June 12, 1901
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||October 17, 1997 (aged 96)|
Ben Welden (born Benjamin Weinblatt; June 12, 1901 – October 17, 1997) was an American character actor who played a wide variety of Damon Runyon-type gangsters in various movies and television shows.
Welden was born in Toledo, Ohio. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
Welden's film debut occurred in the British production The Man from Chicago (1930). After freelancing for several years, he signed with Warner Bros. in 1937.
Short, balding and somewhat rotund, Welden often literally played a "heavy", frequently in a somewhat comical or slightly dim-witted way, offsetting the sinister nature of his character's actions. Among his roles in this vein was The Big Sleep (1946).
Fans of Adventures of Superman remember him well, as he appeared in eight episodes, always as a different character and yet really the same character, in a way. His best-known Superman episode might be "Flight to the North", in which he tries (and fails) to outwit a country-bumpkin type (played by Chuck Connors). In 1966, he acted in episodes 47 and 48 of Batman featuring Vincent Price as Special Guest Villain "Egghead". He also played a supporting role in the Three Stooges short, "Three Dark Horses." (1952)
He appeared in six episodes of The Lone Ranger ("Two Gold Lockets", 1951, "Delayed Action", 1952, "Right to Vote", 1953, "Stage to Tishomingo", 1954, "Trouble at Tylerville", 1956, & "Outlaws in Greasepaint", 1957). He continued to work on television until 1966.
After retiring from the screen, Welden owned a confection company called Nutcorn, located in Beverly Hills.
Welden died at age 96 on October 17, 1997, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.