Walter Pidgeon


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(1897–1984). Film, stage, and television performer. The soft-spoken, gentlemanly leading man of many films, he began in musicals and occasionally returned to them. Pidgeon was born in East St. John, New Brunswick, Canada, and was educated at the University of New Brunswick and the New England Conservatory of Music. After serving as a pilot in World War I, he began his acting career in Boston and in 1925 appeared on Broadway in the revue Puzzles of 1925. The next year Pidgeon was in Hollywood acting in silents and when sound came in he was cast as the baritone leading man in the screen musicals Melody of Love (1928), Show Girl in Hollywood (1930), Bride of the Regiment (1930), Viennese Nights (1930), Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930), Kiss Me Again (1931), and The Hot Heiress (1931). He soon developed into a favorite in nonmusicals, particularly in the 1940s in movies such as How Green Was My Valley (1941) and Mrs. Miniver (1942). When he was cast in later musicals he rarely got to sing, as with The Girl of the Golden West (1938), Listen, Darling (1938), It's a Date (1940), Holiday in Mexico (1946), Million Dollar Mermaid (1952), Deep in My Heart (1954), Hit the Deck (1955), and Funny Girl (1968). Pidgeon returned to Broadway on a few occasions and he got to sing as the patriarch Nat Miller in the musical Take Me Along (1959). He acted in many television programs, including the TV musicals Meet Me in St. Louis (1959) and Cinderella (1965).

From The Oxford Companion to the American Musical in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music Theatre.

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