This page is dedicated to the character actors.  Following you’ll find an impressive list of posts written by bloggers the world over, each honoring a character actor of note.  Most of these are from the golden age of Hollywood when studios had loads of talent to feature in the periphery.  We may not know their names, but each and every one of these actors made the films in which they appeared better.  The posts have been submitted as part of the WHAT A CHARACTER! blogathon I’ve co-hosted with Paula and Kellee for two years running (so far) and they are listed here in alphabetical order by the character actor’s first name followed by the blog title.  Enjoy!




Agnes Moorehead by Movie Star Makeover

Alan Hale by Classic Movie Hub

Anne Miller by Movie Star Makeover

Bert Lahr by Debra Ann Pawlak

Beulah Bondi by Handknit Pants

 Bruce Dern by Jack at Paula’s Cinema Club

Charles Durning by Cinematically Insane

Charles McGraw by Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

David Landau by Immortal Ephemera

Dick Miller by Cinematic Catharsis

Eddie “Rochester” Anderson by A Shroud of Thoughts

Edna Mae Oliver by The “Semi” Daily Maine

Edward Arnold by The Girl with the White Parasol

Edward Everett Horton by I Humbly Suggest

Eli Wallach by PG Cooper’s Movie Reviews 

Elsa Lanchester by Spellbound By Movies

Eric Blore by Portraits by Jenni

Eric Blore by The Motion Pictures

Erik Rhodes by Classic Movie Hub

Ernest Borgnine by Silver Screenings

Eve Arden by Outspoken & Freckled

Felix Bessart by Speakeasy

Florence Bates by Christy’s Inwells

Frank McHugh by Tales of the Easily Distracted

Frank McHugh by Paula’s Cinema Club

Gail Patrick by One Gal’s Musings

Gail Patrick by Spoilers

Gladys Cooper by The Lady Eve’s Reel Life

Hank Worden by Critica Retro

Harry Davenport by Once Upon a Screen

Hattie McDaniel by Outspoken & Freckled

Hugh Herbert by Immortal Ephemera

Hume Cronyn in SHADOW OF A DOUBT by Jaxbra Tumblr

Irving Bacon by Speakeasy

James Cromwell in L.A. CONFIDENTIAL by Jack on Paula’s Cinema Club

James Robertson Justice by Classic Film and TV Cafe

Jane Darwell by Pam on Once Upon a Screen

Jeanette Nolan by The Last Drive-In

Jeff Corey by Shadows and Satin

Jessie Royce Landis by Maegan on Once Upon a Screen

Joe E. Brown by Wide Screen World

Joe Sawyer by The Bogie Film Blog

Joyce Grenfell by Caftan Woman

Kenji Sahara by The Draconic Verses

Lee J. Cobb in WE RAID CALAIS TONIGHT by Silver Screenings

Lew Ayres in HOLIDAY by Cinema Fanatic

Lionel Jeffries by Silver Scenes

Louise Beavers by The Great Katharine Hepburn

Lucille Wilson by Caftan Woman

Lupe Velez by Cinematically Insane

Margaret Dumont by Manish on Once Upon a Screen

Marjorie Main by Secluded Charm

Martin Balsam by You Gotta Love a Critic

Mary Wickes by True Classics

Maude Eburne by Caftan Woman

Dame May Whitty by Silver Scenes

Mercedes McCambridge by Critica Retro

Nat Pendleton by Comet Over Hollywood

Peter Lorre by TV’s Fault

Porter Hall by Joel’s Classic Film Passion

Regis Toomey by She Blogged by Night

Richard Jaeckel in THE DIRTY DOZEN by Jack Deth on Paula’s Cinema Club

Roscoe Karns by Classic Movie Hub

S. Z. Sakall by Paula’s Cinema Club

Sam Levene by Tales of the Easily Distracted

Sam Levene by Picture Spoilers

Sara Haden by The Great Katharine Hepburn

Sheldon Leonard by A Shroud of Thoughts

Sterling Holloway by Sittin’ On a Backyard Fence

Thelma Ritter by Once Upon A Screen

Thomas Mitchell a video commentary by Joel’s Classic Film Passion

Timothy Carey by Furious Cinema

Tony Randall by A Person in the Dark

Tully Marshall by Movies, Silently

Una Merkel by The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World

Victor Jory by Another Old Movie Blog

Victor Moore by What Happened to Hollywood?

Virginia Weidler by  All Things Classic

Walter Brennan by Critica Retro

Ward Bond by goosepimply allover

William Demarest and Preston Sturges by The Joy and Agony of Movies


I know I speak for Kellee and Paula in saying that we could not be more grateful to all of the amazing bloggers who’ve made this event such a success.  I hope you do yourself the favor of reading what they’ve written, the careers they’ve discussed, the pictures they’ve featured – an impressive showing of passion for film and those characters we can’t get enough of.

The faces on the banner:

Row 1: (L-R) Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Margaret Dumont, Edward Arnold, Albert Dekker, Ann Miller, Leon Errol

Row 2: (L-R) Dan Duryea, Eugene Palette, Aline MacMahon, Charles Coburn, Lee J. Cobb, Billie Burke

Row 3: (L-R) Spring Byington, Walter Brennan, Hattie McDaniel, Gene Lockhart, Margaret O’Brien, Edgar Kennedy

Row 4: (L-R) Eric Blore, Franklin Pangborn, Frank Morgan, Guy Kibbee, Gloria Grahame, Jane Darwell

Row 5: (L-R) Judith Anderson, Edward Everett Horton, Eve Arden, S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall, Thelma Ritter, Louis Calhern

Row 6: (L-R) Charles Lane, Kim Hunter, David Wayne, Louise Beavers, Cecil Kellaway, Shemp Howard

How this project began…with a blogathon in 2012…

So thrilled was I upon completing my first-ever blogathon event as a co-host – with intuitive social media talents, Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled and Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club – that I couldn’t just close the book on it once the three-day extravaganza concluded.  We hope to make this, WHAT A CHARACTER! blogathon a yearly happening.  But our first foray into the world of those fabulous faces, unforgettable voices and unique talents was supreme.  Entries that warm your heart and make you laugh by great bloggers who simply love these actors.  It was a pleasure to be inspired over and over again.

Blogathon introduction

This summer is proving to be a landmark in the classic film blogosphere.  Events are planned covering an array of fabulous classic films, movie stars and topics on all things movies.

Borrowing a catch-phrase from our beloved, home of the classics, Turner Classic Movies, Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled and (@IrishJayHawk66), Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club and (@Paula_Guthat) and Aurora, of Once Upon a Screen and (@CitizenScreen) are dedicating an event to the great character actors that so enhanced our classic movies.  To the faces, the laughs, the drama presented by these wonderful actors whose names all too often go unrecognized we dedicate WHAT A CHARACTER!

  • Would Casablanca be as great without the laughs provided by S. K. Sakall?
  • Would we want to look out Rear Window if not for the warnings of Thelma Ritter?
  • Can you measure how much Edward Everett Horton added to the fabulous Astaire / Rogers pictures?

We think these and so many others deserve their due.  So, here we are with a blogathon in their honor.


14 thoughts

  1. Character actors and actresses are what make classic films great. My favorites include Jack Carson, Harry Davenport, Monty Woolley, Allen Jenkins and countless others.

  2. Three nice books on character actors/actressess I recommend include:

    CHARACTER PEOPLE by Ken D. Jones, Arthur F. McClure and Alfred E. Twomey

    MORE CHARACTER PEOPLE by Arthur F. McClure, Alfred E. Twomey & Ken Jones

    Character Actors by David Quinlan

    1. TRUTH!! You might want to take a look at the WHAT A CHARACTER link on the top of my home page. There you’ll find many write-ups on classic character actors by many different bloggers.


    1. They did!! One of those hosted by Kellee today. Be on the lookout for her tweet about it. 😀 THANKS for all your amazing support for this blog, Billy!


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