Saturday, February 13, 2010

Percy Kilbride

Percy Kilbride, best known for his role as Pa Kettle in the popular film series began his career in the theater and did not make his movie debut until age 45.

Percy Kilbride was born on July 16, 1888 in San Francisco, California, the son of Irish immigrants.

Percy Kilbride began working in the theater at the age of 12, playing hundreds of roles, mostly rustic bumpkins, in stage and stock.

In 1928, he made his Broadway debut in The Buzzard. He would appear in approximately a dozen Broadway productions before being cast as Mr. Kimber in the Broadawy production George Washington Slept Here.

In 1933, he made his film debut in Jakey in White Woman (1933).

In 1941, production began on the movie version of George Washington Slept Here. Percy Kilbride was the only member of the Broadway cast to be casted in the movie.

Roles followed in Keeper of the Flame (1942), The Adventures of Mark Twain (1944)and State Fair (1945).

In 1947, Percy Kilbride appeared as Pa Kettle in The Egg and I starring Fred MacMurry and Claudette Colbert.

Percy Kilbride and Margorie Main were such a hit as Ma and Pa Kettle in The Egg and I, seven feature films followed about Ma and Pa Kettle all starring Marjorie Main and Percy Kilbride.

Percy Kilbride retired from acting after the seventh film: Ma and Pa Kettle at Waikiki (1955) due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident.

On December 4 1964, Percy Kilbride and Ralph Belmont were taking their morning constitutional walk. Both were struck by a speeding car. Belmont died instantly at the scene.

On December 11, 1964, Percy Kilbride died as a result of his injuries, he was 76 years old.

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