Announcement~4th annual WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon

WE’RE BACK for number 4!


WHAT A CHARACTER! a phrase borrowed from Turner Classic Movies (TCM) so that we could dedicate a blogathon to those whose names few remember – the players who rarely got leading parts, exhibiting instead a versatility and depth many leading actors wished they had.  Aurora, Paula and I never tire of seeing them or paying tribute and as the previous three installments of this event proved, neither do you.  So, here we are with the fourth annual WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon.

To say we’re thrilled is an understatement and we hope you’ll join us in spotlighting the Edmund Gwenns and Spring Byingtons of the world, the oft forgotten names that never appeared above the title.  If this is right up your movie alley then give us a shout out…

Kellee at Outspoken & Freckled and (@IrishJayHawk66) and Kellee Pratt

Paula at Paula’s Cinema Club and (@Paula_Guthat) and Paula Guthat

Aurora at Once Upon a Screen and (@CitizenScreen) and Citizen Screen

And please adhere to the following:

  • Let one of the hosts know which character actor is your choice.  Since there are so many greats worthy of mention, we won’t take any repeats and we’re not limiting these to “classic” actors.  AND… since the medium of Television has featured such greats through the years as well we’re widening the field to include small-screen characters this year. 
  • Don’t take it for granted we know exactly who you are or where your blog resides – please include the title and url to your blog.
  • Publish the post for either November 14, 15 & 16.  Let us know if you have a date preference, otherwise we’ll split publicizing duties equally among the three days.
  • Please include the blogathon graphic on your blog to help us publicize the event and include it in your post.
  • It would be really helpful if you can send any of us the direct link to your post.  Searching on social media sites can lead to missed entries.
  • HAVE FUN and spread the word!  There are many great characters worthy of attention.

Participating blogs and chosen Character Actors

Now Voyaging ~ Robert Barrat
In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood ~ Ethel Barrymore


Girls Do Film ~ Louise Beavers

Aperture Reviews ~ Whit Bissell
Movies, Silently ~ Elmer Booth
Smitten Kitten Vintage ~ Joe E. Brown
Caftan Woman ~ Harry Carey & Harry Carey Jr.
Speakeasy ~ Eduardo Ciannelli


Phyllis Loves Classic Movies ~ Charles Coburn

Mother Time Musings ~ Gladys Cooper


Tales Of The Easily Distracted ~ Lloyd Corigan (in BOSTON BLACKIE and THE BIG CLOCK)

Hometowns to Hollywood ~ Harry Davenport
Silver Screenings ~ Daffy Duck
Tales From the Border ~ Dwight Frye
Movie Movie Blog Blog ~ Ned Glass
Classic Film & TV Cafe ~ Sydney Greenstreet
Critica Retro ~ Wilson Grey
I See A Dark Theater ~ Marsha Hunt
The Motion Pictures ~ Allen Jenkins
Guest post on Once Upon a Screen ~ Tommy Lee Jones
Silver Scenes ~ Allyn Joslyn
Spellbound By Movies ~ Tom Kennedy
Immortal Ephemera ~ Guy Kibbee
CineMaven’s Essays From the Couch ~ Peter Lorre
The View From The Back Row ~ Marjorie Main
Second Sight Cinema ~ Dickie Moore
The Last Drive-In ~ Agnes Moorehead
A Shroud of Thoughts ~ Frank Morgan
Shadows and Satin ~ Clarence Muse
Joel’s Classic Film Passion ~ Una O’Connor
Outspoken & Freckled ~ Franklin Panghorn
Just a Cienast ~ John Qualen
Cinematic Catharsis ~ Michael Ripper


Old Hollywood Films ~ SZ “Cuddles” Sakall

Portraits by Jenni ~ C. Aubrey Smith


Le Mot Du Cinephiliaque ~ Harry Dean Stanton

BNoirDetour ~ Helen Walker
Once Upon a Screen ~ Mary Wickes
Wide Screen World ~ Shelley Winters
Sister Celluloid ~ Roland Young



The faces on the banner:

Row 1: (L-R) Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, Margaret Dumont, Edward Arnold, Albert Dekker, Ann Miller, Leon Errol

Row 2: (L-R) Dan Duryea, Eugene Palette, Aline MacMahon, Charles Coburn, Lee J. Cobb, Billie Burke

Row 3: (L-R) Spring Byington, Walter Brennan, Hattie McDaniel, Gene Lockhart, Margaret O’Brien, Edgar Kennedy

Row 4: (L-R) Eric Blore, Franklin Pangborn, Frank Morgan, Guy Kibbee, Gloria Grahame, Jane Darwell

Row 5: (L-R) Judith Anderson, Edward Everett Horton, Eve Arden, S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall, Thelma Ritter, Louis Calhern

Row 6: (L-R) Charles Lane, Kim Hunter, David Wayne, Louise Beavers, Cecil Kellaway, Shemp Howard

Edward Everett Horton, Unmistakable Character

When I was little, my first introduction to Edward Everett Horton was not exactly how I think of him now. I didn’t even know what he looked like back then. He was only a faceless voice to me. That unmistakable voice. It was graveley yet in a soft and soothing way. Perhaps because he was the voice of Fractured Fables on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, my morning routine as a small tyke.

