George Meeker

Active - 1928 - 1951  |   Born - Jan 1, 1889   |   Died - Jan 1, 1958   |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Romance, Crime, Mystery

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Tall, handsome, wavy-haired character actor George Meeker was never in the upper echelons of Hollywood stardom; off-camera, however, he was highly regarded and much sought after -- as an expert polo player. Meeker switched from stage to screen in the silent era, playing leading roles in such important features as Four Sons (1928). In talkies, Meeker seemingly took every part that was tossed his way, from full secondary leads to one-line bits. In his larger roles, Meeker was frequently cast as a caddish "other man," a spineless wastrel who might be (but seldom was) the mystery killer, or the respectable businessman who's actually a conniving crook. He showed up frequently in the films of Humphrey Bogart, most memorably as the white-suited gent in Casablanca (1942) who turns to Bogart after the arrest of Peter Lorre and sneers "When they come to get me, Rick, I hope you'll be more of a help." Other significant George Meeker credits include the role of Robespierre in Marie Antoinette (1938) (cut down to a sniff and a single line -- "Guilty!" -- in the final release print), the supercilious dude who wins Mary Beth Hughes away from Henry Fonda in The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), and the smarmy would-be bridegroom of heiress Dorothy Lamour in The Road to Rio (1947).

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