Walter Brennan Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
Childhood and Early Life
American actor Walter Andrew Brennan was born in Lynn, Massachusetts on the 25 July 1894 to William John Brennan and Margaret Flanagan who were both of Irish ancestry. His father was an engineer who encouraged his son to follow in his footsteps.
Walter Brennan studied engineering at Rindge Technical High School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and school got involved with student drama.
Rise to Fame
As a teenager, Walter Brennan became interested in acting, and he also used to take part in vaudeville shows. After leaving school, he worked in a bank, but this was interrupted by the outbreak of World War I. Brennan joined up and was sent as a private to France in the 101st Field Artillery Regiment of the United States Army.
Walter Brennan returned home and settled in Boston where he worked as a journalist in finance on a local newspaper. He also made money in real estate but subsequently lost it during a property downturn in the mid-1920s.
Moving to Los Angeles, Walter Brennan began looking for work in the film industry where he found a job as an extra at Universal Studios. Early films included Wedding Night and Barbary Coast after which he continued to find work. In 1936, he won a best supporting Oscar for Come and Get It (1936) followed by a second best supporting Oscar for Kentucky (1938).
Then in 1940, he won a third best supporting Oscar for the role of Judge Roy Bean in The Westerner (1940), which starred his friend Gary Cooper in the leading role. Films he appeared in including Three Godfathers (1936), Banjo on My Knee (1936), Nobody Lives Forever (1946), Red River (1948), My Darling Clementine (1946), The Wild Blue Yonder (1951), Tammy and the Bachelor and (1957) and The Far Country (1954). During the 1950s, he appeared on television in The Real McCoys, a hit series. He was also in The Tycoon and The Guns of Will Sonnett.
Awards and Achievements
Walter Brennan won three Best Supporting Actor Academy Awards, the first actor to achieve that feat.
Walter Brennan married Ruth Wells on the 17 October 1920, and they remained married until this death in 1974. The couple had two sons, Michael and Andrew as well as a daughter Ruth. They also had 14 grandchildren. Walter Brennan died on the 21 September 1974.