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Melvyn Douglas

Biography

1930s main character turned dramatic acting professional who have appeared in Being There in 1979 and Hud in 1963. Like a Broadway acting professional, he made an appearance in Inherit the Blowing wind, Spofford, and Two Blind Mice. He didn’t graduate from senior high school. He earned an Academy Honor for Greatest Acting professional in 1980 and a different one for Greatest Actor inside a Assisting Part in 1963. He previously two wives, Rosalind Hightower and Helen Gahagan. He performed the male business lead opposing Greta Garbo in the 1939 film, Ninotchka.

Quick Facts


Full Name Melvyn Douglas
Date Of Birth April 5, 1901
Place Of Birth Georgia
Height 1.86 m
Profession Movie Actor
Education Upper Canada College
Nationality American
Spouse Helen Gahagan Douglas, Rosalind Hightower
Children Melvyn Gregory Hesselberg, Mary Helen Douglas, Peter Gahagan Douglas
Parents Edouard Gregory Hesselberg, Lena Priscilla Hesselberg
Siblings George Douglas
Awards Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, Tony Award for Best Lead Actor in a Play, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Performance By An Actor In A Leading Role
Nominations Academy Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture – Drama, National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Movies Being There, Ninotchka, Hud, I Never Sang for My Father, Ghost Story, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Captains Courageous, That Uncertain Feeling, A Woman's Face, The Tenant, Tonight or Never, The Candidate, The Changeling, The Sea of Grass, Two-Faced Woman, Billy Budd, The Americanization of Emily, The Vampire Bat, The Old Dark House, Theodora Goes Wild, The Seduction of Joe Tynan, As You Desire Me, They All Kissed the Bride, Good Girls Go to Paris, There's Always a Woman, We Were Dancing, She Married Her Boss, Tell No Tales, The Great Sinner, Annie Oakley, A Woman's Secret, Too Many Husbands, Advance to the Rear, Third Finger, Left Hand, The Shining Hour, My Forbidden Past, Woman in the Dark, Twilight's Last Gleaming, Tell Me a Riddle, I Met Him in Paris, Counsellor at Law, That Certain Age, Arsène Lupin Returns, The Toy Wife, Fast Company, On the Loose, One Is a Lonely Number, The Guilt of Janet Ames, And So They Were Married, Dangerous Corner, The Gorgeous Hussy
TV Shows Frontier Justice, Steve Randall, The Arthur Murray Party, Blind Date, Benjamin Franklin
Star Sign Aries

  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1He played a Presidential candidate in Gore Vidal's play, and, years later, Vidal (who was not normally very complimentary about actors) remarked that he would have made a fine President in real life.
2Douglas' father was a Russian-born concert pianist, who taught at the Toronto Conservatory of Music and encouraged his son to be a musician, but his Kentucky-born mother wanted him to take up law.
3Is one of 9 actors to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, Emmy and Tony); the others in chronological order are Thomas Mitchell, Paul Scofield, Jack Albertson, Jason Robards, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino, Geoffrey Rush and Christopher Plummer.
4Brother of George Douglas.
5He had six grandchildren when he died.
6Two grandsons from son Gregory, named Stefan and Erik.
7Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 240-242. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
8According to the March 31, 1941, issue of Time magazine, Douglas and Edward G. Robinson, who were both Democratic activists, bid $3,200 for the fedora hat that 'Franklin Delano Roosevelt' had worn during his three successful campaigns for the presidency. They acquired the hat at a special Hollywood auction to benefit the Motion Picture Relief Fund. Douglas was active in liberal and progressive political causes in the 1930s and 1940s, which led to charges being leveled against him of being a Communist and/or a "fellow traveler" by far-right-wing Republicans during the McCarthy "Red Scare" era of the 1950s. Douglas' wife, Helen Gahagan Douglas, would later be elected to the US House of Representatives as a Democrat from California, but was defeated in her 1950 bid for the U.S. Senate by Republican Congressman Richard Nixon, who derisively called her "The Pink Lady" for what he termed her "leftist" leanings. President John F. Kennedy would appoint her Treasurer of the United States in 1961. When Ronald Reagan was elected US President in 1980, Douglas said that his former friend (who changed from a liberal Democrat to an extremely conservative Republican) had begun to believe the speeches he delivered for General Electric Co. when he was the host of General Electric Theater (1953),an anthology series sponsored by the company for which Reagan, in addition to acting, also did the commercials.
9Won Broadway's 1960 Tony Award as Best Actor (Dramatic) for "The Best Man."
10He had two children with second wife, Helen Gahagan: a son named Peter (b. 1933) and daughter Mary Helen (b. 1938).He had one son with his first wife, Rosalind, named Melvyn Gregory Hesselberg (b. January 28, 1926).
11Grandfather of Illeana Douglas.
12In 1967, he became the fifth performer to win the triple crown of acting. Oscar: Best Supporting Actor, Hud (1963) & Best Supporting Actor, Being There (1979), Tony: Best Actor-Play, The Best Man (1960), and Emmy: Best Actor-Drama, CBS Playhouse: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night (1967) .


Actor

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
That Certain Age1938Vincent Bullitt
Fast Company1938Joel Sloane
The Toy Wife1938George Sartoris
There's Always a Woman1938William 'Bill' Reardon
Arsène Lupin Returns1938Rene Farrand
I'll Take Romance1937James Guthrie
Angel1937Anthony 'Tony' Halton
I Met Him in Paris1937George Potter
Captains Courageous1937Mr. Cheyne
Women of Glamour1937Richard 'Dick' Stark
Theodora Goes Wild1936Michael Grant
The Gorgeous Hussy1936John Randolph
And So They Were Married1936Stephen Blake
The Lone Wolf Returns1935Michael Lanyard
Annie Oakley1935Jeff Hogarth
Mary Burns, Fugitive1935Barton Powell
She Married Her Boss1935Richard Barclay
The People's Enemy1935George R. 'Traps' Stuart
Woman in the Dark1934Tony Robson
Dangerous Corner1934Charles
Counsellor at Law1933Roy Darwin
Nagana1933Dr. Walter Tradnor
The Vampire Bat1933Karl Brettschneider
The Old Dark House1932Penderel
As You Desire Me1932Count Bruno Varelli
The Broken Wing1932Philip 'Phil' Marvin
The Wiser Sex1932David Rolfe
Prestige1932Capt. Andre Verlaine
Tonight or Never1931Jim Fletcher
Ghost Story1981John Jaffrey
The Hot Touch1981Max Reich
Tell Me a Riddle1980David
The Changeling1980Senator Carmichael
Being There1979Benjamin Rand
The Seduction of Joe Tynan1979Senator Birney
Intimate Strangers1977TV MovieDonald's Father
ABC Weekend Specials1977TV SeriesGrandpa Doc
Twilight's Last Gleaming1977Zachariah Guthrie
The Tenant1976Monsieur Zy
The Lives of Benjamin Franklin1974-1975TV Mini-SeriesBenjamin Franklin
Murder or Mercy1974TV MovieDr. Paul Harelson - accused of his terminally-ill wife mercy killing
The Death Squad1974TV MoviePolice Captain Earl Kreski
The Going Up of David Lev1973TV MovieGrandfather
Circle of Fear1972TV SeriesGrandpa
The Candidate1972John J. McKay
Two Is a Happy Number1972Joseph Provo
Death Takes a Holiday1971TV MovieJudge Earl Chapman
NET Playhouse1971TV Series
I Never Sang for My Father1970Tom Garrison
Hunters Are for Killing1970TV MovieKeller Floran
The Choice1969TV Movie
Companions in Nightmare1968TV MovieDr. Lawrence Strelson - a psychiatrist
CBS Playhouse1967TV SeriesPeter Schermann
The Crucible1967TV MovieGovernor Danforth
Hotel1967Warren Trent
Lamp at Midnight1966TV MovieGalileo Galilei
The Fugitive1966TV SeriesDr. Mark Ryder
Inherit the Wind1965TV MovieHenry Drummond
