Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Remembering Charles Lane January 26, 1905 - July 9, 2007

On July 9, 2007, Charles Lane, at the age of 102 slipped quietly away from the fleeting spotlight of this world and entered peacefully into the Eternal Spotlight of the next.  These are the words from his celebration of life program from his memorial tribute held at the Screen Actors Guild, James Cagney Theatre on September 8, 2007.

Charles Lane was born Charles Gerstle Levison on January 26, 1905 and his remarkable acting career spanned sixty four years.

He was primarily a character actor and appeared in many Frank Capra films.  He was a favorite supporting actor of the Lucille Ball who often used his talents as a no-nonsense authority figure for her own scatterbrained television character in the "I Love Lucy" show.

Charles Lane's first film of more than 250 movies was a hotel clerk in "Smart Money" that starred James Cagney and Edward Robinson.  He lived his life as the consummate professional in both his  private and his working life.  It is said that Charles, on his busiest days, would often play several roles getting into costume and and filming his two or three lines and then hurrying off to another set for a different costume for a different role.

He appeared in numerous great films including "It's A Wonderful Life" "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" "You Can't Take It With You,"  "Arsenic and Old Lace" and "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad. Mad World"

In addition to film, Lane appeared on hundreds of television shows and sitcoms including his most widely known role as J. Homer Bledsoe in "Petticoat Junction" along with "How To Marry a Millionaire" "Dear Phoebe" "The Bing Crosby Show""Dennis the Menace" and the syndicated drama "American Civil War, Gray Ghost."

His final television appearance took place when he was 90 when he appeared in the 1995 Disney remake of "The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes that featured actor, Kirk Cameron.

"TV Land Awards" paid tribute to him on his 100th birthday in 2005.

Lane was one of the last remaining survivors in the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.

He died in Santa Monica, California on July 9, 2007 at the age of 102.

 Lane was laid to rest in the Home of Peace Cemetery in Colma, California.

Take five, Mister Lane. You deserve it ! (words on his program)

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