Then I began to know him via film. One by one, I became familiar with this man through each of his film roles. And there were so many- over 120 films! I have an overt bias to films of the 1930’s, preferably the early 30’s; and EE Horton was in his prime for this era of motion pictures. He dominated comedies as the supporting character we all loved to see.  EE Horton: “I have my own little kingdom. I do the scavenger parts no one else wants and I get well paid for it.”

Born a Brooklyn kid on March 18, 1886, but his speech and demeanor allowed him to often play the part of an aristocrat, anxious fussbudget or European-cultured man servant. He started on the stage and moved into silents. But it’s his distinctive voice coupled with his “triple take” signature look that lead to him playing the favorite sidekick of 30’s comedies. It certainly didn’t hurt any that he also started many of his talkies working with none other than Ernst Lubitsch.

In real life, Horton was known to be a frugal man but he knew how to spend his money where it counts. He invested in a 22 acres estate in California with a compound of houses to share with his family- including his mother (who lived to be a centenarian) and his siblings. He never married and rumors have asserted that his lifetime partner was actor Gavin Gordon. But if so, he kept his sexuality status a very private matter as no documentation can verify with certainty. Up until cancer suddenly striking at age 83, he tirelessly worked for decades across all opportunities of acting medium. At the mere suggestion of retirement at the age of 80, he protested: ” Dear Lord! I would go right out of my mind.” I for one, I am very grateful for his hard-working commitment to his craft.

Gallery of EE Horton…


the lovable “nervous nellie”



Playing the wing man to Fred Astaire

Playing the wing man to Fred Astaire

Horton partnered up with Astaire in five films

Horton partnered up with Astaire in five films


Horton k-k-kicking it with Betty Grable, in his swim trunks

EEHorton as the MadHatter

EEHorton as the MadHatter

Edward Everett Horton and Carmen Miranda

Clowning around with Carmen Miranda for “Springtime in the Rockies” (1942)

Stached EEHorton, fellow famed character actor Zazu Pitts

Stached EEHorton, fellow famed character actor Zazu Pitts

with Miriam Hopkins

with Miriam Hopkins


Batman TV series favorite EE Horton chumming with co-star Vincent Price

From stage to radio to screen, Edward Everett Horton was a multi medium master

From stage to radio to screen, Edward Everett Horton was a multi medium master including reviving his role as Henry in “Springtime For Henry” over 3,000 times


a delightful smile from a truly delightful man who lived a full life indeed

This piece was written in conjunction with the 3rd annual WHAT A CHARACTER! BLOGATHON hosted by Aurora of ONCE UPON A SCREEN, Paula of PAULA’S CINEMA CLUB and yours truly. Review day one, day two and day three of the fabulous list of talented entries for more reading enjoyment!




The greatly anticipated moment has finally arrived! Your humble co-hosting threesome are proud to bring you the first day of blogger entries in the 3rd annual What A Character! Blogathon. What quirky characters, which silly sidekicks and what scene stealing supporting actors can we expect for the first of three full days of our mega event? Please explore each of the following entries for their fascinating reviews on all our beloved character actors. Click on the links to learn more about WHAT A CHARACTER! these actors really are.

I will be updating these links all day long as they pour in. So I implore you to check back frequently. Additionally, be sure to check out my co-hosts announcements over the next 2 days- Aurora at ONCE UPON A SCREEN tomorrow and Paula at PAULA’S CINEMA CLUB on Tuesday.

First up…Theresa guest posts on ONCE UPON A SCREEN to provide us her insights on character actors Ann Doran & Lurene Tuttle. As Theresa explains, Doran was “the best “best friend” a girl could EVER have” and she “could toss a line or raise one eyebrow with the best of ‘em.” As she describes her love for Tuttle, “She’s equal parts fuss-budget and no-nonsense, common sense.”

Next, Steve of MOVIE MOVIE BLOG BLOG offers up A Tribute to the highly versatile “king of character actors” Charles Durning 

Then, THE LAST DRIVE-IN witnesses Burgess Meredith as Charter Member in the Fraternity of Dreamers. As Jo Gabriel scribes, “He’s always just a bit peculiar, idiosyncratic, eccentric, lyrical, salty, sometimes irascible, but always captivating and distinctive, His voice, his persona, his look, his style…” We agree!

