Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Charles Lane (1905-2007)

The name may not ring a bell, but certainly the face does thanks to a movie career that date backs to the early 1930s and countless appearances in movies and television since, even as a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild marking his 100th birthday with an appearance on their awards show in 2005. In movies, he was a frequent favorite character actor for such greats as Frank Capra and Howard Hawks, appearing in classics such as It's a Wonderful Life, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Ball of Fire and Twentieth Century. He also appeared in such notable films as the The Music Man, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Murphy's Romance. On television, he was a recurring presence on series such as I Love Lucy, The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction. For me though, I first took note of Charles Lane during the first season of Soap as Judge Anthony Petrillo presiding over the trial of Jessica Tate for the murder of Peter Campbell. My other fondest memory was his appearance in one of St. Elsewhere's strongest episodes, 1987's "Weigh In, Weigh Out" as an dying old man walking the Freedom Trail in Boston one last time. Lane certainly was acting, because he lasted another 20 years after that. RIP Charles Lane.

To read the AP obit, click here.

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