A celebrated vaudevillian at the top of the 20th century, Charley Grapewin traded the limelight for the quiet life until the Great Depression wiped out his savings, forcing the aging trouper back out onto the boards. Making his belated feature film debut at 60, Grapewin carved a niche for himself in Hollywood playing a succession of judges, doctors, civil servants and the occasional millionaire in such films as "Alice Adams" (1935) with Katharine Hepburn, "The Petrified Forest" (1936) with Humphrey Bogart and Bette Davis, and "Captains Courageous" (1937) with Spencer Tracy. Lured away from retirement with the role of Uncle Henry in "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), Grapewin attained a measure of cult immortality but more immediate was acclaim from his collaborations with director John Ford, "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940) and "Tobacco Road" (1941). His endearing onscreen presence won Grapewin a recurring role as amateur sleuth Ellery Queen's father in the long-running series, beginning with "Inspector Ellery Queen" (1940) and comprising eight films. Following the death of his wife, actress Anna Chance, in 1943, Grapewin worked less frequently after World War II. He retired in 1950 on the heels of playing a grandfather who reflects on his tragic childhood in "When I Grow Up" (1951). Grapewin's death in 1956 in no way diminished the actor's stock in the eyes of moviegoers, who had long since enshrined him as the kindly Uncle whose love pointed Judy Garland toward cinematic history at the end of the Yellow Brick Road.