A master at abrasive and intrusive old-codger roles, George Cleveland enjoyed a 58-year career in vaudeville, stage, movies and television. Spending his earliest professional days in his native Canada, Cleveland barnstormed around the U.S. with his own stock company until settling in New York. He came to Hollywood in 1934 for an assignment in the Noah Beery Sr. programmer Mystery Liner and remained in Tinseltown for the next two decades. At first appearing in small roles in serials and westerns, Cleveland's screen time increased when he signed with RKO in the early 1940s. In the Fibber McGee and Molly feature Here We Go Again, Cleveland essayed the "Old Timer" role played on radio by Bill Thompson (who also showed up in Here We Go Again in another of his radio characterizations, Wallace Wimple). Other choice '40s assignments for Cleveland included the role of Paul Muni's faithful butler in Angel on My Shoulder (1946), and featured parts in two Abbott and Costello comedies, 1946's Little Giant (as Costello's uncle) and 1947's Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap (as a corrupt western judge). George Cleveland appeared on TV as a befuddled postman on the forgettable 1952 sitcom The Hank McCune Show; a far more memorable assignment was his three-year gig as Gramps on the Lassie series, which kept Cleveland busy until his sudden death in the spring of 1957.
by Hal Erickson biography