Charles Bickford

1891 - 1967

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 seve

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