There are very few character actors from the 1930s, '40s or '50s who rose to the stardom like Edmund Gwenn.
Born in London, his father, a career man, expected his son to follow his footsteps and disowned him at 17 when he pursued his acting career. They reconciled years later when Gwenn neared the peak of his career.
Gwenn began his career in theater in 1895. Playwright George Bernard Shaw was impressed with his acting, and cast him in the first production of "Man and Superman" and subsequently in five more of his plays. Gwenn's career was interrupted by his military service during World War I, but after the war ended, he started appearing in films in London.
He appeared in more than 80 films, including "Pride and Prejudice," "Cheers for Miss Bishop" and "The Keys of the Kingdom."
He is best remembered for his role as Kris Kringle in "Miracle on 34th Street," for which he won an Academy Award for best supporting actor. Upon receiving his Oscar, he said, "Now I know there is a Santa Claus!"
|1947||Best Supporting Actor||Miracle on 34th Street||Win|
|1950||Best Supporting Actor||Mister 880||Nomination|