Clifton Webb .com


The Journey Of A Genius

By a Great Writer

I must say that some internet recognition for the many splendid talents of one Mr. Clifton Webb, the very brilliant actor, is certainly long past overdue. A fitting case of Webb on the web, as it were. Well, better late than never, I suppose.

Be that as it may, let us briefly examine the background of this thrilling thespian, which led to a sterling career that filled most other performers with both marvel and envy.

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 11, 1889, Clifton had already mastered the arts of dance and theater by the tender age of 13. He quit school to explore the other artistic fields of music and painting. At 17, he was singing with the Boston Opera Company. By 19 he was a professional ballroom dancer in New York, and just a few short years later he was performing in both musicals and dramas on Broadway and in London.

Clifton later created the role of Charles Condomine in Noel Coward's popular play "Blithe Spirit" on both the London and New York stages. An interesting and beguiling conversationalist, this fine public speaker would also have been ideal for talking pictures, except for the fact that they had not yet been invented. However, not wishing to deprive the world of his onscreen acting skills, Clifton donated his time to silent films until the "talkies" arrived in full bloom.

Perhaps his largest early success came in the 1944 role of theater critic Waldo Lydecker in Laura, followed by the 1946 part of Elliott Templeton in The Razor's Edge - both of which deservedly won him Academy Award nominations.

Of course, the actual Oscars were given to more inferior actors, who badly needed the encouragement gained from winning such tawdry tin cups. Clifton, quite naturally, was far above all that.

His personality has affected other creators, as well. For instance, he is acknowledged as the inspiration for the character of Mr. Peabody on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, a fan favorite cartoon series which began in 1961 and continued for several seasons.

Clifton's marvelous 1948 portrayel of Lynn Belvedere in Sitting Pretty was so well-received by a very wise movie-going public that it became a trilogy of films. Even long after his passing, a 1980s TV series version (Mr. Belvedere) emerged, which ran for several years.

Copyright © 1953 20th Century Fox

Speaking of the long term effects of his unmistakable aura, the 1997 success of the remake of Titanic also created a revival of interest in Clifton's far superior 1953 version.

Sadly, in Beverly Hills, California on October 13,1966, this virtuoso actor succumbed to a heart attack. His physical form is presently interred at Abbey of the Psalms, Hollywood Memorial Cemetery (aka Hollywood Forever).

However, his indomnable spirit is now online and very much alive and well.


Satan Never Sleeps (1962)
Holiday For Lovers (1959)
The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (1959)
Boy 0n A Dolphin (1957) (BD)
The Man Who Never Was (1956)
Woman's World (1954)
Three Coins In The Fountain (1954)
Mister Scoutmaster (1953)
Titanic (1953)(BD)
Stars And Stripes Forever (1952)(BD)
Dreamboat (1952)
Elopement (1951)
Mr. Belvedere Rings The Bell (1951)
For Heaven's Sake (1950)
Cheaper By The Dozen (1950)
Mr. Belvedere Goes To College (1949)
Sitting Pretty (1948)
The Razor's Edge (1946)
The Dark Corner (1946)
Laura (1944)
The Still Alarm (1930)

Relevant Reading:

Laura (Femmes Fatales: Women Write Pulp)

By Vera Caspary (2005)

A video mini-bio of a mega-talent!
Clifton Webb On The Internet Movie Data Base

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