Charles Winninger

Charles Winninger

Show Count: 6
Series Count: 0
Role: Old Time Radio Star
Born: May 26, 1884
Old Time Radio, Athens, Wisconsin, U.S
Died: January 27, 1969, Palm Springs, California, U.S
An American stage and film actor, most often cast in comedies or musicals, but equally at home in drama. Charles Winninger began as a vaudeville actor. His most famous stage role was as Cap'n Andy Hawks in the original production of the Jerome Kern - Oscar Hammerstein II musical classic Show Boat in 1927, a role that he reprised – to great acclaim – in the 1932 stage revival and the 1936 film version of the show.
Charles became so identified with the role, and with his "persona" as a riverboat captain, that he played several variations of the role, notably on the radio program Maxwell House Show Boat, which was clearly inspired by, but not actually based on, the Broadway musical.
After the 1936 Show Boat, Winninger largely abandoned the stage and stayed on in Hollywood, becoming one of its most beloved and most often seen character actors. He appeared in such classics as the 1937 Nothing Sacred (as the drunken doctor who misdiagnoses Carole Lombard), the 1939 Destry Rides Again (as Wash, the sheriff who hires James Stewart as his deputy), as Deanna Durbin's father in the film Three Smart Girls, and as Abel Frake in the 1945 Rodgers and Hammerstein film musical State Fair. He played the protective Irish Grandfather in MGM's film version of George M. Cohan's Little Nellie Kelly (1940), and the father of a budding show-girl in Ziegfeld Girl (1941), both starring Judy Garland. In all of these films, Winninger was the very image of the kindly, lovable, chubby, grandfatherly figure, but in "Show Boat", especially, he showed that he could play a dramatic, emotional scene as well as any serious dramatic actor. He returned to Broadway only once more - for the 1951 revival of Kern and Hammerstein's Music in the Air.

Winninger had the lead role in only one film, 1953's The Sun Shines Bright, John Ford's companion piece to his own Judge Priest. Winninger played the role that Will Rogers had undertaken in 1934.

Winninger made a notable television appearance in 1954 in I Love Lucy as Barney Kurtz, the former Vaudevillian partner of Fred Mertz (played by William Frawley) in an episode titled "Mertz and Kurtz".

Source: Wikipedia

Broadcast: January 27, 1941
Added: Nov 29 2015
Broadcast: 1st November 1937
Added: Oct 08 2005
Broadcast: 16th March 1941
Added: Apr 11 2010
Broadcast: June 24, 1940
Added: Aug 19 2007
Broadcast: 19th February 1945
Added: Mar 04 2012