Birth Date: November 16, 1907
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio
Notable Films: Rocky, Rocky II, Harm’s Way, The Day of the Locust
Awards: Academy Award (Best Actor in a Supporting Role | Rocky)
Burgess Meredith Biography:
Legendary actor Burgess Meredith was born in Ohio in 1907. After graduating from high school in 1926, he attended Amherst College for a while. Upon leaving college, he worked as a reporter for a bit, and then joined the United States Army Air Forces. He served in World War II and even reached the rank of Captain. In 1943 his love of acting was further cemented when he appeared in a training film for the US Army. He was discharged a year later to play a part in the film The Story of G.I. Joe (1945).
Both pre and post-war, Meredith played a number of roles on the stage. Most notably, he garnered critical recognition for his role in The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Liliom, and Major Barbara. His transition to screen happened with The Story of G.I. Joe, as well as Of Mice and Men (1939). He developed a strong working relationship with director Otto Preminger, who cast him in movies including In Harm’s Way (1965), and Hurry Sundown (1967).
Meredith was quickly receiving recognition as a great actor, and the ‘70s would bring greater success and acclaim. In 1975, Meredith took the role of Harry Greene in The Day of the Locust (1975), a performance which earned him BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Academy Award nominations. The following year he took the role as grizzled trainer Mickey in Rocky (1976), for which he received another Oscar nomination.
In addition to a prolific film career, Meredith also had a lot of success in the world of television. He is perhaps best-known on the small screen for his role as The Penguin in the original Batman series. Additionally, he had roles in Rawhide and The Twilight Zone. His final appearance was in the film Grumpier Old Men (1995) before his death in 1997.