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Hollywood Memorial

Walter Brennan

The only man to win three Best Supporting Actor Oscar awards, Walter Brennan was probably the most successful character actor in American film. He entered pictures as an extra, beginning in 1923, and then did some work as a stuntman. With his wiry frame, thinning hair, lost teeth and weary expression, which made him look older than he really was, he eventually landed supporting roles in numerous features and short subjects between 1927 and 1938. The first of his three Oscars was for his role in ‘Come and Get It,’ which was the first Best Supporting Oscar ever awarded. He would win the award again in 1938 in ‘Kentucky’ and again in 1940 in a particularly vivid performance as Judge Roy Bean in ‘The Westerner’. He was also nominated for his performance in ‘Sergeant York.’ He appeared with John Wayne in ‘Red River’ and ‘Rio Bravo’ and was a memorable Ike Clanton in ‘My Darling Clementine.’ Among his more than 100 feature films were ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,’ ‘Meet John Doe,’ ‘The Pride of the Yankees,’ ‘To Have and Have Not,’ ‘Bad Day at Black Rock,’ ‘How the West Was Won,’ and Disney’s ‘The Gnome Mobile.’ Brennan also starred in three TV series, including ‘The Real McCoys,’ which ran for six seasons, ‘Tycoon’ and ‘The Guns of Will Sonnett.’ He even had a hit record, the spoken/sung, ‘Old Rivers,’ which first charted on April 7, 1962, spent 11 weeks on the Billboard charts, and peaked at number 5. Buried in San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, just outside Los Angeles.