Charles Bickford

Actor, Writer, Sailor
Red haired tough guy Charles Bickford was lured to Hollywood by an industry that wanted to mold him into a conventional leading man, but his pride and stubbornness ultimately forged a new course and he instead became ... Read more »
Born: 01/01/1891 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Filmography

Actor (26)

A Big Hand For the Little Lady 1966 (Movie)

Benson Tropp (Actor)

Days of Wine and Roses 1962 (Movie)

Arnesen (Actor)

The Barbara Stanwyck Theater 1960 - 1961 (TV Show)

Actor

Playhouse 90 1956 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

The Unforgiven 1960 (Movie)

Zeb Rawlins (Actor)

The Big Country 1958 (Movie)

Major Henry Terrill (Actor)

Mister Cory 1957 (Movie)

Biloxi (Actor)

You Can't Run Away From It 1956 (Movie)

A A Andrews (Actor)

Not As a Stranger 1955 (Movie)

Dr Runkleman (Actor)

The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell 1955 (Movie)

General Guthrie (Actor)

A Star Is Born 1954 (Movie)

Oliver Niles (Actor)

Prince of Players 1954 (Movie)

Dave Prescott (Actor)

The Last Posse 1953 (Movie)

Sampson Drune (Actor)

Jim Thorpe - All American 1950 (Movie)

"Pop" Warner (Actor)

Command Decision 1949 (Movie)

Elmer Brockhurst (Actor)

Brute Force 1947 (Movie)

Gallagher (Actor)

Duel in the Sun 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Song of Bernadette 1942 (Movie)

(Actor)

Reap the Wild Wind 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Tarzan's New York Adventure 1941 (Movie)

Buck Rand (Actor)

Of Mice and Men 1938 (Movie)

Slim (Actor)

Daughter of Shanghai 1936 (Movie)

Otto Hartmann (Actor)

The Plainsman 1936 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Farmer Takes a Wife 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

Anna Christie 1929 (Movie)

Matt Burke (Actor)

Dynamite 1928 (Movie)

Hagon Derk (Actor)

Biography

Red haired tough guy Charles Bickford was lured to Hollywood by an industry that wanted to mold him into a conventional leading man, but his pride and stubbornness ultimately forged a new course and he instead became one of cinema's most dependable supporting players. He received his motion picture break in Cecil B. DeMille's "Dynamite" (1929), but soon rebelled against the system and went from prestigious MGM movies to minor programmers from independent producers, the only people who would hire a man that had dared to offend MGM head Louis B. Mayer. Bickford's obvious talent usually kept him in demand, but when he was mutilated and almost killed by a lion during the making of "East of Java" (1935), he was no longer considered a viable leading man. Regardless, he soldiered on, enlivening many a lesser movie with the force of his persona, and became highly valued by casting directors in the process. Industry wide respect finally came in 1943 with "The Song of Bernadette" and the first of three Academy Award nominations the actor received. Off-screen, the strong voiced Irishman was as blunt as the characters he often played, sometimes even coming to blows with his directors. Although his various business ventures served him well financially, Bickford maintained a strong work ethic throughout his four-decade film and television career, and that dedication was evident in the consistently strong quality of work that put him in the top rank of old-school character actors.

Relationships

Daughter
survived him

Son
survived him

EDUCATION

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge , Massachusetts

Milestones

1929

First film as actor

1919

Stage acting debut

1914

Debut as burlesque performer

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