Walter Pidgeon


Actor
Walter Pidgeon

About

Also Known As
Walter Davis Pidgeon
Birth Place
East St John, New Brunswick, CA
Born
September 23, 1897
Died
September 25, 1984
Cause of Death
Complications From A Series Of Strokes

Biography

"Maybe it was better never to become red hot. I'd seen performers like that, and they never lasted long. Maybe a long glow is the best way. At Metro I was never considered big enough to squire around Norma Shearer or Joan Crawford or Greta Garbo. Well, I outlasted them all at MGM, didn't I? It takes a lot of work to appear easy going, and I tried to avoid being stuffy." --Walter Pidgeon...

Photos & Videos

Design for Scandal - Movie Poster
Executive Suite - Group Publicity Stills
Flight Command - Publicity Stills

Family & Companions

Muriel Pidgeon
Wife
Actor, salesgirl. Married in Boston c. 1917; died in childbirth on October 26, 1926.
Ruth Walker
Wife
Married from 1931 until his death.

Biography

"Maybe it was better never to become red hot. I'd seen performers like that, and they never lasted long. Maybe a long glow is the best way. At Metro I was never considered big enough to squire around Norma Shearer or Joan Crawford or Greta Garbo. Well, I outlasted them all at MGM, didn't I? It takes a lot of work to appear easy going, and I tried to avoid being stuffy."
--Walter Pidgeon, quoted by James Edward Bawden, "Walter Pidgeon: Team Player," Films of the Golden Age

If there was one constant in Walter Pidgeon's career it was the easy going charm that carried him through a variety of images: operetta star, "the other man," Mr. Greer Garson, elder statesman. That may not have been enough to propel him to the top rank of stars, but it kept him working for half a century and kept him at MGM, where he and studio head Louis B. Mayer shared a conservative approach to politics and a home town, St. John, New Brunswick, Canada.

Pidgeon was born in 1917, the son of a men's clothing store proprietor who died when he was only six. He had always dreamed of being a performer, so when his childhood sweetheart, Edna Pickles, moved to Boston in 1919 to study art, he followed, enrolling at the New England Conservatory of Music. He then won a spot in E.E. Clive's theatre company, making his stage debut in George Bernard Shaw's You Never Can Tell. He and Edna married in 1922, and he gave up acting to support them with a job in a brokerage firm. When Edna died in childbirth, he named their daughter Edna Verne Pidgeon but asked his mother to care for her so he could return to acting.

Fred Astaire heard Pidgeon singing at a party and gave him references to two New York producers. Although neither had anything for him, singing star Elsie Janis also gave him an audition and signed him to tour with her in vaudeville. At the time, he was using Walter Verne as his professional name, but Janis insisted he keep his own name, arguing that "Pidgeon" was so funny it would stick in people's minds. Pidgeon toured the vaudeville circuit with her, introducing two Irving Berlin standards: "What'll I Do" and "All Alone." Janis then included him in her act in the revue Puzzles of 1925, which marked his Broadway debut.

His first Broadway engagement won Pidgeon a screen test for First National Studios, which hired him to co-star with Constance Talmadge. That film never happened, so he made his screen debut in the first of many "other man" parts in Mannequin (1926), starring Alice Joyce and Warner Baxter. With a Hollywood contract, Pidgeon sent for his mother and daughter.

When sound arrived, Pidgeon was a natural for the new medium, appearing in a series of operettas that showcased his light baritone voice. He chased Claudia Dell through 18th century England in Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930) and played a French Foreign Legion officer in love with cabaret singer June Collyer in Kiss Me Again (1931). By that point, however, musicals, and particularly operettas, were box-office poison. One of his films was even advertised with the line "Mr. Pidgeon will only sing once in this picture." At the same time, his personal life took a positive turn when he married his secretary, Ruth Walker. They would remain together for the rest of their lives.

