Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles Ellsworth Grapewin (December 20, 1869 – February 2, 1956) was an American vaudeville performer, writer and a stage and silent and sound actor, and comedian who was best known for portraying Aunt Em's husband, Uncle Henry in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's The Wizard of Oz (1939) as well as Grandpa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and Jeeter Lester in Tobacco Road (1941). He usually portrayed elderly folksy-type characters in a rustic setting, in all appearing in over 100 films. He was the oldest cast member of The Wizard of Oz.

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. Grapewin also appeared in the original 1903 Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz, 36 years before he would appear in the famous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film version.

After this he continued in theatre, on and offstage, 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 Jan 10, 1945.

Grapewin began in silent films at the turn of the twentieth 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 in what is probably his best-remembered role: Uncle Henry in The Wizard of Oz. He also had 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.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles Ellsworth Grapewin (December 20, 1869 – February 2, 1956) was an American vaudeville performer, writer and a stage and silent and sound actor, and comedian who was best known for portraying Aunt Em's husband, Uncle Henry in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's The Wizard of Oz (1939) as well as Grandpa Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and Jeeter Lester in Tobacco Road (1941). He usually portrayed elderly folksy-type characters in a rustic setting, in all appearing in over 100 films. He was the oldest cast member of The Wizard of Oz.

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. Grapewin also appeared in the original 1903 Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz, 36 years before he would appear in the famous Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film version.

After this he continued in theatre, on and offstage, 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 Jan 10, 1945.

Grapewin began in silent films at the turn of the twentieth 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 in what is probably his best-remembered role: Uncle Henry in The Wizard of Oz. He also had 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.

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Gender Male

Known Credits 93

Birthday 1869-12-20

Day of Death 1956-02-02

Place of Birth Xenia, Ohio, USA

Official Site -

Also Known As

  • Charles Ellsworth Grapewin
  • Charles Grapewin

Acting TV ShowsMovies

1976 That's Entertainment, Part II as (archive footage)
1964 The Big Parade of Comedy
1951 When I Grow Up as Grandpa Reed
1949 Sand as Doug
1948 The Enchanted Valley as Grandpa
1947 The Gunfighters as Rancher Inskip
1944 Atlantic City as Jake Taylor
1944 The Impatient Years as Benjamin L. Pidgeon, Bellboy
1944 Follow the Boys as Nick West
1943 Crash Dive as Pop
1942 Enemy Agents Meet Ellery Queen as Inspector Richard Queen
1942 A Desperate Chance for Ellery Queen as Insp. Queen
1942 A Close Call for Ellery Queen as Insp. Queen
1941 Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring as Insp. Queen
1941 They Died with Their Boots On as California Joe
1941 Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime as Insp. Queen
1941 Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery as Insp. Queen
1941 Tobacco Road as Jeeter Lester
1940 The Texas Rangers Ride Again as Ben Caldwalder
1940 Ellery Queen, Master Detective as Insp. Queen
1940 Rhythm on the River as Uncle Caleb
1940 Earthbound as Mr. Whimser
1940 Johnny Apollo as Judge Emmett T. Brennan
1940 The Grapes of Wrath as Grandpa Joad
1939 Sabotage as Major Matt Grayson
1939 Dust Be My Destiny as Pop, a Brakeman
1939 The Wizard of Oz as Uncle Henry
1939 The Man Who Dared as Ulysses Porterfield
1939 Sudden Money as Grandpa Casey Patterson
1939 Burn 'Em Up O'Connor as Doc Heath
1939 Stand Up and Fight as 'Old Puff'
1938 Artists and Models Abroad as James Harper
1938 Listen, Darling as Joe Higgins
1938 Three Loves Has Nancy as Grandpa Briggs
1938 Three Comrades as Local Doctor
1938 The Girl of the Golden West as Uncle Davy
1938 Of Human Hearts as Jim Meeker
1937 The Bad Man of Brimstone as Barney Lane
1937 Big City as Robert, the Mayor
1937 Bad Guy as Dan Gray
1937 Broadway Melody of 1938 as James K. Blakeley
1937 The Good Earth as Old Father
1937 Between Two Women as Dr. Webster
1937 Captains Courageous as Uncle Salters
1937 A Family Affair as Frank Redmond
1936 Breakdowns of 1936 as Himself
1936 Sinner Take All as Aaron
1936 Without Orders as J.P. Kendrick
1936 Libeled Lady as Hollis Bane
1936 Small Town Girl as Dr. Ned Fabre
1936 The Voice of Bugle Ann as Cal Royster
1936 The Petrified Forest as Gramp Maple
1935 Ah, Wilderness! as Mr. Dave McComber
1935 Rendezvous as Prof. Martin
1935 King Solomon of Broadway as Uncle Winchester
1935 Alice Adams as J. A. Lamb
1935 Shanghai as Truesdale
1935 One Frightened Night as Jasper Whyte
1935 Party Wire as Will Oliver
1935 Eight Bells as Grayson
1934 Caravan as Notary
1934 Anne of Green Gables as Dr. Tatum
1934 The President Vanishes as Richard Norton
1934 Judge Priest as Sergeant Jimmy Bagby
1934 The Loudspeaker as Pop Calloway
1934 No More West as Judge
1934 The Quitter as Ed Tilford
1934 Two Alone as Sandy Roberts
1933 Female as Drunk at Hamburger Stand (uncredited)
1933 Wild Boys of the Road as Mr. Cadman (uncredited)
1933 Torch Singer as Andrew 'Juddy' Judson
1933 Beauty for Sale as Freddy Gordon
1933 Turn Back the Clock as Dr. Henderson (uncredited)
1933 Midnight Mary as Clerk
1933 Don't Bet on Love as Patrick McCaffrey
1933 Heroes for Sale as Pa Dennis
1933 The Kiss Before the Mirror as Schultz (as Charles Grapewin)
1933 Hello, Everybody! as Jed
1932 No Man of Her Own as George, a Concessions Clerk
1932 Wild Horse Mesa as Sam Bass
1932 The Night of June 13 as "Grandpop" Jeptha Strawn
1932 American Madness as Mr. Jones (uncredited)
1932 The Washington Masquerade as Senator Simmons (uncredited)
1932 The Woman in Room 13 as Andy
1932 Huddle as Doctor
1932 Are You Listening? as Pierce
1932 The Big Timer as Pop Baldwin
1932 Hell's House as Henry Clark (as Charles Grapewin)
1931 Heaven on Earth as Doc Boax
1931 Gold Dust Gertie as Nicholas Hautrey
1931 The Millionaire as Ed Powers
1930 Only Saps Work as Simeon Tanner
1900 Above the Limit as Chimmie Hicks

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