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Burgess Meredith

Mostly Credited As: Burgess Meredith
Birth Name: Oliver Burgess Meredith
Date Of Birth: November 16, 1907 (Age 89)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Cleveland, Ohio
Date Of Death: September 09, 1997
Cause Of Death: Alzheimer's disease (Malibu, California)
Height: 5' 5 ½" (1.66 m)

Burgess Meredith

A veteran of stage and film whose numerous accomplishments in dramatic roles will, alas, probably be forever overshadowed by his portrayal of "The Penguin" on the 1960s TV series "Batman" (and the 1966 theatrical feature of the same name). After toiling in many odd jobs during the 1920s, Meredith joined Eva LeGallienne's Student Repertory Group and became a prominent Broadway actor in the 1930s. He made his film debut in Maxwell Anderson's Winterset (1936), recreating his own acclaimed stage performance, and followed with memorable work in Of Mice and Men (as George), Idiots Delight (both 1939), Second Chorus (1940, with wife-to-be Paulette Goddard), Tom, Dick and Harry (1941), The Story of G.I. Joe (1945, as fabled war correspondent Ernie Pyle), Diary of a Chambermaid (1946, with Goddard, which he also produced and wrote), Mine Own Executioner (1947), and On Our Merry Way (1948, which he also coproduced).

Meredith, whose lively countenance and intensity of performance compensated for his "shortcomings" as a Hollywood leading man (i.e., his lack of matinee-idol looks), enjoyed two early starring roles in the B melodramas San Francisco Docks (1940) and Street of Chance (1942, as an amnesiac murder suspect in an early exercise in film noir based on a Cornell Woolrich novel). He directed and performed in The Man on the Eiffel Tower (1949), a fascinating, seldom-seen thriller based on one of the popular "Maigret" novels by Georges Simenon. Meredith's film roles thinned out during the 1950s after he was considered an unfriendly witness during the McCarthy era, but he continued to do stage work (winning a Tony for directing "The Thurber Carnival"), returned to films in Otto Preminger's Advise and Consent (1962) and The Cardinal (1963), and thereafter never let up.

He snared Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominations for The Day of the Locust (1975) and for his most popular latter-day characterization, that of the trainer Mickey in the first Rocky (1976), a role he repeated in the 1979, 1982, and 1990 sequels. He has appeared in scores of TV shows (winning an Emmy for his performance in 1977's Tail Gunner Joe) and has lent his distinctive voice to innumerable commercials, documentaries, and feature films (including, memorably, 1969's The Reivers). He published his autobiography, "So Far, So Good," in 1994.

OTHER FILMS INCLUDE: 1938: Spring Madness 1940: Castle on the Hudson 1941: That Uncertain Feeling 1946: Magnificent Doll (as President James Madison); 1957: Joe Butterfly 1966: Madame X, A Big Hand for the Little Lady 1967:Hurry Sundown 1970:There Was a Crooked Man 1975:92 in the Shade 1978:Foul Play, Magic 1981:True Confessions 1987:King Lear 1988:Full Moon in Blue Water 1990:State of Grace 1993: Grumpy Old Men 1995: Tall Tale.

Copyright © 1994 Leonard Maltin

TV Appearances

Main cast 
Puff and the Incredible Mr. Nobody (1982)As: Puff -- [Voice]
Gloria (1982)As: Dr. Willard Adams
Puff the Magic Dragon in the Land of the Living Lies (1980)As: Puff -- [Voice]
Those Amazing Animals (1980)As: Himself
Puff, the Magic Dragon (1978)As: Puff -- [Voice]
Korg: 70,000 B.C. (1974)As: Narrator -- [Voice]
Search (1972)As: V.C.R. Cameron
Mr. Novak (1963)As: Principal Martin Woodridge (S02)
The Bell Telephone Hour (1959)As: Himself (Host 1959 - 1960)
Episode Cast Credits 

Glitter (1984) 
  The Tribute 01x07: (Dec/13/1985) As Psychic 

Archie Bunker's Place (1979) 
  Gloria Comes Home (2) 03x19: (Feb/28/1982) As Dr. Willard Adams, [Special Guest Stars]
  Gloria Comes Home (1) 03x18: (Feb/28/1982) As Dr. Willard Adams, [Special Guest Stars]
  Gloria: The First Day 03x29: (Unaired) As Dr. Willard Adams, [Starring Roles]

Hallmark Hall Of Fame (1951) 
  The Last Hurrah 27x01: (Nov/16/1977) As Cardinal Burke 
  Ah, Wilderness! 08x07: (Apr/28/1959) As Sid Davis 

The Emmy Awards (1949) 
  The 29th Annual Emmy Awards 29x01: (Sep/11/1977) As Winner: Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Comedy or Drama Special (for 'Tail Gunner Joe') 

Night Gallery (1970) 
  Finnegan's Flight 03x09: (Dec/17/1972) As Charlie Finnegan 
  The Little Black Bag 01x07: (Dec/23/1970) As Dr. William Fall 

Mannix (1967) 
  The Crimson Halo 06x03: (Oct/01/1972) As Noah Otway 

Ironside (1967) 
  Unreasonable Facsimile 05x18: (Jan/06/1972) As Harry Coltrane 
  The Macabre Mr. Micawber 02x10: (Nov/28/1968) As Alfred Carney 

The Man and the City (1971) 
  Pipe Me a Loving Tune 01x12: (Dec/08/1971) As Mr. McIndoe 

Love, American Style (1969) 
  Love and the Artful Dodger 03x10: (Oct/01/1971) As Harrison 

Room 222 (1969) 
  K-W-W-H 03x01: (Sep/17/1971) As Unknown 

The Bold Ones: The Senator (1970) 
  Power Play 01x03: (Nov/01/1970) As George P. Mallon 

