Oscar Actors: Gwenn, Edmund

Born September 26, 1875 in Glamoragan, Wales; he died in 1959.

A veteran of the stage, he appeared in numerous West End productions from the early 1900s and was a personal favorite of Shaw. He later also appeared many times on Broadway. He made his' screen debut in England back in 1916, but his film career really took shape in Hollywood in the 1940s, when he developed into one of the American screen's most popular character actors. He typically played benevolent elders, often with a mischievous twinkle in the eye.

Gwenn won an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for “The Miracle on 34th Street” (1947), in which he played a Macy's Santa Claus.

He also was memorable as a wellmeaning forger in “Mister 880” (1950), for which he received a second Supporting Oscar nomination, and as the Captain in Hitchcock's “The Trouble with Harry” (1955).

Oscar Alert

In 1947, Gwenn won the Supporting Actor Oscar in a race that included Charles Bickford in “The Farmer's Daughter,” Thomas Gomez in “Ride the Pink Horse,” Robert Ryan in “Crossfire,” and Richard Widmark in “Kiss of Death.”

In 1950, Gwenn lost the Supporting Actor Oscar to George Sanders for “All About Eve,” in a competition that included Jeff Chandler in “Broken Arrow,” Same Jaffe in “The Asphalt Jungle,” and Erich von Stroheim in “Sunset Boulevard.”