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Melvyn Douglas Snapshot

First Name

Last Name



Zodiac Sign



Film Role
Actor/Actress, Soundtrack

Has Detailed Data (New)

Ronald Reagan


Wikipedia Text

Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg (April 5, 1901 – August 4, 1981), better known as Melvyn Douglas, was an American actor.


Full Name at Birth
Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg

Macon, Georgia, USA

Occupation Text

Claim to Fame
The Changeling



Place of Death
New York City, New York, USA

Middle Name

Profile Bio Text
Family Members Parents Photo Edouard Gregory Hesselberg 1870–1935 Lena Priscilla Shackelford Hesselberg 1869–1961 Spouse Photo Helen Mary Gahagan Douglas 1900–1980 (m. 1931) Father: Edouard G. Douglas Mother: Lena Shackelford Wife: Helen Gahagan (actress, politician, m. 5-Apr-1931, d. 28-Jun-1980, two sons, one daughter) Son: Gregory Douglas (father of Illeana Douglas, b. 1920) Son: Peter Gahagan (b. 1933) Daughter: Mary Helen (b. 1938) Actor (114 credits) Soundtrack (7 credits) Thanks (1 credit) Self (22 credits) Archive footage (20 credits) ***Broadway*** Spofford [Play, Comedy, Original] Starring: Melvyn Douglas [Spofford] Dec 14, 1967 - Jun 08, 1968 The Best Man [Play, Original] Starring: Melvyn Douglas [William Russell] Mar 31, 1960 - Jul 08, 1961 The Gang's All Here [Play, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Griffith P. Hastings] Oct 01, 1959 - Jan 23, 1960 Juno [Musical, Comedy, Original] Starring: Melvyn Douglas ["Captain" Jack Boyle] Mar 09, 1959 - Mar 21, 1959 The Waltz of the Toreadors [Play, Comedy, Revival] Starring: Melvyn Douglas [General St. Pé] Mar 04, 1958 - Mar 29, 1958 Inherit the Wind [Play, Drama, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas Henry Drummond - Replacement (Sep 1955 - Nov 30, 1955) Apr 21, 1955 - Jun 22, 1957 Time Out for Ginger [Play, Comedy, Original] Starring: Melvyn Douglas [Howard Carol] Nov 26, 1952 - Jun 27, 1953 Glad Tidings [Play, Comedy, Original] Directed by Melvyn Douglas Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Steve Whitney] Oct 11, 1951 - Jan 05, 1952 The Little Blue Light [Play, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Frank] Apr 29, 1951 - May 12, 1951 The Bird Cage [Play, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Wally Williams] Feb 22, 1950 - Mar 11, 1950 Two Blind Mice [Play, Comedy, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Tommy Thurston] Mar 02, 1949 - Jul 16, 1949 Call Me Mister [Musical, Revue, Original] Produced by Melvyn Douglas Apr 18, 1946 - Jan 10, 1948 Tapestry in Gray [Play, Drama, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Erik Nordgren] Dec 27, 1935 - Jan 1936 De Luxe [Play, Drama, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Pat Dantry] Mar 05, 1935 - Mar 1935 Mother Lode [Play, Drama, Original] Staged by Melvyn Douglas Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Carey Ried] Dec 22, 1934 - Dec 29, 1934 Within the Gates [Play, Drama, Original] Staged by Melvyn Douglas Oct 22, 1934 - Feb 1935 No More Ladies [Play, Comedy, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Sheridan Warren] Sep 03, 1934 - Sep 1934 Moor Born [Play, Drama, Original] Staged by Melvyn Douglas Apr 03, 1934 - May 1934 No More Ladies [Play, Comedy, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Sheridan Warren] Jan 23, 1934 - Jun 09, 1934 Tonight or Never [Play, Comedy, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [The Unknown Gentleman] Nov 18, 1930 - Jun 1931 Recapture [Play, Drama, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Henry C. Martin] Jan 29, 1930 - Feb 1930 Now-a-Days [Play, Drama, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Boyd Butler] Aug 05, 1929 - Aug 1929 Back Here [Play, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Sergeant "Terry" O'Brien] Nov 26, 1928 - Dec 1928 A Free Soul [Play, Original] Performer: Melvyn Douglas [Ace Wilfong] Jan 12, 1928 - Apr 1928

