Beery, Wallace, LCDR

Deceased
 
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Last Rank
Lieutenant Commander
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1933-1945, 131X, Naval Reserve Force Flying Corps
Service Years
1933 - 1949
Lieutenant Commander
Lieutenant Commander

 Last Photo   Personal Details 


Home State
Missouri
Missouri
Year of Birth
1885
 
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Frederick Mullis (Eveready), AO2 to remember Beery, Wallace, LCDR.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Kansas City
Last Address
Not Specified

Date of Passing
Apr 15, 1949
 
Location of Interment
Forest Lawn Cemetery - Glendale, California
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Not Specified

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Famous People Who ServedWW II Memorial National Registry
  2016, Famous People Who Served [Verified] - Assoc. Page
  2016, WW II Memorial National Registry


 Additional Information
Last Known Activity

In 1902, 16-year-old Wallace Beery joined the Ringling Brothers Circus as an assistant to the elephant trainer. He left two years later after a leopard clawed his arm. Beery next went to New York, where he found work in musical variety shows. He became a leading man in musicals and appeared on Broadway and in traveling stock companies. In 1913 he headed for Hollywood, where he would get his start as the hulking Swedish maid in the Sweedie comedy series for Essanay. In 1915 he would work with young ingénue Gloria Swanson in Sweedie Goes to College (1915). A year later they would marry and be wildly unhappy together. The marriage dissolved when Beery could not control his drinking and Gloria got tired of his abuse. Beery finished with the Sweedie series and worked as the heavy in a number of films. Starting with Patria (1917), he would play the beastly Hun in a number of films. In the 1920s he would be seen in a number of adventures, including The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921), Robin Hood (1922), The Sea Hawk (1924) and The Pony Express (1925). He would also play the part of Poole in So Big (1924), which was based on the best-selling book of the same name by Edna Ferber. Paramount began to move Beery back into comedies withBehind the Front (1926). When sound came, Beery was one of the victims of the wholesale studio purge. He had a voice that would record well, but his speech was slow and his tone was a deep, folksy, down home-type. While not the handsome hero image, MGM executive Irving Thalberg saw something in Beery and hired him for the studio. Thalberg cast Beery in The Big House (1930), which was a big hit and got Beery an Academy Award nomination. However, Beery would become almost a household word with the release of the sentimental Min and Bill (1930), which would be one of 1930's top money makers. The next year Beery would win the Oscar for Best Actor in The Champ (1931). He would be forever remembered as Long John Silver in Treasure Island(1934) (who says never work with kids?). Beery became one of the top ten stars in Hollywood, as he was cast as the tough, dim-witted, easy-going type (which, in real life, he was anything but). In Flesh (1932) he would be the dim-witted wrestler who did not figure that his wife was unfaithful. In Dinner at Eight (1933) he played a businessman trying to get into society while having trouble with his wife, Jean Harlow. After Marie Dressler died in 1934, he would not find another partner in the same vein as his early talkies until he teamed with Marjorie Main in the 1940s. He would appear opposite her in such films as Wyoming (1940) and Barnacle Bill (1941). By that time his career was slowing as he was getting up in age. He continued to work, appearing in only one or two pictures a year, until he died from a heart attack in 1949.



   
Other Comments:
Beefy Wallace Beery gradually progressed from theatre to film and starred in a multitude of comedic shorts during the silent era before becoming one of the biggest and most improbable stars of the 1930s. Imposing and not traditionally handsome, Beery was highly proficient at both comedy and menace, sometimes even mixing the two quite superbly. Feature assignments soon came in such notable productions as "The Last of the Mohicans" (1920), "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (1921), "Robin Hood" (1922) and "The Lost World" (1925). For a time, his career seemed doomed by the arrival of sound, but MGM recognized his innate abilities and Beery's performance as a murderous thug in "The Big House" (1930) netted him an Oscar nomination. He won the coveted statue a year later for his turn as an over-the-hill prizefighter in "The Champ" (1931), which became the actor's signature role. Further impressive work followed in "Treasure Island" (1934) and "Viva Villa" (1934), and Beery found himself an in-demand talent with a highly lucrative contract. However, in contrast to many of the congenial miscreants he played, Beery was a highly disagreeable man completely lacking in basic social graces and a less than favorite co-star for many of his MGM colleagues. He was also allegedly involved in the fatal beating of comedian Ted Healy, though no charges were ever filed. One of the few character players to attain major A-list stardom, Beery was not the most diversified thespian, but few could match his power to both intimidate and amuse.
   
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Naval Reserve Forces Command
  1933-1945, 131X, Naval Reserve Force Flying Corps
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  1941-1945 World War II
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