Saturday, March 14, 2009

Burgess Meredith | The Penguin's Notable Movie Roles

Oliver Burgess Meredith (November 16, 1907[1]September 9, 1997), known professionally as Burgess Meredith, was a versatile two-time Academy Award-nominated American actor. He was known for portraying Rocky Balboa's trainer Mickey Goldmill in the Rocky films and The Penguin in the television series Batman, amongst many other roles. He was one of only two people to star in four episodes of The Twilight Zone. Burgess Meredith was adept playing both dramatic and comedic roles, and with his rugged looks and gravelly voice, he could convincingly play either an everyman hero or a sinister villain.

He attracted favorable attention for playing George in a 1939 adaptation of John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men and as war correspondent Ernie Pyle in The Story of G.I. Joe (1945). Meredith served in the United States Army Air Forces in World War II, reaching the rank of captain. He was discharged in 1944 to work on the movie "The Story of GI Joe", in which he starred as the popular war correspondent Ernie Pyle. The comic strip on which the latter film was based later inspired a range of action figures which themselves became popular and in the 1980s featured in their own movie, the animated GI Joe: The Movie in which Meredith also starred as the voice of villain Golobulus.

Meredith achieved iconic status for playing The Penguin in the television series Batman. Before he originated the role of Mickey Goldmill in the original Rocky, the first of the three Rocky films in which he appeared, this was the character for whom he was best known. His role as the Penguin was so well-received that the show's writers always had a script featuring the Penguin ready whenever Meredith was available. He appeared on the show more times during its run than any other villain.

Selected Filmography
  • Of Mice and Men (1939)
  • Second Chorus (1940)
  • Tom, Dick and Harry (1941)
  • That Uncertain Feeling (1941)
  • The Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
  • A Walk in the Sun (1945)
  • The Diary of a Chambermaid (1946)
  • Mine Own Executioner (1947)
  • Advise and Consent (1962)
  • In Harm's Way (1965)
  • Madame X (1966)
  • Batman (1966)
  • There Was a Crooked Man... (1970)
  • Such Good Friends (1971)
  • The Day of the Locust (1975)
  • Rocky (1976)
  • The Sentinel (1977)
  • Foul Play (1978)
  • Rocky II (1979)
  • When Time Ran Out (1980)
  • Clash of the Titans (1981)
  • True Confessions (1981)
  • Rocky III (1982)
  • Santa Claus: The Movie (1985)
  • G.I. Joe: The Movie (1987)
  • Rocky V (1990)
  • Grumpy Old Men (1993)
  • Camp Nowhere (1994)
  • Grumpier Old Men (1995)
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