Walter Brennan

Walter Brennan

  • Born on
    • July 25th, 1894
  • Died on
    • September 21st, 1974
In many ways the most successful and familiar character actor of American sound films and the only actor to date to win three Oscars for Best Supporting Actor, Walter Brennan attended college in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studying engineering. While in school he became interested in acting and performed in school plays. He worked some in vaudeville and also in various jobs such as clerking in a bank and as a lumberjack. He toured in small musical comedy companies before entering the military in 1917. After his war service he went to Guatemala and raised pineapples, then migrated to Los Angeles, where he speculated in real estate. A few jobs as a film extra came his way beginning in 1923, then some work as a stuntman. He eventually achieved speaking roles, going from bit parts to substantial supporting parts in scores of features and short subjects between 1927 and 1938. In 1936 his role in Come and Get It (1936) won him the very first Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. He would win it twice more in the decade, and be nominated for a fourth. His range was enormous. He could play sophisticated businessmen, con artists, local yokels, cowhands and military officers with apparent equal ease. An accident in 1932 cost him most of his teeth, and he most often was seen in eccentric rural parts, often playing characters much older than his actual age. His career never really declined, and in the 1950s he became an even more endearing and familiar figure in several television series, most famously The Real McCoys (1957). He died in 1974 of emphysema, a beloved figure in movies and TV, the target of countless comic impressionists, and one of the best and most prolific actors of his time.

Starring Walter Brennan on Plex


Acting (66 Credits)

2014And the Oscar Goes to...
1993La Classe américaine as 'Stumpy' (archive footage)
1972Home for the Holidays as Benjamin Morgan
1970The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again as Nash Crawford
1969The Over-the-Hill Gang as Nash Crawford
1969Support Your Local Sheriff! as Pa Danby
1968The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band as Grandpa Bower
1967The Gnome-Mobile as D.J. Mulrooney
1967Who's Minding the Mint? as Pop Gillis
1966The Oscar as Quentin
1965Those Calloways as Alf Simes
1962How the West Was Won as Jeb Hawkins
1959Rio Bravo as Stumpy
1957Tammy and the Bachelor as John Dinwitty
1957The Real McCoys as Grandpa Amos McCoy
1956Good-bye, My Lady as Uncle Jesse Jackson
1956Come Next Spring as Jeffrey Storys
1956The Proud Ones as Jake
1955At Gunpoint as Doc Lacy
1955Bad Day at Black Rock as Doc T.R. Velie Jr.
1954Drums Across the River as Sam Brannon
1954The Far Country as Ben Tatum
1951Along the Great Divide as Timothy 'Pop' Keith
1951Best of the Badmen as 'Doc' Butcher
1950A Ticket to Tomahawk as Terence Sweeny
1949Task Force as Pete Richard
1949The Green Promise as Mr. Matthews
1948Blood on the Moon as Kris Barden
1948Red River as 'Groot' Nadine
1946Nobody Lives Forever as Pop Gruber
1946A Stolen Life as Eben Folger
1946My Darling Clementine as Old Man Clanton
1945Dakota as Capt. Bounce of the Riverbird
1944To Have and Have Not as Eddie
1944The Princess and the Pirate as Featherhead
1943Hangmen Also Die! as Prof. Stephen Novotny
1943Slightly Dangerous as Cornelius Burden
1943The North Star as Karp
1942The Pride of the Yankees as Sam Blake
1942Stand by for Action as Chief Yeoman Henry Johnson
1941Swamp Water as Tom Keefer
1941Sergeant York as Pastor Rosier Pile
1941Meet John Doe as The Colonel
1940The Westerner as Judge Roy Bean
1940Northwest Passage as 'Hunk' Marriner
1939The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle as Walter
1939Stanley and Livingstone as Jeff Slocum
1938The Adventures of Tom Sawyer as Muff Potter
1938Kentucky as Peter Goodwin
1938The Cowboy and the Lady as Sugar
1938The Buccaneer as Ezra Peavey
1936Banjo on My Knee as Newt Holley
1936Three Godfathers as Gus
1936Come and Get It as Swan Bostrom
1936Fury as Bugs Meyers
1936These Three as Taxi Driver
1935Barbary Coast as Old Atrocity
1935The Wedding Night as Bill Jenkins
1935Man on the Flying Trapeze as 'Legs' Garnett
1935Bride of Frankenstein as Peasant (uncredited)
1934Woman Haters as Train Conductor
1934Riptide as Chauffeur (uncredited)
1933The Invisible Man as Bicycle Owner (uncredited)
1933Parachute Jumper as Counterman at Jewel Diner (uncredited)
1932Miss Pinkerton as Police Dispatcher (uncredited)
1930King of Jazz as Desk Sergeant ('Springtime') / Soldier ('All Noisy on the Eastern Front') / Waiter ('Oh! Forevermore!') / Front End of Horse / Quartet Member ('Nellie')


Take Plex everywhere.

Watch free anytime, anywhere, on almost any device.

  • Roku
  • Samsung
  • Amazon Fire TV
  • Android
  • Apple TV
  • Apple iOS
  • Chomecast
  • XBOX
  • nVidia
  • Vizio
  • PlayStation
  • LG

See the full list of supported devices