|Born||June 19, 1877|
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
|Died||August 30, 1961 (aged 84)|
New York City, U.S.
|Resting place||Bonaventure Cemetery|
(m. 1906; died 1937)
Charles Douville Coburn (June 19, 1877 – August 30, 1961) was an American actor and theatrical producer. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award three times – in The Devil and Miss Jones (1941), The More the Merrier (1943), and The Green Years (1946) – winning for his performance in The More the Merrier. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 for his contribution to the film industry.
Coburn was born in Macon, Georgia, the son of Scots-Irish Americans Emma Louise Sprigman (May 11, 1838 Springfield, Ohio – November 12, 1896 Savannah, Georgia) and Moses Douville Coburn (April 27, 1834 Savannah – December 27, 1902 Savannah). Growing up in Savannah, he started out at age 14 doing odd jobs at the local Savannah Theater, handing out programs, ushering, or being the doorman. By age 17 or 18, he was the theater manager. He later became an actor, making his debut on Broadway in 1901. Coburn formed an acting company with actress Ivah Wills in 1905. They married in 1906. In addition to managing the company, the couple performed frequently on Broadway.
After his wife's death in 1937, Coburn relocated to Los Angeles, California and began film work. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as a retired millionaire playing Cupid in The More the Merrier in 1943. He was also nominated for The Devil and Miss Jones in 1941 and The Green Years in 1946. Other notable film credits include Of Human Hearts (1938), The Lady Eve (1941), Kings Row (1942), The Constant Nymph (1943), Heaven Can Wait (1943), Wilson (1944), Impact (1949), The Paradine Case (1947), Everybody Does It (1950), Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952), Monkey Business (1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), and John Paul Jones (1959). He usually played comedic parts, but his roles in Kings Row and Wilson showed his dramatic versatility.
For his contributions to motion pictures, in 1960, Coburn was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6268 Hollywood Boulevard.
In the 1940s, Coburn served as vice-president of the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a group opposed to leftist infiltration and proselytization in Hollywood during the Cold War. Born and raised in the southern state of Georgia, Coburn was a member of the White Citizens' Councils, a white supremacist group which opposed racial integration.
A staunch Republican, Coburn supported Thomas Dewey in the 1944 United States presidential election.
Coburn married Ivah Wills on January 29, 1906, in Atlanta, Georgia. They had six children. Coburn married Winifred Natzka on June 30, 1959, in Los Angeles. She was the widow of the New Zealand bass opera singer Oscar Natzka. They had one child, a daughter.
In the 1940s, Coburn made his home at the National Arts Club in New York City. His late wife's mother lived there with him.
Coburn died of a heart attack on August 30, 1961, at age 84 in New York City. He was interred at Bonaventure Cemetery.
|1933||Boss Tweed||Boss Tweed|
|1935||The People's Enemy||Judge Hays||Crane Wilbur|
|1938||Of Human Hearts||Dr. Charles Shingle||Clarence Brown|
|1938||Vivacious Lady||Mr. Morgan||George Stevens|
|1938||Yellow Jack||Dr. Finlay||George B. Seitz|
|1938||Lord Jeff||Captain Briggs||Sam Wood|
|1939||Idiot's Delight||Dr. Hugo Waldersee||Clarence Brown|
|1939||Made for Each Other||Judge Joseph M. Doolittle||John Cromwell|
|1939||The Story of Alexander Graham Bell||Gardner Hubbard||Irving Cummings|
|1939||Bachelor Mother||J. B. Merlin||Garson Kanin|
|1939||Stanley and Livingstone||Lord Tyce||Otto Brower (safari sequences)|