Once Upon a Tractor1965ShortMartin
Rapture1965Frederick Larbaud
The Americanization of Emily1964Adm. William Jessup
Advance to the Rear1964Col. Claude Brackenbury
A Very Close Family1964TV MovieFather
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre1963TV SeriesPat Konke
Kraft Mystery Theater1963TV Series
Hud1963Homer Bannon
Ben Casey1963TV SeriesBurton Strang
Billy Budd1962The Dansker - Sailmaker
Sunday Showcase1960TV SeriesMark Twain
Frontier Justice1959TV SeriesHost
Playhouse 901957-1959TV SeriesGen. Parker / Ansel Gibbs / Stalin / ...
The United States Steel Hour1957-1958TV SeriesDr. Victor Payson / Census Taker / Narrator
General Electric Theater1957TV SeriesProfessor Barris
Goodyear Playhouse1957TV SeriesIra Sterling
The Alcoa Hour1955-1956TV SeriesJim Conway / Charles Turner
Kraft Theatre1955TV Series
Windows1955TV Series
The Ford Television Theatre1955TV SeriesGeorge Manners
Steve Randall1952TV SeriesSteve Randall
Lights Out1952TV Series
Studio One in Hollywood1952TV SeriesStefan
Celanese Theatre1952TV SeriesArchduke Rudolph von Hapsburg
On the Loose1951Frank Bradley
My Forbidden Past1951Paul Beaurevel
Starlight Theatre1951TV Series
Pulitzer Prize Playhouse1950TV SeriesMartin Luther Cooper / Eugene Morgan
Lux Video Theatre1950TV SeriesJames Strickland
The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse1949TV SeriesRichard Gordon
The Great Sinner1949Armand de Glasse
My Own True Love1949Clive Heath
A Woman's Secret1949Luke Jordan
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House1948Bill Cole
The Guilt of Janet Ames1947Smithfield 'Smitty' Cobb
The Sea of Grass1947Brice Chamberlain
Three Hearts for Julia1943Jeff Seabrook
They All Kissed the Bride1942Michael 'Mike' Holmes
We Were Dancing1942Nicholas Eugen August Wolfgang 'Nikki' Prax, aka Mr. Manescu
Two-Faced Woman1941Larry Blake
Our Wife1941Jerome 'Jerry' Marvin
A Woman's Face1941Dr. Gustaf Segert
That Uncertain Feeling1941Larry Baker
This Thing Called Love1940Tice Collins
Third Finger, Left Hand1940Jeff Thompson
He Stayed for Breakfast1940Paul Boliet
Too Many Husbands1940Henry Lowndes
The Amazing Mr. Williams1939Police Lieutenant Kenny Williams
Ninotchka1939Count Leon d'Algout
Good Girls Go to Paris1939Ronald Brooke
Tell No Tales1939Michael Cassidy
There's That Woman Again1938William 'Bill' Reardon
The Shining Hour1938Henry Linden