Cause of Death
Pneumonia And Cardiac Complications

Edouard Gregory Hesselberg

Lena Priscilla Shackelford

Year(s) Active

Wiki Bio Text
==Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg== (April 5, 1901 – August 4, 1981), better known as [[Melvyn Douglas]], was an American actor. ===Douglas=== came to prominence in the 1930s as a suave leading man, perhaps best typified by his performance in the 1939 romantic comedy Ninotchka with Greta Garbo. Douglas later played mature and fatherly characters, as in his Academy Award-winning performances in Hud (1963) and Being There (1979) and his Academy Award-nominated performance in I Never Sang for My Father (1970). ===Personal life=== ===Douglas was married=== briefly to artist Rosalind Hightower, and they had one child, (Melvyn) Gregory Hesselberg, in 1926. Hesselberg, an artist, is the father of actress Illeana Douglas. ===In 1931,=== Douglas married actress-turned-politician Helen Gahagan. They traveled to Europe that same year, and "were horrified by French and German anti-Semitism". As a result, they became outspoken anti-Fascists, supporting the Democratic Party and Roosevelt's re-election. Gahagan, as a three-term Congresswoman, was later Richard Nixon's opponent for the United States Senate seat from California in 1950. ===Nixon accused Gahagan=== of being soft on Communism because of her opposition to the House Un-American Activities Committee. Nixon went so far as to call her "pink right down to her underwear". It was Gahagan who popularized Nixon's epithet "Tricky Dick". ===Douglas and Gahagan=== had two children: Peter Gahagan Douglas (1933) and Mary Helen Douglas (1938). The couple remained married until Helen Gahagan Douglas' death in 1980 from cancer. Melvyn Douglas died a year later, in 1981, aged 80, from pneumonia and cardiac complications in New York City. ==Melvyn Douglas== Actor - American actor [[Melvyn Douglas]] began his stage career shortly after being mustered out of World War I Army service. Douglas secured a position with the Owens Repertory Company, making his debut in a production of Merchant of Venice. He spent the first part of the 1920s touring with Owens Repertory and with the Jessie Bonstelle Company, reaching Broadway in the 1928 drama A Free Soul. Brought to Hollywood in the early talkie "gold rush" for stage-trained actors, Douglas made his film bow in 1931's Tonight or Never. With The Old Dark House (1932), the actor established his standard screen character: a charming, blase young socialite who could exhibit great courage and loyalty when those attributes were called upon. After a brief return to Broadway in 1933, Douglas returned to films in 1935, signing a joint contract with Columbia and MGM. Most often appearing in sophisticated comedies, Douglas was one of the busiest stars in Hollywood, playing in as many as eight films per year. One of the actor's better roles was a supporting one: as Cary Grant's beleaguered lawyer and business adviser in Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1947), who spends most of the film trying to keep Grant from spending himself into bankruptcy. Douglas found movie roles scarce in the early 1950s thanks to the "Red Scare." The actor was married to Congresswoman Helen Gahagan, the woman labeled by Richard Nixon as the "pink lady" friendly to communism. The more rabid anti-communists in Washington went after Douglas himself, suggesting that because he was Jewish and had changed his name for professional reasons, he was automatically politically suspect. Douglas began recovering his career with a 1950s detective program, Hollywood Off-Beat - ironically playing a disbarred lawyer trying to regain his reputation. He headed back to Broadway, gaining high critical praise for his "emergence" as a topnotch character actor (his prior stage and film credits were virtually ignored). Some of Douglas' stage triumphs included Inherit the Wind (replacing Paul Muni in the Clarence Darrow part) and The Best Man (which had a character based on Richard Nixon) Douglas' long-overdue Academy Award was bestowed upon the actor for his role as Paul Newman's dying father in Hud (1963); other highlights of Douglas' final Hollywood days included I Never Sang for My Father (1971) and Being There (1979), the latter film winning the actor his second Oscar. Melvyn Douglas died at age 80, just before the release of his final film, Ghost Story (1981). Biography by Hal Erickson [-] http://www.allmovie.com/artist/melvyn-douglas-p19878 Melvyn Douglas Actor - ===Born=== April 5, 1901 in Macon, Georgia, USA ===Died=== August 4, 1981 in New York City, New York, USA (pneumonia and cardiac complications) ===Birth Name=== Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg ===Height=== 6' 1½" (1.87 m) ===Mini Bio (1)=== Two-time Oscar-winner Melvyn Douglas was one of America's finest actors. In addition to his two Oscars, he also won a Tony Award and an Emmy. Douglas would enjoy cinema immortality if for no other reason than his being the man who made Greta Garbo laugh in Ernst Lubitsch's classic comedy Ninotchka (1939), but he was much, much more. ===Melvyn Douglas=== was born Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg on April 5, 1901, in Macon, Georgia. His father, Edouard Gregory Hesselberg, a noted concert pianist and composer, was a Latvian Jewish emigrant, from Riga. His mother, Lena Priscilla (Shackelford), from Clark Furnace, Tennessee, was from a family with deep roots in the United States, and the daughter of Col. George Taliaferro Shackelford. Melvyn's father supported his family by teaching music at university-based conservatories. Melvyn dropped out of high school to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. ===He