Donald Meek

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Donald Meek
Donald Meek in A Woman's Face trailer.jpg
from the trailer for A Woman's Face (1941)
Born (1878-07-14)14 July 1878
Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, United Kingdom
Died 18 November 1946(1946-11-18) (aged 68)
Los Angeles, California, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1923–1946
Spouse(s) Belle Walken

Thomas Donald Meek (14 July 1878 – 18 November 1946) was a Scottish character actor.[1] He was well known for his supporting roles playing nervous and fearful characters.

Life and career[edit]

Meek was born in Glasgow to Matthew and Annie Meek. In the 1890's, the Meek family emigrated to Canada and then to the United States. By 1900, they were living in Philadelphia where Donald was employed as a dry goods salesman, according to the United States census of that year. Sometime later, Donald went on the stage. According to Massachusetts marriage records database, he and Isabella "Belle" Walker married in Boston in a Methodist church on 3 January 1909. By this marriage, the American born Belle Meek lost her United States citizenship taking her husband's British nationality. After years on the stage, Meek eventually became a film actor, appearing memorably in several movies including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Little Miss Broadway, and State Fair. Before becoming an actor, he fought in the Spanish–American War in the United States Army and contracted yellow fever which caused him to lose his hair. He was cast as timid, worried characters in many of his films, and is perhaps best known for his roles as Mr. Poppins in Frank Capra's You Can't Take It With You and as whiskey salesman Samuel Peacock in John Ford's Stagecoach.

From 1931 through 1932 Meek was featured as criminologist Dr. Crabtree, in a series of twelve Warner Brothers two-reel short subjects written by S. S. Van Dine.

Death[edit]

Donald Meek died of leukaemia on Monday, 18 November 1946 in Los Angeles,[2] while playing the role of Mr. Twiddle in William A. Wellman's socially-themed comedy Magic Town with Jimmy Stewart and Jane Wyman,[3] which premiered on 7 October 1947,[4] just under a year after Meek's death. A prolific film actor in over 100 Hollywood movies during its Golden Age, he received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Originally buried in California, his body was later moved to Fairmount Cemetery mausoleum in Denver, Colorado, USA.

Selected filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Obituary Variety, 20 November 1946, page 70.
  2. ^ Donald Meek dies in Hollywood
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 October 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2016. 
  4. ^ http://www.afi.com/members/catalog/DetailView.aspx?s=&Movie=25262

External links[edit]