Pidgeon tried to switch his career to straight dramatic roles. Although there were three songs in The Hot Heiress (1931), in which he's the society type who loses heiress Ona Munson to riveter Ben Lyon, he didn't sing any of them. With few decent roles available at the time, he returned to Broadway to take over Melvyn Douglas's role in No More Ladies. Then he got to create the role of gangster "Guts" Regan in Ayn Rand's sole Broadway hit, Night of January 16. The popular melodrama ran for seven months and revived Hollywood's interest in Pidgeon, though he turned down the role of Gaylord Ravenal in the 1936 version of Show Boat for fear of once again being type-cast as a musical star.

Independent producer Walter Wanger signed him to play second leads in glittery productions like Big Brown Eyes (1936), in which manicurist Joan Bennett helps police detective boyfriend Cary Grant break up a ring of jewel thieves (guess who turns out to be the ringleader?). From there he moved to Universal, which didn't do much with him. Good luck hit again, however, when MGM head Louis B. Mayer bought up his contract. Years earlier, Pidgeon had approached the movie mogul for a job. They had bonded over memories of St. John, and Mayer promised to call him when he had the right role. The right role was, as usual, a second lead, but this time he got to lose Jean Harlow to Clark Gable in Saratoga (1937), the blonde bombshell's last film.

Even as a supporting player, Pidgeon was treated like royalty at MGM. The studio had such an extensive production line-up, he even got to play leads in less expensive films like 6000 Enemies (1939), in which he's a no-nonsense DA sent up the river himself when he's framed for bribery. Pidgeon also had a sympathetic ear in Mayer. When he asked for the chance to prove he could do action leads, Mayer cast him as private eye Nick Carter in three fast-moving crime thrillers, starting with Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939). Those films kept him in leads, even as he was supporting top box office stars like Robert Taylor in Flight Command (1940), in which green flyer Taylor is suspected of seducing Pidgeon's wife (Ruth Hussey).

Pidgeon's move to more action-oriented roles must have made an impression on somebody at 20th Century-Fox, which asked to borrow him to play an American hunter who tries to assassinate Hitler then goes into hiding in Man Hunt (1941). The Fritz Lang film was one of Pidgeon's favorites, and also brought him his next major role. William Wyler was originally signed to direct How Green Was My Valley (1941) and got the studio to sign Pidgeon for a central role, as the Reverend Mr. Griffud. When John Ford took over the project, Pidgeon stayed in the cast, with MGM negotiating top-billing for him in one of the year's most prestigious films and the Oscar®-winner for Best Picture.

Back at MGM, Mayer decided to cast Pidgeon opposite his new protégée, a young Irish-born actress named Greer Garson. Their first teaming, in Blossoms in the Dust (1941), clicked with fans, leading to their making eight films together, playing married couples in seven of them (and in the eighth, That Forsyte Woman (1949), anybody familiar with the source material, John Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga, would know they were fated to be mated after the final titles). They were the perfect couple for the World War II era -- dignified, classy and quietly heroic. Yet that image, and the assumption that Garson did most of the heavy lifting in their films, blinds even their fans today to the amazing range Pidgeon displayed in the films. He may have been stoic in Mrs. Miniver (1942) and Madame Curie (1943), both of which brought him Oscar® nominations for Best Actor, but he got to show a more playful side in Blossoms in the Dust and Mrs. Parkington (1944). His role as an inveterate scamp in the latter moved him into Clark Gable territory, only with more sophistication.

By the end of the war years, however, the aging actor (now in his fifties) was too old for action or even much in the way of romance, leading to his move into elder statesman roles. Given MGM's extensive production slate, that still meant some leads. He played a crusading defense attorney taking on government corruption in The Unknown Man (1951), with an appropriately mature Ann Harding as his wife, and stepped into the shoes vacated by Ronald Colman, Ralph Richardson, Ray Milland, Tom Conway and many others as the famed British sleuth, now retired, in Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951). But he also was moving comfortably into character roles in MGM's bigger films. He had one of his best roles ever as an Air Force general questioning Gable's Command Decision (1949) during World War II and was part of the strong ensembles in the Hollywood roman a clef The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), with Lana Turner and Kirk Douglas, and the searing business drama Executive Suite (1954), co-starring William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck and Fredric March. But the days of quiet stoicism were over. An attempt at a sequel to Mrs. Miniver, The Miniver Story (1950), failed badly at the box office. And his final teaming with Garson, Scandal at Scourie (1953), which cast them as a Protestant couple who adopts a Catholic orphan, didn't do much better. Garson would leave the studio within a year.

