skip navigation
Burgess Meredith

Burgess Meredith

Up
Down

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (5)

Recent DVDs

 
 

Lock, Stock And Barrel DVD Set in the old Northwest circa 1880, the television movie "Lock, Stock and... more info $6.95was $6.95 Buy Now

Henry Fonda: The Signature Collection... "Henry Fonda: The Signature Collection" DVD is a dedication to one of the... more info $39.98was $39.98 Buy Now

Of Mice And Men DVD Director Lewis Milestone takes on John Steinbeck's heart wrenching tale of hope,... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Stay Away, Joe DVD Elvis stirs up trouble on the reservation in this tale of a Navajo rodeo rider... more info $5.99was $12.98 Buy Now

The Hindenburg DVD When the German zeppelin Hindenburg catches fire, it's trial by fire for Colonel... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Rocky II DVD Step into the ring for the second time with this sequel to the Academy... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Oliver Burgess Meredith, Buzz Meredith Died: September 9, 1997
Born: November 16, 1907 Cause of Death: melanoma, Alzheimer's disease and other complications from age
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio, USA Profession: actor, director, producer, director, clerk, reporter, editor, furnace cleaner, dishwasher, businessman, merchant seaman, salesman

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A versatile actor blessed with a voice that was gruff and warm in turns, Burgess Meredith first gained notice on Broadway in such productions as "The Barretts of Wimpole Street" (1935) and "Winterset" (1935-36) and would go on to become equally respected and visible in movies and television. While he would sometimes describe himself as unambitious in interviews, Meredith wore many hats with apparent ease, writing and directing both plays and features in addition to his hundreds of credits as a performer in three different mediums. He established himself as a motion picture star via such films as "Of Mice and Men" (1939), "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945), and "Mine Own Executioner" (1947), and although his career was temporarily stalled by the McCarthy witch hunt of the 1950s, Meredith always managed to stay employed. Not all of these projects were worthy of his talents, but he could rarely be accused of simply walking through the scenery for a paycheck. Comparatively diminutive for an actor, most of the success Meredith enjoyed came from character roles, and he enjoyed latter-day recognition through his turns as the Penguin on the iconic "Batman" (ABC, 1966-68) TV series and Sylvester Stallone's...

