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Walter Brennan


You don’t hear much about Walter Brennan these days. If you don’t like old movies, especially westerns, you don’t see him much either. It’s probably not correct to characterize him solely as a character actor because he was more. Not quite a star, but he did win three Academy Awards back in the 1930s in the Best Supporting Actor category. Which sums up his career nicely. He played opposite Henry Fonda (My Darling Clementine) and Gary Cooper (The Westerner, Sergeant York). And with John Wayne too, of course. He also played a notably evil man in “How The West Was Won”, an epic western movie. In all, his career spanned almost 50 years from silent movies to TV series. He was probably best known as Grand Pappy Amos in the early TV series “The Real McCoys”.

Brennan was a natural to play older characters due to an accident which cost him most of his teeth in 1932. He also had an “old voice”, thinning hair, and a slight build.

He was born in Lynn, Massachusetts and raised in nearby Swampscott. After serving in the US Army in World War I he eventually settled in Los Angeles. The rest, as they say is history.

Walter Brennan, another great actor from the time when actors had to, you know, be able to act, not just react to CGI animations.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. GREAT ACTOR and character! He had a farm in Oregon, wherein he retired. A co-worker and I both mimic his voice (gol-durn young whippersnapper, and Lillie Langtry!Lillie Langtry!) and take turns trying to get it right. We call the competitions Dualing Walter's Brennan! Thanks for honoring him.

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