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Clifton Webb

Best known for his Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Awards nominated for Laura (1944) and The Razor’s Edge (1946)

Clifton Webb

Filmography

1917      

National Red Cross Pageant

 

1920      

Polly With A Past

 

1924      

Let Not Man Put Asunder

 

1925      

New Toys

The Heart of a Siren

 

1930      

The Still Alarm

 

1944      

Laura

 

1946      

The Dark Corner

The Razor’s Edge

 

1948      

Sitting Pretty

 

 

1949      

Mr. Belvedere Goes to College

 

1950      

Cheaper by the Dozen

For Heaven’s Sake

 

1951      

Mr. Belvedere Rings the Bell

Elopement

 

1952      

Belles on Their Toes

Dreamboat

Stars and Stripes Forever

 

1953      

Titanic

Mr. Scoutmaster

 

1954      

Three Coins in the Fountain

Woman’s World

 

1956      

The Man Who Never Was

 

1957      

Boy on a Dolphin

 

1959      

The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker

Holiday for Lovers

 

1962      

Satan Never Sleeps

Awards

Clifton Webb was nominated for two Best Actor in a Supporting Role Academy Awards for Laura (1944) and The Razor’s Edge (1946).

He was nominated for one Best Actor in a Leading Role Academy Awards for Sitting Pretty (1948).

Clifton Webb was born Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck in Indianapolis, Indiana. He was the only child of Jacob Grant Hollenbeck (1867 – May 2, 1939), the ticket-clerk son of a grocer from an Indiana farming family, and his wife, the former Mabel A. Parmelee (Parmalee or Parmallee; March 24, 1869 – October 17, 1960).

In 1892, Webb’s mother, now called “Mabelle”, moved to New York City with her beloved “little Webb”, as she called him for the remainder of her life. She dismissed questions about her husband, Jacob, who like her father, worked for the Indianapolis-St. Louis Railroad, by saying, “We never speak of him. He didn’t care for the theatre.” The couple apparently divorced, since by 1900, Mabelle was married to Green B. Raum, Jr.

By the age of 19, using the name Clifton Webb, he had become a professional ballroom dancer, often partnering “exceedingly decorative” star dancer Bonnie Glass (she eventually replaced him with Rudolph Valentino), and performed in about two dozen operettas before debuting on Broadway as Bosco in The Purple Road, which opened at the Liberty Theatre on April 7, 1913.

Webb’s mainstay was the Broadway theatre. Between 1913 and 1947, the tall and slender performer who sang in a clear, gentle tenor, appeared in 23 Broadway shows, starting with major supporting roles and quickly progressing to leads.

Webb appeared with other Broadway stars in National Red Cross Pageant (1917), a 50-minute film of a stage production held to benefit the American Red Cross.

In 1925, Webb appeared on stage in a dance act with vaudeville star and silent film actress Mary Hay. Later that year, when her husband, Tol’able David star Richard Barthelmess and she decided to produce and star in New Toys, they chose Webb to be second lead. The film proved to be financially successful, but 19 more years passed before Webb appeared in another feature film.

Webb was in his mid-fifties when actor/director Otto Preminger chose him over the objections of 20th Century Fox chief Darryl F. Zanuck to play the elegant but evil radio co