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Walter Brennan

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Walter Brennan

Walter Brennan, (25 July, 1894 - 21 September, 1974) was a veteran character actor, notably in westerns. He holds the distinction of having won more Academy Awards for acting than any other male actor.

Brennan was born in Swampscott, Massachusetts, and studied engineering in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While in school, he became interested in acting, and began to perform in vaudeville. After serving in World War I (where, according to legend, his vocal chords were damaged by poison gas), he moved to Guatemala and raised pineapples, before settling in Los Angeles, California.

After working as an extra and a stunt man, he began receiving more substantial roles in the 1930s, culminating with the receiving of the very first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1937 for Come and Get It.

Other films included Red River, Rio Bravo, My Darling Clementine, Meet John Doe, The Pride of the Yankees, To Have and Have Not, Bad Day at Black Rock and How the West Was Won. In the 1950s, he starred in the television series The Real McCoys, and appeared in several other movies and television programs, usually as an eccentric "old-timer". He also made a few recordings, the most popular being "Old Rivers" in 1962.

For his contribution to the television industry, Walter Brennan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6501 Hollywood Blvd. In 1970, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

On his death from emphysema in 1974, Walter Brennan was interred in San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Academy Awards and Nominations


See also: Other notable figures in Western films



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