• 6 January 1895
  •  Bayard, Iowa, USA

Tom Fadden


Wavy-haired, emaciated-looking Tom Fadden enjoyed a prolific screen career as a small part supporting actor with more than a fair share of scene-stealing moments to his credit. From the time he began with a stock company in Omaha in 1915, he remained continuously employed right up until his death in 1980. He was much in-demand in vaudeville, including on the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Circuit. He was also a regular performer on Broadway where he made his debut in a starring role in 1924 with 'The Wonderful Visit', written by H.G. Wells. The following year he again starred (as Alf Rylett) in 'Nocturne '. Other notable plays he appeared in were 'Elmer Gantry' (1928), 'The Petrified Forest' (1935) and 'Our Town' (1938). From 1939, he was seen in numerous small roles on screen, usually as kindly 'average Joe' townsfolk, cab or truck drivers or rural types in the vein of Percy Kilbride. Tom was particularly good at the double-take and a befuddled look, perhaps best exemplified by his toll keeper's reaction to Henry Travers (as the angel Clarence) in Capra's It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Tom had a rare leading role as one of a trio hunting for an ancient skull with mystical powers in the comedy adventure Zanzibar (1940). Otherwise, there were memorable bits as a cafe waiter in Dark Passage (1947), his Sheriff Murdock in the comedy Murder, He Says (1945) and Uncle Ira Lentz, one of the first victims of the Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Tom also played Eben Kent, Superman's adoptive father in the first episode of the original Adventures of Superman (1952) on TV and even popped up for Disney as the uncle of the titular hero in Toby Tyler, or Ten Weeks with a Circus (1960). Tom had recurring roles in Cimarron City (1958) and was perfectly cast as one of the bucolic characters of Petticoat Junction (1963).


Movie Name Release Date
Σαρξ και διάβολος – Destry Rides Again (1939) January 1, 1970