Actor Charles Lane

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on April 3, 2005

One of the most familiar faces I see in old films playing bit parts is that of actor Charles Lane. In how many movies did he appear?
—Harold S., Washington

Charles Lane, who recently turned 100, racked up at least 250 film appearances before he retired with his last film, The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes, in 1995. He acted in many Frank Capra films, including It's a Wonderful Life, You Can't Take it With You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Arsenic and Old Lace. He also appeared in TV shows such as I Love Lucy, Petticoat Junction and The Beverly Hillbillies. Born in San Francisco, he came to the Pasadena Playhouse in California in 1929, where he met his wife, Ruth Covell. They were married for 71 years until her death in 2002, and had two children, Tom and Alice. He currently lives in Santa Monica, Calif., and says, "Considering my years, I feel very well and am in good health. I have no major physical disabilities other than being somewhat frail and shaky on my feet, and fortunately my mental faculties seem to be in good working order."