No role is too small for the great actors who often appear in the periphery of our beloved classic films. For the second year in a row we put them front and center. Hosted by Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled and (@IrishJayHawk66), Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club and (@Paula_Guthat) and Aurora, of Once Upon a Screen and (@CitizenScreen) it’s the WHAT A CHARACTER! blogathon!
This event was conceived from the phrase used by our home of the classics, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), and it proved to be a smash hit with bloggers and readers alike last year. The enthusiasm and appreciation for the great character actors overwhelmed us so we’re back to lend praise to the many more we love or love to hate, those who make us laugh, or who cause us to simply smile in recognition.
- Can you count how many scenes Barry Fitzgerald stole from the likes of Duke Wayne?
- Would Gone with the Wind be as memorable without the talents of Hattie McDaniel or Thomas Mitchell?
- We’d have no reference to cling to if not for Eve Arden reminding us that “alligators eat their young” in Mildred Pierce.
To those and the many others whose work we admire we dedicate WHAT A CHARACTER!
If you’re interested in participating, and we certainly hope you are, please adhere to the following:
- Let one of the hosts know which character actor is your choice. Although we’re inclined to limit these to those considered “traditional” classic actors – or before 1970 just to choose a point of reference – if you’ve an actor in mind after that time, that’s acceptable as well.
- Please include your twitter or FB tag, email address and blog name & URL.
- Publish the post for either November 9, 10 or 11. Let us know if you have a date preference, otherwise we’ll split publicizing duties equally among the three days.
- Please include the blogathon graphic on your blog to help us publicize the event.
- Include the graphic and link to one of the host sites in your WHAT A CHARACTER! post
- If possible, please send any of the hosts the direct link to your WHAT A CHARACTER! post by the day before your due date. Otherwise we’ll simply link to your site’s home page.
- HAVE FUN and spread the word! There are many great characters worthy of attention.
A big thank you – HAPPY BLOGGING!
Participating blogs and their chosen actors so far…
(listed alphabetically by character actor)
Edward Arnold – The Girl with the White Parasol
Irving Bacon – Speakeasy
Martin Balsam – You Gotta Get a Critic
Florence Bates – Christy’s Inkwells
Eric Blore – Portraits by Jenni
Ernest Borgnine in Marty – Silver Screenings
Joe E. Brown – Wide Screen World
Timothy Carey – Furious Cinema
Walter Connolly – Carole & Co.
Elisha Cook, Jr. – Sales on Film
Jane Darwell – Pam on Once Upon a Screen
Harry Davenport – Once Upon a Screen
Bruce Dern – Kerry on Paula’s Cinema Club
Joyce Grenfell – Caftan Woman
Sara Haden – The Great Katharine Hepburn
Hugh Herbert – Immortal Ephemera
Sterling Holloway – Sittin’ On a Backyard Fence
John Hoyt – The Skeins
Lionel Jeffries – Silver Scenes
Roscoe Karns – Classic Movie Hub
Pert Kelton – The Skeins
Jesse Royce Landis – MaesMusings on Once Upon a Screen
Sheldon Leonard – A Shroud of Thoughts
Sam Levene – Tales of the Easily Distracted
Peter Lorre – TV’s Fault
Mary MacLaren – I Love Terrible Movies
Tully Marshall – Movies, Silently
Hattie McDaniel – Outspoken & Freckled
Frank McHugh – Paula’s Cinema Club
Una Merkel – Hepburnia
Dick Miller – Cinematic Catharsis
Thomas Mitchell – Joel’s Classic Film Passion
Agnes Moorehead – Movie Star Makeover
Jeanette Nolan – The Last Drive-In
Edna May Oliver – The “semi” Daily Maine
Eugene Pallette – Paula’s Cinema Club
Gail Patrick – Picture Spoilers
Nat Pendleton – Comet Over Hollywood
Jessie Ralph – The 5 AM Show
Tony Randall – Flick Chicks
Thelma Ritter – Family Friendly Reviews
Kenji Sahara – The Draconic Verses
Joe Sawyer – The Bogie Film Blog
Regis Toomey – She Blogged by Night
Stanley Tucci – Paula’s Cinema Club
Dame May Whitty – Silver Scenes
Hank Worden – Critica Retro
This blogathon is just one of the many exciting classic movie “happenings” this fall and winter. For a comprehensive list of events, including classic film screenings throughout the country, visit the Classic Movie Hub events calendar.
Woot!! Looking forward to this!
WOOT! 😀 Does this mean you’re contributing? 😉
Aurora, is the WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon a yearly thing now? How very cool! If nobody’s claimed it, I’d love to blog about Sam Levene. I’ve been wanting to write about him anyway in THE DARK PAGES anyway, if you wouldn’t mind my doing double-duty, so to speak! Please let me know. Either way, I know it’ll be a great Blogathon!
