Louis Calhern Overview:

Character actor, Louis Calhern, was born Carl Henry Vogt on Feb 19, 1895 in Brooklyn, NY. Calhern died at the age of 61 on May 12, 1956 in Tokyo, Japan and was laid to rest in Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Hollywood, CA.


Louis Calhern was an affable Hollywood character who moved easily from swindlers and rouges to avuncular figures as his hair turned from black to silver. He had an interesting relapse into villainy in "The Asphalt Jungle" and was an unexpectedly impressive Julius Caesar. Two of his four wives (all divorced) were actresses Ilka Chase (1st wife) and Natalie Schafer (3rd wife).

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



Although Calhern was nominated for one Oscar, he never won a competitive Academy Award.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1950Best ActorThe Magnificent Yankee (1950)Oliver Wendell HolmesNominated

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The Blot (1921)

By Dawn on Nov 20, 2010 From Noir and Chick Flicks

“The Blot” (1921) is a silent drama starring , Claire Windsor, Phillip Hubbard, and Margaret McWade. Directed by Lois Weber, this film is a realistic look at genteel poverty in the 1920’s. This domestic drama is about a weary college professor, Andrew Theodore Griggs, ... Read full article

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Louis Calhern Quotes:

Nahreeb: I'll break his body and what he calls his soul!

Prefect: What do you keep behind these locks and bolts?
Marcus: My fortune, excellency. It's a safe place.
Burbix: Would the prefect like to inspect the barbarians - the Britons who are to fight tomorrow?
Marcus: Yes.
[to the prefect]
Marcus: Captives from Agricola's campaign.
Prefect: I wonder why we Romans trouble ourselves with that wretched island? After it's conquered, what good is it?
Marcus: Don't you believe we can ever civilize the Britons?
Prefect: Those people? They'll always be barbarians. What will they ever do?

May Emmerich: Oh Lon, when I think of all those awful people you come in contact with - downright criminals - I get scared.
Alonzo D. Emmerich: Oh, there's nothing so different about them. After all, crime is only... a left-handed form of human endeavor.

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Best Actor Oscar 1950

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Louis Calhern Facts
In Executive Suite (1954) he plays an unscrupulous businessman who tries to take advantage of the situation after the president of a corporation dies unexpectedly of a heart attack. Calhern also died suddenly from the same cause.

Appeared as a character in Gore Vidal's 1974 novel "Myron," his sequel to Myra Breckinridge (1970), co-starring with Maria Montez and Bruce Cabot in the apocryphal movie "Siren of Babylon" that is being shot on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lot in 1948 in the novel. In the "movie," Calhern "played" the role of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar.

In 1950 he replaced Frank Morgan as Buffalo Bill, when Morgan died of a heart attack while filming Annie Get Your Gun (1950). In 1956, Paul Ford replaced Calhern when Calhern died of a heart attack while filming The Teahouse of the August Moon (1956).

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