Golden Age character actor James Westerfield was often cast in blue-collar roles. He made his first appearance as a background actor in the Cary Grant American Revolution drama "The Howards of Virginia". After a string of similarly small roles, he earned his first worthwhile supporting role in the 1946 film-noir thriller "Undercurrent", which starred Katharine Hepburn and Robert Mitchum. Westerfield would go on to perform in 55 films over a career that spanned 35 years, appearing opposite some of Hollywood's brightest stars. In the Oscar-winning drama "On the Waterfront", he shared screen time with onscreen heavyweight Marlon Brando, and later sparred with John Wayne's Oscar-winning Rooster Cogburn in the 1969 Western adventure "True Grit". To young audiences, Westfield is likely best remembered as the awestruck cop from a trio of Disney's fantasy-comedies: the shapeshifting adventure "The Shaggy Dog", the high-flying comedy "The Absent-Minded Professor", and one of its sequels, "Son of Flubber". With the emergence of television in the 1950s, Westerfield branched out, appearing in more than 90 different programs before his death from a heart attack in 1971. His final film appearance unrolled posthumously in 1975; he had earned a lead in the gruff Western "Dead Aim" as a compassionate undertaker who takes in an abandoned boy.