Pidgeon continued with strong supporting roles, developing a cult following as the interstellar scientist Dr. Morbius in the science-fiction classic Forbidden Planet (1956). Co-star Anne Francis was so fond of him she named her poodle "Walter Smidgeon," which triggered gossip when a columnist got the dog's name wrong and reported Francis had run off to Palm Springs with the very married actor. By the mid-fifties, Mayer was gone from MGM, and the studio was not the house of glamour Pidgeon had loved. He left after playing Paul Newman's strict military father in The Rack (1956), one of the few actors to stay with MGM long enough to draw a studio pension. The only one of their classic stars to stay longer than he was Robert Taylor.

Instead of staying in Hollywood, however, Pidgeon returned to Broadway, first as eccentric Philadelphia millionaire Drexel Biddle in The Happiest Millionaire, then winning a Tony nomination as one of the stars of the musical Take Me Along. He lost the Tony to co-star Jackie Gleason and also lost the chance to play Biddle in the earlier play's film version, a musical produced by Walt Disney. The role went, instead, to Fred MacMurray, with Garson as his wife.

Pidgeon returned to the big screen as the rebellious admiral in Irving Allen's science fiction feature Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961), taking star billing over such names as Joan Fontaine and Peter Lorre. It was more elder statesman roles that sustained him, including the Senate majority leader in Otto Preminger's political drama Advise and Consent (1962) and Flo Ziegfeld in Funny Girl (1968). While shooting a scene in the former with Franchot Tone and Lew Ayres, the former quipped, "Look, it's the MGM Newcomers of 1938!" (quoted in Bawden) Pidgeon even returned to the MGM lot, by then a far cry from its former glory, to play a U.S. Senator in Skyjacked (1972). He finished his career with a small role as the chairman of an international business conference disrupted by Mae West, also in her last role, in Sextette (1978).

At that point, Pidgeon retired from acting, mainly for health reasons. Several strokes affected his speech and mobility and eventually killed him in 1984. He was truly mourned in Hollywood, where he was not only well liked but was also one of the last survivors of the studios' golden years. Many obituaries referred to him as "Mr. Miniver," something he had predicted jokingly in later interviews.

TCM's Summer Under the Stars pays tribute to Walter Pidgeon with 13 films -- Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930), Kiss Me Again (1931), The Hot Heiress (1931), 6000 Enemies (1939), Flight Command (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), Mrs. Parkington (1944), The Unknown Man (1951), Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951), Scandal at Scourie (1953), Forbidden Planet (1956), Advise & Consent (1962) and Funny Girl (1968).

