Image of Walter Brennan

Walter Brennan

In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays. He worked some in vaudeville and also in various jobs such as clerking in a bank and as a lumberjack. He toured in small musical comedy companies before entering the military in 1917. After his war service he went to Guatemala and raised pineapples, then migrated to Los Angeles, where he speculated in real estate. A few jobs as a film extra came his way beginning in 1923, then some work as a stuntman. He eventually achieved speaking roles, going from bit parts to substantial supporting parts in scores of features and short subjects between 1927 and 1938. In 1936 his role in Come and Get It (1936) won him the very first Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. He would win it twice more in the decade, and be nominated for a fourth. His range was enormous. He could play sophisticated businessmen, con artists, local yokels, cowhands and military officers with apparent equal ease. An accident in 1932 cost him most of his teeth, and he most often was seen in eccentric rural parts, often playing characters much older than his actual age. His career never really declined, and in the 1950s he became an even more endearing and familiar figure in several television series, most famously The Real McCoys (1957). He died in 1974 of emphysema, a beloved figure in movies and TV, the target of countless comic impressionists, and one of the best and most prolific actors of his time.

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Jul 25, 1894 In Lynn, Massachusetts, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Lorraine of the Lions 1925-10-11
Latest Project:
Movie And the Oscar Goes To... 2014-02-01
Known For
Poster of The Movie Orgy
Poster of How the West Was Won
Poster of Rio Bravo
Poster of The Invisible Man
Movie And the Oscar Goes To... Unknown 2014-02-01
Movie Bogart: The Untold Story Unknown 1997-01-05
Movie The Silver Screen: Color Me Lavender Self (archive footage) 1997-11-01
Movie La Classe américaine 'Stumpy' (archive footage) 1993-12-31
Movie Smoke In The Wind H. P. Kingman 1975-04-01
Movie Home for the Holidays Benjamin Morgan 1974-07-13
Movie Two for the Money Cody Guilford 1972-02-26
Series Alias Smith and Jones Unknown 1971-01-05
Movie The Young Country Sheriff Matt Fenley 1970-03-17
Movie The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again Nash Crawford 1970-11-16
Series The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour Unknown 1969-01-22
Movie The Over-the-Hill Gang Nash Crawford 1969-07-06
Movie Support Your Local Sheriff! Pa Danby 1969-03-26
Movie The Movie Orgy Self (archival footage) 1968-01-01
Movie The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band Grandpa Bower 1968-04-19
Movie The Gnome-Mobile D.J. Mulrooney 1967-07-17
Series The Guns of Will Sonnett Unknown 1967-09-08
Movie Who's Minding The Mint? Pop Gillis 1967-09-26
Movie The Oscar Quentin 1966-03-04
Movie Those Calloways Alf Simes 1965-01-28
Movie Shoot Out At Big Sag 'Preacher' Hawker 1962-05-31
Series The Merv Griffin Show Self 1962-10-01
Movie How the West Was Won Jeb Hawkins 1962-10-01
Movie Rio Bravo Stumpy 1959-03-17
Movie Armored Attack! Karp 1957-01-01
Movie The Way to the Gold Unknown 1957-05-10
Movie Tammy and the Bachelor John Dinwitty 1957-06-14
Series The Real McCoys Grandpa Amos McCoy 1957-10-03
Movie God Is My Partner Dr. Charles Grayson 1957-07-01
Movie Glory Ned Otis 1956-01-11
Movie Come Next Spring Jeffrey Storys 1956-03-09
Movie Good-bye, My Lady Uncle Jesse Jackson 1956-05-12
Series Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater Unknown 1956-10-05
Series The Dinah Shore Chevy Show Unknown 1956-10-05
Movie The Proud Ones Jake 1956-05-15
Movie Man On A Bus Saul 1955-05-01
Movie Bad Day at Black Rock Doc T.R. Velie Jr. 1955-01-13
Movie At Gunpoint Doc Lacy 1955-12-25
Movie Drums Across the River Sam Brannon 1954-06-01
Movie The Far Country Ben Tatum 1954-02-12
Movie Four Guns to the Border Simon Bhumer 1954-11-03
Series The Oscars Self 1953-03-18
Movie Sea of Lost Ships C.P.O 'Chief' O'Malley 1953-10-24
Movie Lure of the Wilderness Jim Harper 1952-07-16
Movie Return of the Texan Grandpa Firth Crockett 1952-02-13
Series This Is Your Life Unknown 1952-10-01
Series Cavalcade of America Unknown 1952-10-01
Movie Along the Great Divide Timothy 'Pop' Keith 1951-06-02
Movie Best of the Badmen 'Doc' Butcher 1951-08-09
Series Schlitz Playhouse of Stars Unknown 1951-10-05
Movie The Wild Blue Yonder Maj. Gen. Wolfe 1951-12-05
Movie Singing Guns Dr. Jonathan Mark 1950-02-28
Movie A Ticket to Tomahawk Terence Sweeny 1950-05-19
Series What's My Line? Self - Mystery Guest 1950-02-02
Movie Curtain Call at Cactus Creek Unknown 1950-05-24
Movie Surrender Sheriff Bill Howard 1950-09-15
Movie The Showdown Cap MacKellar 1950-08-15
Movie The Green Promise Mr. Matthews 1949-03-22
Movie Task Force Pete Richard 1949-08-30
Movie Brimstone Pop Courteen 1949-08-15
Movie Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! Tony Maule 1948-03-10
Movie Blood on the Moon Kris Barden 1948-11-11
Movie Red River 'Groot' Nadine 1948-08-26
Movie Driftwood Murph 1947-09-15
Movie A Stolen Life Eben Folger 1946-05-01
Movie Centennial Summer Jesse Rogers 1946-07-10
Movie Nobody Lives Forever Pop Gruber 1946-11-01
Movie My Darling Clementine Old Man Clanton 1946-10-17
Movie To Have and Have Not Eddie 1945-01-20
Movie Dakota Capt. Bounce of the Riverbird 1945-12-15
Movie Home in Indiana J. F. 'Thunder' Bolt 1944-06-15
Movie The Princess and the Pirate Featherhead 1944-11-17
Movie Slightly Dangerous Cornelius Burden 1943-04-01
Movie Hangmen Also Die! Prof. Stephen Novotny 1943-04-15
Movie The North Star Karp 1943-11-04
Movie The Last Will and Testament of Tom Smith George, Mailman 1943-09-09
Movie The Pride of the Yankees Sam Blake 1942-07-14
Movie Stand by for Action Chief Yeoman Henry Johnson 1942-12-31
Movie This Woman Is Mine Captain Jonathan Thorne 1941-08-22
Movie Nice Girl? Hector Titus 1941-02-21
Movie Meet John Doe The Colonel 1941-03-14
Movie Sergeant York Pastor Rosier Pile 1941-09-27
Movie Breakdowns of 1941 Himself (archive footage) (uncredited) 1941-11-14
Movie Rise and Shine Grandpa 1941-11-21
Movie Swamp Water Tom Keefer 1941-11-16
Movie Maryland William Stewart 1940-07-19
Movie Northwest Passage 'Hunk' Marriner 1940-02-23
Movie The Westerner Judge Roy Bean 1940-09-18
Movie The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle Walter 1939-03-29
Movie They Shall Have Music Professor Lawson 1939-08-18
Movie Stanley and Livingstone Jeff Slocum 1939-08-18
Movie Joe and Ethel Turp Call on the President Jim 1939-12-01
Movie The Adventures of Tom Sawyer Muff Potter 1938-02-11
Movie The Buccaneer Ezra Peavey 1938-02-04
Movie Mother Carey's Chickens Ossian Popham 1938-07-29
Movie The Texans Chuckawalla 1938-08-12
Movie Kentucky Peter Goodwin 1938-12-30
Movie The Cowboy and the Lady Sugar 1938-11-17
Movie She's Dangerous 'Oats' 1937-01-24
Movie When Love Is Young Uncle Hugo 1937-03-26
Movie Affairs of Cappy Ricks Cappy Ricks 1937-05-24
Movie Wild and Woolly Gramp 'Hercules' Flynn 1937-07-19
Movie Three Godfathers Gus 1936-03-06
Movie These Three Taxi Driver 1936-03-18
Movie The Moon's Our Home Lem 1936-04-10
Movie Come and Get It Swan Bostrom 1936-11-06
Movie Banjo on My Knee Newt Holley 1936-12-11
Movie Fury Bugs Meyers 1936-06-05
Movie The Wedding Night Bill Jenkins 1935-03-08
Movie West Point of the Air Soldier at Kelly's Wreckage 1935-03-23
Movie The Bride of Frankenstein Peasant (uncredited) 1935-04-20
Movie Law Beyond the Range Abner 1935-02-15
Movie Brick-a-Brac Lem 1935-01-18
Movie Biography of a Bachelor Girl Reporter on Ship (uncredited) 1935-01-04
Movie Party Wire Paul - Railroad Telegrapher (uncredited) 1935-04-27
Movie Mystery of Edwin Drood First Gossip (uncredited) 1935-02-04
Movie Northern Frontier Stuttering Cook 1935-02-01
Movie Barbary Coast Old Atrocity 1935-10-13
Movie Metropolitan Grandpa 1935-10-17
Movie Lady Tubbs Joseph 1935-07-02
Movie She Couldn't Take It Peddler 1935-10-08
Movie Seven Keys to Baldpate Station Agent 1935-12-13
Movie The Perfect Tribute Stone Cutter (uncredited) 1935-08-15
Movie Man on the Flying Trapeze 'Legs' Garnett 1935-08-03
Movie We're in the Money Wedding Witness (uncredited) 1935-08-17
Movie George White's Scandals Hick (uncredited) 1934-03-15
Movie Good Dame Elmer Spicer 1934-03-16
Movie Riptide Chauffeur (uncredited) 1934-03-29
Movie The Poor Rich Dr. Johnson the Coroner (uncredited) 1934-02-25
Movie Fugitive Lovers 2nd Bus Driver (uncredited) 1934-01-05
Movie I'll Tell the World Otto - Bicycle Repair Man 1934-04-20
Movie Cross Country Cruise Niagara Falls Boatman (Uncredited) 1934-01-16
Movie Beloved Stuttering Boarder 1934-01-22
Movie Radio Dough Unknown 1934-02-05
Movie Woman Haters Train Conductor 1934-05-05
Movie Gridiron Flash Proprietor of Java Joe's 1934-10-06
Movie Great Expectations Prisoner on Ship 1934-10-22
Movie Half a Sinner Radio Announcer 1934-06-01
Movie Death on the Diamond Hot Dog Vendor 1934-09-14
Movie There's Always Tomorrow Auto mechanic 1934-11-01
Movie The Life of Vergie Winters Roscoe (uncredited) 1934-06-14
Movie Murder in the Private Car Switchman (uncredited) 1934-06-29
Movie Whom the Gods Destroy Clifford (uncredited) 1934-07-12
Movie Lucky Dog Drunk #2 1933-04-20
Movie The Phantom of the Air 'Skid' (uncredited) 1933-05-21
Movie Girl Missing Joe, Garage Attendant (Uncredited) 1933-03-04
Movie The Big Cage Ticket Taker 1933-05-01
Movie Goldie Gets Along Stuttering Waiter 1933-01-27
Movie Strange People The Radio Repairman 1933-06-16
Movie Man Of Action Cashier Summers 1933-01-20
Movie Parachute Jumper Counterman at Jewel Diner (uncredited) 1933-01-28
Movie King for a Night Soda Jerk 1933-12-09
Movie Curtain at Eight Silent Detective 1933-10-01
Movie The Invisible Man Bicycle Owner (uncredited) 1933-11-03
Movie One Year Later Man Chuckling at Train Station 1933-08-24
Movie Saturday's Millions Reporter 1933-09-30
Movie My Woman Auditioning Man Who Does Animal Sounds (Uncredited) 1933-10-04
Movie Golden Harvest Farmhand at Wedding (uncredited) 1933-09-21
Movie Sailor Beware! Stuttering Thief 1933-09-15
Movie Sensation Hunters Stuttering Waiter 1933-08-30
Movie Miss Pinkerton Police Dispatcher (uncredited) 1932-05-27
Movie Two-Fisted Law Deputy Sheriff Bendix 1932-06-08
Movie Scandal for Sale Newspaperman 1932-04-01
Movie The Airmail Mystery Holly 1932-03-28
Movie Speed Madness Joe 1932-07-29
Movie Texas Cyclone Sheriff Lew Collins 1932-02-24
Movie Law and Order Lanky Smith (uncredited) 1932-03-01
Movie Manhattan Tower Mechanic (uncredited) 1932-12-01
Movie Cornered Court Bailiff (uncredited) 1932-08-05
Movie Women Won't Tell Man in Junkyard 1932-11-16
Movie Afraid to Talk Protester Sign Carrier (uncredited) 1932-12-01
Movie Once in a Lifetime Lighting Technician (uncredited) 1932-10-02
Movie The All-American News Commentator at Game (uncredited) 1932-10-01
Movie Grief Street Walt 1931-10-01
Movie Many a Slip Minor Role (uncredited) 1931-03-02
Movie Neck and Neck Hector 1931-11-04
Movie A House Divided Musician 1931-12-05
Movie King of Jazz Desk Sergeant ('Springtime') / Soldier ('All Noisy on the Eastern Front') / Waiter ('Oh! Forevermore!') / Front End of Horse / Quartet Member ('Nellie') 1930-04-20
Movie Dames Ahoy Side Show Barker 1930-02-10
Movie Little Accident Milkman (uncredited) 1930-08-03
Movie His Lucky Day Road House Thug (uncredited) 1929-06-02
Movie Flight Marine Pilot 1929-09-14
Movie One Hysterical Night Paul Revere 1929-10-05
Movie The Long, Long Trail Skinny Rawlins 1929-10-26
Movie The Last Performance Clown (uncredited) 1929-10-13
Movie The Ballyhoo Buster Unknown 1928-01-08
Movie The Michigan Kid Minor Role (uncredited) 1928-10-20
Movie Tearin' Into Trouble Billy Martin 1927-03-19
Movie Blake of Scotland Yard Unknown 1927-08-14
Movie Sensation Seekers Below Deck Yacht Crewman 1927-03-21
Movie The Ridin' Rowdy Unknown 1927-04-24
Movie Lorraine of the Lions Unknown 1925-10-11