Sunday, May 6, 2007

Nat Pendleton

Nat Pendleton (1895-1967) is the latest addition to my Dead Celebrity Boyfriend Club (DCBC). I found out about him earlier this year while watching The Thin Man series where he plays Lieutenant John Guild. He seems to be typecast as a tough guy, boxer, cop, street wise thug... characters of a brawny nature. His build and flawless Brooklyn accent make him perfect for saying things like "Hiya, Muggsy!", "Oh yah? What's it to ya!", "Listen, you!" and "Why I oughta..."

Nat was raised in New York and had a career as a professional wrestler, even competing in the 1920 summer Olympics, before he found his way to Hollywood in 1927. His early roles were mostly uncredited and really didn't get much exposure until he played opposite the Marx Brothers in Horse Feathers (1932). His 40 year acting career also included the Thin Man series, The Great Ziegfeld and the Dr. Kildare series.

In the movies, I love these average joe types who like dames, booze and a scuffle now and then. Sometimes they're a bit dim, and are charming when the ocassion calls for it. They call each other "pal" and even though they are a little rough around the collar, turn to mush when they see a baby kitten or get flustered when they talk to a pretty girl~ then they get mad when you call 'em a softy and threaten to flatten you if you don't let up. Check the horse track, pool hall or local speakeasy and there they'll be. Nat is perfect in these roles! Of course, they are always dressed in a suit and hat. I think that makes these characters more endearing. Put a classic wise guy in a suit and I'm done for!


VP81955 said...

Check out Nat Pendleton in "The Gay Bride" (1934), starring Carole Lombard; it's not much of a film, but he's charmingly amusing. (And no, Carole doesn't play a participant in a lesbian wedding -- the movie is sort of a thirties version of "Married To The Mob.")

And speaking of Lombard, let me put in a plug for my new LiveJournal community, "Carole & Co.":

Katie said...

Thanks~ I'll have to check it out. Great LJ, too!

Lucinda said...

Oh my gosh! I saw The Penthouse last night, and Nat absolutely stole my heart away! He was such a lovely man!

dearjayne said...

Hi Katie,

Thank you for writing about my Uncle Nat! He would appreciate that you have remembered him kindly.


Katie said...

Hi Jayne, thanks for commenting. If you have any more information, I'd love to hear more!