Charles Bickford Biography

Place of Birth: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Height: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
Wiki Biography: American character actor of gruff voice and appearance who was a fixture in Hollywood pictures from the earliest days of the talkies. The fifth of seven children, he was born in the first minute of 1891. He was a boisterous child, and at nine was tried and acquitted for attempted murder in the shooting of a motorman who had run over his dog. He worked as a lumberjack and investment promoter, and briefly ran his own pest extermination business. In his late teens, he gave up the business and traveled aimlessly about country. In San Francisco, an attempt to romance a burlesque actress resulted in an offer to join her show as a performer. He spent the next dozen years touring the country in road companies, then made a smash hit on Broadway in "Outside Looking In". Cecil B. DeMille saw Bickford on the stage and offered him the lead in Dynamite (1929). Contracted to MGM, Bickford fought constantly with studio head Louis B. Mayer and was for a time blacklisted among the studios. He spent several years working in independent films as a freelancer, then was offered a contract at Twentieth Century Fox. Before the contract could take effect, however, Bickford was mauled by a lion while filming 'East of Java (1935)'. He recovered, but lost the Fox contract and his leading man status due to the extensive scarring of his neck and also to increasing age. He continued as a character actor, establishing himself as a character star in films like The Song of Bernadette (1943), for which he received the first of three Oscar nominations. Burly and brusque, he played heavies and father figures with equal skill. He continued to act in generally prestigious films up until his death in 1967.

Charles BickfordPhotos & Pictures


TV Title Appeared As Year Genre
Wing and a Prayer 1944 Action
The Farmer's Daughter Joseph Clancy 1947 Comedy
The Man Behind the Badge 1953 Crime
Della 1964 Drama
Movies Title Appeared As Year Genre
Anna Christie Matt Burke 1930 Drama, Romance
Little Miss Marker Big Steve Halloway 1934 Comedy, Family, Drama
The Farmer Takes a Wife 1935 0
Rose Hobart 1936
Rose of the Rancho 1936 Action, Music, Romance
The Plainsman 1936 History, Romance
Stand Up and Fight 1939 Drama, History, Romance
Queen Of The Yukon 1940 Action, Adventure, Comedy
Riders of Death Valley 1941 Action
Reap the Wild Wind 1942 Action, Adventure
The Song of Bernadette Father Peyramale 1943
Mr. Lucky Hard Swede 1943
Wing and a Prayer 1945 Action, Drama
Woman on the Beach Ted Butler 1947
The Woman on the Beach 1947 Drama, Romance
Brute Force 1947 Crime, Drama
Duel in the Sun 1947 Drama, Romance
Command Decision 1948
Johnny Belinda Black MacDonald 1948
The Babe Ruth Story 1948 Drama, Sport
The Raging Tide 1951
The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell 1955 0
Prince of Players 1955 Drama
Not as a Stranger 1955
You Can't Run Away from It A.A. Andrews 1956
Mister Cory 1957 Drama
The Big Country Maj. Henry Terrill 1958 Biography, 0
The Unforgiven Zeb Rawlins 1960 Drama, Romance
Days of Wine and Roses Ellis Arnesen 1962 Romance, Drama
A Big Hand for the Little Lady 1966
A Star Is Born Oliver Niles 1976 0, 0