Three Cheers for Nat Pendleton!

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Happy boithday, Nat Pendleton (1895-1967).

Pendleton started out as a world class athlete (Olympic wrestler), got into pro wrestling and eventually acting, invariably playing dumb bruisers who scowled when they tried to figure things out (he reportedly was actually a very smart guy in real life). He is best known today for playing MacHardie the football player in the Marx Brothers’ Horsefeathers (1932), and for playing Sandow the Strongman in The Great Ziegfeld (1936), a role he then parodied in the Marx Brothers’ At the Circus (1939). Pendleton is in a ZILLION movies, including those of Wheeler and Woolsey, Mae West, Joe E. Brown, Abbott and Costello (a very memorable turn in Buck Privates) and, my personal favorite Scared to Death with Bela Lugosi.

For more on comedy film history don’t miss my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Mediaalso available from amazon.com etc etc etc

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