Ben Welden (June 12, 1901 - October 17, 1997) was an American character actor who played a wide variety of Damon Runyon-type gangsters in various movies and television shows. Born in Toledo, Ohio, Welden appeared in over 120 films between 1930 and 1966.
Short, balding and somewhat rotund, he often literally played a "heavy", frequently in a somewhat comical or slightly dim-witted way, offsetting the sinister nature of his character's actions. Among his roles in this vein was The Big Sleep.
Fans of Adventures of Superman remember him well, as he appeared in eight episodes, always as a different character and yet really the same character, in a way. His best-known Superman episode might be "Flight to the North", in which he tries (and fails) to outwit a country-bumpkin type (played by Chuck Connors).
He was a semi-regular in the 1954-1955 CBS legal drama, The Public Defender, starring Reed Hadley as an attorney for the indigent.
In his later years, Welden owned a confection company called Nutcorn, which supplemented his acting income.
Outliving most of his peers, Welden died at age 96 on October 27, 1997. He was residing at the Motion Picture Retirement Home (Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital) in Woodland Hills, California at the time of his passing.