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Walter Brennan

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 performed in school plays. He worked some in vaudeville and also in various jobs such as clerking in a bank and as a lumberjack. He toured in small musical comedy companies before entering the military in 1917. After his war service he went to Guatemala and raised pineapples, then migrated to Los Angeles, where he speculated in real estate. A few jobs as a film extra came his way beginning in 1923, then some work as a stuntman. He eventually achieved speaking roles, going from bit parts to substantial supporting parts in scores of features and short subjects between 1927 and 1938. In 1936 his role in Come and Get It (1936) won him the very first Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. He would win it twice more in the decade, and be nominated for a fourth. His range was enormous. He could play sophisticated businessmen, con artists, local yokels, cowhands and military officers with apparent equal ease. An accident in 1932 cost him most of his teeth, and he most often was seen in eccentric rural parts, often playing characters much older than his actual age. His career never really declined, and in the 1950s he became an even more endearing and familiar figure in several television series, most famously The Real McCoys (1957). He died in 1974 of emphysema, a beloved figure in movies and TV, the target of countless comic impressionists, and one of the best and most prolific actors of his time.

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Jul 25, 1894 In Lynn, Massachusetts, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Lorraine of the Lions 1925-10-11
Latest Project:
Movie And the Oscar Goes To... 2014-02-02
Known For
Movie And the Oscar Goes To... 2014-02-02
Movie Bogart: The Untold Story 1997-01-05
Movie The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender Himself (archive footage) 1997-11-01
Movie La Classe américaine 'Stumpy' (archive footage) 1993-12-31
Movie Home for the Holidays Benjamin Morgan 1974-07-13
Movie Two for the Money Cody Guilford 1972-02-27
Movie The Young Country Sheriff Matt Fenley 1970-03-18
Movie The Over The Hill Gang Rides Again Nash Crawford 1970-11-17
Movie Support Your Local Sheriff! Pa Danby 1969-03-26
Movie The Over-the-Hill Gang Nash Crawford 1969-10-07
Movie The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band Grandpa Bower 1968-04-19
Movie The Gnome-Mobile D.J. Mulrooney 1967-07-17
Movie Who's Minding The Mint? Pop Gillis 1967-09-26
Series The Guns of Will Sonnett 1967-09-08
Movie The Oscar Quentin 1966-03-04
Movie Those Calloways Alf Simes 1965-01-28
Movie Shoot Out At Big Sag 'Preacher' Hawker 1962-05-31
Movie How the West Was Won Jeb Hawkins 1962-10-01
Movie Rio Bravo Stumpy 1959-03-17
Movie Tammy and the Bachelor John Dinwitty 1957-06-14
Movie God Is My Partner Dr. Charles Grayson 1957-07-01
Movie Glory Ned Otis 1956-01-11
Movie Come Next Spring Jeffrey Storys 1956-03-09
Movie The Proud Ones Jake 1956-05-15
Movie Good-bye, My Lady Uncle Jesse Jackson 1956-05-12
Movie At Gunpoint Bob Dennis 1955-12-25
Movie The Far Country Ben Tatum 1954-02-12
Movie Four Guns to the Border Simon Bhumer 1954-11-03
Movie Drums Across the River Sam Brannon 1954-06-01
Movie Return of the Texan Grandpa Firth Crockett 1952-02-13
