Actor Clifton Webb

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on May 8, 2005

Could you profile Clifton Webb, who was in the movies in the 1940s and 1950s?
—Nancy Z., California

The delightfully snobby actor was born Webb Parmalee Hollenbeck in Indianapolis on Nov. 11, 1889. As his name suggests, his real-life personality wasn't far off from his priggish roles. A child star, Webb was trained in theatre and dance by age 10, and quit school at 13 to concentrate on painting and music. His first real success in films came in 1944 in Laura, when he was 55. He created the role of Mr. Belvedere in 1948's Sitting Pretty. He appeared in movies such as Cheaper by the Dozen, Titanic, The Man Who Never Was and Satan Never Sleeps. Little known fact: Webb inspired the character of Mr. Peabody on 1961's The Bullwinkle Show. Close to his mother, the two lived together in Beverly Hills, Calif., until her death in 1960. He died of a heart attack in 1966 at age 76.