American actor Charles Coburn had already put in nearly forty years as a stage actor, producer, and director (specializing in Shakespeare) before making his screen debut at age 61 in Of Human Hearts (1938). At home in any kind of film, Coburn was most popular in comedies, and in 1943 won an Academy Award for his role in The More the Merrier as the bombastic but likable business executive forced by the wartime housing shortage to share a Washington D.C. apartment with Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea. Coburn continued playing variations on his elderly scalawag character (he was the living image of the Monopoly-board millionaire) throughout the late 1940s and 1950s, most notably as Marilyn Monroe's erstwhile "sugar daddy" in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953). The actor also kept busy on stage, touring with the Theatre Guild as Falstaff in Merry Wives of Windsor and supervising the annual Mohawk Drama Festival at Schenectady's Union College, which he'd founded in 1934. Moving into television work with the enthusiasm of a novice, the octogenarian Coburn continued acting right up to his death. Coburn's last appearance, one week before his passing, was as Grandpa Vanderhoff in an Indianapolis summer-stock production of You Can't Take It With You.