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Sextette (1978)
Two-Minute Warning (1976)
The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case (1976)
Murder on Flight 502 (1975)
You Lie So Deep, My Love (1975)
Uncle Joe Padway
The Girl on the Late, Late Show (1974)
Live Again, Die Again (1974)
The Neptune Factor (1973)
Dr Andrews
Harry in Your Pocket (1973)
Casey
Skyjacked (1972)
Senator Arne Lindner
The Screaming Woman (1972)
Rascal (1969)
Voice of Sterling North
Funny Girl (1968)
Florenz Ziegfeld
Warning Shot (1967)
Orville Ames
How I Spent My Summer Vacation (1967)
Lewis Gannet
Two Colonels (1966)
Col. Timothy Henderson
Big Red (1962)
James Haggin
Advise & Consent (1962)
Sen. Bob Munson
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961)
Adm. Harriman Nelson
Forbidden Planet (1956)
Dr. [Edward] Morbius
These Wilder Years (1956)
James Rayburn
The Rack (1956)
Col. Edward W. Hall, Sr.
The Glass Slipper (1955)
Narrator
Hit the Deck (1955)
Rear Adm. Daniel Xavier Smith
Deep in My Heart (1954)
J. J. Shubert
Executive Suite (1954)
Frederick Y. Alderson
The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954)
James Ellswirth
Men of the Fighting Lady (1954)
Comdr. Kent Dowling
Dream Wife (1953)
Walter McBride
Scandal at Scourie (1953)
Patrick J. McChesney
The Bad and the Beautiful (1953)
Harry Pebbel
The Sellout (1952)
Haven D. Allridge
Million Dollar Mermaid (1952)
Frederick Kellerman
The Unknown Man (1951)
Dwight Bradley Mason
Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951)
Capt. Hugh "Bulldog" Drummond, also known as Joe Crandall
Soldiers Three (1951)
Colonel Brunswick
Quo Vadis (1951)
Narrated by
The Miniver Story (1950)
Clem Miniver
Command Decision (1949)
Major General Roland Goodlow Kane
The Red Danube (1949)
Col. Michael "Hooky" Nicobar
That Forsyte Woman (1949)
Young Jolyon Forsyte
Julia Misbehaves (1948)
William Sylvester Packett
If Winter Comes (1948)
Mark Sabre
Cass Timberlane (1948)
Himself
The Secret Heart (1946)
Chris Matthews
Holiday in Mexico (1946)
Jeffrey Evans
Week-End at the Waldorf (1945)
Chip Collyer, the war correspondent
Mrs. Parkington (1944)
Major Augustus Parkington
Madame Curie (1944)
Dr. Pierre Curie
The Youngest Profession (1943)
White Cargo (1942)
Harry Witzel
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Clem Miniver
Blossoms in the Dust (1941)
Sam Gladney
Design for Scandal (1941)
Jeff Sherman
Man Hunt (1941)
Captain [Alan] Thorndike
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Mr. Gruffydd
Sky Murder (1940)
Nick Carter
Phantom Raiders (1940)
Nick Carter
Flight Command (1940)
Squadron Comdr. Bill Gary
It's a Date (1940)
John Arlen
Dark Command (1940)
William Cantrell
The House Across the Bay (1940)
Tim [Nolan]
Stronger Than Desire (1939)
Tyler Flagg
6,000 Enemies (1939)
Steve Donegan
Nick Carter, Master Detective (1939)
Nick Carter [also known as] Robert Chalmers
Society Lawyer (1939)
Christopher Durant
Too Hot to Handle (1938)
Bill Dennis
The Girl of the Golden West (1938)
Jack Rance
The Shopworn Angel (1938)
Sam Bailey
Man-Proof (1938)
Alan Whyte
Listen, Darling (1938)
Richard Thurlow
A Girl with Ideas (1937)
"Mickey" McGuire
Girl Overboard (1937)
Paul Stacey
She's Dangerous (1937)
Doctor [Scott] Logan
My Dear Miss Aldrich (1937)
Ken Morley
As Good As Married (1937)
Fraser James
Saratoga (1937)
Hartley Madison
Fatal Lady (1936)
David Roberts
Big Brown Eyes (1936)
Richard Morey
Journal of a Crime (1934)
Baritone
The Kiss Before the Mirror (1933)
Lucy's lover
Rockabye (1932)
[Commissioner] Al Howard
Viennese Nights (1931)
Franz
The Hot Heiress (1931)
Clay
Kiss Me Again (1931)
Paul de St. Cyr
Going Wild (1930)
Ace Benton
Bride of the Regiment (1930)
Colonel Vultow
Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930)
Lord Verney
The Gorilla (1930)
Arthur Marsden
Her Private Life (1929)
Ned Thayer
A Most Immoral Lady (1929)
Tony Williams
The Voice Within (1929)
Turn Back the Hours (1928)
Phillip Drake
The Gateway of the Moon (1928)
Arthur Wyatt
Clothes Make the Woman (1928)
Victor Trent
Melody of Love (1928)
Jack Clark
Woman Wise (1928)
The U. S. Consul
The Gorilla (1927)
Stevens
The Girl From Rio (1927)
Paul Sinclair
The Heart of Salome (1927)
Monte Carroll
The Thirteenth Juror (1927)
Richard Marsden
Mannequin (1926)
Martin Innesbrook
Miss Nobody (1926)
Bravo
Old Loves and New (1926)
Clyde Lord Geradine
The Outsider (1926)
Basil Owen
"Marriage License?" (1926)
Paul

Cast (Special)

The Swiss Family Robinson (1958)

Cast (Short)

The Lion Roars Again (1975)
Himself
Just One More Time (1974)
Himself
That's Entertainment! (Gala Premiere) (1974)
Himself
The Management of Metro Twin Drive-in, Chullora, is proud to introduce Mr. Walter Pidgeon (1955)
Himself
THE HOAXSTERS (1952)
Narrator
Screen Actors (1950)
Himself
An Intimate Dinner in Celebration of Warner Bros. Silver Jubilee (1930)
Himself

Life Events

1916

Dropped out of college and enlisted in the Canadian Field Artillery

1921

Toured with the Boston Light Opera Company; spotted by singer Elsie Janis who hired him

1925

Appeared in support of Janis on Broadway in "Puzzles of 1925"

1926

Feature acting debut in silent film, "Mannequin"

1930

First acting role in a musical talkie, where he used his baritone singing voice, "Viennese Nights"

1941

Distinguished himself with starring roles in John Ford's "How Green Was My Valley" and Fritz Lang's "Man Hunt", both released in the same year

1941

First film starring opposite Greer Garson, "Blossoms in the Dust"

1942

Earned first Best Actor Oscar nomination for his co-starring role opposite Garson in "Mrs. Miniver"

1943

Starred as Pierre Curie to Garson's "Madame Curie"; received second Best Actor Academy Award nomination

1953

Last of eight co-starring vehicles opposite Garson, "Scandal at Scourie"

1954

Co-starred in the all-star production of "Executive Suite"

1955

Hosted MGM's first TV series, "M-G-M Parade", an ABC variety series

1956

Appeared as Dr. Morbius in "Forbidden Planet"

1958

Starred as the father in "The Swiss Family Robinson", an NBC adventure special

1961

Cast as the submarine's admiral in "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"

1962

Had role as the US Senate Majority Leader in "Advise and Consent"

1965

Played the King in the CBS TV remake of "Cinderella", with a score by Rodgers and Hammerstein

1968

Portrayed Florenz Ziegfeld in the movie musical "Funny Girl"

1976

Last TV-movie, "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case"; portrayed the judge

1978

Made final feature appearance in "Sextette"

Photo Collections

Design for Scandal - Movie Poster
Design for Scandal - Movie Poster
Executive Suite - Group Publicity Stills
Here is a series of publicity stills taken of the all-star cast of Executive Suite (1954). Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Flight Command - Publicity Stills
Here are some stills taken to help publicize MGM's Flight Command (1940), starring Robert Taylor, Ruth Hussey, and Walter Pidgeon. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Command Decision - Publicity Stills
Here are a few stills taken to help publicize MGM's Command Decision (1948), starring Clark Gable, Van Johnson, and Walter Pidgeon. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
Battleground - Behind-the-Scenes Stills
Here are a number of photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's Battleground (1949), directed by William Wellman and starring Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, James Whitmore, George Murphy, and many others.
That Forsyte Woman - Scene Stills
Here are several scene stills from MGM's That Forsyte Woman (1949), starring Greer Garson, Errol Flynn, and Robert Young.
The Miniver Story - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Here are several photos taken behind-the-scenes during production of MGM's The Miniver Story (1950), starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
Madame Curie - Scene Still
Here is a scene still from MGM's biopic Madame Curie (1944), starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
Mrs. Miniver - Kapralik Trade Ad
Here is a trade ad for MGM's Mrs. Miniver (1942), starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. The art is by mixed-media caricaturist Jaques Kapralik. Trade Ads were placed by studios in industry magazines like Variety and The Hollywood Reporter.
Mrs. Miniver - Movie Posters
Here are a few original release American movie posters from Mrs. Miniver (1942), starring Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon.
White Cargo - Movie Poster
Here is the American One-Sheet Movie Poster for MGM's White Cargo (1942), starring Hedy Lamarr. One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Forbidden Planet - Lobby Card Set
Here is a set of Lobby Cards from Forbidden Planet (1956). 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.
The Last Time I Saw Paris - Publicity Stills
Here are a few Publicity Stills from MGM's The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Van Johnson, and Walter Pidgeon. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
The House Across the Bay - Scene Stills
Here are some scene stills from Walter Wanger's The House Across the Bay (1940), starring George Raft, Joan Bennett, Lloyd Nolan, and Walter Pidgeon.
Men of the Fighting Lady - Publicity Stills
Here are a few publicity stills from MGM's Men of the Fighting Lady (1954), starring Van Johnson. Publicity stills were specially-posed photos, usually taken off the set, for purposes of publicity or reference for promotional artwork.
These Wilder Years - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for These Wilder Years (1956). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Executive Suite - Movie Poster
Here is the American one-sheet movie poster for Executive Suite (1954). One-sheets measured 27x41 inches, and were the poster style most commonly used in theaters.
Forbidden Planet Novelization
These are images from the 1956 Bantam Books novelization of the MGM film Forbidden Planet by W.J. Stuart.
Final Draft Screenplay for The Forbidden Planet (1956)
These are the first few pages of a "complete" or final draft of the screenplay for the 1956 MGM sci-fi film "The Forbidden Planet," dated March 10th, 1955. This script was likely a near final shooting script for the film.

