Character actor of the large and small screen Ernest Truex was born on this date in Kansas City, MO. Truex started acting very early in his life, making stage appearances from the age of 5. He made his Broadway premiere in 1908 and by 1915 he was a bit of a fixture. He made his film debut in the Mary Pickford comedy Caprice in a supporting role in 1913, which was directed by J. Searle Dawley during his time at Famous Players (the film is amongst the lost). He did have steady work (probably as much as he would like--as evidenced by his not having to take any bit parts in silent films) during the silent era, but it would not be until the dawn of talking films that his on-camera career would really take off. No surprise, given that he was a very successful stage actor. By 1923, he had had enough of silent acting and retired from films--he would not reappear until 1933. The last silent film that he starred in--and star in he did, as he had top billing--was Six Cylinder Love (1923), a film made at Fox. He spent the years in between on major stages in the US and in London. The next film that he starred in was Whistling In The Dark, an MGM comedy. He quickly settled into the character actor parts that required the steady, reliable--read boring--type, a typical foil in comedies. For example, he plays a straight part as a fellow reporter in His Girl Friday. Truex made his television debut in 1948, it was the beginning of what would be a very long "small screen" career. Some of the notable shows on which her appeared include: The Twilight Zone, Hazel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Bonanza and Petticoat Junction. His second appearance in 1966 on Junction would be his last appearance in front of the camera. He appeared in the episode Young Love, which aired on the 13th of September (his last film was Fluffy in 1965, a Tony Randall and Shirley Jones comedy). Also in his career, he had one lone writing credit in films to his name; returning to the silent era, he wrote the comedic short The Bashful Lover in 1922--a film in which he also starred. Truex died of a heart attack at the age of 83 on the Fallbrook, California. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered.
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