Charles Douville Coburn began his film career late in life, but he worked constantly until the end.
Some general points about this jovial — and seemingly omnipresent — character actor. He was from the South (born in 1877 in Georgia).
Audiences leapt to the incorrect conclusion that Coburn was British. Perhaps that was because he in fact had closely the acting methods of such classic British stage actors/managers as Henry Irving and Richard Mansfield. In the late Twenties he opened his own theatrical operation in New York (it went bankrupt when the Great Depression hit).
Coburn’s career covering nearly 100 movie and tv credits over a nearly 30-year span was so successful that he commanded almost star billing. Not exactly an A-list name in his time but close.
And, yes, he sported cigars and a monocle, and enjoyed pinching ladies’ bottoms on movie sets. He adored both his wives, and somewhere on the campus of the University of Georgia is the actor’s archive; he died on 1961 at the age of 84.
Ok, on to our Charles Coburn Quiz. Questions today , answers tomorrow.
1) Question: As mentioned, Coburn began making Hollywood movies relatively late in life. How old was he when he started? a) 37; b) 52; c) 41; or d) nearly 60.
2) Question: Coburn is not related to actor James Coburn. a) True; or b) False.
3) Question: Coburn won a best supporting actor Oscar once, and was nominated in that category two more times for which of the following pictures? a) 1945’s The Green Years; b) 1942’s The Devil and Miss Jones; c) 1943’s The More The Merrier; or d) 1956’s Around the World in 80 Days.
4) Question: Coburn was known for sporting a monocle (see photo above), but it wasn’t medically necessary since his vision in both eyes was fine. a) True; or b) False.
5) Question: Which one of these actresses did Coburn NOT appear with? a) Marilyn Monroe; b) Jane Russell; c) Myrna Loy; or d) Gene Tierney