Beery, Wallace Fitzgerald
Wallace Fitzgerald Beery (April 1, 1885 – April 15, 1949) was an American actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Bill in Min and Bill opposite Marie Dressler, as Long John Silver in Treasure Island, as Pancho Villa in Viva Villa!, and his titular role in The Champ, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor. Unsigned Photograph, n.d. - 8x 10 B/W - from the movie "The Bowery" with actress Fay Wray (born: Vina Fay Wray; September 15, 1907 – died: August 8, 2004) was a Canadian-American actress most noted for playing the female lead in King Kong. Overall, fine condition.
Beery played the savage convict "Butch", a role originally intended for Lon Chaney, Sr., in the highly successful 1930 prison film The Big House, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The same year, he made Min and Bill (opposite Marie Dressler), the movie that vaulted him into the box office first rank. He followed with The Champ in 1931, this time winning the Best Actor Oscar, and the role of Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1934).
He received a gold medal from the Venice Film Festival for his performance as Pancho Villa in Viva Villa! (1934) with Fay Wray.) Other Beery films include Billy the Kid (1930) with Johnny Mack Brown, The Secret Six (1931) with Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, Hell Divers (1931) with Gable, Grand Hotel (1932) with Joan Crawford, Tugboat Annie (1933) with Dressler, Dinner at Eight (1933) opposite Harlow, The Bowery with George Raft, Fay Wray, and Pert Kelton that same year, China Seas (1935) with Gable and Harlow, and Eugene O'Neill's Ah, Wilderness! (1935) in the role of a drunken uncle later played on Broadway by Jackie Gleason in a musical comedy version. During the 1930s Beery was one of Hollywood’s Top 10 box office stars, and at one point his contract with MGM stipulated that he be paid $1 more than any other contract player at the studio, making him the highest paid actor in the world.
He starred in several comedies with Marie Dressler and Marjorie Main, but his career began to decline in his last decade.
In 1943 his brother Noah Beery, Sr. appeared with him in the war-time propaganda film Salute to the Marines, followed by Bad Bascomb (1946) and The Mighty McGurk (1947).
He remained top-billed and none of Beery’s films during the sound era lost money at the box office; his movies were particularly popular in the Southern regions of the United States, especially small towns and cities.
Wallace Beery died at his Beverly Hills, California home of a heart attack, on April 15, 1949. He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California.
For his contributions to the film industry, Wallace Beery has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7001 Hollywood Boulevard.