Jack Deth guest posts on PAULA’S CINEMA CLUB for his review of Chris Cooper. As Jack builds his case via several worthy performances, Cooper “adds depth, shadow and presence to a roughly sketched character. Embodies it with his worn, lined visage and slow, never hurried gait. And makes it his own.”

Danny of DANNY REVIEWS gives us his assessment via four key roles of the versatile character actor  Richard Widmark. As in “Saint Joan”, Widmark, “portrays this character by taking all the energy out of his entire body. Suddenly, it seems like his limbs are made from gelatin rather than hard bones. The way Widmark is able to go limp just shows his willingness and commitment to live and breathe as the character as opposed to just playing it in a table read through.”

Shannon of THIS GIRL FRIDAY peeks at funny man Frank McHugh who played comic relief for Hollywood’s biggest stars. As Shannon states: “his performance never goes unnoticed.  He steals the show with his good-natured laughter and wonderful comedic timing.”

Jenni of PORTRAITS BY JENNI outlines the many successful roles with that iconic look of Edna May Oliver, who found “fame in the 1930′s playing such a character, often speaking very witty lines and knowing how to do the perfect eye-roll at another character.”

Then, Terry of A SHROUD OF THOUGHTS offers up his thoughts on the master of various mediums- radio, stage, and both small and big screens… Tony Randall, “who could play a wide array of roles, from swaggering womanisers to to henpecked husbands” over a 63 year career.

More to come…

Enjoy the reading, film fans! Don’t forget to provide these talented bloggers with your feedback- we writers love encouragement.

Announcement: 3rd annual WHAT A CHARACTER! BLOGATHON

“I was only a leading man for a minute; now I’m a character actor.”

… Robin Williams

Back in 2012 we- as in Aurora, Paula and I- borrowed a catch-phrase from our home of the classics, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) to host a blogathon dedicated to those whose names few remember.  The phrase is WHAT A CHARACTER! and the players are actors who rarely got leading parts, exhibiting instead a versatility and depth many leading players wished they had.  We never tire of seeing them or paying tribute and as the previous two installments of this event proved, neither do you.  So let this fun tradition continue with the third annual WHAT A CHARACTER! Blogathon…


Contact us:

Kellee of Outspoken & Freckled aka (@IrishJayHawk66)

Paula of Paula’s Cinema Club aka (@Paula_Guthat) and

Aurora, of Once Upon a Screen aka (@CitizenScreen)

We are thrilled to be hosting this event again and we hope you’ll join us in shining the spotlight on the great character actors in the movies.  You know who they are, the Edward Arnolds and Eugene Palettes and Eve Ardens of the world, the ones whose names rarely appeared above the movie title, but who we relish in seeing time and time again.

If you’re interested in participating, and we certainly hope you are, please adhere to the following:

  • Let one of the hosts know which character actor is your choice.  Since there are so many greats worthy of mention, we won’t take any repeats and we’re not limiting these to “classic” actors.  Great character actors have made their mark since the end of the classic era and deserve some attention as well so the field is wide open.
  • Please include your twitter or FB tag, email address and blog name & URL.
  • Publish the post for either November 16, 17 & 18.  Let us know if you have a date preference, otherwise we’ll split publicizing duties equally among the three days.
  • Please include the blogathon graphic on your blog to help us publicize the event. (See the 3 pretty banners included in this post)
  • Include the graphic and link to the host sites in your WHAT A CHARACTER! post
  • If possible, please send any of the hosts the direct link to your WHAT A CHARACTER! post by the day before your due date.  Otherwise we’ll simply link to your site’s home page.
  • HAVE FUN and spread the word!  There are many great characters worthy of attention.


Ann Doran & Luren Tuttle ~ Theresa guest post on ONCE UPON A SCREEN


Bealuh Bondi ~ A Thousand Words

Burgess Meredith ~ THE LAST DRIVE-IN

C. Aubrey Smith ~ CRITICA RETRO


Christopher Lloyd ~ THE MOVIE RAT


Dame Edith Evans ~ MARGARET PERRY


Edward Everett Horton ~OUTSPOKEN & FRECKLED

Esther Dale ~ CAFTAN WOMAN




Iris Adrian ~ SPEAKEASY



Melville Cooper ~ CLASSIC MOVIE HUB


Thelma Ritter ~ CINEPHILED

Thomas Mitchell ~ ONCE UPON A SCREEN



A big thank you – HAPPY BLOGGING!




%d bloggers like this: