Claude Benton Gillingwater was an American stage and screen actor. He first appeared on the stage then in 92 films between 1918 and 1939, including the Academy Award-
Gillingwater was born in Louisiana, Missouri. Though he studied law, he preferred not to follow in his father's footsteps and become a lawyer. He became a travelling salesman for a wholesale firm, selling vinegar. While thus engaged he seized the opportunity of filling a vacancy in a small theatrical company with David Belasco. Eight years later, Mary Pickford saw him acting and secured him for her picture, Little Lord Fauntleroy (1921), which started off his film career.
In later years, Gillingwater played a few more curmudgeonly character roles. His best-
Later years and death
A serious accident while filming Florida Special (1936) in which he fell from a platform and injured his back damaged his health and threatened his career. The "Florida Special" accident on the set at Paramount Studios in February 1936, left him never fully recovered. This, along with the April 22, 1937 death by heart attack of his long-
On November 1, 1939, a housekeeper found Gillingwater dead on a chair inside a closet of his Beverly Hills, California home from a self-