the
genre, although it wasn't intended to be such.
"May You be born in interesting (maybe confusing?) times" - Chinese Proverb (or Curse)

Lance
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Re: What about Walter Pidgeon in movies?

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:58 am

I, too, remember How Green Was My Valley, especially for Maureen O'Hara, certainly one of the most beautiful and superb actors of the time. But I also well remember Donald Crisp who always played wonderfully realistic parts, just as did Edmund Gwenn did. For some reason I always think of these two actors in the same breath. And yes, Roddy McDowall, always memorable but never quite the complete career.
HoustonDavid wrote:As a youngster in the early '40s, I remember "How Green Was My Valley" as one of the first serious
films to make an impression on me. Pidgeon had a critical role, but I most remember young Roddy
McMcDowall, who was just a couple years older. He was certainly the "young boy" character in those
years and did a good job, but never reached the same level of popularity as an adult, although he
continued acting; he was often associated with Elizabeth Taylor as a "friend", never a romantic
interest. I believe he had some success as a professional photographer off the set. As noted above,
Walter Pidgeon also played a primary character in the science fiction classic "Forbidden Planet" which
is a real hoot in this age of "realism" and DGI, and strikes me as a film fan more like a parody of the
genre, although it wasn't intended to be such.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

Image

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