Wallace Beery

Actor, Elephant trainer
Beefy Wallace Beery gradually progressed from theatre to film and starred in a multitude of comedic shorts during the silent era before becoming one of the biggest and most improbable stars of the 1930s. Imposing and ... Read more »
Born: 03/31/1885 in Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Filmography

Actor (48)

The Bad Man 1940 (Movie)

Pancho Lopez (Actor)

China Seas 1934 (Movie)

(Actor)

Dinner at Eight 1932 (Movie)

Dan Packard (Actor)

Grand Hotel 1932 (Movie)

General Director Preysing (Actor)

The Champ 1930 (Movie)

Andy Purcell (Actor)

Billy the Kid 1929 (Movie)

Garrett (Actor)

The Big House 1929 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Date with Judy (Movie)

Melvin R. Foster (Actor)

A Lady's Morals (Movie)

P.T. Barnum (Actor)

Ah, Wilderness! (Movie)

Sid Davis (Actor)

Barnacle Bill (Movie)

Bill Johansen (Actor)

Beggars of Life (Movie)

Oklahoma Red (Actor)

Behind the Front (Movie)

Riff Swanson (Actor)

Big Jack (Movie)

Big Jack Horner (Actor)

Casey at the Bat (Movie)

Casey (Actor)

Chinatown Nights (Movie)

Chuck Riley (Actor)

Hell Divers (Movie)

Windy Reicher (Actor)

I Am the Law (Movie)

Fu Chang (Actor)

Jackass Mail (Movie)

Marmaduke "Just" Baggott (Actor)

Life Line (Movie)

Bit Part (Actor)

Madonna of the Streets (Movie)

Bill Smythe (Actor)

Man from Hell's River (Movie)

Gaspard (Actor)

Min and Bill (Movie)

Bill (Actor)

Old Hutch (Movie)

Hutch (Actor)

Old Ironsides (Movie)

Bos'n (Actor)

Port of Seven Seas (Movie)

Cesar (Actor)

Rationing (Movie)

Ben Barton (Actor)

Salute to the Marines (Movie)

Sgt. Maj. William Bailey (Actor)

Slave Ship (Movie)

Jack Thompson (Actor)

Stablemates (Movie)

Tom Terry (Actor)

Stormswept (Movie)

William McCabe (Actor)

The Bad Man of Brimstone (Movie)

"Trigger" Bill (Actor)

The Bowery (Movie)

Chuck Connors (Actor)

The Bugle Sounds (Movie)

"Hap" Doan (Actor)

The Flame of Life (Movie)

Dan Lowrie (Actor)

The Good Old Soak (Movie)

Clem Hawley (Actor)

The Great Divide (Movie)

"Dutch" (Actor)

The Little American (Movie)

(Actor)

The Mollycoddle (Movie)

Henry von Holkar (Actor)

The Sea Hawk (Movie)

Captain Jasper Leigh (Actor)

The Secret Six (Movie)

Louis Scorpio (Actor)

The Wanderer (Movie)

Pharis (Actor)

Treasure Island (Movie)

Long John Silver (Actor)

Tugboat Annie (Movie)

Terry Brennan (Actor)

Viva Villa! (Movie)

Pancho Villa (Actor)

Way for a Sailor (Movie)

Tripod McMasters (Actor)

West Point of the Air (Movie)

Big Mike (Actor)

Wyoming (Movie)

Reb Harkness (Actor)

Biography

Beefy Wallace Beery gradually progressed from theatre to film and starred in a multitude of comedic shorts during the silent era before becoming one of the biggest and most improbable stars of the 1930s. Imposing and not traditionally handsome, Beery was highly proficient at both comedy and menace, sometimes even mixing the two quite superbly. Feature assignments soon came in such notable productions as "The Last of the Mohicans" (1920), "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (1921), "Robin Hood" (1922) and "The Lost World" (1925). For a time, his career seemed doomed by the arrival of sound, but MGM recognized his innate abilities and Beery's performance as a murderous thug in "The Big House" (1930) netted him an Oscar nomination. He won the coveted statue a year later for his turn as an over-the-hill prizefighter in "The Champ" (1931), which became the actor's signature role. Further impressive work followed in "Treasure Island" (1934) and "Viva Villa" (1934), and Beery found himself an in-demand talent with a highly lucrative contract. However, in contrast to many of the congenial miscreants he played, Beery was a highly disagreeable man completely lacking in basic social graces and a less than favorite co-star for many of his MGM colleagues. He was also allegedly involved in the fatal beating of comedian Ted Healy in 19XX, though no charges were ever filed. One of the few character players to attain major A-list stardom, Beery was not the most diversified thespian, but few could match his power to both intimidate and amuse.

Relationships

Carol Beery

Daughter

Noah Beery Actor

Half-Brother
Born in 1885 died in 1946

Rita Beery

Wife
divorced in the 1930s

William Beery

Half-Brother
born in 1879 died in 1949

Noah Beery

Nephew

Gloria Swanson Actor

Wife
Reportedly got drunk on their wedding night and sexually assaulted Swanson; when she became pregnant, he allegedly poisoned her so she would have a miscarriage Separated after only a few months

Gloria Swanson

Wife
married in 1916 divorced in 1918

Milestones

1948

Starred in last film, "A Date With Judy"

1940

Made first of seven films with character actor Marjorie Main as his leading lady, "Wyoming"; returned to the annual list of top ten boxoffice stars

1930

Signed with MGM (where he would stay for the rest of his career); became a star with his roles in the hit films, "The Big House" and "Min and Bill", the latter the first of several films in which he was teamed with Marie Dressler

1925

Worked primarily for Paramount Studios

1913

Signed with Essanay; moved to Hollywood; film acting debut

1905

Debut as stage performer

1902

Joined Ringling Bros. as assistant elephant trainer

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