William Bendix


William Bendix

Manhattan, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death 14 Dec 1964 (aged 58)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Plot Section D, Lot 247, Row 14, Grave 10
Memorial ID 80 View Source
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Actor. A gruff, coarse-featured character player, with a voice to match, he was typically seen as a working-class urban type. Bendix received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for "Wake Island" (1942), but won his greatest fame as the flustered family man Chester A. Riley in the radio and TV series "The Life of Riley". His signature line from that show, "What a revoltin' development dis is", became a popular catchphrase. Bendix was born in New York City. Contrary to published sources his father was not Max Bendix, the longtime Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. As a batboy for the New York Yankees in the 1920s, he claimed to have witnessed Babe Ruth hit over 100 home runs. He later played the baseball legend in the otherwise lamentable biopic "The Babe Ruth Story" (1948). After managing a New Jersey grocery store that closed during the Depression, he acted in New York Theatre Guild productions and had his first Broadway success as an Irish cop in William Saroyan's "The Time of Your Life" (1939). Producer Hal Roach saw Bendix in the play and launched his busy Hollywood career with the comedy "A Brooklyn Orchid" (1942). Perhaps his finest big screen performance was in Alfred Hitchcock's "Lifeboat" (1944), as Gus, the wounded sailor who has his leg amputated and is then thrown into the sea by the Nazi villain. His other films include "Woman of the Year" (1942), "The Glass Key" (1942), "The Blue Dahlia" (1946), "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" (1949), "Detective Story" (1951), and "Macao" (1952). Bendix starred in "The Life of Riley", often cited as broadcast media's first situation comedy, on the radio from 1944 to 1951, in a feature film version in 1949, and on television from 1953 to 1958. His last role was in TV's "Burke's Law". He died from complications of malnutrition and pneumonia, stemming from a chronic stomach ailment.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 80
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Bendix (14 Jan 1906–14 Dec 1964), Find a Grave Memorial ID 80, citing San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .