Arthur O'Connell - Rotten Tomatoes

Arthur O'Connell

Highest Rated:   100% There Was a Crooked Man (1970)
Lowest Rated:   44% Gidget (1959)
Birthday:  
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

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
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
57% 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
100% 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
93% 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
100% 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
84% 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
No Score Yet James Stewart Mix
  • Actor
1955
100% Force of Evil
  • Link Hall
1948
No Score Yet One Touch of Venus
  • Reporter
1948
No Score Yet 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

Quotes from Arthur O'Connell's Characters