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Old 07-10-2007, 05:07 PM   #1
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Unhappy Character Actor Charles Lane Dies at 102

SANTA MONICA, California: Charles Lane, the prolific character actor whose bespectacled face and crotchety persona made him instantly recognizable to generations of movie-goers, has died, his son said Tuesday. He was 102.

The actor's son, Tom Lane, said he was talking with his father Monday evening. "He was lying in bed with his eyes real wide open," the younger Lane said. "Then he closed his eyes and stopped breathing."

Lane, whose career spanned more than 60 years, appeared in such film classics as "It's a Wonderful Life," "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" and "Twentieth Century."

He also had a recurring role as the scheming railroad man, Homer Bedloe, on the 1960s TV sitcom "Petticoat Junction" and appeared often on television's "I Love Lucy."

His crisp, stage-trained voice and no-nonsense appearance made him a natural for playing authority figures. He was a judge in "God is My Partner," a prosecutor in "Call Northside 777," a priest in "Date With an Angel" and a member of Clark Gable's newspaper editorial board in "Teacher's Pet."

In 1934, Frank Capra, then on his rise to fame, cast Lane in a horse racing film, "Broadway Bill." Capra liked the actor's work so much he included him in nine more movies, including "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" and "You Can't Take It with You."


In Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," he was a rent collector who shocks his boss, the evil Lionel Barrymore character, by telling him that hero James Stewart's character is a good businessman.

One of Lane's most cherished possessions was a letter from the fabled director declaring, "Well, Charlie, you've been my No. 1 crutch."

Lane continued to act into his 90s, and when he accepted an award from cable television's TV Land channel in honor of his 100th birthday, he made a point of saying he was still available for work.

In the 1931 film "Manhattan Parade," shown last month on Turner Classic Movies, Lane could be glimpsed in one of the opening scenes, playing a desk clerk waiting on a customer. The brief, uncredited bit was one of his first film appearances.

He was especially fond of his role in the "I Love Lucy" episode in which Lucy Ricardo gave birth to her son, Little Ricky. Papa Ricky (Ball's real-life husband, Desi Arnaz) was all nerves while Lane, as a fellow expectant father, was the picture of calm.

"This old guy was expecting his 10th child or something, and this nervous young man was expecting his first," Lane recalled in 2005. "It was a marvelous scene, and Desi was a fine actor."

A widower with a son and daughter, Lane had no formula for his longevity, although he noted his mother lived to be nearly 100.

He was a lifelong teetotaler. But his son noted that his father smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 70 years, quitting only when he became short of breath.

"I know that smoking kills people, and I must be the exception," Lane said then.

Tom Lane said Tuesday there would be no funeral for his father.
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:39 PM   #2
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Wow, we were all just talking about him 2 weeks ago ...Farewell, thy nobel thespian, you shall be missed! ( bows )
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:51 PM   #3
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Oh my...I am so glad that I wrote to him just in time and got his autograph. What a sweet man, and a terrific character actor. I think I will buy a Hotchkiss dishy washy (Bewitched fans will understand the reference) in his honor. Mr. Lane, and thank you...
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Old 07-10-2007, 05:55 PM   #4
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Ver sad. He was a great actor....appearing in a lot of tv shows in the 1960's especially. R.I.P. Mr. Lane.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:06 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear that. I'll miss you Charles.
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:37 PM   #6
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He was a wonderful actor, he played the grouchy skinflint character to perfection.
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:05 PM   #7
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What a pro!

I'm not sure there was ever a time that I knew him by name, but he was so recognizable when you saw him... a totally unique actor, one of a kind.

RIP, Mr. Lane. And thanks for a lot of jobs well done
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:25 PM   #8
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God Bless him for living so long. He will be remembered and missed.



P.S. No funeral though? Seems strange (unless it was his wish).
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Old 07-10-2007, 07:38 PM   #9
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Charles Lane Next US TV Airings:
Wed. July 11 6:00 PM TVLAND Little House on the Prairie Welcome to Olesonville #9.3
Fri. July 13 2:00 AM TVLAND I Love Lucy Lucy Goes to the Hospital #2.16
Fri. July 13 11:30 AM TVLAND I Love Lucy Lucy Goes to the Hospital #2.16
Mon. July 16 6:00 AM AMC Johnny Apollo
Mon. July 16 11:30 AM TVLAND I Love Lucy The Business Manager #4.1
Tue. July 17 1:00 AM SCIFI The Twilight Zone Mr. Bevis #1.33

Plot summary for
The Night Before Christmas (2006)


GAB Entertainment is proud to announce completion of an all-new holiday short featuring veteran character actor Charles Lane ("It's A Wonderful Life") in his first performance of the 21st century. The eight-minute film Directed by George Ridjaneck features the artwork of Will Moses (great grandson of Grandma Moses) and an original score by Noa Lazarus. This special holiday treat was Produced by Garret A. Boyajian and Associate Produced by Jeff MacIntyre.
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:03 PM   #10
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Whenever I put in one of my classic TV show DVDs and see Charles Lane on the screen, my face just lights up (I've seen him in ILL, PJ, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, THE LUCY SHOW, GOMER PYLE, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, I believe THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW just off the top of my head... and the list goes on and on and on. A prolific actor who's magic was never fully recognized by Hollywood (I wish he could've had a few starring roles throughout his fifty-years-plus career). Rest in peace Mr. Lane, you are a fine actor and a kind soul, and may God bless you.
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Old 07-10-2007, 08:42 PM   #11
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I was just talking about him to my 13 year old son. He was the greatest. I was always a huge fan of his. What a great life...102 years old. He deserved it. I and every TV fan out there will miss him dearly.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:53 PM   #12
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R.I.P. Mr. Lane.

First time, I saw him on TV was a rerun of Soap. He played Judge Anthony Petrillo. He presided over the Peter Campbell Murder trial.

He was also on an episode of Family. He played Doug's father in the "Thursday's Child" episode.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:03 PM   #13
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R.I.P. Charles Lane.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TV DVD Fan
Whenever I put in one of my classic TV show DVDs and see Charles Lane on the screen, my face just lights up (I've seen him in ILL, PJ, THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES, THE LUCY SHOW, GOMER PYLE, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, I believe THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW just off the top of my head... and the list goes on and on and on. A prolific actor who's magic was never fully recognized by Hollywood (I wish he could've had a few starring roles throughout his fifty-years-plus career). Rest in peace Mr. Lane, you are a fine actor and a kind soul, and may God bless you.
He played Jane's landlord on The Beverly Hillbillies.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:22 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Summer Breeze
R.I.P. Mr. Lane.

First time, I saw him on TV was a rerun of Soap. He played Judge Anthony Petrillo. He presided over the Peter Campbell Murder trial.

He was also on an episode of Family. He played Doug's father in the "Thursday's Child" episode.
The episode of Family he guested on was from the first season, entitled "Thursday's Child Has Far To Go". That was when Elayne Heilveil was playing Nancy. Good episode, by the way.
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