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
We Were Dancing1942"The Wedding March" 1843, uncredited
Third Finger, Left Hand1940performer: "The Riddle" 1940 - uncredited
Arsène Lupin Returns1938performer: "Nocturne No. 2 in E flat major Opus 9" 1830-1 - uncredited
Angel1937performer: "Angel" 1937
Theodora Goes Wild1936"Pop! Goes the Weasel", "The Farmer in the Dell", "Be Still My Heart" 1936, uncredited / performer: "The Last Round-Up Git Along, Little Dogie, Git Along" 1933, "Three Blind Mice" - uncredited
And So They Were Married1936performer: "In the Gloaming" 1877 - uncredited
The Old Dark House1932"Oh! Mr. Porter", "Here Comes the Bride", uncredited / performer: "Singin' in the Rain" 1929 - uncredited

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Man You Loved to Hate1979Documentary special thanks

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The 37th Annual Golden Globe Awards1980TV SpecialHimself
The 43rd Annual Academy Awards1971TV SpecialHimself - Nominee: Best Actor in a Leading Role & Co-Presenter: Honorary Award to Lillian Gish
The David Frost Show1970TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Dick Cavett Show1968-1970TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Project XX1969TV Series documentaryNarrator
The Ed Sullivan Show1955-1968TV SeriesSpofford / Griffith P. Hastings / Himself
The 17th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1965TV SpecialHimself - Accepting Emmy Award for Alfred Lunt
Gala Adlai on Broadway1960TV MovieHimself - Performer
Land of Promise1960TV Movie documentaryHimself - Narrator
The 14th Annual Tony Awards1960TV SpecialHimself - Winner: Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play
The Garry Moore Show1958TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Playhouse 901958TV SeriesHimself - Host
The Arthur Murray Party1953-1957TV SeriesHimself
What's My Line?1951-1957TV SeriesHimself - Guest Panelist / Himself - Mystery Guest
I've Got a Secret1952TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Name's the Same1952TV SeriesHimself - Contestant
Your Show of Shows1950TV SeriesHimself - Guest Performer
Your Big Moment1949TV SeriesHost
The Cavalcade of Academy Awards from 1928-19391940Documentary shortHimself
Screen Snapshots Series 19, No. 11939Documentary shortHimself
Screen Snapshots Series 18, No. 81939Documentary shortHimself
Screen Snapshots Series 18, No. 41938Documentary shortHimself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
A Night at the Movies: Hollywood Goes to Washington2012TV Movie documentaryJohn J. McKay
Love, Hate & Propaganda: The Cold War2011TV Series documentaryLeon
A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss2010TV Mini-Series documentaryRoger Penderel
Cinemassacre's Monster Madness2009TV Series documentaryPenderel
Elvis Mitchell: Under the Influence2008TV SeriesHomer Bannon
How the West Was Lost2008TV Movie documentaryHomer Bannon (uncredited)
The Naked Archaeologist2008TV Series documentaryBrettschneider
Billy Wilder Speaks2006TV Movie documentaryHimself
Garbo2005DocumentaryCount Leon d'Algout (uncredited)
Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream1998TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Making of a Legend: Gone with the Wind1988TV Movie documentaryHimself - Actor Testing as Ashley
Horrible Horror1986VideoKarl Brettschneider
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActor - 'Being There' (uncredited)
That's Entertainment, Part II1976DocumentaryLeon
Hollywood: The Selznick Years1969TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
The Big Parade of Comedy1964DocumentaryLeon
MGM Parade1956TV SeriesLeon / Mr. Cheyne
The Cinematographer1951Documentary shortHimself - film clip (uncredited)
From the Ends of the Earth1939Documentary shortHimself

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1980OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleBeing There (1979)
1980Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Supporting Role - Motion PictureBeing There (1979)
1979LAFCA AwardLos Angeles Film Critics Association AwardsBest Supporting ActorBeing There (1979)
1979NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting ActorBeing There (1979)
1968Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a DramaCBS Playhouse (1967)
1964Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male Supporting PerformanceHud (1963)
1964OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Supporting RoleHud (1963)
1963NBR AwardNational Board of Review, USABest Supporting ActorHud (1963)
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameMotion PictureOn 8 February 1960. At 6423 Hollywood Blvd.
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameTelevisionAwarded February 8, 1960 at 6601 Hollywood Blvd.

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1981Saturn AwardAcademy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USABest Supporting ActorThe Changeling (1980)
1971OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleI Never Sang for My Father (1970)
1971Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Motion Picture - DramaI Never Sang for My Father (1970)
1971Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsBest Dramatic Performance, MaleI Never Sang for My Father (1970)
1966Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a DramaInherit the Wind (1965)
1965Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsSupporting Performance, MaleThe Americanization of Emily (1964)
1964Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Supporting ActorHud (1963)

2nd place awards

2nd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1980NSFC AwardNational Society of Film Critics Awards, USABest Supporting ActorBeing There (1979)
1970NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest ActorI Never Sang for My Father (1970)

3rd place awards

3rd place awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1979NYFCC AwardNew York Film Critics Circle AwardsBest Supporting ActorThe Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979)


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#Quote
1The Hollywood roles I did were boring: I was soon fed up with them. It's true they gave me a world-wide reputation I could trade on, but they also typed me as a one-dimensional non-serious actor.

#Trademark
1He often played smooth characters with a strong sense of humor

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