Videos

Movie Clip

Red Danube, The (1949) - At The Gondola In Ten MInutes Smooth MGM introduction of flashy supporting players, Melville Cooper, Angela Lansbury and Peter Lawford, as British military staffers in post WWII Rome, opening the big budget political-romance The Red Danube, 1949, starring Janet Leigh, Walter Pidgeon and Ethel Barrymore.
Red Danube, The (1949) - We Have Our Lord Just arrived in Vienna where they’ll be sorting Russian refugees, Brits Nicobar (Walter Pidgeon), McPhinister (Peter Lawford) and Quail (Angela Lansbury) meet their hostess, the Mother Superior (Ethel Barrymore), and top-billed Janet Leigh makes her first appearance, in The Red Danube, 1949.
Glass Slipper, The (1955) - Goodbye, Cinder Ella! The narrator sounds like Walter Pidgeon because he is, opening the MGM Leslie Caron vehicle, derived from the first published version of Cinderella (1697, by Charles Perrault, Cendrillon ou la petite pantoufle de verre), directed by Charles Walters, music by Bronislau Kaper, dance by Roland Petit for Ballet de Paris, The Glass Slipper, 1955, also starring Michael Wilding.
Honeymoon (1947) - The Walter Pidgeon Type American consul David (Franchot Tone) brought stranded bride Barbara (Shirley Temple) to a Mexico City club for a meal, as she tries to locate her soldier fiancé Phil, but she’s up for dancing too, which worries his future father-in-law (Julio Villareal), in Honeymoon, 1947.
Rack, The (1956) - I Didn't Want You To See Me Like This First direct meeting between Anne Francis as widowed sister-in-law Aggie, Walter Pidgeon as career-military dad Col. Hall Sr. and Paul Newman as Korean War POW Capt. Hall, on the day of his return to California, so traumatized he forgets his brother was Killed In Action, in The Rack, 1956, from a Rod Serling teleplay.
Rack, The (1956) - He Was Killed Over There Opening, with Walter Pidgeon and Anne Francis, not long after they appeared as father and daughter in Forbidden Planet, also for MGM, they’re war-widow and father-in-law, not quite greeting POW Paul Newman, returning from Korea, in The Rack, 1956, from a Rod Serling teleplay.
Quo Vadis (1951) - Appian Way Who better than MGM stalwart Walter Pidgeon to narrate, the opening scenes detailing the grandeur and moment of Quo Vadis, 1951, starring Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr and Peter Ustinov.
Advise & Consent (1962) - A Vice President Shouldn't Ask First scene for Washington hostess Dolly (Gene Tierney), joining senator Munson (Walter Pidgeon), who's managing a nomination fight, making time for anxious colleague Van Ackerman (George Grizzard), and visiting the timid Vice President (Lew Ayres), in Otto Preminger's Advise & Consent, 1962.
Julia Misbehaves (1948) - Agamemnon Beating Circe Unveiling the affluent Packett household in France, Walter Pidgeon whom we surmise is the estranged but not unfriendly husband of the title character (Greer Garson, not seen here), Elizabeth Taylor the daughter, whose wedding she’s been unexpectedly invited to, Peter Lawford a hired artist, and Lucile Watson the grandmother, in MGM’s Julia Misbehaves, 1948.
Julia Misbehaves (1948) - My Wonderful One At the wedding rehearsal for Susan (Elizabeth Taylor), artist Ritchie (Peter Lawford) intruding, re-united parents Julia (Greer Garson)and William (Walter Pidgeon) remember their wedding with a song, in Julia Misbehaves, 1948.
Julia Misbehaves (1948) - Well Get Out Of The Nude! Opening and introducing Greer Garson as the London showgirl title character, craftily manipulating her manager Benjy (Reginald Owen) through her friend Louise (Veda Ann Borg), Jack Conway directing, from a Margery Sharp novel, co-starring Walter Pidgeon, Elizabeth Taylor and Peter Lawford, in Julia Misbehaves, 1948.
Phantom Raiders (1940) - Ten Thousand Bags Of Sand Joining the complex opening scene, in Panama, where master crook Taurez (Joseph Schildkraut) manipulates goon Gunboat (Nat Pendleton) framed shipping exec Morris (Cecil Kellaway), and would-be-hero undercover cop Steve (John Burton), in the MGM Nick Carter serial Phantom Raiders, 1940, starring Walter Pidgeon.

