Image of Claude Gillingwater

Claude Gillingwater

Tall, balding character actor in US films from 1921 until the year he died, usually portraying obstinate or irascible types. A man so disagreeable on celluloid, Claude Gillingwater's characters seemed to subsist on a steady diet of persimmons. Fondly recalled as the cranky old skinflint whose seemingly cold heart could only be warmed by the actions of a cute little tyke, the tall and rangy Gillingwater invariably played much older than he was. He, with the omnipresent bushy brows, crop of silver hair and perpetually sour puss, had a much more versatile career than perhaps realized -- on both stage and in film. Most assuredly, this caustic screen image he perfected belied a softer, gentler off-screen demeanor for he was a kind and sympathetic gent and devoted husband to wife Carlyn Stiletz (or Stellith). Their only child, Claude Gillingwater Jr., briefly became an actor himself. Sadly, Gillingwater Sr.'s thriving character career ended on a grim and tragic note in 1939. A serious accident on the movie set of the picture Florida Special (1936) (he fell from a platform and injured his back) damaged his health and threatened his career, and the death of his long-time wife Carlyn left him irrevocably depressed. Fearing the possibility of becoming an invalid and wishing not to become a serious burden to anyone, the 69-year-old actor committed suicide at his Beverly Hills home with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Gillingwater left a fine Hollywood legacy and the fun of some of his old films is watching his vinegar turn to sugar. Date of Birth 2 August 1870, Louisiana, Missouri Date of Death 2 November 1939, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California  (suicide)

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Aug 2, 1870 In Louisiana, Missouri, USA
Movie/TV Credits:
First Appeared:
In the movie Little Lord Fauntleroy 1921-09-15
Latest Project:
Movie Cafe Society 1939-03-03
Known For
Poster of The Avenger
Poster of The Conquering Horde
Poster of How to Educate a Wife
Poster of Dulcy
Movie Cafe Society Old Christopher West 1939-03-03
Movie Little Miss Broadway Judge 1938-07-29
Movie A Yank at Oxford Ben Dalton 1938-02-18
Movie Just Around the Corner Samuel G. Henshaw 1938-11-11
Movie There Goes My Heart Cyrus W. Butterfield 1938-10-14
Movie Top of the Town William Borden 1937-04-17
Movie Conquest Stephan 1937-10-22
Movie Florida Special Simeon Stafford 1936-04-21
Movie Counterfeit Tom Perkins 1936-05-25
Movie The Prisoner of Shark Island Col. Dyer 1936-02-12
Movie Can This Be Dixie? Col. Robert Peachtree 1936-11-13
Movie Ticket to Paradise Robert Forbes 1936-06-24
Movie Wives Never Know Mr. Gossamer 1936-09-18
Movie Poor Little Rich Girl Simon Peck 1936-07-18
Movie The Woman in Red Grandpa Wyatt 1935-02-16
Movie Baby Face Harrington Colton 1935-04-12
Movie Mississippi Gen. Rumford 1935-03-22
Movie Calm Yourself Col. Allenby 1935-06-28
Movie A Tale of Two Cities Jarvis Lorry 1935-12-25
Movie City Limits Tom Oliver 1934-04-14
Movie You Can't Buy Everything Asa Cabot - Banker 1934-01-26
Movie Unknown Blonde Papa Van Brunt, Sr. 1934-04-23
Movie The Show-Off J.B. Preston 1934-03-09
Movie In Love with Life Morley 1934-05-11
Movie Green Eyes Steven Kester 1934-06-15
Movie The Captain Hates the Sea Judge Griswold 1934-11-02
Movie Back Page Sam Webster 1934-06-01
Movie Ann Carver's Profession Judge Bingham 1933-06-09
Movie The Avenger Witt 1933-08-10
Movie Skyway John Beaumont 1933-08-29
Movie Before Midnight John Fry 1933-11-18
Movie Tess of the Storm Country Frederick Garfield Sr 1932-11-20
Movie The Conquering Horde Jim Nabours 1931-03-01
Movie Illicit Richard Ives Sr. 1931-02-14
Movie Kiss Me Again Count de St. Cyr 1931-02-23
Movie Daddy Long Legs Riggs 1931-06-05
Movie Gold Dust Gertie John Aberdeen Arnold 1931-06-27
Movie How I Play Golf, by Bobby Jones No. 8: 'The Brassie' Unknown 1931-08-18
Movie Dumb-bells in Ermine Uncle Roger 1930-05-10
Movie The Flirting Widow Faraday 1930-05-11
Movie The Great Divide Winthrop Amesbury 1929-09-15
Movie Stolen Kisses H.A. Lambert Sr. 1929-02-23
Movie Glad Rag Doll Sam Underlane 1929-05-03
Movie Mexicali Rose (uncredited) 1929-12-26
Movie So Long Letty Uncle Claude Davis 1929-10-16
Movie Women They Talk About Grandfather Mervin 1928-08-10
Movie Oh Kay! Judge Appleton 1928-08-26
Movie Fast and Furious Smithfield 1927-06-12
Movie Naughty But Nice Judge J. R. Altewood 1927-06-25
Movie Barbed Wire Jean Moreau 1927-09-09
Movie The Gorilla Cyrus Townsend 1927-11-13
Movie Into Her Kingdom Ivan 1926-08-08
Movie 45 Minutes from Hollywood Old Man in Hotel Bed (uncredited) 1926-12-26
Movie A Thief in Paradise Noel Jardine 1925-06-18
Movie Winds of Chance Tom Linton 1925-08-15
Movie Cheaper to Marry Riddle 1925-02-09
Movie We Moderns Sir Robert Sundale 1925-11-15
Movie Seven Sinners Pious Joe McDowell 1925-11-07
Movie How to Educate a Wife Henry Bancks 1924-05-01
Movie Madonna of the Streets Unknown 1924-10-19
Movie Crinoline and Romance Col. Charles E. Cavanaugh 1923-02-05
Movie Souls for Sale Himself - Celebrity Actor (uncredited) 1923-04-22
Movie The Christian Lord Storm 1923-01-14
Movie Tiger Rose Hector McCollins 1923-12-09
Movie Three Wise Fools Theodore Findley 1923-08-19
Movie A Chapter in Her Life Unknown 1923-09-17
Movie Dulcy Mr. Forbes 1923-08-27
Movie Remembrance John P. Grout 1922-10-01
Movie Little Lord Fauntleroy Earl of Dorincourt 1921-09-15
Movie My Boy Captain Bill 1921-12-01