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who appeared with Walter Brennan on screen:
Birthday: December 31, 1969
Place: Swampscott, Massachusetts, USA
Height: 5' 1"
is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in) for
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| It had originally been the hope of Walter Brennan (and his family) that he would follow in the footsteps of his father, an engineer; but while still a student, he was bitten by the acting bug and was already at a crossroads when he graduated in 1915. Brennan had already worked in vaudeville when he enlisted at age 22 to serve in World War I. He served in an artillery unit and although he got through the war without being wounded, his exposure to poison gas ruined his vocal chords, leaving him with the high-pitched voice texture that made him a natural for old man roles while still in his thirties. (Other stories claimed that the gas attack had cost him his teeth, but that was a separate, later accident). His health all but broken by the experience, Brennan moved to California in the hope that the warm climate would help him and he lost most of what money he had when land values in the state collapsed in 1925. It was the need for cash that drove him to the gates of the studios that year, for which he worked as an extra and bit player. During this period, he befriended another young, struggling, would-be actor named Gary Cooper. At one point, they were even appearing as a team at casting offices, and although Cooper emerged in major and leading roles first, they would work together in the good years, too. The advent of the talkies served Brennan well, as he had been mimicking accents in childhood and could imitate a variety of different ethnicities on request. It was also during this period that, in an accident during a shoot, another actor (some stories claimed it was a mule) kicked him in the mouth and cost him his front teeth. Brennan was fitted for a set of false teeth that worked fine, and wearing them allowed him to play lean, lanky, virile supporting roles; but when he took them out, and the reedy, leathery voice kicked in with the altered look, Brennan became the old codger with which he would be identified in a significant number of his parts in the coming decades. He can be spotted in tiny, anonymous roles in a multitude of early-'30s movies, including King Kong (1933) (as a reporter) and one Three Stooges short. In 1935, however, he was fortunate enough to be cast in the supporting role of Jenkins in The Wedding Night. Directed by King Vidor and produced by Samuel Goldwyn, it was supposed to launch Anna Sten (its female lead) to stardom; but instead, it was Brennan who got noticed by the critics. He was put under contract with Goldwyn — eventually staying with the independent producer for nine years, longer than any other actor — and was back the same year as Old Atrocity in Barbary Coast. He continued doing bit parts, as demonstrated by his tiny, virtually unnoticed appearance that year in The Bride of Frankenstein, but after 1935, his films grew fewer in number and the parts much bigger. It was in the rustic drama Come and Get It (1936), starring Frances Farmer and Edward Arnold, that Brennan won his first Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor, playing a Swede. Two years later, he won a second Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance in Kentucky (1938). That same year, he played major supporting roles in The Texans and The Buccaneer, and delighted younger audiences with his moving portrayal of Muff Potter, the man wrongfully accused of murder in Norman Taurog's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (and a David O. Selznick production — Brennan was already working with the two biggest independent filmmakers in Hollywood). Brennan worked only in high-profile movies from then on, including The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, Stanley and Livingston, and Goldwyn's They Shall Have Music, all in 1939. In 1940, he rejoined Cooper in The Westerner, playing the part of the notoriously corrupt Judge Roy Bean; giving a beautifully understated performance that made the character seem sympathetic and tragic as much as dangerous and reprehensible, he won his third Best Supporting Actor award (in what was really a lead performance). There was no looking back now, as Brennan joined the front rank of leading character actors, except that, unlike most of them, he could convincingly play a vast range of roles. His ethnic portrayals, however, gradually tapered off as Brennan took on parts geared specifically for him. In Frank Capra's Meet John Doe and Howard Hawks' Sergeant York (both 1941), he played clear-thinking, key supporting players to leading men portrayed by Cooper, while in Jean Renoir's Swamp Water (released that same year), he played another virtual leading role as a haunted man driven by demons that almost push him to murder. He played only in major movies from that point on, and always in important roles — Hawks used him again in To Have and Have Not and Red River, in the latter even working in a great plot gag involving Brennan's false teeth. In fact, he got to age into his cantankerous toothless character in Red River, playing a straight, two-fisted role alongside John Wayne in the opening section of the movie. Sam Wood used him in Goldwyn's The Pride of the Yankees (1942), Lewis Milestone cast him as a Russian villager in The North Star (1943), and he was in Goldwyn's production of The Princess and the Pirate (1944) as a comical half-wit who managed to hold his own working alongside Bob Hope. Brennan was able to pick and choose his roles, and turned down the coveted part of Jeeter Lester in John Ford's production of Tobacco Road because the part seemed too morally compromised. Instead, the role went to Charles Grapewin, who became a star in the movie. Brennan did get to