Charles Bickford (1891–1967)

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American character actor of gruff voice and appearance who was a fixture in Hollywood pictures from the earliest days of the talkies. The fifth of seven children, he was born in the first minute of 1891. He was a boisterous child, and at nine was tried and acquitted for attempted murder in the shooting of a motorman who had run over his dog. He ... See full bio »

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »


Known For

A Star Is Born Oliver Niles
The Song of Bernadette Father Peyramale
The Farmer's Daughter Joseph Clancy
Not as a Stranger Dr. Dave Runkleman


Hide Hide Show Show Actor (114 credits)
 1962-1968 The Virginian (TV Series)
John Grainger / Tucker McCallum
- The Death Wagon (1968) ... John Grainger (credit only)
- The Fortress (1967) ... John Grainger (credit only)
- A Small Taste of Justice (1967) ... John Grainger (credit only)
- Execution at Triste (1967) ... John Grainger (credit only)
- The Barren Ground (1967) ... John Grainger (credit only)
 1966 A Big Hand for the Little Lady
Benson Tropp
 1965 Della
Hugh Stafford
 1964 Suspense (TV Series)
Christopher Bell
- I, Christopher Bell (1964) ... Christopher Bell
 1963 The Eleventh Hour (TV Series)
Howard Ellendale
- The Silence of Good Men (1963) ... Howard Ellendale
 1961-1963 The Dick Powell Theatre (TV Series)
Big Jake Hollander / Emmet Peabody
- The Old Man and the City (1963) ... Big Jake Hollander
- The Geetas Box (1961) ... Emmet Peabody
 1963 Alcoa Premiere (TV Series)
Dr. Barry Logan
- Million Dollar Hospital (1963) ... Dr. Barry Logan
 1962 Days of Wine and Roses
Ellis Arnesen
 1962 Theatre '62 (TV Series)
- The Farmer's Daughter (1962) ... Butler
 1962 The Farmer's Daughter (TV Movie)
 1961 Dr. Kildare (TV Series)
Dr. Charles Dubro
- Winter Harvest (1961) ... Dr. Charles Dubro
 1961 General Electric Theater (TV Series)
Chief Peter Farrel
- The Golden Years (1961) ... Chief Peter Farrel
 1961 The Americans (TV Series)
- Long Way Back (1961) ... Peterson
 1960 The Islanders (TV Series)
Adam Smith
- The Cold War of Adam Smith (1960) ... Adam Smith
 1960 The Barbara Stanwyck Show (TV Series)
Isiah B. Richardson
- Ironbark's Bride (1960) ... Isiah B. Richardson
 1960 Checkmate (TV Series)
Whitney P. Thorne
- Target: Tycoon (1960) ... Whitney P. Thorne
 1960 Buick-Electra Playhouse (TV Series)
Mr. Frazer
- The Gambler, the Nun and the Radio (1960) ... Mr. Frazer
 1960 The Gambler, the Nun and the Radio (TV Movie)
Mr. Frazer
 1960 Cradle Song (TV Movie)
 1960 The Unforgiven
Zeb Rawlins
 1956-1960 Playhouse 90 (TV Series)
Pa Fentry / Old Man Grant / Marvin / ...
- Tomorrow (1960) ... Pa Fentry
- Out of Dust (1959) ... Old Man Grant
- Free Weekend (1958) ... Marvin
- Days of Wine and Roses (1958) ... Ellis Arnesen
- Clipper Ship (1957) ... Captain Joel Kingdom
 1959 The 33rd (TV Movie)
 1959 Winterset (TV Movie)
Judge Gaunt
 1958 The Big Country
Maj. Henry Terrill
 1958 Wagon Train (TV Series)
Daniel Barrister
- The Daniel Barrister Story (1958) ... Daniel Barrister
 1957 Undercurrent (TV Series)
Stanley Hunter
- Front Page Father (1957) ... Stanley Hunter
 1957 Climax! (TV Series)
Martin Seaford
- The High Jungle (1957) ... Martin Seaford
 1957 The 20th Century-Fox Hour (TV Series)
John Macready
- Deadline Decision (1957) ... John Macready
 1957 Mister Cory
Jeremiah Des Plains 'Biloxi' Caldwell
 1952-1956 The Ford Television Theatre (TV Series)
Stanley Hunter / Sam Callahan / Norman Forrester
- Front Page Father (1956) ... Stanley Hunter
- The Woman at Fog Point (1955) ... Sam Callahan
- Sunk (1952) ... Norman Forrester
 1956 You Can't Run Away from It
A.A. Andrews
 1953-1956 Schlitz Playhouse (TV Series)
Enoch Prentiss / Dr. Joseph Gunther
- Enoch Prentiss (1956) ... Enoch Prentiss
- The Viking (1954)
- The Copper Ring (1953) ... Dr. Joseph Gunther
 1955 The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell
Gen. Jimmy Guthrie
 1955 Screen Directors Playhouse (TV Series)
Dr. Stone
- Lincoln's Doctor's Dog (1955) ... Dr. Stone
 1955 Celebrity Playhouse (TV Series)
Father O'Neil
- Known But to God (1955) ... Father O'Neil
 1955 Not as a Stranger
Dr. Dave Runkleman
 1955 Prince of Players
Dave Prescott
 1954 A Star Is Born
Oliver Niles
 1953 The Revlon Mirror Theater (TV Series)
 1953 The Last Posse
Sampson Drune
 1951 Elopement
Tom Reagan
 1951 The Raging Tide
Hamil Linder
 1951 Jim Thorpe -- All-American
Glenn S. 'Pop' Warner
 1950 Branded
Richard Lavery
 1950 Riding High
J.L. Higgins
 1950 Guilty of Treason
Joszef Cardinal Mindszenty
 1950 Whirlpool
Lt. James Colton
 1949 Roseanna McCoy
Devil Anse Hatfield
 1948 Command Decision
Elmer Brockhurst
 1948 Johnny Belinda
Black MacDonald
 1948 Four Faces West
Pat Garrett
 1948 The Babe Ruth Story
Brother Matthias
 1947 Brute Force
 1947 The Farmer's Daughter
Joseph Clancy
 1946 Duel in the Sun
Sam Pierce
 1945 Fallen Angel
Mark Judd
 1945 Captain Eddie
William Rickenbacker
 1944 Wing and a Prayer
Capt. Waddell
 1943 The Song of Bernadette
Father Peyramale
 1943 Mr. Lucky
Hard Swede
 1942 Tarzan's New York Adventure
Buck Rand
 1942 Reap the Wild Wind
Mate of the 'Tyfib'
 1941 Burma Convoy
Cliff Weldon
 1941 Riders of Death Valley
Wolf Reade
 1940 Queen of the Yukon
Ace Rincon
 1940 South to Karanga
Jeff Worthing
 1940 Girl from God's Country
Bill Bogler
 1939 Thou Shalt Not Kill
Rev. Chris Saunders
 1939 Of Mice and Men
 1939 One Hour to Live
Insp. Sid Brady
 1939 Mutiny in the Big House
Father Joe Collins
 1939 Our Leading Citizen
Shep Muir
 1939 Street of Missing Men
Cash Darwin
 1939 Romance of the Redwoods
Steve Blake
 1939 Stand Up and Fight
 1938 The Storm
Bob 'Sparks' Roberts
 1938 Valley of the Giants
Howard Fallon
 1938 Gangs of New York
'Rocky' Thorpe / John Franklyn
 1937 Daughter of Shanghai
Otto Hartman
 1937 Night Club Scandal
Police Capt. McKinley
 1937 Thunder Trail
Lee Tate
 1937 High, Wide and Handsome
Red Scanlon
 1936 The Plainsman
John Lattimer
 1936 Pride of the Marines
Steve Riley
 1936 Rose of the Rancho
Joe Kincaid
 1935 East of Java
Red McGovern aka Harvey Bowers
 1935 The Farmer Takes a Wife
Jotham Klore
 1935 Under Pressure
Nipper Moran
 1935 A Notorious Gentleman
Kirk Arlen
 1934 A Wicked Woman
Pat Naylor
 1934 Little Miss Marker
Big Steve Halloway
 1933 Red Wagon
Joe Prince
 1933 White Woman
 1933 This Day and Age
Louis Garrett
 1933 Song of the Eagle
Joe (Nails) Anderson
 1933 No Other Woman
Jim Stanley
 1932 Vanity Street
Brian Murphy
 1932 The Last Man
 1932 Thunder Below
 1932 Scandal for Sale
Jerry Strong
 1932 Panama Flo
Dan McTeague
 1931 Men in Her Life
'Flashy' Madden
 1931 The Pagan Lady
Dingo Mike
 1931 The Squaw Man
Cash Hawkins
 1931 East of Borneo
Dr. Allan Randolph
 1930 Passion Flower
Dan Wallace
 1930 River's End
John Keith / Sgt. Conniston
 1930 The Sea Bat
John Dennis aka Reverend Sims
 1930/I Anna Christie
Matt Burke
 1929 Dynamite
Hagon Derk aka The Fire Boss
 1929 Hell's Heroes
Bob Sangster
 1929 South Sea Rose
Capt. Briggs
Show Show Soundtrack (3 credits)
Show Show Self (9 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (9 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

Stage Play: "Glory Hallelujah." Written by Bertram Bloch and Thomas Mitchell. Directed by Guthrie McClintic. Broadhurst Theatre: 6 Apr 1926- Apr 1926 (closing date unknown/15 performances). Cast: Morris Ankrum (as "Davis"), Charles Bickford (as "Winters"), George Blackwood, Edward Butler, Malcolm Duncan, Allen Jenkins (as "Whitey Adams"), ... See more »

Publicity Listings:

2 Print Biographies | 1 Portrayal | 3 Articles | See more »


6' 1" (1.85 m)


Beatrice Loring  (his death)  (2 children)


Loretus Bickford | Mary Ellen Bickford

Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

[About not seeing his own films] Perhaps it's because I'm too critical that I don't usually see my own stuff. Very often it's a weird experience, and sometimes it's a little nauseating. See more »


Amomg his outside interests were painting and a gold mine in San Bernadino. See more »



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