Actor Charles Lane Dead at 102

Not exactly a household name, but certainly a familiar face.

The character of the balding, aging, cranky, bespectacled businessman will never be the same.

He was in something like 200 movies before he ever made an appearance on TV, and had a career that lasted 75 years.

Sorry to hear that. I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for Lane. Incredible careeer.


His IMDb page has 338 entries. You usually have to be a porn star to achieve that. :slight_smile:

He was always good, albeit typecast. How many actors can you say were always good in their roles, making even weak material shine. There is no better legacy an actor can leave.

The first time I ever connected the name was when he was on David Letterman’s show back in the early to mid 80s. Letterman, when going down the list of guests mentioned that one guest was “Charles Lane.” He then said (very closely to these same words), “I had no idea who he was, but when I met him backstage, I recognized him immediately–and you will, too.”

Sure enough.


IMDB says he was a survivor of the San Francisco earthquake!

As much as you can mourn somebody who’s negative-2 on the celebrity death pool, I do wish he’d had one more great cameo before he died. I’d hoped someone would hire him when he said “I’m still available” at his TV Land 100th b’day acknowledgement. C’est la vie.

And he quit smoking at 90. Maybe there’s hope for me. :wink:

Didn’t recognize the name; recognized the face, just like Dave Letterman said.

Most memorable role: Max Smart’s Uncle Abner.

Heck, you can get to recognize his voice even before the face. It’s not strange (like, say, Eugene Pallette’s) but is very distinctive. I’ve often heard it in old movies – one line of dialogue (and many of Lane’s appearances were a single line of dialog) – and knew exactly who it was.

There appears to be a biography in the works.

So did he ever ask George Bailey for that job?

He played 8 different crotchety clients on Bewitched.

We can still look forward to seeing him 'round each Christmas. What a marvelous career.

The one that stands out for me was the Christmas episode.

Don’t count on that. My stepfather was just diagnosed with terminal lung cancer at 67 (smoked for 30 years, quit 15 years ago). That’s more typical.

What a life, what a career. I’ve been expecting this day for at least twenty years (Hell, I was surprised to see that he was still alive and figured he was ready to keel over when I saw him in “Murphy’s Romance,” back in '85 or so), but am saddened that it has come.


Sir Rhosis

Well, back in the 'thirties, Lane made some films… well, I’ve said too much…

Wow, Charles Lane appeared cantankerous enough to be cast as a judge back in 1935. I guess living through the San Francisco Earthquake and the Great Depression will do that to you. He had a good run.

We may take comfort in the knowledge that now, whenever people in Heaven are unable to think of the word “curmudgeonly,” they’ll just be able to point at Mr. Lane and say, “…oh, you know… that guy!” No doubt this will be followed by a brisk montage of Charles Lane gadding about while doing various curmudgeonly things, flying a kite in an extremely curmudgeonly manner, etc.

How did a guy with so long and varied a career never appear in Star Trek or a spin-off?

RIP Mr. Lane - loved you in that Munsters episode!

^^^Agreed. Although I admire the work of actor William Schallert (may he equal or surpass Mr. Lane’s longevity!), I think Lane could have played the Federation bureaucrat Nilz Baris equally as well in The Trouble With Tribbles.

Sir Rhosis

Oh, yes. The instant I saw his face, I knew he was in It’s a Wonderful Life. RIP, Mr. Lane.