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Location: Vero Beach, Florida, United States

My name is Pat and I live in Florida. My skin will never be smooth again and my hair will never see color. I enjoy collecting autographs and playing in Paint Shop Pro.,along with reading and writing. Sometimes, I enjoy myself by doing volunteer "work" helping celebrities at autograph shows. I love animals and at one time I did volunteer work for Tippi Hedren's Shambala Preserve.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

TCM (Turner Classic Movies) & Me

Ok.. so... when I see an old movie that sparks something in me I wind up doing a post on some old actors.. today is no different. I saw "You Can't Take It With You" and it starred a very young Jimmy Stewart.

But Jimmy was not who caught my eye.. two other actors did. One was Harry Davenport. A name I am sure not many of my readers knows. But it is possible that if you are into "old movies" that you recognize his face or his voice.

There was something about "older men" when I was very young that was very appealing to me. When I came up with 3 names I realized that it had to do with the fact that I never knew my father... and these men either played "fathers", or played very kind folks, or were just what I hoped my father would be like if I knew him.

1...Harry Davenport (loved him as Old John in Enchanted Forest.)

2...Lewis Stone (Judge Hardy/ Andy Hardy's dad) .

3....Charlie Ruggles (cutest dimples ever!).

Harry Davenport born in Jan. 1866 and died Aug. 1949.

Back in the days when the studio's owned the actors Harry appeared in 160 movies! (you won't find many modern day actors who can say that!)

In 1937 alone, he appeared in 19 movies.
In 1938 & 1939, he appeared in 13 movies each year including being the judge in You Can't Take It With You and played King Louis XI in the original Hunchback of Notre Dame. Also in 1939 he had the part of Dr Meade in Gone With The Wind. He may not have had lead parts but he sure appeared in some big movies!!

In 1944 Harry played "grandpa" in Meet Me in St Louis.

In 1945 he had played "old John" in a movie I've loved since I was a kid called: The Enchanted Forest.

The other person in that movie that caught my attention was Spring Byington.

born: October 1886 died: Sept. 1971

Again, owned by studios, she appeared in a total of 117 movies.

1935 Mutiny on the Bounty (Spring Byington ... Mrs. Byam)

1938 You Can't Take it With You (Spring Byington ... Penny Sycamore)

1945 The Enchanted Cottage (Spring Byington ... Violet Price)

1946 Dragonwyck ( Spring Byington ... Magda)

And then she did a television series called December Bride.... Lily Ruskin (111 episodes, 1954-1959)

There are just so many (many!) fabulous stars from the old back and white movies that it's incredible. I feel sad that many people miss such good actors and good movies because "they are old movies".

I am so glad I didn't miss these movies, or these actors!

(at this very moment I am watching Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe in "The Misfits"... but ya know what? The actress I am enjoying the most wasn't one of the "main stars".. it's a lady named Thelma Ritter, who was a great character actress.)


Blogger Ladytink_534 said...

I love Jimmy Stewart. Davenport sounds familiar but I'm not sure why... oh I LOVED him as Grandpa! He's one of my favorite characters in that movie!

11:24 PM  
Blogger Cath said...

Yes, I recognise Harry Davenport but never knew his name. That's a *lot* of films...

And Spring Byington... wasn't she in the TV series, Laramie, playing the woman who looked after Jess and Slim and the little boy? Or have I got that all wrong?

It's the same with me and older men. I knew my father but rarely saw him and you search, I think, for a substitute. I didn't know we had that in common too.

3:38 AM  
Blogger DesLily said...

ladytink: I thought YOU might know who he was!

Cath: yes! her characters name was Daisy Cooper. She did quite a bit of television.

Hmmm, maybe we are related! lol.

7:34 AM  
Blogger Pamela said...

yes indeed... I do remember Spring Byington.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Carl V. said...

You Can't Take it With You is, without a doubt, one of my most favorite 'classic' movies. It is so funny and charming and romantic. I love the messages about family togetherness, about pursuing your passions, about staying focused on what is truly important, about the healing power of true love. It is just an amazing, amazing film and one that everyone should see. I was so glad when this finally came out on DVD a few years ago. I had it on video before that and I ordered the DVD from Amazon the day it was released. We watch it at least once a year if not more times, it is a family favorite as well.

8:42 AM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Oh Yes! I am old enough and a Great Movie Buff, so I know all those wonderful Character Actors.....Back In The Day, the stable of wonderful character peope under oontract to ALL the different studios was just AMAZING!
Ruggles was of course, in Vaudeville, before films....
I LOVED Harry Davenport...particularly memorable to me as the Doctor Mead in GWTW....AND, as Grandpa in "MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS".....both MGM!
One of my favorite films of the late 30's--early 40's was "SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS"...the Host of Great Character men in that picture is legion...!
And, as you said, all these people were under contract...It was like a "stock" company....In fact I think the whole idea of it was based on the way Summer Stock/Rep was run. People under contract for the season or the Summer.....
People like Charles Coburn and Eric Blore made umpteen films...Robert Warwick, who had come from The Theatre---He was one of the Older Leading Men type Character Actors....He was in Sullivan's Travels and I just saw him, once again in "GENTLEMEN'S AGREEMENT".....Great Great Actors and Actresses.....!

2:13 PM  
Blogger DesLily said...

Naomi: I would never disagree with you ! lol..most of my life my favorite actors and actresses were (and ARE) the character actors. Of course I loved many A list stars too but the character actors always made the movie!

2:17 PM  

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