Claude Gillingwater

Claude Gillingwater

  • Born on
    • August 2nd, 1870
  • Died on
    • November 2nd, 1939
Tall, balding character actor in US films from 1921 until the year he died, usually portraying obstinate or irascible types. A man so disagreeable on celluloid, Claude Gillingwater's characters seemed to subsist on a steady diet of persimmons. Fondly recalled as the cranky old skinflint whose seemingly cold heart could only be warmed by the actions of a cute little tyke, the tall and rangy Gillingwater invariably played much older than he was. He, with the omnipresent bushy brows, crop of silver hair and perpetually sour puss, had a much more versatile career than perhaps realized -- on both stage and in film. Most assuredly, this caustic screen image he perfected belied a softer, gentler off-screen demeanor for he was a kind and sympathetic gent and devoted husband to wife Carlyn Stiletz (or Stellith). Their only child, Claude Gillingwater Jr., briefly became an actor himself. Sadly, Gillingwater Sr.'s thriving character career ended on a grim and tragic note in 1939. A serious accident on the movie set of the picture Florida Special (1936) (he fell from a platform and injured his back) damaged his health and threatened his career, and the death of his long-time wife Carlyn left him irrevocably depressed. Fearing the possibility of becoming an invalid and wishing not to become a serious burden to anyone, the 69-year-old actor committed suicide at his Beverly Hills home with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Gillingwater left a fine Hollywood legacy and the fun of some of his old films is watching his vinegar turn to sugar. Date of Birth 2 August 1870, Louisiana, Missouri Date of Death 2 November 1939, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California  (suicide)


Acting (13 Credits)

1938There Goes My Heart as Cyrus W. Butterfield
1938Just Around the Corner as Samuel G. Henshaw
1938A Yank at Oxford as Ben Dalton
1938Little Miss Broadway as Judge
1937Conquest as Stephan
1936The Prisoner of Shark Island as Col. Dyer
1936Poor Little Rich Girl as Simon Peck
1935Mississippi as Gen. Rumford
1935The Woman in Red as Grandpa Wyatt
1935A Tale of Two Cities as Jarvis Lorry
1934The Captain Hates the Sea as Judge Griswold
1931Illicit as Richard Ives Sr.
192645 Minutes from Hollywood as Old Man in Hotel Bed (uncredited)

Himself (1 Credits)

1923Souls for Sale as Himself - Celebrity Actor (uncredited)

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