Walter Baldwin in The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
Walter S. Baldwin Jr.|
January 2, 1889
Lima, Ohio, U.S.
January 27, 1977 (aged 87)|
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
Walter Baldwin (January 2, 1889 − January 27, 1977) was a prolific character actor whose career spanned five decades and 150 film and television roles, and numerous stage performances.
Baldwin, who was born Walter S. Baldwin Jr. in Lima, Ohio from a theatrical family, served in the First World War.
He was probably best known for playing the father of the handicapped sailor in The Best Years of Our Lives. He was the first actor to portray "Floyd the Barber" on The Andy Griffith Show.
Prior to his first film roles in 1939, Baldwin had appeared in more than a dozen Broadway plays. He played Whit in the first Broadway production of Of Mice and Men, and also appeared in the original Grand Hotel in a small role, as well as serving as the production's stage manager. He originated the role of Bensinger, the prissy Chicago Tribune reporter, in the Broadway production of The Front Page.
In the 1960s he had small acting roles in television shows such as Petticoat Junction and Green Acres. He continued to act in motion pictures, and one of his last roles was in Rosemary's Baby.
Baldwin was known for playing solid middle class burghers, although sometimes he gave portrayals of eccentric characters. He played a customer seeking a prostitute in The Lost Weekend and the rebellious prison trusty Orvy in Cry of the City. Walter Baldwin was featured in a lot of John Deere Day Movies from 1949-59 where he played the farmer Tom Gordon. In this series of Deere Day movies over a decade he helped to introduce many new pieces of John Deere farm equipment year-by-year. In each yearly movie he would be shown on his in A Tom Gordon Family Film where he would be buying new John Deere farm equipment or a new green and yellow tractor.A picture of Walter Baldwin playing Tom Gordon can be found on page 108 of Bob Pripp's book John Deere Yesterday & Today
Hal Erickson writes in Allmovie: "With a pinched Midwestern countenance that enabled him to portray taciturn farmers, obsequious grocery store clerks and the occasional sniveling coward, Baldwin was a familiar (if often unbilled) presence in Hollywood films for three decades."
References[edit | edit source]
- 1930 Census records, retrieved December 3, 2008
- Draft Card, Walter S. Baldwin Jr., retrieved December 3, 2008
Selected filmography[edit | edit source]
- The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
- Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)
- Return of the Bad Men (1948)
- Rachel and the Stranger (1948)
- Storm Warning (1951)
- Carrie (1952)
- The Long, Long Trailer (1954) - Uncle Edgar
- Living It Up (1954) - Isaiah Jackson
- Destry (1954) - Henry Skinner
- Stranger on Horseback (1955) - Vince Webb
- Interrupted Melody (1955) - Jim Owens
- The Desperate Hours (1955) - George Patterson (uncredited)
- Glory (1956) - Doc Brock
- The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) - Blind Man (uncredited)
- You Can't Run Away from It (1956) - 1st Proprietor
- Oklahoma Territory (1960) - Ward Harlan
- Wild in the Country (1961) - Mr. Spangler (uncredited)
- Hemingway's Adventures of a Young Man (1962) - Conductor (uncredited)
- Cheyenne Autumn (1964) - Jeremy Wright (uncredited)
- Rosemary's Baby (1968) - Mr. Wees (uncredited)
- Hail, Hero! (1969) - Nat Winder
Notes[edit | edit source]
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