play the even more choice role of Ike Clanton in Ford's My Darling Clementine (1946) and reprised his portrayal of an outlaw clan leader in more comic fashion in Burt Kennedy's Support Your Local Sheriff some 23 years later. Remaining one of the top supporting actors in Hollywood into the 1950s, Brennan's name actually lent some box-office allure to weaker titles such as Scudda-Hoo! Scudda-Hay! in 1948. He worked with Cooper again on Delmer Daves' Task Force (1949) and played prominent roles in John Sturges' Bad Day at Black Rock and Anthony Mann's The Far Country (both 1955). In 1959, the 64-year-old Brennan got one of the biggest roles of his career in Hawks' Red River, playing Stumpy, the game-legged jailhouse keeper who is backing up the besieged sheriff played by John Wayne. By that time, Brennan had moved to television, starring in the CBS series The Real McCoys, which became a six-season hit built around his portrayal of the cantankerous family patriarch Amos McCoy. From the outset, Brennan essentially devised the character himself — even asking if the producers wanted him to play it with or without his teeth — and designed every element of his costume, reportedly spending hours picking out the right hat. The series was such a hit that John Wayne's production company was persuaded to release a previously shelved film, William Wellman's Goodbye, My Lady (1956), about a boy, an old man, and a dog, during the show's run. Although he had disputes with the network and stayed a season longer than he had wanted, Brennan also liked the spotlight. He even enjoyed a brief, successful career as a recording artist on the Columbia Records label during the 1960s. Following the cancellation of The Real McCoys, Brennan starred in the short-lived series The Tycoon, playing a cantankerous, independent-minded multimillionaire who refuses to behave the way his family or his company's board of directors think a 70-year-old should. By this time, Brennan had become one of the more successful actors in Hollywood, with a 12,000-acre ranch in Northern California that was run by his sons, among other property. He'd invested wisely and also owned a share of his first series. Always an ideological conservative, it was during this period that his political views began taking a sharp turn to the right in response to the strife he saw around him. During the '60s, he was convinced that the anti-war and civil rights movements were being run by overseas communists — and said as much in interviews. He told reporters that he believed the civil rights movement, in particular, and the riots in places like Watts and Newark, and demonstrations in Birmingham, AL, were the result of perfectly content "Negroes" being stirred up by a handful of trouble-makers with an anti-American agenda. Those on the set of his last series, The Guns of Will Sonnett — in which he played the surprisingly complex role of an ex-army scout trying to undo the damage caused by his being a mostly absentee father — say that he cackled with delight upon learning of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in 1968. Brennan later worked on the 1972 presidential campaign of reactionary right-wing California Congressman John Schmitz, a nominee of the American Party, whose campaign was predicated on the notion that the Republican Party under Richard Nixon had become too moderate. Mostly, though, Brennan was known to the public for his lovable, sometimes comical screen persona, and was still working as the '60s drew to a close, on made-for-TV movies such as The Over-the-Hill Gang, which reunited him with one of his favorite directors, Jean Yarbrough, and his old stablemate Chill Wills. Brennan died of emphysema in 1974 at the age of 80.
- First actor to accumulate three Academy Awards and to date still the only actor to win three Oscars as Best Supporting Actor.
- Daughter: Ruth Brennan
- Sons: Arthur Wells 'Mike' Brennan and Andy Brennan.
- Interred at San Fernando Mission Cemetery, San Fernando, Los Angeles County, California, USA
- Had four top 100 singles, including the Top 5 hit "Old Rivers" (Liberty Records) which first charted on April 7, 1962. The single spent 11 weeks on the Billboard charts and peaked at number 5.
- He won the first ever Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1936 for "Come and Get It."
- Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1970.
- His relatives still live in and around Joseph, Oregon where the actor maintained a functioning ranch.
- Owned a ranch and several businesses in Joseph, Oregon, including the Indian Lodge Motel which still displays several of his portraits in the office.
- Hardly ever played the villain, usually being cast as the somewhat eccentric pal to the hero. An exception was his turn as the heartless Old Man Clanton in My Darling Clementine (1946), directed by the prickly John Ford. Ford and Brennan did not get along, and Ford was one of the few directors Brennan didn't collaborate with more than once throughout his career.
- Always fiscally conservative, he became politically active in later life when he saw many of the things he held dear being eroded by the counterculture movement. He supported George Wallace's presidential campaign in 1968 and in 1972 supported extreme right-wing Republican Representative John Schmitz, as the incumbent President Richard Nixon was viewed as too progressive by many Republicans.
- After his military service during World War I, Brennan moved to Los Angeles, where he got involved in the real-estate market and made a fortune. Unfortunately the market took a sudden downturn and Brennan lost almost all of his money. Broke, he began taking bit parts in films in order to earn money, and his career progressed from there.
Naked Photos of Walter Brennan are available at MaleStars.com. They
currently feature over 65,000 Nude Pics, Biographies, Video Clips,
Articles, and Movie Reviews of famous stars.