Jul 12, 2007

Charles Lane 1905-2007

Often, Charles Lane played the kind of characters that made you scowl: uptight, cranky, and certainly not the matinee idol you came to see. Despite all that, he would grow on you, partly because he showed up in so many movies and television programs (over 300) that he became "that one guy" from "that one movie". In a way, he would became somewhat more familiar and comfortable than the star of the moment.

Lane is perhaps most famous for his television bits. He had a memorable role as a unimpressed man in the maternity ward waiting room in the classic episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy goes into labor. He also made his mark as J. Homer Bedloe on Petticoat Junction. However, he did appear in many movies, including, It's a Wonderful Life, Twentieth Century, and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. Lane completed his final role, as a narrator for the holiday short The Night Before Christmas, in 2006 at the age of 101. He was 102 when he passed away on July 9.

The clip is from the Marx Brothers movie The Big Store. In it, Lane is in fine, grouchy, form.

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