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Charley Grapewin is a Actor American born on 20 december 1869 at Ohio (USA)

Charley Grapewin

Charley Grapewin
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Birth name Charles Ellsworth Grapewin
Nationality USA
Birth 20 december 1869 at Ohio (USA)
Death 2 february 1956 (at 86 years) at Corona (USA)

Charles Ellsworth "Charley" Grapewin (December 20, 1869 – February 2, 1956) was an American vaudeville performer, writer and a stage and silent and sound actor, and comedian who portrayed Aunt Em's husband, Uncle Henry in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's The Wizard of Oz (1939), as well as Jeeter Lester in film Tobacco Road and Grandpa Joad in the film The Grapes of Wrath (1940). He usually portrayed elderly folksy type characters in a rustic setting, all up appearing in over 100 films.


Born in Xenia, Ohio, Charles Ellsworth Grapewin ran away from home to be a circus acrobat which led him to work as an aerialist and trapeze artist in a traveling circus before turning to acting. He traveled all over the world with the famous P. T. Barnum circus. Interestingly, Grapewin also appeared in the original 1903 Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz, 35 years before he would appear in the famous MGM film version.

After this he went on and off of stage for the next thirty years, starting with various stock companies, and wrote stage plays as a vehicle for himself. His sole Broadway theatre credit was the short-lived play It's Up To You John Henry in 1905.

Grapewin married actress Anna Chance (1875–1943) in 1896 and they remained a devoted couple until her death some 47 years later. Two years after his first wife's death, Grapewin married Loretta McGowan Becker on 10 Jan 1945.

Grapewin began in silent films at the turn of the century. His very first films were two "moving image shorts" made by Frederick S. Armitage and released in November 1900; Chimmie Hicks at the Races (also known as Above the Limit) and Chimmie Hicks and the Rum Omelet, both shot in September and October 1900 and released in November of that year. During his long career, Grapewin appeared in more than one hundred films, including The Good Earth, The Grapes of Wrath, Tobacco Road and also for what is probably his best-remembered role: Uncle Henry in The Wizard of Oz, after which he had garnered a recurring role as Inspector Queen in the Ellery Queen film series of the early 1940s,.

Grapewin died of natural causes in Corona, California at age 86 and his ashes are interred with his wife's in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California, at the Great Mausoleum's Columbarium of Inspiration.

Best films

The Good Earth (1937)

Usually with

Cedric Gibbons
Cedric Gibbons
(17 films)
Wade Boteler
Wade Boteler
(9 films)
Ward Bond
Ward Bond
(7 films)
Source : Wikidata

Filmography of Charley Grapewin (87 films)

