Friday, August 10, 2007

FINAL TAXI : Charles Lane -The Face Is Familiar


Charles Lane, the prolific character actor whose name was little known but whose crotchety persona and roles in hundreds of films made him recognizable to generations of moviegoers took his Final Taxi at 102.

Lane, whose career spanned more than 60 years, appeared in such film classics as “It‘s a Wonderful Life,” “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Primrose Path.” He also had a recurring role as the scheming railroad man Homer Bedloe on the 1960s TV sitcom “Petticoat Junction” and appeared often on “I Love Lucy.”

Mr. Lane’s voice was heard in Disney’s 1970 animated feature “The AristoCats.” He was an admiral in “The Winds of War” TV miniseries and appeared in the movie “Murphy’s Romance” with Sally Field in 1986.

He also acted in TV episodes of “Soap,”"The Flying Nun,” “Bewitched” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” and showed up on “L.A. Law,” “St. Elsewhere” and “Lou Grant.”

Mr. Lane had small parts in “The Music Man,” “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “The Carpetbaggers,” among his many films. His acting résumé included roles as a judge, gambler, priest, bank examiner, military officer, customs and immigration official and Western lawman.

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