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Charles Coburn Collection

Charles Coburn portrait

Born in Macon, Georgia in 1877, Charles Coburn was an actor whose talents allowed him to star on the stage, in motion pictures, and on radio and television. At age fourteen, when only a Program Boy at the Savannah Theater, Coburn began his love affair with acting. He eagerly accumulated valuable theater experience as an usher, doorman, treasurer, and finally at age eighteen, the theater manager. By twenty one, Coburn was regularly working as an actor in stock companies. He and his wife, Ivah Wills, formed their own successful touring company, The Coburn Players, in 1905 specializing in Shakespearian plays.

Coburn left the stage in grief following the death of his wife in 1937 and was persuaded to try out for character roles in motion pictures. Performing in over forty films between 1938 and 1959, Coburn received critical acclaim and in 1943 was awarded an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in The More the Merrier. He also starred in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Monkey Business with Marilyn Monroe, and King's Row with Ronald Reagan. He also worked with Henry Fonda in The Lady Eve, and Bing Crosby in Mr. Music and Gregory Peck in The Paradine Case.

Coburn was particularly proud of being a Georgian, and he regularly visited the University of Georgia Library. Before his death in 1961, Coburn bequeathed to the Library all of his theatrical library and vast papers including scripts, scrapbooks, celebrity photographs, publicity photographs and motion picture stills.

Films

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Monkey Business
Monkey Business
King's Row
King's Row
The Lady Eve
The Lady Eve
Mr. Music
Mr. Music
The Paradine Case
The Paradine Case
The Devil and Miss Jones
The Devil and Miss Jones

Celebrity Photographs

Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers
Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Lucille Ball
Lucille Ball
Jane Russell
Jane Russell
Bob Hope
Bob Hope
Charles Coburn
Charles Coburn

 


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