The Films of Charles Lane
Jsterling03 on 01/30/2009
|"You Know the Face" is the name of the soon-to-be released documentary on the life of the late, great character actor, Charles Lane. Until I started seeing Lane in what felt like every fifth film I viewed, I was unaware of exactly who he was. I had thought he was just mean old Mr. Finch in "Dennis the Menace" (1960-62). You may remember him as the man sitting with Ricky Ricardo in the waiting room as Lucy gives birth in the highly watched 1953 episode of "I Love Lucy", "Lucy Goes to the Hospital". Or perhaps you remember him best from his regular appearances on "Petticoat Junction" as the comically evil vice-president of C.&F.W. Railroad, J. Homer Bedloe.|
As it turns out, Charles Lane was, and always will be, cinema's ultimate everyman.
He was born in 1905 and died in July of 2007 at the age of 102 (one of the last living survivors of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake), acting from 1931 right until the end (narrating "The Night Before Christmas" in 2006). According to IMDb, Lane appeared in over 340 films and television programs. Although he was one of the first members of the Screen Actors Guild, many of Lane's performances were given without his being given a screen credit.
His lean, sharp features lent themselves to typecasting throughout his countless years in show business (bookish and eager in his younger days, greedy and ill-tempered as he aged), which led Lane to say, "You did something that was pretty good, and the picture was pretty good. That pedigreed you in that type of part, which I thought was stupid, and unfair, too. It didn't give me a chance, but it made casting easier for the studio." Here was a man who had more than Hollywood asked for, but gave back more than Hollywood will ever know.
You know the face, so try filling in the blanks to complete the film titles that feature a performance by Charles Lane. I've chosen roles in films where Lane has received a screen credit, and I've done my best to make sure that said films are fairly well known.
Thanks to IMDb and wikipedia for their help in creating this quiz. Special thanks to Daveguth for encouraging me to pull the trigger on this ker-blunk!
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