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Clifton Webb

Clifton Webb



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Also Known As: Webb Parmallee Hollenbeck Died: October 13, 1966
Born: November 19, 1891 Cause of Death: heart attack
Birth Place: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA Profession: Cast ... actor dancer singer artist


With his trademark pencil mustache and attitude of thinly-veiled disdain, Clifton Webb was a blast of asexual sophistication during Hollywood's testosterone-fueled postwar epoch. A ballroom dancer and stage actor who contributed appearances to some silent and early sound films, Webb made a belated return to cinema with an Oscar-nominated performance in Otto Preminger's "Laura" (1944), as acidic murder suspect Waldo Lydecker. Character and actor were so well-matched that Webb would go on to play a string of similarly supercilious supporting and principal characters in a film career as brilliant as it was brief. Effete to the extreme, he was nonetheless an imposing screen presence whose haughty mien could overshadow such manly leads as William Holden, Dana Andrews, Alan Ladd and Tyrone Power while stealing focus from the luscious likes of Gene Tierney, Ginger Rogers, Lauren Bacall and Sophia Loren. The actor's barely concealed homosexuality precluded him from playing many Hollywood husbands, but he proved a surprisingly persuasive paterfamilias, most notably in the family comedy "Cheaper by the Dozen" (1950) and in the proto disaster flick "Titanic" (1953), in which Webb and onscreen wife Barbara Stanwyck put aside their differences in a desperate bid to save their children from death at sea. Long devoted to his aging mother, with whom he lived and who passed away in 1960, Webb retired from acting in 1962. His death in 1966 robbed Hollywood of one of its most unforgettable characters, both on and offscreen.

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