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Percy Kilbride
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    (July 16, 1888-December 11, 1964)
    Born in San Francisco, California
    Best known for portraying Pa Kettle in eight films (1947-55)
    Also appeared in the films ‘White Woman’ (1933), ‘Soak the Rich’ (1936), ‘George Washington Slept Here’ (1942), ‘The Woman of the Town’ (1943), ‘The Adventures of Mark Twain’ (1944), ‘State Fair’ (1945), ‘The Well-Groomed Bride’ (1946), ‘Welcome Stranger’ (1947), ‘Black Bart’ (1948), and ‘Riding High’ (1950)
    Appeared on Broadway in ‘Those We Love’ (1930), ‘Louder Please’ (1931-32), ‘Post Road’ (1934-35), ‘George Washington Slept Here’ (1940-41) and ‘Cuckoos on the Hearth’ (1941-42)
    Even before playing Pa Kettle, he was typecast as rustics.
    He eventually quit the Ma and Pa Kettle series, complaining of the monotony of the role: ‘Pa Kettle is always the same…. There’s no kick in doing him over and over again.’
    He said he wished he got the chance to do dramatic roles in the movies, ‘But I’m afraid I can’t convince the producers. They probably think the audience would laugh as soon as it sees my face. And they could be right.’
    He served in the infantry during World War I.
    Jack Benny said Kilbride would almost always send him into hysterics any time they did a scene together.
    He was struck by a car while crossing the street (September 21, 1964) and died of complications from his injuries three months later.

Credit: C. Fishel

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