June 12, 1901
Toledo, Ohio, USA
|Died||October 17, 1997
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, USA
Ben Welden (June 12, 1901 – October 17, 1997) was an American character actor who played a wide variety of Damon Runyon-type gangsters in various movies and television shows. Born in Toledo, Ohio, Welden appeared in over 120 films between 1930 and 1966.
Short, balding and somewhat rotund, he often literally played a "heavy", frequently in a somewhat comical or slightly dim-witted way, offsetting the sinister nature of his character's actions. Among his roles in this vein was The Big Sleep.
Fans of Adventures of Superman remember him well, as he appeared in eight episodes, always as a different character and yet really the same character, in a way. His best-known Superman episode might be "Flight to the North", in which he tries (and fails) to outwit a country-bumpkin type (played by Chuck Connors).
In 1966 he acted in episodes 47 and 48 of Batman.
He was a semi-regular in the 1954-1955 CBS legal drama, The Public Defender, starring Reed Hadley as an attorney for the indigent. He appeared in a 1956 episode of The Lone Ranger entitled "Trouble at Tylerville".
In his later years, Welden owned a confection company called Nutcorn, which supplemented his acting income.
Outliving most of his peers, Welden died at age 96 on October 27, 1997. He was residing at the Motion Picture Retirement Home (Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital) in Woodland Hills, California at the time of his death.
- Big Business (1930)
- The Innocents of Chicago (1932)
- The Medicine Man (1933)
- Born Lucky (1933)
- Aunt Sally (1933)
- His Grace Gives Notice (1933)
- Their Night Out (1933)
- Admirals All (1935)
- Trust the Navy (1935)
- Death on the Set (1935)
- Come Out of the Pantry (1935)
- The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes (1935)
- The Improper Duchess (1936)
- She Knew What She Wanted (1936)
- Love Is on the Air (1937)
- Back in Circulation (1937)
- The Great Barrier (1937)
- Marked Woman (1937)
- Love and Hisses (1937)
- Kid Galahad (1937)
- The Saint in New York (1938)
- The Roaring Twenties (1939) as the Tavern Proprietor
- Dangerously They Live (1941)
- The Fighting Seabees (1944)
- The Missing Corpse (1945)
- Mr. Hex (1946)
- The Big Sleep (1946)
- Heading for Heaven (1947)
- Too Many Winners (1947)
- Killer Dill (1947)
- Appointment with Murder (1948)
- Tough Assignment (1949)
- Search for Danger (1949)
- Three Dark Horses (1952)
- Killers from Space (1954)
- The Adventures of Captain Africa (1955)
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