|1939||In Name Only||Mr. Walker||John Cromwell|
|1940||Road to Singapore||Joshua Mallon IV||Victor Schertzinger|
|1940||Edison, the Man||General Powell||Clarence Brown|
|1940||Florian||Dr. Johannes Hofer||John E. Burch (assistant)|
|1940||The Captain Is a Lady||Captain Abe Peabody||Robert B. Sinclair|
|1940||Three Faces West||Dr. Karl Braun||Bernard Vorhaus|
|1941||The Lady Eve||'Colonel' Harrington||Preston Sturges|
|1941||The Devil and Miss Jones||Merrick||Sam Wood||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1941||Our Wife||Professor Drake||John M. Stahl|
|1941||Unexpected Uncle||Seton Mansley aka Alfred Crane||Peter Godfrey|
|1941||H. M. Pulham, Esq.||Mr. Pulham Sr.||King Vidor|
|1942||Kings Row||Dr. Henry Gordon||Sam Wood|
|1942||In This Our Life||William Fitzroy||John Huston|
|1942||George Washington Slept Here||Uncle Stanley J. Menninger||William Keighley|
|1943||Forever and a Day||Sir William (scenes cut)|||
|1943||The More the Merrier||Benjamin Dingle||George Stevens||Winner - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1943||The Constant Nymph||Charles Creighton||Edmund Goulding|
|1943||Heaven Can Wait||Hugo Van Cleve||Ernst Lubitsch|
|1943||Princess O'Rourke||Holman - Maria's Uncle||Norman Krasna|
|1943||My Kingdom for a Cook||Rudyard Morley||Richard Wallace|
|1944||Knickerbocker Holiday||Peter Stuyvesant||Harry Joe Brown|
|1944||Wilson||Professor Henry Holmes||Henry King|
|1944||The Impatient Years||William Smith||Irving Cummings|
|1944||Together Again||Jonathan Crandall Sr||Charles Vidor|
|1945||A Royal Scandal||Chancellor Nicolai Iiyitch||Ernst Lubitsch|
|1945||Rhapsody in Blue||Max Dreyfus||Irving Rapper|
|1945||Over 21||Robert Drexel Gow||Charles Vidor|
|1945||Shady Lady||Col. John Appleby||George Waggner|
|1946||Colonel Effingham's Raid||Col. Will Seaborn Effingham||Irving Pichel|
|1946||The Green Years||Alexander Gow||Victor Saville||Nominated - Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor|
|1947||Lured||Inspector Harley Temple||Douglas Sirk|
|1947||The Paradine Case||Sir Simon Flaquer||Alfred Hitchcock|
|1948||B.F.'s Daughter||B.F. Fulton||Robert Z. Leonard|
|1948||Green Grass of Wyoming||Beaver Greenway||Louis King|
|1949||Impact||Lt. Tom Quincy||Arthur Lubin|
|1949||Yes Sir That's My Baby||Professor Jason Hartley||George Sherman|
|1949||The Gal Who Took the West||Gen. Michael O'Hara||Frederick de Cordova|
|1949||The Doctor and the Girl||Dr. John Corday||Curtis Bernhardt|
|1949||Everybody Does It||Major Blair||Edmund Goulding|
|1950||Louisa||Abel Burnside||Alexander Hall|
|1950||Peggy||Professor 'Brooks' Brookfield||Frederick De Cordova|
|1950||Mr. Music||Alex Conway||Richard Haydn|
|1951||The Highwayman||Lord Walters||Lesley Selander|
|1952||Has Anybody Seen My Gal?||Samuel Fulton / John Smith||Douglas Sirk|
|1952||Monkey Business||Mr. Oliver Oxley||Howard Hawks|
|1953||Trouble Along the Way||Father Burke||Michael Curtiz|
|1953||Gentlemen Prefer Blondes||Sir Francis 'Piggy' Beekman||Howard Hawks|
|1954||The Rocket Man||Mayor Ed Johnson||Oscar Rudolph|
|1954||The Long Wait||Gardiner||Victor Saville|
|1955||How to Be Very, Very Popular||Dr. Tweed||Nunnally Johnson|
|1956||The Power and the Prize||Guy Eliot||Henry Koster|
|1956||Around the World in 80 Days||a Hong Kong steamship company clerk||Michael Anderson|
|1957||Town on Trial||Dr. John Fenner||John Guillermin|
|1957||How to Murder a Rich Uncle||Uncle George||Nigel Patrick|
|1957||The Story of Mankind||Hippocrates||Irwin Allen|
|1959||The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker||Grampa Pennypacker||Henry Levin|
|1959||A Stranger in My Arms||Vance Beasley||Helmut Kautner|
|1959||John Paul Jones||Benjamin Franklin||John Farrow|
|1946||Academy Award||The Devil and Miss Jones|