Charles Wagenheim

Active - 1931 - 1976  |   Born - Jan 1, 1895   |   Died - Mar 6, 1979   |   Genres - Drama, Mystery, Crime, Comedy, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Diminutive, frequently mustached character actor Charles Wagenheim made the transition from stage to screen in or around 1940. Wagenheim's most memorable role was that of "The Runt" in Meet Boston Blackie (1941), a part taken over by George E. Stone in the subsequent "Boston Blackie" B-films. Generally cast in unsavory bit parts, Wagenheim's on-screen perfidy extended from Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent (1940) to George Stevens' Diary of Anne Frank (1959), in which, uncredited, he played the sneak thief who nearly gave away the hiding place of the Frank family. Wagenheim kept his hand in the business into the 1970s in films like The Missouri Breaks (1976). In 1979, 83-year-old Charles Wagenheim was bludgeoned to death by an intruder in his Hollywood apartment, five days before another veteran actor, Victor Kilian, met the same grisly fate.

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