Charles Lane

Charles Lane

  • Highest Rated: 100% Sidewalk Stories (1989)
  • Lowest Rated: 14% Date with an Angel (1987)
  • Birthday: Not Available
  • Birthplace: Not Available
  • Hatchet-faced character actor Charles Lane has been one of the most instantly recognizable non-stars in Hollywood for more than half a century. Lane has been a familiar figure in movies (and, subsequently, on television) for 60 years, portraying crotchety, usually miserly, bad-tempered bankers and bureaucrats. Lane was born Charles Levison in San Francisco in 1899 (some sources give his year of birth as 1905). He learned the ropes of acting at the Pasadena Playhouse during the middle/late '20s, appearing in the works of Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Noel Coward before going to Hollywood in 1930, just as sound was fully taking hold. He was a good choice for character roles, usually playing annoying types with his high-pitched voice and fidgety persona, encompassing everything from skinflint accountants to sly, fast-talking confidence men -- think of an abrasive version of Bud Abbott. His major early roles included the stage manager Max Jacobs in Twentieth Century and the tax assessor in You Can't Take It With You. One of the busier character men in Hollywood, Lane was a particular favorite of Frank Capra's, and he appeared in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Arsenic and Old Lace, It's a Wonderful Life -- with a particularly important supporting part in the latter -- and State of the Union. He played in every kind of movie from screwball comedy like Ball of Fire to primordial film noir, such as I Wake Up Screaming. As Lane grew older, he tended toward more outrageously miserly parts, in movies and then on television, where he turned up Burns & Allen, I Love Lucy, and Dear Phoebe, among other series. Having successfully played a tight-fisted business manager hired by Ricky Ricardo to keep Lucy's spending in line in one episode of I Love Lucy (and, later, the U.S. border guard who nearly arrests the whole Ricardo clan and actor Charles Boyer at the Mexican border in an episode of The Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour), Lane was a natural choice to play Lucille Ball's nemesis on The Lucy Show. Her first choice for the money-grubbing banker would have been Gale Gordon, but as he was already contractually committed to the series Dennis the Menace, she hired Lane to play Mr. Barnsdahl, the tight-fisted administrator of her late-husband's estate during the first season of the show. Lane left the series after Gordon became available to play the part of Mr. Mooney, but in short order he moved right into the part that came very close to making him a star. The CBS country comedy series Petticoat Junction needed a semi-regular villain and Lane just fit the bill as Homer Bedloe, the greedy, bad-tempered railroad executive whose career goal was to shut down the Cannonball railroad that served the town of Hooterville. He became so well-known in the role, which he only played once or twice a season, that at one point Lane found himself in demand for personal appearance tours. In later years, he also turned up in roles on The Beverly Hillbillies, playing Jane Hathaway's unscrupulous landlord, and did an excruciatingly funny appearance on The Odd Couple in the mid-'70s, playing a manic, greedy patron at the apartment sale being run by Felix and Oscar. Lane also did his share of straight dramatic roles, portraying such parts as Tony Randall's nastily officious IRS boss in the comedy The Mating Game (1959), the crusty River City town constable in The Music Man (1962) (which put Lane into the middle of a huge musical production number), the wryly cynical, impatient judge in the James Garner comedy film The Wheeler-Dealers (1963), and portraying Admiral William Standley in The Winds of War (1983), based on Herman Wouk's novel. He was still working right up until the late '80s, and David Letterman booked the actor to appear on his NBC late-night show during the middle of that decade, though his appearance on the program was somewhat disappointing and sad; the actor, who was instantly recognized by the studio audience, was then in his early nineti

