William Bendix

Actor, Baseball player, Grocer
A burly New York City native who specialized in playing all manner of lugs, both loveable and dangerous, William Bendix achieved a level of popularity that was almost unheard of for a character actor who proclaimed ... Read more »
Born: 01/14/1906 in New York City, New York, USA

Filmography

Actor (22)

Last of the Private Eyes 1962 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

The Dick Powell Show 1961 - 1963 (TV Show)

Actor

Boys' Night Out 1962 (Movie)

Slattery (Actor)

For Love or Money 1962 (Movie)

Joe Fogel (Actor)

Playhouse 90 1956 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

The Time Element 1958 - 1959 (TV Show)

Actor

The Deep Six 1957 (Movie)

Frenchy Shapiro (Actor)

Crashout 1955 (Movie)

Van Duff (Actor)

Dangerous Mission 1954 (Movie)

Joe Parker (Actor)

Hollywood Opening Night 1950 - 1953 (TV Show)

Actor

Detective Story 1951 (Movie)

Lou Brody (Actor)

The Big Steal 1949 (Movie)

Captain Vincent Blake (Actor)

The Time of Your Life 1948 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Web 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

Variety Girl 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

Where There's Life 1947 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Blue Dahlia 1946 (Movie)

Buzz Wanchek (Actor)

Lifeboat 1944 (Movie)

(Actor)

China 1942 (Movie)

Johnny Sparrow (Actor)

Guadalcanal Diary 1942 (Movie)

Corp. Taxi Potts (Actor)

Star Spangled Rhythm 1941 (Movie)

(Actor)

Woman of the Year 1941 (Movie)

"Pinkie" Peters (Actor)

Biography

A burly New York City native who specialized in playing all manner of lugs, both loveable and dangerous, William Bendix achieved a level of popularity that was almost unheard of for a character actor who proclaimed himself to be "about as handsome as a mud fence. " After performing in some unsuccessful plays, he first gained significant notice in the Broadway smash "The Time of Your Life" (1939-1940). That soon led to a movie career, with Bendix appearing in everything from comedies like "Woman of the Year" (1942) and "Who Done It?" (1942), to World War II actioners and thrillers like "The Glass Key" (1942) and Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" (1944). Bendix's blustery delivery and enduring likeability found a perfect vehicle in the comedy "The Life of Riley," first on radio (ABC/NBC, 1944-1951), then as a 1949 motion picture and, finally, a long-running television series (NBC, 1953-58). Loveable lunkhead Chester A. Riley was the role for which he was best remembered and while the show's formula was mostly set in stone, Bendix's talent helped to keep it fresh and amusing. As was customary with actors who sported something less than matinee idol looks, Bendix was largely restricted to playing certain types of characters, but few did as memorable a job on such a consistent basis, and he ranked as one of TV's archetypal patriarchs.

Relationships

Max Bendix

Father

Milestones

1941

Hollywood debut in "The Brooklyn Orchid"

1939

Broadway debut in "The Time of Your Life"

Became member of New York Theater Guild

First film appearance in a Vitagraph production aged 5

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