A versatile actor blessed with a voice that was gruff and warm in turns, Burgess Meredith first gained notice on Broadway in such productions as "The Barretts of Wimpole Street" (1935) and "Winterset" (1935-36) and would go on to become equally respected and visible in movies and television. While he would sometimes describe himself as unambitious in interviews, Meredith wore many hats with apparent ease, writing and directing both plays and features in addition to his hundreds of credits as a performer in three different mediums. He established himself as a motion picture star via such films as "Of Mice and Men" (1939), "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945), and "Mine Own Executioner" (1947), and although his career was temporarily stalled by the McCarthy witch hunt of the 1950s, Meredith always managed to stay employed. Not all of these projects were worthy of his talents, but he could rarely be accused of simply walking through the scenery for a paycheck. Comparatively diminutive for an actor, most of the success Meredith enjoyed came from character roles, and he enjoyed latter-day recognition through his turns as the Penguin on the iconic "Batman" (ABC, 1966-68) TV series and Sylvester Stallone's cantankerous old mentor Micky Goldmill in four entries of the "Rocky" franchise. Memorable in everything from Shakespeare to the silliest of horror potboilers, Meredith was a consummate professional and that dependability allowed him to work virtually non-stop during a career that lasted more than six decades.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Maddening, The (1996)
2.
 Across the Moon (1995) Barney
3.
4.
 Grumpier Old Men (1995) Grandpa Gustafson
5.
 Camp Nowhere (1994) Feln
6.
 Grumpy Old Men (1993) Grandpa Gustafson
7.
 Mastergate (1992) Wylie Slaughter
8.
 Night Of The Hunter (1991) Birdy
9.
 Oddball Hall (1991)
10.
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Held various jobs after leaving college
1929:
Stage debut with walk on role at Eva LeGallienne's Civic Repertory Theatre, NYC
1930:
Member of Civic Repertory Theater
1932:
Broadway debut in "Alice in Wonderland"
1933:
First lead role on stage in "Little Ol' Boy"
1934:
Made radio debut on the long-running serial "Red Davis"
1935:
Breakthrough stage performance as Mio in Maxwell Anderson's verse play "Winterset"; Anderson wrote the part expressly for Meredith
1936:
Film debut, recreating stage role of Mio in "Winterset"
1937:
Performed Hamlet on radio broadcast
1939:
Toured with Orson Welles in "Five Kings", playing Prince Hal to Welles' Falstaff
1939:
Won critical acclaim for performance as George in "Of Mice and Men"
1940:
Starred on Broadway in "Lilliom" opposite Ingrid Bergman
:
Served in the Army Air Corps during WWII
1945:
Had one of his best leading roles as Ernie Pyle in "The Story of G.I. Joe"
1946:
Produced and wrote "Diary of a Chambermaid" starring then-wife Paulette Goddard and directed by Jean Renoir; also acted
1949:
Feature directing debut "The Man on the Eiffel Tower"; co-directed with Charles Laughton; also starred;
:
Blacklisted during the 1950s
1950:
Stage directing debut "Happy as Larry"
1950:
First TV appearance as host of first two episodes of "Your Show of Shows" (NBC) in February
1952:
TV directorial debut "The Christmas Tie" episode of "Omnibus" (CBS)
1956:
Stage producing debut "Speaking of Murder"
1957:
Returned to features in the title role of "Joe Butterfly"
1961:
Appeared with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra as narrator and host
1962:
Made first of six films with Otto Preminger, "Advise and Consent"
:
TV series debut as regular in role of principal Martin Woodridge on "Mr Novack" (NBC)
:
Appeared as guest villain The Penguin on "Batman" (ABC)
1971:
Last feature collabortation with Preminger, "Such Good Friends"
:
Played Cameron on the NBC series "Search"
1974:
Recreated on Broadway his staging of the 1958 Off-Broadway play "Ulysses in Nighttown", adapted from the James Joyce novel; earned Tony nomination
1975:
Earned first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for "The Day of the Locust"
1976:
Co-starred in "Rocky" as the boxing trainer Mickey; received second Oscar nomination; played role in three of the four sequels ("Rocky II" 1979; "Rocky III" 1982: and "Rocky V" 1990)
1983:
Was featured as Sally Struthers' boss on the short-lived CBS sitcom "Gloria", a spin-off of "All in the Family"
1987:
Had title role in Jean-Luc Godard's "King Lear"
1993:
Co-starred in "Grumpy Old Men" as Jack Lemmon's father
1994:
Published memoir, "So Far, So Good"
1995:
Reprised role in "Grumpier Old Men"
1996:
Final film appearnace in Danny Huston's "The Maddening"
1996:
Final TV appearance as host of the PBS special "Preminger--Anatomy of a Filmmaker"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Amherst College: Amherst , Massachusetts -
Cathedral Choir School: New York , New York - 1920 - 1923
Hoosac Preparatory School: - 1923

Notes

Meredith received an honorary degree from Amherst College in 1939.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Helen Berrian Derby. Married 1932; divorced 1935.
wife:
Margaret H Frueauff. Married January 10, 1936; divorced July 19, 1938; sister of theatrical producer Antoinette Perry for whom the Tony Awards were named.
wife:
Paulette Goddard. Actor. Third wife; married May 21, 1944; divorced June 6, 1949; acted together in Jean Renoir's "Diary of a Chambermaid" (1946) and also the musical comedy "Second Chorus" (1940).
wife:
Kaja Sundsten. Ballet dancer. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
William George Meredith. Physician.
mother:
Ida Beth Meredith.
son:
Jonathan Sanford Meredith. Survived him.
daughter:
Tala Beth Meredith. Survived him.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"So Far, So Good: A Memoir" Little, Brown

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute