Burgess Meredith


Actor
Burgess Meredith

About

Also Known As
Oliver Burgess Meredith, Buzz Meredith
Birth Place
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Born
November 16, 1907
Died
September 09, 1997
Cause of Death
Melanoma, Alzheimer's Disease And Other Complications From Age

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 w...

Photos & Videos

Tom, Dick and Harry - Title Lobby Card
Of Mice and Men - Lobby Card Set
The Hindenburg - Movie Poster

Family & Companions

Helen Berrian Derby
Wife
Married 1932; divorced 1935.
Margaret H Frueauff
Wife
Married January 10, 1936; divorced July 19, 1938; sister of theatrical producer Antoinette Perry for whom the Tony Awards were named.
Paulette Goddard
Wife
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).
Kaja Sundsten
Wife
Ballet dancer. Survived him.

Bibliography

"So Far, So Good: A Memoir"
Burgess Meredith, Little, Brown (1994)

Notes

Meredith received an honorary degree from Amherst College in 1939.

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. 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 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.

Oliver Burgess "Buzz" Meredith was born in Cleveland, OH on Nov. 16, 1907 and began performing during grammar school, though he would later describe himself as having been an introverted child. After deciding that Amherst College was not for him, Meredith dropped out and held a series of jobs, including newspaper reporter, Wall Street floor runner, necktie salesman and member of a tramp steamer crew. Thrown in the brig after trying to desert from the latter post, Meredith assuaged his boredom by reciting lines from anything that came to mind, and the experience reportedly helped him decide to become an actor. He moved to New York City and made his Broadway debut in a 1930 staging of "Romeo and Juliet," with many encore trips to the stage during that decade for productions like "Siegfried" (1930), "Alice in Wonderland" (1932-33), "Threepenny Opera" (1933) and "The Barretts of Wimpole Street" (1935). He honed his skills with Eva Le Gallienne's theatre company and its staging of "Winterset" (1935-36), which told of a son's quest to prove his late father innocent of murder, put him on the map. Playwright Maxwell Anderson insisted that Meredith play the lead and his instincts were proven correct when the show won the New York Drama Critics Award.

As with the stage, it would be the subsequent motion picture version of "Winterset" (1936) that put Meredith's film career in motion. He also earned significant critical attention for his work in "Of Mice and Men" (1939), as the friend and guardian of simple-minded man/mountain Lennie (Lon Chaney, Jr.). In 1942, Meredith was inducted into the Army Air Corps, eventually becoming a captain. While serving in Europe, he wrote, produced and acted in a pair of training films and was given time away from his duties to star in "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945), an adaptation of war correspondent Ernie Pyle's bestseller, Here is Your War. Chosen by Pyle himself for the part, Meredith received high marks for his performance and it turned out to be one of his career highlights. The envy of many of men around the world, Meredith wed actress and popular WWII pin-up Paulette Goddard in 1944. The two appeared together in Jean Renoir's romantic melodrama "The Diary of a Chambermaid" (1946), which Meredith also wrote, before eventually divorcing after five years of marriage. He did fine work as a troubled psychoanalyst in the solid British thriller, "Mine Own Executioner" (1947) and stepped behind the camera for his first directorial effort, "The Man on the Eiffel Tower" (1949), which met with a mixed response. The actor also made return trips to Broadway that decade via appearances in the title role of "Liliom" (1940), "Candida" (1942-43), and "The Playboy of the Western World" (1946-47). Meredith was not adverse to working on the fledgling medium of television and appeared on such early network shows as "Studio One" (CBS, 1948-1958), "Lights Out" (NBC, 1949-1952), "Tales of Tomorrow" (ABC, 1951-53), and "Omnibus" (CBS/ABC/NBC, 1952-1961).

An outspoken liberal, Meredith soon ran afoul of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Fortunately, the blacklist had no effect on Broadway employment, so Meredith expanded his stage repertoire by making his Broadway directorial bow with "Lo and Behold!" (1951-52). He also appeared in productions of such perennials as "The Teahouse of the August Moon" (1953-56) and "Major Barbara" (1957). Unfortunately, Meredith's seven-year absence from the big screen ended with an embarrassing, politically incorrect "yellowface" role as a Japanese interpreter in the limp military comedy "Joe Butterfly" (1957), evidently the result of his similar part in "Teahouse." The political drama "Advise & Consent" (1962) marked the first of five collaborations between Meredith and director Otto Preminger, followed shortly by "The Cardinal" (1963) and "In Harm's Way" (1965), and Meredith made guest star appearances in four famous episodes of "The Twilight Zone" (CBS, 1959-1963), "77 Sunset Strip" (ABC, 1958-1964), "Burke's Law" (ABC, 1963-66), and "The Wild Wild West" (CBS, 1965-69). He also had a recurring role as a principal on the final season of the high school drama, "Mr. Novak" (NBC, 1963-65).

While never a major star, Meredith was consistently employed and well respected. However, his profile rose considerably and most unexpectedly when he was cast as the villainous Penguin on the "Batman" (ABC, 1966-68) TV series and in a 1966 feature film. The show quickly became a pop culture phenomenon and Meredith's comical performance as the waddling, top-hatted criminal endeared him to many of the children in the audience. For the first time, people started recognizing Meredith on the street, many displaying an irresistible urge to offer their own version of The Penguin's trademark quacking. While the campy "Batman" was dismissed by many critics as insipid, its humor was very much by design; Meredith's remaining film roles that decade tended to be in projects that were either unintentionally amusing, like Preminger's "Hurry Sundown" (1967) or comedies that failed to produce laughs, like the insipid Elvis Presley vehicle, "Stay Away, Joe" (1968). Another embarrassment came via Preminger's notorious stinker "Skidoo" (1969), which stranded Meredith and other Golden Age greats like Jackie Gleason, Groucho Marx and Meredith's "Batman" co-star Cesar Romero in a witless send-up of the counter culture movement. If "Skidoo" was not bad enough, Meredith then wrote, directed and co-starred in his own bizarre, equally ill-conceived comedy "The Yin and the Yang of Mr. Go" (1970), which accomplished nothing positive aside from providing Jeff Bridges' big screen debut. Meredith's final collaboration with Preminger, "Such Good Friends" (1971), was an unsatisfying experience for the actor and he later said that it was the one movie he regretted doing. The adventure series "Search" (NBC, 1972-73) lasted only 14 episodes, but Meredith was gifted with a final trip to Broadway for a revival of "Ulysses in Nighttown" (1974), which the actor had first directed with great success off-Broadway 16 years earlier.

With the mid-1970s came two of Meredith's best roles. A strong performance that earned him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, "The Day of the Locust" (1975) featured Meredith as a fallen vaudeville performer reduced to being a door-to-door salesman. A second nomination in that same category was extended to Meredith the following year for his wonderfully crotchety and battle scarred, but still wise boxing manager Mickey Goldmill in the smash hit, "Rocky" (1976). The actor did not win either of these prizes, but victory finally came Meredith's way with a Best Supporting Actor Emmy for his performance in the television feature "Tail Gunner Joe" (NBC, 1977), which looked at the life of controversial senator Joseph McCarthy and cast Meredith as attorney Joseph Welch. The part had special meaning for Meredith, given how he himself had been vilified during that era, and Welch was one of the men instrumental in bringing about McCarthy's downfall.

Like many older character players in their senior years, Meredith's big screen work would be all over the map in terms of quality, though he rarely put a foot wrong when it came to his performances. He managed to rise above a quartet of rotten horror films that included "Burnt Offerings" (1976), "The Sentinel" (1977), "Magic" (1978) and "The Manitou" (1978), and made the most of a prime role in the Goldie Hawn/Chevy Chase mystery-comedy hit "Foul Play" (1978). A boilerplate sequel, "Rocky II" (1979) had little of the pathos or humanity found in the original, but was embraced by audiences anyway, while the Canadian tax shelter films "The Final Assignment" (1980) and "The Last Chase" (1981) were little seen. Better roles came in the stop-motion fantasy epic "Clash of the Titans" (1981) and "True Confessions" (1981), and the actor took his third bow as Mickey in "Rocky III" (1982), with the series still proving as popular as ever. Jean-Luc Godard's obscure "King Lear" (1987) featured Meredith in one of his more unusual assignments, sharing the screen with Brat Pack regular Molly Ringwald. That same year, the actor belatedly received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He also co-hosted the family program "Those Amazing Animals" (ABC, 1980-81) and tried his hand at situation comedy on the short-lived "All in the Family" spin-off, "Gloria" (CBS, 1982-83).

After being left out of the fourth chapter, Meredith returned as Mickey for a flashback sequence in the poorly received "Rocky V" (1990), but was much better served opposite Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in the comedy hit "Grumpy Old Men" (1993). Meredith also had intermittent TV roles during this period, including three appearances as a judge on "In the Heat of the Night" (NBC, 1988-1994) and an ill-advised remake of "Night of the Hunter" (ABC, 1991). He published his autobiography, So Far, So Good, in 1994 and rejoined Lemmon and Matthau for "Grumpier Old Men" (1995), which turned out to be his last theatrical film. Meredith's distinctive voice and delivery also made him a regular choice to narrate features and commercials, and he also provided voices for animation, including the title role of "Puff the Magic Dragon" in the original 1978 CBS special and two follow-ups. His final job was voicing a lead character in "Ripper" (1996), an interactive computer game that provided a 21st century spin on the Jack the Ripper case. A firm believer in animal rights, Meredith lived for a number of years on a Northern California farm and at one point, had several dozen different types of exotic waterfowl. Plagued by Alzheimer's disease in the latter years of his life, Meredith died of that malady and melanoma on Sept. 9, 1997.

By John Charles

Filmography

 

Director (Feature Film)

The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1950)
Director

Cast (Feature Film)

The Maddening (1996)
Grumpier Old Men (1995)
Across the Moon (1995)
Barney
Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)
Himself
Camp Nowhere (1994)
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
Grandpa Gustafson
Mastergate (1992)
Night Of The Hunter (1991)
Oddball Hall (1991)
Rocky V (1990)
State Of Grace (1990)
John Huston: The Man, The Movies, The Maverick (1988)
Himself
Full Moon in Blue Water (1988)
King Lear (1987)
Don Learo--King Lear
G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)
Voice Of Golobulus
Outrage! (1986)
Mr. Corbett's Ghost (1986)
Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
Ancient Elf
Broken Rainbow (1985)
Historical Voice
Wet Gold (1984)
Twilight Zone--The Movie (1983)
Narrator
Rocky III (1982)
Clash of the Titans (1981)
Ammon
True Confessions (1981)
Acting: Lee Strasberg and The Actors Studio (1981)
Himself
The Last Chase (1981)
Captain Williams
When Time Ran Out (1980)
Final Assignment (1980)
Zak
Rocky II (1979)
Kate Bliss and the Ticker Tape Kid (1978)
Magic (1978)
Foul Play (1978)
The Manitou (1978)
Dr Ernest Snow
The Amazing Captain Nemo (1978)
SST -- Death Flight (1977)
The Last Hurrah (1977)
Cardinal Burke
The Great Bank Hoax (1977)
Jack
The Sentinel (1977)
Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye (1977)
John F "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald
Tail Gunner Joe (1977)
Golden Rendezvous (1977)
Rocky (1976)
Mickey [Goldmill]
Burnt Offerings (1976)
The Master Gunfighter (1975)
Narrator
The Hindenburg (1975)
The Day of the Locust (1975)
92 In The Shade (1975)
Golden Needles (1974)
Beware! the Blob (1972)
Hobo
The Man (1972)
Senator Watson
Getting Away From It All (1972)
Captain Frank Coffin
A Fan's Notes (1972)
Mr Blue
Search (1972)
B C Cameron
Clay Pigeon (1971)
Freedom Lovelace
Such Good Friends (1971)
[Bernard] Kalman
There Was a Crooked Man ... (1970)
The Missouri Kid
Mackenna's Gold (1969)
Storekeeper
Hard Contract (1969)
Ramsey
The Reivers (1969)
Narrator
Skidoo (1968)
The warden
Stay Away, Joe (1968)
Charlie Lightcloud
Torture Garden (1968)
Dr. Diabolo
Dear Mr. Gable (1968)
Narration
Hurry Sundown (1967)
Judge Purcell
A Big Hand for the Little Lady (1966)
Doc Scully
Madame X (1966)
Dan Sullivan
Crazy Quilt (1966)
Narrator
Batman (1966)
The Penguin
In Harm's Way (1965)
Comdr. Egan Powell
The Kidnappers (1964)
Louis Halliburton
The Cardinal (1963)
Father Ned Halley
Advise & Consent (1962)
Herbert Gelman
Sorcerers' Village (1958)
Narrator
Albert Schweitzer (1957)
Narrator, words of Thomas Bruce Morgan
Joe Butterfly (1957)
Joe Butterfly
The Gay Adventure (1953)
The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1950)
Joseph Huertin
Jigsaw (1949)
Bartender
On Our Merry Way (1948)
Oliver H. Pease
Mine Own Executioner (1947)
A Walk in the Sun (1946)
Narrator
The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)
Captain Mauger
Magnificent Doll (1946)
James Madison
The Story of G. I. Joe (1945)
Ernie Pyle, Scripps-Howard War Correspondent
Tunisian Victory (1944)
Voice of American Doughboy
Street of Chance (1942)
Frank Thompson [also known as Danny Nearing]
San Francisco Docks (1941)
Johnny Barnes
The Forgotten Village (1941)
Narrator
That Uncertain Feeling (1941)
[Alexander] Sebastian
Tom, Dick and Harry (1941)
Harry
Second Chorus (1940)
Hank Taylor
Castle on the Hudson (1940)
Steve Rockford
Idiot's Delight (1939)
Quillery
Of Mice and Men (1939)
George [Milton]
Spring Madness (1938)
The Lippencott
There Goes the Groom (1937)
[Derek] Dick Mathews
Winterset (1936)
Mio [Romagna]
The Scoundrel (1935)

Writer (Feature Film)

The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)
Screenwriter

Producer (Feature Film)

On Our Merry Way (1948)
Producer
The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)
Producer

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1995)
Other
John Huston: The Man, The Movies, The Maverick (1988)
Other
Acting: Lee Strasberg and The Actors Studio (1981)
Other

Cast (Special)

Jimmy Stewart (1996)
Preminger -- Anatomy of a Filmmaker (1996)
Host
Dame Edna's Hollywood (1992)
Lincoln (1992)
Voice
Bloody Shenandoah (1992)
Narration
Sunday Night With Larry King (1990)
Bodywatching (1988)
Narration
The Wetlands (1988)
Narrator
Elephant Games (1986)
Narration
The Night of 100 Stars II (1985)
The American Film Institute Salute to Frank Capra (1982)
Performer
The Return of Captain Nemo (1978)
Professor Waldo Cunningham
The Bronx Is Burning (1975)
Narration
Of Men of Women (1972)
Boss (Story 2)
The New Healers (1972)
The Bill Cosby Special, Or? (1971)
Ah, Wilderness! (1959)

Cast (Short)

The Rear Gunner (1943)

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

The Wickedest Witch (1989)
Narration
The Blinkins (1986)
Voice
Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody (1982)
Narration
Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody (1982)
Voice Of Puff The Magic Dragon
Puff the Magic Dragon (1978)
Voice Of Puff The Magic Dragon

Life Events

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

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;

1950

First TV appearance as host of first two episodes of "Your Show of Shows" (NBC) in February

1950

Stage directing debut "Happy as Larry"

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"

1971

Last feature collabortation with Preminger, "Such Good Friends"

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"

Photo Collections

Tom, Dick and Harry - Title Lobby Card
Tom, Dick and Harry - Title Lobby Card
Of Mice and Men - Lobby Card Set
Of Mice and Men - Lobby Card Set
The Hindenburg - Movie Poster
The Hindenburg - Movie Poster
Clash of the Titans - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Clash of the Titans (1981). Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Second Chorus - Lobby Card
Here is a Lobby Card from Paramount Pictures' Second Chorus (1941), starring Fred Astaire and Paulette Goddard. Lobby Cards were 11" x 14" posters that came in sets of 8. As the name implies, they were most often displayed in movie theater lobbies, to advertise current or coming attractions.
Rocky - Pressbook
Here is the campaign book (pressbook) for Rocky (1976), starring Sylvester Stallone. Pressbooks were sent to exhibitors and theater owners to aid them in publicizing the film's run in their theater.

Videos

Movie Clip

Clash Of The Titans (1981) - Last Of The Winged Horses Faced with the challenge of having to track a giant vulture, Perseus (Harry Hamlin) and his mystical poet pal Ammon (Burgess Meredith) sneak up and capture that last flying horse Pegasus (the others were killed by a rival of Zeus), so a big technical sequence for special effects giant Ray Harryhausen, in Clash Of The Titans 1981.
Of Mice And Men (1939) - A Place Like That... Disabled Candy (Roman Bohnen) wonders if he can join new farm-hand pals George (Burgess Meredith) and Lenny (Lon Chaney Jr.) in their fantasy of buying their own place, in director Lewis Milestone's Of Mice And Men, 1939, from the Steinbeck novel.
Of Mice And Men (1939) - Opening, Lenny And George California migrant farm workers Lenny (Lon Chaney Jr.) and George (Burgess Meredith) are fleeing angry citizens of "Weed" in the opening of Lewis Milestone's Of Mice And Men, 1939, from the John Steinbeck novel.
Of Mice And Men (1939) - Them New Guys Candy (Roman Bohnen) introduces farm workers George (Burgess Meredith) and Lenny (Lon Chaney Jr.) to his skeptical boss Jackson (Oscar O'Shea) in Lewis Milestone's Of Mice And Men, 1939, from John Steinbeck's novel.
Of Mice And Men (1939) - Down By The River Ranch-hand George (Burgess Meredith) is making sure slow-witted pal Lenny (Lon Chaney Jr.) doesn't get in trouble with vampy Mae (Betty Field) or her husband Curley (Bob Steele) in Of Mice And Men, 1939, from John Steinbeck's novel.
Clash Of The Titans (1981) - Opening, Bear Witness Zeus! Opening and ceremonial, from the Ray Harryhausen showcase, starring Harry Hamlin, Burgess Meredith, Laurence Olivier and Ursula Andress, with Donald Houston as aggrieved king Acrisius, Vida Taylor his daughter, appealing to the big guy (whom we will learn is Olivier), in MGM’s Clash Of The Titans 1981.
Clash Of The Titans (1981) - Let Loose The Kraken! Exposition and a quick roll call on Olympus, Laurence Olivier as Zeus angered by actions on earth, consulting Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith, Susan Fleetwood and Ursula Andress (Hera, Thetis, Athena and Aphrodite) then instructing Poseidon (Jack Gwillim) to undertake revenge, early in Clash Of The Titans 1981.
Story Of G.I. Joe, The (1945) - Joe McCloskey's Winning The War Still in North Africa, Burgess Meredith as war correspondent Ernie Pyle, killed in action in Japan before this film by William A. Wellman, based on his dispatches, was released, steps out of the column, hears from some soldiers, and begins one of his famous narrations, from The Story of G.I. Joe, 1945.
Story Of G.I. Joe, The (1945) - Opening, So Long, Ayrab Opening credits followed by soldiers under the command of Lt. Walker (Robert Mitchum), North Africa, 1944, adopting two scrappy old dogs, one of whom is Correspondent Ernie Pyle (Burgess Meredith) in The Story Of G.I. Joe, 1945.
Story Of G.I. Joe, The (1945) - Axis Sally Soldiers including Freddie Steele, Wally Cassell, Robert Mitchum, Burgess Meredith as newsman Ernie Pyle, in North Africa, hear Artie Shaw, "Axis Sally" (voice of Shelley Mitchell) and "Linda," sung by Ann Ronell, suggesting surrender, in William A. Wellman's The Story Of G.I. Joe, 1945.
Foul Play (1978) -- Open, Archbishop San Francisco appears, the Archbishop (Eugene Roche) gets killed, divorcee Marion (Goldie Hawn) makes eye contact with cop Tony (Chevy Chase) who bumbles, in the opening to Foul Play, 1978.
Burnt Offerings (1976) - Open, Underprivileged Child The opening, Oliver Reed as the English guy helming the station wagon, with spouse Karen Black and son Lee Montgomery, from Burnt Offerings, 1976, also starring Bette Davis.

Trailer

Tom, Dick And Harry (1941) -- Original Trailer From RK0, the original theatrical trailer for the follow-up to Ginger Rogers’ Academy Award winning performance in Kitty Foyle, the comedy Tom, Dick And Harry, 1941, starring Ginger, Alan Marshal, George Murphy, and Burgess Meredith.
Foul Play (1978) -- (Original Trailer) Original trailer for the San Francisco action-comedy and the movie debut for Saturday Night Live sensation Chevy Chase, also starring Goldie Hawn and featuring Dudley Moore, from writer-director Colin Higgins, Foul Play, 1978,
Clay Pigeon (1971) -- (Original Trailer) Arlo Guthrie’s “I Could Be Singing,” featured in the film, is the background for the original trailer for the budget-challenged counter-culture crime oddity, with it’s impressive cast, Clay Pigeon, 1971, by would-be Hollywood maverick director and star Tom Stern, not the well-known cinematographer.
There Was A Crooked Man (1970) -- Original Trailer The bulky trailer for the ambitious Kirk Douglas comic Western by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, co-written by the Bonnie And Clyde team, David Newman and Robert Benton, with Henry Fonda, Hume Cronyn and Burgess Meredith, There Was A Crooked Man, 1970.
Burnt Offerings - (Original Trailer) A family moves into a haunted house that seems to be stealing their lives in Burnt Offerings (1976) starring Oliver Reed, Karen Black and Bette Davis.
Torture Garden - (Original Trailer) A sideshow exhibit on torture predicts the deaths of those who view it in the Torture Garden (1967).
Castle on the Hudson - (Original Trailer) A hardened crook (John Garfield) vs. a reform-minded warden in a remake of 20,000 Years In Sing Sing, Castle on the Hudson (1940).
Cardinal, The - (Original Trailer) A Boston priest deals with illicit love, racism and war as he rises in the church in Otto Preminger's The Cardinal (1963).
Mackenna's Gold - (Original Trailer) A group of men, lead by a questionable sheriff and a wanted bandit, descend upon the desert in search of a lost canyon of gold in Mackenna's Gold (1969).
Madame X (1966) - (Original Trailer) Lana Turner is a fallen woman on trial for murder who is defended by the son she abandoned years earlier in the seventh movie version of Madame X (1966).
Clash of the Titans - (Original Trailer) A Greek hero fights a series of monsters, including the dreaded Gorgon, in Clash of the Titans (1981), with special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
Spring Madness - (Original Trailer) A Harvard man (Lew Ayres) romances a coed (Maureen O'Sullivan) from a nearby college and comes down with Spring Madness (1938).

Family

William George Meredith
Father
Physician.
Ida Beth Meredith
Mother
Jonathan Sanford Meredith
Son
Survived him.
Tala Beth Meredith
Daughter
Survived him.

Companions

Helen Berrian Derby
Wife
Married 1932; divorced 1935.
Margaret H Frueauff
Wife
Married January 10, 1936; divorced July 19, 1938; sister of theatrical producer Antoinette Perry for whom the Tony Awards were named.
Paulette Goddard
Wife
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).
Kaja Sundsten
Wife
Ballet dancer. Survived him.

Bibliography

"So Far, So Good: A Memoir"
Burgess Meredith, Little, Brown (1994)

Notes

Meredith received an honorary degree from Amherst College in 1939.