Daniel Boone (1964) (1964) 
  Three Score and Ten 05x16: (Feb/06/1969) As Alex, [Special Guest Stars]

The Monkees (1966) 
  Monkees Blow Their Minds 02x25: (Mar/11/1968) As The Penguin, [Uncredited]

Batman (1966) 
  Penguin's Clean Sweep 03x20: (Jan/25/1968) As The Penguin, [Special Guest Stars]
  A Horse of Another Color (2) 03x05: (Oct/12/1967) As The Penguin (Special Guest Villain), [Special Guest Stars]
  The Sport of Penguins (1) 03x04: (Oct/05/1967) As The Penguin (Special Guest Villain), [Special Guest Stars]
  Enter Batgirl, Exit Penguin 03x01: (Sep/14/1967) As The Penguin 

Bonanza (1959) 
  Six Black Horses 09x11: (Nov/26/1967) As Ownie Duggan 

Branded (1965) 
  Headed for Doomsday 02x30: (Apr/10/1966) As Horace Greeley 

The Loner (US) (1965) 
  Hunt the Man Down 01x13: (Dec/11/1965) As Scidry 

The Wild Wild West (1965) 
  The Night of the Human Trigger 01x12: (Dec/03/1965) As Orkney Cadwallader, [Special Guest Stars]

Laredo (1965) 
  Lazyfoot, Where are You? 01x01: (Sep/16/1965) As Grubby Sully, [Special Guest Stars]

Mr. Novak (1963) 
  Faculty Follies (2) 02x19: (Feb/09/1965) As Martin Woodridge 
  Faculty Follies (1) 02x18: (Feb/02/1965) As Martin Woodridge 

Profiles in Courage (1964) 
  John Peter Altgeld 01x11: (Jan/24/1965) As John Peter Altgeld 

Burke's Law (1963) (1963) 
  Who Killed 711? 02x12: (Dec/09/1964) As Harold Harold 
  Who Killed Jason Shaw? 01x15: (Jan/03/1964) As Burton Reese 
  Who Killed Alex Debbs? 01x06: (Oct/25/1963) As Sidney Wilde 

Rawhide (1959) 
  Incident at Deadhorse (2) 06x28: (Apr/23/1964) As Hannibal H. Plew, [Special Guest Stars]
  Incident at Deadhorse (1) 06x27: (Apr/16/1964) As Hannibal H. Plew, [Special Guest Stars]
  Incident at Paradise 06x05: (Oct/24/1963) As Matthew Higgins 
  The Little Fishes 04x09: (Nov/24/1961) As Tom Gwynn, [Special Guest Stars]

Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre (1963) 
  The Square Peg 01x20: (Mar/06/1964) As Tumblers Fuller 

Wagon Train (1957) 
  The Grover Allen Story 07x20: (Feb/03/1964) As Grover Allen, [Special Guest Stars]

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (1963) 
  The Day of the Wizard 01x17: (Jan/12/1964) As Saracen 

The Twilight Zone (1959) 
  Printer's Devil 04x09: (Feb/28/1963) As Mr. Smith 
  The Obsolete Man 02x29: (Jun/02/1961) As Romney Wordsworth 
  Mr. Dingle, the Strong 02x19: (Mar/03/1961) As Luther Dingle 
  Time Enough at Last 01x08: (Nov/20/1959) As Henry Bemis 

Ben Casey (1961) 
  Pack Up All My Cares and Woes 02x12: (Dec/17/1962) As Lester Partridge 

Sam Benedict (1962) 
  Everyone's Playing Polo 01x12: (Dec/14/1962) As Cyrus Carter 

Naked City (1958) 
  Hold for Gloria Christmas 04x01: (Sep/19/1962) As Duncan Kleist, [Special Guest Stars]

The Play of the Week (1959) 
  Waiting for Godot 02x27: (Apr/03/1961) As Vladimir 

General Electric Theater (1953) 
  The Unfamiliar 06x25: (Mar/30/1958) As Velvet Pants 
  Edison the Man 03x06: (Oct/17/1954) As Thomas Edison 

Tales of Tomorrow (1951) 
  The Great Silence 02x27: (Feb/20/1953) As Paul 

The Lux Video Theatre (1950) 
  Decision 02x34: (Apr/14/1952) As David 

Lights Out (1949) 
  This Way to Heaven 04x18: (Dec/24/1951) As guest star 
  The Martian Eyes (restaged) 03x41: (Jun/04/1951) As guest star 
  The Martian Eyes 03x10: (Oct/30/1950) As guest star 

The Philco Television Playhouse (1948) 
  I'm Still Alive 03x11: (Nov/19/1950) As guest star 

Studio One (1948) 
  The Horse's Mouth 02x33: (Apr/24/1950) As Gulley Jimson 

Robert Montgomery Presents Your Lucky Strike Theatre (1950) 
  Our Town 01x06: (Apr/10/1950) As George Gibbs 
  Ride the Pink Horse 01x05: (Mar/27/1950) As Frank Hugo 

Your Show of Shows (1950) 
  Season 1, Episode 2 01x02: (Mar/04/1950) As Himself 
  Season 1, Episode 1 01x01: (Feb/25/1950) As Himself 

The Milton Berle Show (1948) 
  Season 2, Episode 18 02x18: (Jan/17/1950) As Himself 

The Silver Theater (1949) 
  L'Amour the Merrier 01x01: (Oct/03/1949) As guest star 
Crew Credits

Show Crew

Episode Crew

Playhouse 90 (1956) (Credited in 1 episodes from this show) 
The Jet Propelled Couch 02x10 Nov/14/1957 As: Director

The producers of Batman so valued his performances that they kept a Penguin script on hand so they would be ready whenever Mr. Meredith was available.

Burgess Meredith Quotes

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