Hi Dorian! I’m thrilled you’re participating and any duty from you is fabulous! Did that sound right???
Mr. Levene is a great choice. If there’s an interest – and people seem to adore our characters, then we’ll certainly try to make this a yearly event. As long as it’s fun it’s OK by me!
It’s Deja vu all over again! This year I’d like to write about someone I absolutely idolize, Joyce Grenfell.
YAY!! Thanks, Patty! I’m thrilled you’re with us again this year! 😀
I was so excited that I forgot to mention that the 9th of November is the only bad date for me. Bad, bad day.
OK. I’ll note you for the 11th for a respite between your bad day and the post. 😀
Can I sign up here? Do I need to send you an email? I would LOVE to do Joe Sawyer who popped up in more than a half dozen Bogart films, almost always as a wisecracking heavy.
Wonderful! This is perfect. 😀 So excited.
I love this event. It’s wonderful to pay homage to the unsung actors who fill in all those essential spaces in film and television. I’d love to do something about Jeanette Nolan… Am I in?
You’re in and you can’t get out!
Hi, Aurora! I would love to participate! I will take Tully Marshall (love, love, love Tully!) and will review his performance in Redskin (1929). This will be so fun!
WONDERFUL!! Cannot wait! 😀
I want to play! If he’s free, I’d love to blog about George Sanders. What a voice! From his role in ‘Rebecca’ to the voice of Shere Khan in ‘The Jungle Book’ to the narrator in ‘All about Eve’ –there’s a lot I could say. Whatta ya think?
I think that’s freakin’ great! Welcome aboard!
Just realized my reply to you may not have posted as a reply. In case you didn’t see it, I LOVE your choice!!
Ah, this looks like the perfect opportunity for me to finally do a post on Hugh Herbert.
If unclaimed please put him down for Immortal Ephemera … woo woo!
You got it and I’m super excited you’re contributing, Cliff!
Not sure if my comment came through (log-in issues) but would like to claim Hugh Herbert for Immortal Ephemera if he’s still available. Thanks!
My birthday is November 11. It’s so sweet of you to honor it with a blogathon!
That’s my hosting day too. WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS!?
I’m in of course, but I’ll need a little time to think of an actor/character to write about.
Great, Rich! Happy to have you join in! 😀
I’d like to write about Thelma Ritter, let me know if that works. Thanks! @StoryboxChris email@example.com at Family Friendly Reviews http://familyfriendlyreviews.wordpress.com/
This event wouldn’t be the same without Ms. Ritter!! Absolutely! Thanks much for joining us!
Yes, I’m happy she was still available! 🙂 Sounds like a great idea and I look forward to reading the others too!
I already tweeted my request, but is there anything else you need from me? Any day works for me, by the way… I’m not picky. 🙂
You’re good. Only thing is – I’d appreciate everyone’s email address and blog title.
Oh I would enjoy writing for this blogathon. Please put me down for Eric Blore. I love the comedic movies I view all the more when I see his name in the cast! My blog is firstname.lastname@example.org
Since my post would also be for our local newspaper, I’d like to pick Nov. 9th, as that is closest to my publication date for the newspaper. Thanks!
Wonderful, Jenni. Thanks much for joining us!
Hi Aurora! I would LOVE to write about Ernest Borgnine in “Marty”, if he isn’t already taken? Also, could I post on November 9 if the field isn’t too crowded already?
SO HAPPY to see this blogathon return. Yay!
Yay! So happy you’re throwing your Marty hat in! 😀 Will note you for the 9th!
Hi Aurora! Whoot! Really looking forward to this. Would love to cover Roscoe Karns if that’s good with you!
It’s PERFECT!!! Thanks so much! 😀 Cannot wait to read your entry – great choice.
Please may I gush – I mean write – about Tony Randall?
LOL! Gush away! Happy to have you write about him for this.
Sign me up for Mary MacLaren, who had a small part in “Reefer Madness” (I do specialize in exploitation cinema!) and like 100+ other things before 1950, including “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “Westward Ho” and the 1934 edition of Le Miz.
Sounds fabulous!! Thanks much for being a part of this! Can’t wait to read about Ms. MacLaren!
Hooray! Can I write about an actor I really like but had to check his name anyway: Hank Worden?
Can’t wait for this year’s event!
First of all, HOORAY to you for admitting you had to look up an actor’s name! That happens to me all the time and often with actors I love! 😀 You got it and THANKS for joining us!
don’t forget to give me the title of your blog and/or url AND twitter or FB tag if you can.
