This week’s quiz is about a man you’ve seen scores of times in dozens of films. His face and voice are not all that hard to recognize. But his name?
Today’s Quiz honors perhaps classic Hollywood’s most durable character actor. He certainly qualifies as the busiest. Two years before he died — in 1992 at age 95 — he completed his last movie, Dick Tracy, starring Warren Beatty and Madonna.
By then Ian Wolfe had racked up by one reliable account even more acting credits than our headline suggests. In short, Woolfe appeared in upwards of 300 movie and tv credits.
Although his name sounds British, Wolfe was actually born in the American Midwest, Canton, Illinois, in 1896. His broke into movies in 1934 and stuck around for the ensuing 56 years.
He often played characters much older than he actually was. And his precise diction (a skill seemingly lost by many of today’s actors) reinforced his British stereotype.
He led a relatively quiet life, marrying only once to Elizabeth Schroder, a lengthy union that produced two daughters. He also served as a medical volunteer in World War I.
Ok, let’s see how much you can remember about Ian Wolfe. We’ll concentrate some of the best known movies that he graced. Here we go:
1) Question: Wolfe appeared in this Nicholas Ray movie as a medical doctor surrounded by misunderstood teenagers led by a budding star. Can you identify this 1955 picture and its star?
2) Question: Wolfe appeared in two episodes of this 1960’s tv series (as Septimus and Mr. Altoz), the original tube version of a spectacularly successful sci-fi title. (Hint: Think William Shatner.)
3) Question: Wolfe appeared in these two Alfred Hitchcock thrillers. Can you identify which ones? a) 1942’s Saboteur; b) 1964’s Marnie; c) 1935’s The 39 Steps; or d) 1940’s Foreign Correspondent.
4) Question: In this star-stuffed, 1957 courtroom drama, Wolfe plays the clerk and office manager of barrister Charles Laughton. Can you name this movie’s title and its director (he is usually associated with comedies)?
5) Question: Wolfe is one of the few American-born actor to play Sherlock Holmes. a) True; or b) False.