Arthur O'Connell

Highest Rated: 100% Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Lowest Rated: 44% Gidget (1959)
Birthday: Mar 29, 1908
Birthplace: Not Available
A veteran vaudevillian, American actor Arthur O'Connell made his legitimate stage debut in the mid '30s, at which time he fell within the orbit of Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre. Welles cast O'Connell in the tiny role of a reporter in the closing scenes of Citizen Kane (1941), a film often referred to as O'Connell's film debut, though in fact he had already appeared in Freshman Year (1939) and had costarred in two Leon Errol short subjects as Leon's conniving brother-in-law. After numerous small movie parts, O'Connell returned to Broadway, where he appeared as the erstwhile middle-aged swain of a spinsterish schoolteacher in Picnic -- a role he'd recreate in the 1956 film version, earning an Oscar nomination in the process. The somewhat downtrodden-looking O'Connell was frequently cast as fortyish losers and alcoholics; in the latter capacity he appeared as Jimmy Stewart's boozy attorney mentor in Anatomy of a Murder (1959), and the result was another Oscar nomination. O'Connell continued appearing in choice character parts on both TV and films during the '60s (he'd graduated to villainy in a few of these roles), but avoided a regular television series, holding out until he could be assured top billing. The actor accepted the part of a man who discovers that his 99-year-old father has been frozen in an iceberg on the 1967 sitcom The Second Hundred Years, assuming he'd be billed first per the producers' agreement. Instead, top billing went to newcomer Monty Markham in the dual role of O'Connell's father (the ice had preserved his youthfulness) and his son. O'Connell accepted the demotion to second billing as well as could be expected, but he never again trusted the word of any Hollywood executive. Illness forced O'Connell to cut down on his appearances in the mid '70s, but the actor stayed busy as a commercial spokesman for a popular toothpaste. At the time of his death, O'Connell was appearing solely in these commercials -- by his own choice. For a mere few hours' work each year, Arthur O'Connell remained financially solvent 'til the end of his days.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet The Hiding Place Casper ten Boom, Papa 1975
No Score Yet Huckleberry Finn Col. Grangerford 1974
No Score Yet Wicked, Wicked Hotel Engineer 1973
79% The Poseidon Adventure Ship's Chaplain 1972
No Score Yet They Only Kill Their Masters Ernie 1972
67% Ben Bill Hatfield 1972
No Score Yet The Last Valley Hoffman 1971
No Score Yet Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came? Mr. Kruft 1970
78% There Was a Crooked Man Mr. Lomax 1970
No Score Yet The Power Henry Hallson 1968
No Score Yet If He Hollers, Let Him Go! Prosecutor 1968
No Score Yet The Reluctant Astronaut Buck Fleming 1967
94% Fantastic Voyage Col. Donald Reid 1966
No Score Yet Ride Beyond Vengeance The Narrator Narrator 1966
No Score Yet The Silencers Wigman 1966
No Score Yet A Covenant with Death Judge Hockstadter 1966
74% The Great Race Henry Goodbody 1965
No Score Yet The Monkey's Uncle Darius Green III 1965
No Score Yet The Third Day Dr. Wheeler 1965
No Score Yet Your Cheatin' Heart Fred Rose 1964
83% Seven Faces of Dr. Lao Clint Stark 1964
No Score Yet Kissin' Cousins Pappy Tatum 1964
No Score Yet Follow that Dream Pop Kwimper 1962
63% Pocketful of Miracles Count Alfonso Romero 1961
No Score Yet Misty Grandpa Beebe 1961
No Score Yet The Great Imposter Warden J.B. Chandler 1961
No Score Yet A Thunder of Drums (1961) Actor 1961
No Score Yet Cimarron Tom Wyatt 1960
100% Anatomy of a Murder Parnell McCarthy 1959
44% Gidget Russell Lawrence 1959
85% Operation Petticoat Sam Tostin 1959
100% Man of the West Sam Beasley 1958
No Score Yet April Love Jed Bruce 1957
No Score Yet The Montecarlo Story (Montecarlo) Mr. Homer Hinkley 1957
No Score Yet Operation Mad Ball Col. Rousch 1957
100% The Solid Gold Cadillac Jenkins 1956
No Score Yet The Proud Ones Jim Dexter, Deputy 1956
75% The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Walker 1956
79% Bus Stop Virgil 1956
57% Picnic Howard Bevans 1955
100% Force of Evil Link Hall 1948
No Score Yet One Touch of Venus Reporter 1948
80% State of the Union 1st Reporter 1948
No Score Yet Homecoming Driver 1948
86% The Naked City Shaeffer 1948
No Score Yet Open Secret Carter 1948
No Score Yet Law of the Jungle Simmons 1942
No Score Yet Man from Headquarters Goldie 1942
No Score Yet Blondie's Blessed Event Intern 1942
100% Citizen Kane Reporter 1941
No Score Yet Doctor Kildare Goes Home Intern 1940
No Score Yet Murder in the Night Lefty 1940
No Score Yet Two Girls on Broadway Reporter 1940

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Bonanza
1959-1973
Dr. Hubert
  • 1971
No Score Yet Night Gallery
1970-1973
  • 1971
No Score Yet The Wild Wild West
1965-1969
Ragan
  • 1966
No Score Yet The Fugitive
1963-1967
Cole Adams
  • 1965
  • 1964
No Score Yet Father Knows Best
1954-1960
  • 1959

QUOTES FROM Arthur O'Connell CHARACTERS