LE!!! LOL! I didn’t see that was you! Don’t mind me! I put you on the list! WoooHooo.
Haha! Don’t worry! I need this other name to post on a site I contribute to, but sometimes I forget to change to Le when I comment on blogs!
This sounds like a great idea. Is Peter Lorre taken? I’d love to give some more of my time to the man occasionally known as Joel Cairo.
Any chance I can check out some of last year’s entires?
WOW! What a fantastic choice! Wish he’d occurred to me first! Anyway – you’re already on the list! Thanks for joining us! If you go into the “WHAT A CHARACTER” link right under this site’s title, all of last year’s entires are listed there and accessible.
Glad you guys are doing this again! It’s a great tradition. I’d like to cover Edward Arnold, if he’s still available. My blog is The Girl with the White Parasol (http://thegirlwiththewhiteparasol.blogspot.com/). And for the record, my Twitter handle is @GirlwthParasol.
Wonderful! Thanks much for being a apart of this, Aubyn!
Gosh, we can’t pass up on this event. So glad to see the “characters” get their place in the spotlight. Put my sister and I for this if you can squeeze us in. We’ll need a little time to decide WHO to write about though. Silver Scenes ( http://silverscenesblog.blogger.com ). – Diana and Constance Metzinger
Wonderful! Let me know when you’ve made your choice. It’s difficult to choose.
Alrightee…one month later and I narrowed the choice down to seven. I hate having to pass up on Charles Coburn and Louis Calhern but it looks like the Brits are not getting much spotlight, so I’d like to write about Dame May Whitty and Lionel Jeffries, two excellent character actors. Would it be alright to do both?
Absolutely! Let me know if this will be in one post or if you want two posts on different days.
Thanks so much for taking part!!
I’ll make them two separate posts…maybe with Dame May Whitty first ( I wrote that one already so it’s an easy paste! ).
Yes! So glad this is back! Had a great time talking about John Qualen last year. This year I have to do one of my favorites, Elisha Cook, Jr.! It’ll be at salesonfilm.blogspot.com. Thanks!
LOVE IT! Thanks so much for playing along! Can’t wait to read your write-up – what a career he had!
If he’s not taken, I’d love to do Regis Toomey for the ‘thon!
He’s yours! Another great choice! So excited! 😀
I’m excited too! It’ll be posted on shebloggedbynight.com — thanks!
Oh I forgot, I’m @stacia_jones_ on Twitter. Oops. I’m already not following directions!
LOL! If you weren’t so fabulous I’d ban you! 😉
Ha! That’d make a great twitter handle! 😀
How would you feel about a bit of Japanese representation? Because Kenji Sahara has been in more Toho special effects films than any other actor. He was also in many minor parts as well as a number of leads. I’d be happy to blog on him. He was actually very briefly on screen in the first Godzilla film in 1954, as well as having the male lead in Rodan a few years later.
Sounds great! Thanks, Jim. I’ll add you to the list later today.
Can I write about Nat Pendleton?
You got it! So glad you’re in with us!
Sorry I’m a bit late on this, but I can’t believe no one has yet claimed Walter Connolly…so I will. (It helps that he appeared in several films made by the subject of my site, Carole Lombard, and thus would be an ideal fit for “Carole & Co.”) Do I have your seal of approval (and no, it doesn’t have to clap its fins)?
BTW, I neglected to choose a date for the entry. How about Nov. 10?
You’re not late at all and I’m THRILLED that you are participating and with your choice! Outstanding all around. I’ll add you to the list later today.
Just gave this a plug today, at http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/640821.html. Looking forward to participating.
Also note that I’m hosting a blogathon, “The Great Silent Recasting,” set for Nov. 1-4. All of you are welcome to try your hand at imagining a post-1965 film with stars, director, etc., from the silent era.
Thanks so much and I’d seen your blogathon but didn’t feel I’m sufficiently well-versed in silents to make a good argument. BUT, maybe I’ll give it a shot. I’ll let you know in the next couple of day. I LOVE the topic!
I’m not sure if I replied to this but I noted you for the 10th!! 😀
Reblogged this on The Draconic Verses and commented:
I’m very flattered to be participating this year!
May I do Sara Haden? I don’t think she’s been claimed yet.
Yes! Fabulous. So happy you’re on board, Margaret! 🙂
I would love to participate on my site You Gotta Get a Critic (http://yougottagetacritic.com).
My chosen character actor: Martin Balsam.
Looking forward to it!
Great choice, Josh and we’re happy to have you!! I probably won’t get to add you to the list until Saturday. Thanks so much – I happen to LOVE Mr. Balsam!