Walter Pidgeon was the suave and quiet-spoken leading man whose acting career spanned the generations from silent film to television.
A professional singer in his earlier years, Pidgeon made his film debut in the silent era, became a success as a leading man nearly 15 years later, hit his peak with seven roles opposite Greer Garson in the 1940s and continued in character roles until shortly before the end of his life.
His first film was as leading man to Dolores Costello in "The Mannequin." Pidgeon made four more films — all "in the so-so and who-cares" category, according to their star — and, bored, wandered back to Broadway.
In 1930, Pidgeon was back in Hollywood to make a series of musicals such as "A Most Immoral Lady," "Bride of the Regiment" and "Toast of the Legion."
In 1934 he went back on Broadway, taking over Melvyn Douglas' part in a reprise of "No More Ladies."
The next year he was opposite Tallulah Bankhead in "Something Gay," following with the role of a gangster in "The Night of January 16th."
Not long after, Pidgeon returned to Hollywood and appeared in such films as "Fatal Lady," "Big Brown Eyes," "Girl Overboard," "She's Dangerous," "Saratoga" (Jean Harlow's last film), "Too Hot to Handle" and "Society Lawyer."
The B picture era was pretty much at an end when Pidgeon did the Nick Carter film series, and his next appearance was with Ruth Hussey and Robert Taylor in "Flight Command." This, however, was only the prelude to what he later called "one of the happiest associations of a lifetime."
Pidgeon accepted the leading role of Sam Gladney, husband of the crusading protagonist in "Blossoms in the Dust." The feminine lead was played by Garson.
His first role opposite Garson was followed by the thriller "Man Hunt" and "How Green Was My Valley," both critical and financial successes.
He next accepted the role of Clem Miniver opposite Garson's title performance in "Mrs. Miniver."
His other performances opposite Garson included "Madame Curie," "Mrs. Parkington," "Julie Misbehaves," "The Forsythe Woman" and "The Miniver Story," all box officer winners.
In all, he appeared in more than 100 motion pictures, including roles as the admiral in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea," as Florenz Ziegfeld in "Funny Girl" and as the cocaine-sniffing elder thief in "Harry in Your Pocket."
Though rejecting regular roles in series television, Pidgeon was not averse to that medium, and his last few appearance were in made-for-television movies, including "Live Again, Die Again" and "Murder at 40,000 Feet."
|1942||Best Actor||Mrs. Miniver||Nomination|
|1943||Best Actor||Madame Curie||Nomination|