Ben Welden

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Ben Welden
Ben Welden.jpg
BornBenjamin Weinblatt
(1901-06-12)June 12, 1901
Toledo, Ohio, U.S.
DiedOctober 17, 1997(1997-10-17) (aged 96)
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, U.S.
OccupationActor
Years active1930–1966

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. He appeared in over 200 films[citation needed] between 1930 and 1966.[note 1][1][note 2][2] He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.[2]

Early years[edit]

Welden was born Benjamin Weinblatt in Toledo, Ohio.[3]

Career[edit]

Short, balding and somewhat rotund, Welden 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 (1946).

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 featuring Vincent Price as Special Guest Villain "Egghead". He also played a supporting role in the Three Stooges episode, "Three Dark Horses." (1952)

He was a semi-regular in the 1954-1955 CBS TV legal drama The Public Defender, starring Reed Hadley as an attorney for the indigent. He appeared in six episodes of The Lone Ranger ("Two Gold Lockets", 1951, "Delayed Action", 1952, "Right to Vote", 1953, "Stage to Tishomingo", 1954, "Trouble at Tylerville", 1956, & "Outlaws in Greasepaint", 1957). In his later years, Welden owned a confection company called Nutcorn, which supplemented his acting income.

Death[edit]

Welden died at age 96 on October 17, 1997, at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.[1] He was survived by a sister.[2]

Selected filmography[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Welden's obituary in the Los Angeles Times says that he "appeared in some 50 films between 1935 and 1956".
  2. ^ His obituary in Variety says, "He appeared in more than four dozen films from 1935-56."

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ben Welden; Character Actor Appeared in 50 Films". Los Angeles Times. October 22, 1997. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Ben Welden". Variety. November 4, 1997. Archived from the original on August 27, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2017.
  3. ^ Room, Adrian (2012). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. p. 505. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved August 27, 2017.

External links[edit]