made his Broadway debut=== in the drama "A Free Soul " at the Playhouse Theatre on January 12, 1928, playing the role of a raffish gangster (a part that would later make Clark Gable's career when the play was adapted to the screen as A Free Soul (1931) ). "A Free Soul" was a modest success, running for 100 performances. His next three plays were flops: "Back Here" and "Now-a-Days" each lasted one week, while "Recapture" lasted all of three before closing. He was much luckier with his next play, "Tonight or Never," which opened on November 18, 1930, at legendary producer David Belasco's theater. Not only did the play run for 232 performances, but Douglas met the woman who would be his wife of nearly 50 years: his co-star, Helen Gahagan. They were married in 1931. ===The movies=== came a-calling in 1932 and Douglas had the unique pleasure of assaying completely different characters in widely divergent films. He first appeared opposite his future Ninotchka (1939) co-star Greta Garbo in the screen adaptation of Luigi Pirandello's As You Desire Me (1932), proving himself a sophisticated leading man as, aside from his first-rate performance, he was able to shine in the light thrown off by Garbo, the cinema's greatest star. In typical Hollywood fashion, however, this terrific performance in a top-rank film from a major studio was balanced by his appearance in a low-budget horror film for the independent Mayfair studio, The Vampire Bat (1933). However, the leading man won out, and that's how he first came to fame in the 1930s in such films as She Married Her Boss (1935) and Garbo's final film, Two-Faced Woman (1941). Douglas had shown he could play both straight drama and light comedy. ===Douglas was a great liberal=== and was a pillar of the anti-Nazi Popular Front in the Hollywood of the 1930s. A big supporter of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, he and his wife Helen were invited to spend a night at the White House in November 1939. Douglas' leftism would come back to haunt him after the death of FDR. ===Well-connected=== with the Roosevelt White House, Douglas served as a director of the Arts Council in the Office of Civilian Defense before joining the Army during World War II. He was very active in politics and was one of the leading lights of the anti-Communist left in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Helen Gahagan Douglas, who also was politically active, was elected to Congress from the 14th District in Los Angeles in 1944, the first of three terms. ===Returning to films=== after the war, Douglas' screen persona evolved and he took on more mature roles, in such films as The Sea of Grass (1947) (Elia Kazan's directorial debut) and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948). His political past caught up with him, however, in the late 1940s, and he - along with fellow liberals Edward G. Robinson and Henry Fonda (a registered Republican!) - were "gray-listed" (not explicitly blacklisted, they just weren't offered any work). ===Then there was the theater===. Douglas made many appearances on Broadway in the 1940's and 1950's, including in a notable 1959 flop, making his musical debut playing Captain Boyle in Marc Blitzstein's "Juno." The musical, based on Sean O'Casey's play "Juno and the Paycock", closed in less than three weeks. Douglas was much luckier in his next trip to the post: he won a Tony for his Broadway lead role in the 1960 play "The Best Man" by Gore Vidal. ===Douglas' evolution=== into a premier character actor was completed by the early 1960s. His years of movie exile seemed to deepen him, making him richer, and he returned to the big screen a more authoritative actor. For his second role after coming off of the graylist, he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as Paul Newman's father in Hud (1963). Other films in which he shined were Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily (1964), CBS Playhouse (1967) (a 1967 episode directed by George Schaefer called "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night", for which he won a Best Actor Emmy) and The Candidate (1972), in which he played Robert Redford's father. It was for his performance playing Gene Hackman's father that Douglas got his sole Best Actor Academy Award nod, in I Never Sang for My Father (1970). He had a career renaissance in the late 1970s, appearing in The Seduction of Joe Tynan (1979), Being There (1979) and Ghost Story (1981). He won his second Oscar for "Being There." ===Helen Gahagan Douglas=== died in 1980 and Melvyn followed her in 1981. He was 80 years old. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood ===Spouse (2)=== [[Helen Gahagan]] (5 April 1931 - 28 June 1980) (her death) (2 children) Peter (1933) Mary Helen (1938) [[Rosalind Hightower]] (30 September 1925 - 29 August 1927) (divorced) (1 child) Melvyn Gregory Hesselberg (28 January 1926). ===Trade Mark (1)=== He often played smooth characters with a strong sense of humor ===Trivia (15)===

Eye Color
Brown - Dark

Hair Color
Brown - Dark

Couple Profile Source
www.imdb.com/name/nm0002048/, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melvyn_Douglas


Couple Profile Source

Official Websites
www.rottentomatoes.com/celebrity/melvyn_douglas, www.allmovie.com/artist/melvyn-douglas-p19878

Couple Profile Source
www.nndb.com/people/100/000063908/, www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/melvyn-douglas-1901-1981, www.findagrave.com/memorial/8142901/melvyn-douglas, www.britannica.com/biography/Melvyn-Douglas, www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/melvyn-douglas-14636

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