Movie Lure of the Wilderness Jim Harper 1952-07-16
Movie Along the Great Divide Timothy 'Pop' Keith 1951-06-02
Movie The Wild Blue Yonder Maj. Gen. Wolfe 1951-12-05
Movie Best of the Badmen 'Doc' Butcher 1951-08-09
Movie A Ticket to Tomahawk Terence Sweeny 1950-05-19
Movie Curtain Call at Cactus Creek 1950-05-24
Movie Singing Guns Dr. Jonathan Mark 1950-02-28
Movie The Showdown Cap MacKellar 1950-08-15
Movie Surrender Sheriff Bill Howard 1950-09-15
Movie Brimstone Pop Courteen 1949-08-15
Movie The Green Promise Mr. Matthews 1949-03-21
Movie Task Force Pete Richard 1949-08-30
Movie Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! Tony Maule 1948-03-10
Movie Blood on the Moon Kris Barden 1948-11-11
Movie Driftwood Murph 1947-09-15
Movie A Stolen Life Eben Folger 1946-05-01
Movie Centennial Summer Jesse Rogers 1946-07-10
Movie My Darling Clementine Old Man Clanton 1946-10-17
Movie Nobody Lives Forever Pop Gruber 1946-11-01
Movie Dakota Capt. Bounce of the Riverbird 1945-12-15
Movie To Have and Have Not Eddie 1944-10-11
Movie Home in Indiana J. F. 'Thunder' Bolt 1944-06-15
Movie The Princess and the Pirate Featherhead 1944-11-10
Movie Slightly Dangerous Cornelius Burden 1943-04-01
Movie Hangmen Also Die! Prof. Stephen Novotny 1943-04-15
Movie The North Star Karp 1943-11-04
Movie The Pride of the Yankees Sam Blake 1942-07-14
Movie Stand by for Action Chief Yeoman Henry Johnson 1942-12-31
Movie This Woman Is Mine Captain Jonathan Thorne 1941-08-22
Movie Rise and Shine Grandpa 1941-11-21
Movie Sergeant York Pastor Rosier Pile 1941-09-27
Movie Meet John Doe The Colonel 1941-03-14
Movie Breakdowns of 1941 Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) 1941-11-14
Movie Swamp Water Tom Keefer 1941-11-16
Movie Northwest Passage 'Hunk' Marriner 1940-02-23
Movie Maryland William Stewart 1940-07-19
Movie The Westerner Judge Roy Bean 1940-09-18
Movie The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle Walter 1939-03-29
Movie They Shall Have Music Professor Lawson 1939-08-18
Movie Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President Jim 1939-12-01
Movie Stanley and Livingstone Jeff Slocum 1939-08-18
Movie Mother Carey's Chickens Ossian Popham 1938-07-29
Movie The Buccaneer Ezra Peavey 1938-02-04
Movie The Texans Chuckawalla 1938-08-12
Movie The Cowboy and the Lady Sugar 1938-11-17
Movie Kentucky Peter Goodwin 1938-12-30
Movie When Love Is Young Uncle Hugo 1937-03-26
Movie She's Dangerous 'Oats' 1937-01-24
Movie Affairs of Cappy Ricks Cappy Ricks 1937-05-24
Movie These Three Taxi Driver 1936-03-18
Movie The Moon's Our Home Lem 1936-04-10
Movie Three Godfathers Gus 1936-03-06
Movie Banjo on My Knee Newt Holley 1936-12-11
Movie Come and Get It Swan Bostrom 1936-11-06
Movie Fury Bugs Meyers 1936-06-05
Movie The Wedding Night Bill Jenkins 1935-03-08
Movie West Point of the Air Soldier at Kelly's Wreckage 1935-03-23
Movie Law Beyond the Range Abner 1935-02-15
Movie Biography of a Bachelor Girl Reporter on Ship (uncredited) 1935-01-04
Movie The Bride of Frankenstein Peasant 1935-04-20
Movie Northern Frontier Stuttering Cook 1935-02-01
Movie Party Wire Paul - Railroad Telegrapher (uncredited) 1935-04-27
Movie Barbary Coast Old Atrocity 1935-10-13
Movie Metropolitan Grandpa 1935-10-17
Movie She Couldn't Take It Peddler 1935-10-08
Movie Seven Keys to Baldpate Station Agent 1935-12-13
Movie Lady Tubbs Joseph 1935-07-02