Trailer

White Cargo - (Original Trailer) Hedy Lamarr plays Tondelayo, driving the manager of an African plantation (Richard Carlson) out of his mind with lust in White Cargo (1942).
Going Wild - (Original Trailer) A lovesick fool pretends to be an ace flyer in Going Wild (1930).
Deep in My Heart -- (Original Trailer) Jose Ferrer stars in Deep in My Heart (1954), MGM's all-star biography of Broadway songsmith Sigmund Romberg.
Cass Timberlane - (Original Trailer) An aging judge creates a scandal when he marries a younger woman from the wrong side of the tracks in Cass Timberlane (1947) starring Spencer Tracy and Lana Turner.
Flight Command - (Original Trailer) Walter Pidgeon introduces himself as Commander Gary, also the host of the original theatrical trailer for MGM's Flight Command, 1940, starring Robert Taylor and Ruth Hussey, directed by Frank Borzage.
6000 Enemies - (Original Trailer) A prison riot traps an innocent couple (Walter Pidgeon, Rita Johnson).
Quo Vadis (1951) - (Original Trailer) A Roman commander falls for a Christian slave girl as Nero intensifies persecution of the new religion in Quo Vadis (1951) starring Robert Taylor.
Forbidden Planet - (Original Trailer) A group of space troopers investigates the destruction of an earth colony on a remote planet in Forbidden Planet (1956), the sci-fi thriller that introduced Robby the Robot.
Shopworn Angel, The - (Original Trailer) A showgirl (Margaret Sullavan) gives up life in the fast line for a young soldier (James Stewart) on his way to fight World War I in The Shopworn Angel (1938).
How Green Was My Valley - (Re-issue Trailer) Five Oscars®, including Best Picture and Director, went to John Ford's portrait of a Welsh mining town, How Green Was My Valley (1941).
Last Time I Saw Paris, The - (Original Trailer) A writer recalls his turbulent marriage to an expatriate heiress in The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), starring Elizabeth Taylor.
If Winter Comes - (Original Trailer) Scandal results when a well-meaning man (Walter Pidgeon) takes in a pregnant girl (Janet Leigh) in If Winter Comes (1947).

Family

Hannah Pidgeon
Mother
Moved in with son following wife Muriel's death; lived with him until her death at age 94 in 1964.
Edna Pidgeon
Daughter
Born on October 26, 1926.

Companions

Muriel Pidgeon
Wife
Actor, salesgirl. Married in Boston c. 1917; died in childbirth on October 26, 1926.
Ruth Walker
Wife
Married from 1931 until his death.

Bibliography