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

Movies

Rating

Title

Credit

Box
Office

Year

29% Posse Weezie 1993
43% True Identity Director Duane 1991
100% Sidewalk Stories Screenwriter Producer Director Artist 1989
14% Date with an Angel Father O'Shea 1987
No Score Yet When the Bough Breaks Van der Graaf 1986
72% Murphy's Romance Amos Abbott 1985
No Score Yet Sunset Limousine Reinhammer 1983
63% Strange Invaders Prof. Hollister 1983
78% Strange Behavior Donovan 1981
No Score Yet The Return of the Beverly Hillbillies Actor 1981
No Score Yet The Little Dragons J.J. 1980
No Score Yet Movie Movie Pennington 1978
No Score Yet Sybil Dr. Quinoness 1976
No Score Yet Get to Know Your Rabbit Mr. Beeman 1972
66% The Aristocats Lawyer 1970
No Score Yet What's So Bad About Feeling Good? Dr. Shapiro 1968
No Score Yet The Gnome-Mobile Dr. Scroggins 1967
67% The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Whitlow 1966
No Score Yet The Ugly Dachshund Judge 1966
No Score Yet Billie Coach Jones 1965
No Score Yet John Goldfarb, Please Come Home Editor of `Strife' 1965
No Score Yet Good Neighbor Sam Jack Bailey 1964
29% The Carpetbaggers Denby 1964
71% It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Airport Manager 1963
No Score Yet Papa's Delicate Condition Hiram Cosgrove 1963
94% The Music Man Constable Locke 1962
No Score Yet But Not for Me Al Atwood 1959
No Score Yet The Mating Game Bigelow 1959
No Score Yet The 30 Foot Bride of Candy Rock Standard Bates 1959
No Score Yet No Time for Sergeants Dave (draft board driver) 1958
83% Teacher's Pet Roy 1958
No Score Yet Top Secret Affair Bill Hadley 1957
No Score Yet The Affairs of Dobie Gillis Prof. Obispo 1953
No Score Yet The Juggler Rosenberg 1953
86% The Sniper Man 1952
60% Here Comes the Groom Burchard 1951
No Score Yet I Can Get it For You Wholesale Pulvermacher 1951
No Score Yet For Heaven's Sake Tax Agent 1950
No Score Yet Riding High Erickson 1950
No Score Yet Borderline Peterson 1950
No Score Yet Miss Grant Takes Richmond Woodruff 1949
No Score Yet Mother Is a Freshman Mr. De Haven 1949
No Score Yet Apartment for Peggy Prof. Collins 1948
80% State of the Union Blink Moran 1948
73% Call Northside 777 Prosecuting Attorney 1948
100% Moonrise Man in Black 1948
No Score Yet Smart Woman Reporter 1948
No Score Yet Roses Are Red Lipton 1947
No Score Yet It Happened on 5th Avenue Landlord 1947
100% The Farmer's Daughter Jackson 1947
93% It's a Wonderful Life Real Estate Salesman 1946
No Score Yet Mysterious Intruder Detective Burns 1946
No Score Yet A Close Call for Boston Blackie Hack Hagen 1946
No Score Yet The Show-Off Quiz Master 1946
88% Arsenic and Old Lace Reporter 1944
100% Mr. Lucky Comstock 1943
No Score Yet Pardon My Sarong Superintendent 1942
No Score Yet They All Kissed the Bride Spotter 1942
100% Tarzan's New York Adventure Gould Beaton 1942
No Score Yet The Lady Is Willing K.K. Miller 1942
No Score Yet Ride 'em Cowboy Martin Manning 1942
67% Flying Tigers Airport official 1942
No Score Yet Friendly Enemies Braun 1942
No Score Yet Home in Wyomin' Editor 1942
No Score Yet The Great Man's Lady Pierce 1942
No Score Yet Look Who's Laughing Club Secretary 1941
83% I Wake Up Screaming Florist Keating 1941
No Score Yet Three Girls About Town Mortician 1941
100% Never Give a Sucker an Even Break Man 1941
No Score Yet Sis Hopkins Rollo 1941
100% Ball of Fire Larson 1941
No Score Yet Ellery Queen's Penthouse Mystery Doc Prouty 1941
No Score Yet The Invisible Woman Growley 1940
80% City for Conquest Al - Dance Team Manager 1940
No Score Yet Buck Benny Rides Again Charlie Graham 1940
80% Edison, the Man Second Lecturer 1940
No Score Yet The Doctor Takes a Wife Reporter 1940
No Score Yet Johnny Apollo Assistant District Attorney 1940
No Score Yet Primrose Path Mr. 'Smitty' Smith / Hawkins (uncredited) 1940
No Score Yet It's a Date Horner 1940
No Score Yet Rhythm on the River Mr. Bernard Schwartz 1940
No Score Yet Texas Rangers Ride Again Train Passenger 1940
No Score Yet You Can't Fool Your Wife Salesman 1940
No Score Yet Dancing on a Dime Freeman Taylor 1940
No Score Yet The Cat and the Canary Reporter 1939
95% Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Nosey 1939
No Score Yet Golden Boy Drake 1939
No Score Yet Fifth Avenue Girl Labor Representative 1939
No Score Yet Second Fiddle Studio Chief 1939
No Score Yet Lucky Night Carpenter 1939
No Score Yet Rose of Washington Square Sam Kress 1939
No Score Yet Honeymoon in Bali Photographer 1939
No Score Yet Kentucky Auctioneer 1938
No Score Yet Three Loves Has Nancy Manager of Cleaning Establishment 1938
92% You Can't Take It With You Henderson 1938
No Score Yet Professor Beware Joe the Photographer 1938
No Score Yet The Rage of Paris Department Head 1938
No Score Yet Joy of Living Dress Extra 1938
No Score Yet Ali Baba Goes to Town Doctor 1937
No Score Yet The Crime of Dr. Forbes Defense Attorney 1937
No Score Yet Internes Can't Take Money (You Can't Take Money) Grote 1937
73% In Old Chicago Booking Agent 1937
No Score Yet Three Men on a Horse Cleaner 1936
No Score Yet Easy to Take Reporter 1936
No Score Yet Ticket to Paradise Shyster 1936
89% Mr. Deeds Goes to Town Hallor 1936
No Score Yet The Milky Way Willard, reporter 1936
No Score Yet Advice to the Lovelorn Circulation Manager 1935
No Score Yet Two for Tonight Author 1935
100% Broadway Bill Morgan's henchman 1934
88% Twentieth Century Max Jacobs 1934
No Score Yet Twenty Million Sweethearts Reporter 1934
No Score Yet My Woman Agent 1933
100% Footlight Parade Hotel detective in the "Honeymoon Hotel"-number 1933
No Score Yet Man Killer Process Server 1933
100% Gold Diggers of 1933 Society Reporter 1933
No Score Yet Grand Slam Ivan 1933
96% 42nd Street An Author 1933
No Score Yet The Bowery Doctor 1933
No Score Yet The Mouthpiece Desk Clerk 1932
No Score Yet Smart Money Desk Clerk 1931
No Score Yet Blonde Crazy Four-Eyes, the Desk Clerk 1931
No Score Yet The Canary Murder Case Charles Spotswoode 1929
83% Sadie Thompson Dr. McPhail 1928
No Score Yet The Winning of Barbara Worth Jefferson Worth 1926
No Score Yet Romola Baldassarre Calve 1925
No Score Yet The White Sister Prince Chiaromonte 1923
92% Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Dr. Richard Lanyon 1920

TV

Rating

Title

Credit

Year

18% Living Biblically
2018
Barbershop Quartet
  • 2018
No Score Yet St. Elsewhere
1982-1988
Welty
  • 1987
No Score Yet The Winds of War
1983
Adm. Standley
  • 1983
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
1974-1984
Jess Moffet
  • 1982
95% Mork & Mindy
1978-1982
Judge Baker
  • 1980
No Score Yet Maude
1972-1978
Dr. Pritchard
  • 1977
No Score Yet The Odd Couple
1970-1975
Sid
  • 1973
No Score Yet Bewitched
1964-1972
Jameson Roland Shotwell Harmon Cushman Ed Mortimer Mr. Meiklejohn
  • 1972
  • 1971
  • 1970
  • 1969
  • 1967
  • 1965
  • 1964
No Score Yet The Beverly Hillbillies
1962-1971
Phinney Homer Hacker Foster Phinney
  • 1971
  • 1969
  • 1966
  • 1963
No Score Yet Green Acres
1965-1971
Wilson
  • 1968
83% The Munsters
1964-1966
Holmes
  • 1966
No Score Yet Get Smart
1965-1970
Abner
  • 1965
No Score Yet The Andy Griffith Show
1960-1968
Mr. Frisby
  • 1964
  • 1961
No Score Yet Maverick
1957-1962
Proprietor
  • 1962
80% The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
Peckinpaugh
  • 1960
No Score Yet Perry Mason
1957-1966
Dr. Williams
  • 1958
No Score Yet I Love Lucy
1951-1957
Casting Director Pssport Clerk Mr. Stanley Andrew Hickox
  • 1956
  • 1954
  • 1953

QUOTES FROM Charles Lane CHARACTERS

Madame Adelaide Bonfamille
I want my beloved cats to be looked after. Certainly, no one could do this better than my faithful servant, Edgar.
Georges Hautecourt
(Edger listens on his earpiece) Edger? My lady, you mean to say you're leaving your vast fourtune to Edgar? Everything you possess? Your stocks and bonds? This mansion? Your lovely statues? Jewels? (Edgar smiles with delight)
Georges Hautecourt
[Edger listens on his earpiece] Edger? My lady, you mean to say you're leaving your vast fourtune to Edgar? Everything you possess? Your stocks and bonds? This mansion? Your lovely statues? Jewels? [Edgar smiles with delight]
Madame Adelaide Bonfamille
Oh, no, no, Georges, to my cats.
Georges Hautecourt
To your cats?!
Edgar
(sorrow fills his face) CATS??
Edgar
[sorrow fills his face] CATS?
Madame Adelaide Bonfamille
Yes, Georges. I simply wish that my cats inherit first. Then, at the end of their lifespan, my entire estate will revert to Edgar.
Edgar
Cats inherit first? But I come before the cats! Why, it's not fair! (bumps his head on the earpiece) Oof!
Edgar
Cats inherit first? But I come before the cats! Why, it's not fair! [bumps his head on the earpiece] Oof!