Job Actor
Years active 1901-61
Known for Monocled, cigar-smoking, 'elder' roles
Top Roles Holman, Mr. Oliver Oxley, Sir Simon Flaquer, Father Matthew William Burke, Peter Morgan Sr.
Top GenresComedy, Drama, Romance, Crime, Historical, Musical
Top TopicsBook-Based, Romance (Comic), Marriage
Top Collaborators (Producer), (Director), (Director), (Director)
Shares birthday with Louis Jourdan, Moe Howard, Mildred Natwick  see more..

Charles Coburn Overview:

Legendary character actor, Charles Coburn, was born Charles Douville Coburn on Jun 19, 1877 in Savannah, GA. Coburn appeared in over 95 film and TV roles. His best known films include The More the Merrier, The Devil and Miss Jones, The Lady Eve, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Heaven Can Wait and Monkey Business. Coburn died at the age of 84 on Aug 30, 1961 in New York City, NY and was cremated and his ashes scattered in GA, MA and NY.


Although already an established stage actor for almost 40 years, Coburn made his feature film debut at 58 years old as Judge Hays in The People's Enemy (starring Preston Foster, Lila Lee and Melvyn Douglas). The monocled, cigar-smoking character actor played a variety of 'elder' roles, most notably the 'damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead' match-maker Mr. Dingle in The More the Merrier (starring Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea) and Sir Francis 'Piggy' Beekman (Marilyn Monroe's 'sugar daddy') in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (also starring Jane Russell).

(Source: article by Annmarie Gatti for Classic Movie Hub).



Charles Coburn was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning one for Best Supporting Actor for The More the Merrier (as Benjamin Dingle) in 1943.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1941Best Supporting ActorThe Devil and Miss Jones (1941)John P. MerrickNominated
1943Best Supporting ActorThe More the Merrier (1943)Benjamin DingleWon
1946Best Supporting ActorThe Green Years (1946)Alexander GowNominated

He was honored with one star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of Motion Pictures.

BlogHub Articles:

Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, and believe “The More the Merrier”

By Stephen Reginald on Jan 1, 2021 From Classic Movie Man

Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, and believe “The More the Merrier” The More the Merrier (1943) is an American romantic comedy directed by George Stevens and starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, and . This was director Steven’s last feature film before he j... Read full article

Happy Birthday to Classic Film’s Cupid,

By Judy on Jun 19, 2017 From Cary Grant Won't Eat You

Today you need to embrace your love, ask out that crush, comfort your lovelorn friend, or play matchmaker yourself. Why? Because it’s ’s birthday. You know: the warm uncle/grandfather/parent type who plays the part of wing man, aiding couples in love. A Coburn character is ... Read full article

10 Things You May Not Know About

By Stephen Reginald on Apr 1, 2017 From Classic Movie Man

10 Things You May Not Know About (1877 – 1961) was one of the most beloved character actors, during Hollywood’s Golden Age, appearing in some of the most beloved films of 1940s and 1950s. Coburn started his career as a “program boy” and work... Read full article

Falling for , Matchmaker Extraordinaire

By Judy on Sep 27, 2015 From Cary Grant Won't Eat You

Has there ever been a Cupid more charming than ? He smartens up the debonair Henry Van Cleve (Don Ameche), ensuring he doesn’t lose his lovely wife, Martha (Gene Tierney) in Heaven Can Wait (1943). He pushes his widowed daughter-in-law (Irene Dunne) into frivolity and a new chan... Read full article

Day 24:

By Jill Blake on Aug 24, 2013 From Sittin' on a Backyard Fence

Thanks to everyone who participated in yesterday’s tribute to Elizabeth Taylor. Please make sure you check out all the contributions dedicated to Dame Elizabeth.? For the next 24 hours we honor one of the great character actors: . Trivia on : On to the blogging... Read full article

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Charles Coburn Quotes:

[first lines]
Robert Drexel Gow: My editor! My paper! And this is how he tells me!

Burton F. 'B.F.' Fulton: My money seems to have done you a lot of harm. I didn't mean it that way. I earned it for you... but for your happiness.
Pauline 'Polly' Fulton Brett: Oh, please, Darling.
Burton F. 'B.F.' Fulton: Polly, times are changing. I haven't wanted them too. A lot of people think that everything should be different, and they're quite honest about ut, but I can't agree with them. I've been a builder, and the world needs builders - planners too, but builders, always builders.

Ella Sue Dozier: Then you're not discouraged, Colonel?
Col. Will Seaborn Effingham: Discouragement has no more place in a soldier's equipment than an inner-spring mattress.

read more quotes from Charles Coburn...

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Best Supporting Actor Oscar 1943

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Charles Coburn on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Charles Coburn Facts
His famous monocle was no affectation, but actually corrected an eye deficiency. "No point having two window panes where one will do," was always his explanation.

One of the few Hollywood actors who actually lived on Hollywood Blvd.

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