Thursday, July 9, 2015

In Memory of Charles Lane

This fine young man is Charles Lane. In It's a Wonderful Life, He played Reineman, Potter's rent collector who threatened to go work for George Bailey. You know....squirrels, buttercups, daisies.

Lane spent 64 years as an actor, giving his last performance at the age of 90 in a TV movie called The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes. However, Internet Movie Database now shows that Lane will act as the narrator in a version of The Night Before Christmas. This will be a bit of an interesting, if not unsettling feat, considering Lane died 8 years ago today (July 9, 2007).

Lane was born Jan. 26, 1905, in San Francisco, CA. His first role was an uncredited one, playing the hotel desk clerk in a movie called Smart Money. IMDB lists him with 363 acting credits. Among those are 10 films directed by Frank Capra, including:
  • Broadway Bill (1934) (as Morgan's henchman)
  • Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
  • You Can't Take it With You (1938)
  • Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • State of the Union (1948)
  • Riding High (1950) (a remake of Broadway Bill, this time portraying Erickson)
  • Here Comes the Groom (1951)
I'm missing one. Hmmm......

In a letter to Lane, Capra wrote, "Well, Charlie, you've been my No. 1 crutch."

I have a newspaper clipping from around the time Charles Lane died. One of these days I will post it. But not today.

Today, instead, we salute Mr. Lane, the employee who was brave enough to tell his hard-hearted employer off in It's a Wonderful Life.

He died July 9, 2007 at age 102 in Santa Monica, CA. He is buried at Home of Peace Cemetery in Los Angeles, CA. If he were alive today, he would be 110.


Source: Wikipedia, IMDB, and Find a Grave

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