Display filmography as list


When I Grow Up, 1h30
Directed by Michael Kanin
Origin USA
Genres Drama
Actors Bobby Driscoll, Robert Preston, Martha Scott, Sherry Jackson, Ralph Dumke, Paul Guilfoyle (acteur, 1902-1961)
Roles Grandpa Reed
Rating77% 3.8585953.8585953.8585953.8585953.858595
This script must be run from the command line
Sand (1949)
, 1h18
Directed by Louis King
Origin USA
Genres Western
Themes Films about animals, Films about horses
Actors Mark Stevens, Coleen Gray, Rory Calhoun, Charley Grapewin, George Melford, Harry V. Cheshire
Roles Doug
Rating57% 2.899712.899712.899712.899712.89971
Based on the 1932 novel of the same name, Jeff Keane's expensive show horse escapes and runs loose in the Colorado wilderness.
Gunfighters, 1h27
Directed by George Waggner
Origin USA
Genres Documentary, Action, Western
Actors Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton, Bruce Cabot, Charley Grapewin, John Miles, Steven Geray
Roles Rancher Inskip
Rating62% 3.146353.146353.146353.146353.14635
Trying to put his life as a gunfighter behind him, Brazos Kane goes off to join old pal Bob Tyrell at the Inskip ranch, only to see him gunned down by an unseen shooter.
The Impatient Years, 1h31
Directed by Irving Cummings
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Romantic comedy, Romance
Themes Political films
Actors Jean Arthur, Lee Bowman, Charles Coburn, Edgar Buchanan, Charley Grapewin, Phil Brown
Roles Benjamin L. Pidgeon, Bellboy
Rating65% 3.289113.289113.289113.289113.28911
The film starts with Andy and Janie Anderson seated on opposite sides of a court room filing for a divorce. As the judge is about to render his verdict, Janie's father makes a suggestion. In an attempt to save the marriage, William suggests that the couple return to San Francisco (where they met a year and a half ago) for four days and retrace all of their steps to include getting married.
Atlantic City, 1h27
Directed by Ray McCarey
Genres Musical, Romance
Themes Musical films
Actors Constance Moore, Charley Grapewin, Jerry Colonna, Dorothy Dandridge, Adele Mara, Pierre Watkin
Roles Jake Taylor
Rating63% 3.184033.184033.184033.184033.18403
In 1915, Atlantic City is a sleepy seaside resort, but Brad Taylor, son of a small hotel and vaudeville house proprietor, has big plans: he thinks it can be "the playground of the world." Brad's wheeling and dealing proves remarkably successful in attracting big enterprises and big shows, but brings him little success in personal relationships. Full of nostalgic songs and acts, some with the original artists.
Crash Dive
Crash Dive (1943)
, 1h46
Directed by Otto Brower, Archie Mayo
Origin USA
Genres Drama, War, Thriller, Action, Adventure, Romance
Themes Seafaring films, Transport films, La bataille de l'Atlantique, Underwater action films, Submarine films, Political films
Actors Tyrone Power, Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, James Gleason, May Whitty, Harry Morgan
Roles Pop
Rating63% 3.198143.198143.198143.198143.19814
A US Navy submarine, the USS Corsair, is operating in the North Atlantic, hunting German merchant raiders that are preying on Allied shipping. Its new executive officer, Lt. Ward Stewart (Tyrone Power), has been transferred back into submarines after commanding his own PT boat. At the submarine base in New London, Connecticut, he asks his new captain, Lt. Cmdr. Dewey Connors (Dana Andrews), for a weekend leave to settle his affairs before taking up his new assignment. On a train bound for Washington D.C., Stewart accidentally encounters New London school teacher Jean Hewlett (Anne Baxter) and her students. Despite her initial resistance to his efforts, he charms her and they fall in love.
They Died with Their Boots On, 2h20
Directed by Raoul Walsh, B. Reeves Eason
Origin USA
Genres Drama, War, Biography, Romance, Western
Themes Political films
Actors Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sheridan, Arthur Kennedy, Charley Grapewin, Gene Lockhart
Roles California Joe
Rating72% 3.645653.645653.645653.645653.64565
George Armstrong Custer (Errol Flynn) enters West Point and quickly establishes himself as a troublemaker by showing up in an outlandish uniform he had designed himself, which makes him appear to be a visiting foreign general. After the misunderstanding, he signs up as a cadet, and begins to stack up demerits for pranks and a general disregard for rules while at the Point. When the Civil War breaks out, Custer is at the bottom of his class.
Tobacco Road, 1h24
Directed by John Ford
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Comedy, Comedy-drama
Themes Théâtre, Films based on plays
Actors Charley Grapewin, Marjorie Rambeau, Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, William Tracy, Elizabeth Patterson
Roles Jeeter Lester
Rating65% 3.2988353.2988353.2988353.2988353.298835
From Turner Classic Movies: "The downtrodden Lester family lives in rural Georgia alongside the old tobacco road, on once-prosperous farm land which is now fallow. The head of the family is Jeeter (Grapewin), a shiftless man who is always making grand plans but never following through with them. The other Lesters are Jeeter's hard-working wife Ada (Patterson); their daughter Ellie May (Tierney), who is a spinster at twenty-three; their high-strung son Dude (Tracy), who is obsessed by automobiles; and Jeeter's silent, browbeaten mother (Tilbury). The Lesters are constantly on the verge of starvation. One afternoon they are visited by Lov Bensey (Bond), who is married to Jeeter and Ada's daughter Pearl (who never appears in the film), the family attacks him and steals his bag of turnips.
Johnny Apollo, 1h34
Directed by Henry Hathaway
Origin USA
Genres Drama, Crime, Romance
Actors Tyrone Power, Dorothy Lamour, Edward Arnold, Lloyd Nolan, Charley Grapewin, Lionel Atwill
Roles Judge Emmett T. Brennan
Rating69% 3.4947153.4947153.4947153.4947153.494715
After his stockbroker father "Pop" Cain is sent to prison for embezzlement of funds, Bob Cain, Jr., after having a falling out with his father, quits college to look for a job, but is unable to find one due to his father's notoriety. When he uses an alias, he finds works, but is then fired because of doing so.
The Grapes of Wrath, 2h9
Directed by Otto Brower, John Ford
Origin USA
Genres Drama
Themes Films about families, Transport films, Films about the labor movement, Films about automobiles, Political films, Road movies
Actors Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Shirley Mills, John Qualen, Eddie Quillan
Roles Grandpa Joad
Rating80% 4.0493254.0493254.0493254.0493254.049325
The film opens with Tom Joad (Henry Fonda), released from prison and hitchhiking his way back to his parents' family farm in Oklahoma. Tom finds an itinerant ex-preacher named Jim Casy (John Carradine) sitting under a tree by the side of the road. Casy was the preacher who baptized Tom, but now Casy has "lost the spirit" and his faith (presaging his imminent conversion to communism). Casy goes with Tom to the Joad property only to find it deserted. There, they meet Muley Graves (John Qualen) who is hiding out. In a flashback, he describes how farmers all over the area were forced from their farms by the deed holders of the land. A local boy (Irving Bacon), hired for the purpose, is shown knocking down Muley's house with a Caterpillar tractor. Following this, Tom and Casy move on to find the Joad family at Tom's Uncle John's place. His family is happy to see Tom and explain they have made plans to head for California in search of employment, as their farm has been foreclosed on by the bank. The large Joad family of twelve leaves at daybreak, along with Casy who decides to accompany them. They pack everything into a dilapidated 1926 Hudson "Super Six" sedan adapted to serve as a truck in order to make the long journey to the promised land of California.
Rhythm on the River, 1h32
Directed by Victor Schertzinger
Origin USA
Genres Comedy, Musical theatre, Musical
Themes Films about music and musicians, Musical films
Actors Bing Crosby, Mary Martin, Basil Rathbone, Oscar Levant, Charley Grapewin, William Frawley
Roles Uncle Caleb
Rating70% 3.5320353.5320353.5320353.5320353.532035
Oliver Courtney (Basil Rathbone) is an arrogant composer who lets other people write songs he takes credit for. Bob Sommers (Bing Crosby) writes his tunes with Billy Starbuck (Oscar Levant). At the night of a social Christmas party, Oliver introduces Bob's song "What Would Shakespeare Have Said?" as his own. Later that night, Oliver thanks Bob for his loyalty and offers him a contract for $50 a week for three years. He refuses, saying he would rather have a catboat to visit his uncle at his river hotel, called Nobody's Inn.