Movie Man on the Flying Trapeze 'Legs' Garnett 1935-08-03
Movie We're in the Money Wedding Witness (uncredited) 1935-08-17
Movie George White's Scandals Hick (uncredited) 1934-03-15
Movie Riptide Chauffeur (uncredited) 1934-03-29
Movie The Poor Rich Dr. Johnson the Coroner (uncredited) 1934-02-25
Movie Good Dame Elmer Spicer 1934-03-16
Movie Cross Country Cruise Niagara Falls Boatman 1934-01-16
Movie I'll Tell the World Otto - Bicycle Repair Man 1934-04-20
Movie Fugitive Lovers 2nd Bus Driver (uncredited) 1934-01-05
Movie Radio Dough 1934-02-05
Movie There's Always Tomorrow Auto mechanic 1934-11-01
Movie Gridiron Flash Proprietor of Java Joe's 1934-10-06
Movie Woman Haters Train Conductor 1934-05-05
Movie Death on the Diamond Hot Dog Vendor 1934-09-14
Movie Great Expectations Prisoner on Ship 1934-10-22
Movie Whom the Gods Destroy Clifford (uncredited) 1934-07-12
Movie The Life of Vergie Winters Roscoe (uncredited) 1934-06-14
Movie Murder in the Private Car Switchman (uncredited) 1934-06-29
Movie The Phantom of the Air 'Skid' (uncredited) 1933-05-21
Movie Strange People The Radio Repairman 1933-06-16
Movie Girl Missing Joe - Garage Attendant (uncredited) 1933-03-04
Movie Goldie Gets Along Stuttering Waiter 1933-01-27
Movie Man Of Action Cashier Summers 1933-01-20
Movie One Year Later Man Chuckling at Train Station 1933-08-24
Movie Parachute Jumper Counterman at Jewel Diner (uncredited) 1933-01-28
Movie My Woman Auditioning Man Who Does Animal Sounds (Uncredited) 1933-10-04
Movie The Invisible Man Bicycle Owner (uncredited) 1933-11-03
Movie Sensation Hunters Stuttering Waiter 1933-08-30
Movie Curtain at Eight Silent Detective 1933-10-01
Movie King for a Night Soda Jerk 1933-12-09
Movie Saturday's Millions Reporter 1933-09-30
Movie Golden Harvest Farmhand at Wedding (uncredited) 1933-09-21
Movie Miss Pinkerton Police Dispatcher (uncredited) 1932-05-27
Movie Scandal for Sale Newspaperman 1932-04-01
Movie The Airmail Mystery Holly 1932-03-28
Movie Two-Fisted Law Deputy Sheriff Bendix 1932-06-08
Movie Texas Cyclone Sheriff Lew Collins (as Walter Brenan) 1932-02-24
Movie Law and Order Lanky Smith (uncredited) 1932-03-01
Movie Manhattan Tower Mechanic (uncredited) 1932-12-01
Movie Speed Madness Joe 1932-07-29
Movie Women Won't Tell Man in Junkyard 1932-11-16
Movie Merry-Go-Round Protester Sign Carrier (uncredited) 1932-12-01
Movie Cornered Court Bailiff (uncredited) 1932-08-05
Movie Once in a Lifetime Lighting Technician (uncredited) 1932-10-02
Movie Grief Street Walt 1931-10-01
Movie A House Divided Musician 1931-12-05
Movie King of Jazz Desk Sergeant ('Springtime') / Soldier ('All Noisy on the Eastern Front') / Waiter ('Oh! Forevermore!') / Front End of Horse / Quartet Member ('Nellie') 1930-04-20
Movie Dames Ahoy Side Show Barker 1930-02-10
Movie Little Accident Milkman (uncredited) 1930-08-03
Movie Flight Marine Pilot 1929-09-14
Movie One Hysterical Night Paul Revere 1929-10-05
Movie The Last Performance Clown (uncredited) 1929-10-13
Movie The Long, Long Trail Skinny Rawlins 1929-10-26
Movie The Ballyhoo Buster 1928-01-08
Movie The Michigan Kid Minor Role (uncredited) 1928-10-20
Movie Tearin' Into Trouble Billy Martin 1927-03-19
Movie Blake of Scotland Yard 1927-08-14
Movie Sensation Seekers Below Deck Yacht Crewman 1927-03-21
Movie The Ridin' Rowdy 1927-04-24
Movie Lorraine of the Lions 1925-10-11
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