Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Charles Lane

Baby Boomers and their parents might not know the name of Charles Lane, but his face is familiar to anyone who watched television in the 1950's, '60's and '70's, as well as to those who went to the movies long before those three decades.

He's probably most widely known as Homer Bedlow, the old curmudgeon that appeared on many episodes of Petticoat Junction. Actually, he's most known as playing any old curmudgeon, as he spent an entire career type-cast as the grumpy man of authority. And no one did this better than Charles Lane.

His movie roles were seldom large and he played the same type of character in most of his television appearances, but Charles Lane was so good at what he did it was impossible to not notice him. He appeared in such classics as Twentieth Century, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Arsenic and Old Lace and It's a Wonderful Life. On television he showed up in some of the most popular programs of the time like Topper, The Lucy Show, Get Smart and The Beverly Hillbillies, just to name a few.

After working for 8 decades in the business, Charles Lane died in 2007 at the age of 102. Most people will probably never know his name, but his face and characters will continue to be around for a long, long time..


  1. God bless this website! There were and are so many wonderful character actors out there like Charles Lane (and yes, I know his name) who don't get the recognition they deserve for the fine work they did on classic TV shows and the memorable quality they lent to the many episodes they appeared in. Hopefully, this site will go a long way toward remedying that situation. Kudos to you, Mr. Lane, for the many characters you so skillfully brought to life and for all the entertainment you provided to so many of us viewers during your career. You were a true professional who put the "class" in classic TV.

    1. Thank you, Matt. Mr. Lane was one of a kind and for those of us that remember him, he is greatly missed.

  2. That he is, Mike. I remember a telecast of the annual TV Land Awards one year that he attended as an audience member. He was probably around 100 years old at the time. I think it was near the end of the show that he announced something like, "I'm available for work if anyone's interested!"--and I have a feeling he meant it too. It just went to show how dedicated he was to his profession.

  3. Mr. Lane did great work. His performance, record & reputation are 2nd to none!