Actor Ralph Bellamy, once a portrayer of amiable clods, broke from that stereotype to triumph as Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the play "Sunrise at Campobello." His career spanned film, stage, radio and television and lasted more than 60 years.
Bellamy learned to act in Chautauqua and stock troupes during the 1920s, then went to Hollywood to appear in nearly 100 films while continuing to perform on the Broadway stage and on television. He gained his initial reputation by always seeming to lose the girl to the handsomer and wittier leading man.
Perhaps the role that established this image was that of the fatuous Oklahoma millionaire in the 1937 film, "The Awful Truth." Cary Grant took Irene Dunne away from him. Bellamy at least got an Academy Award nomination.
The following year, he lost Carole Lombard to Fred MacMurray in "Fools for Scandal" and Ginger Rogers to Fred Astaire in "Carefree."
By 1942, after a dozen years in Hollywood, he happened to see a script in which one of the characters was described as "a charming, naive fellow from the Southwest—a typical Ralph Bellamy type."
|1937||Best Supporting Actor||The Awful Truth||Nomination|