Winninger began as a vaudeville actor. His most famous stage role was as Cap'n Andy Hawks in the original production of Show Boat, the Jerome Kern/Oscar Hammerstein II musical classic, in 1927. He played the role in the 1932 stage revival and the 1936 film version of the show. He became so identified with the role and with his persona as a riverboat captain that he played several variations of the role, notably on the radio program Maxwell House Show Boat, which was clearly inspired by the Broadway musical. Winninger's pre-Code film career includes Night Nurse, a 1931 Barbara Stanwyck drama about two little girls being systematically starved to death by the family chauffeur, played by Clark Gable. Winninger portrays a kindly physician who attempts to save the suffering children. After the film of Show Boat in 1936, Winninger appeared in 1936's Three Smart Girls (as the father of Deanna Durbin's character), 1937's Nothing Sacred (as the drunken doctor who misdiagnoses Carole Lombard's character), 1939's Destry Rides Again (as Wash, the sheriff), 1941's Ziegfeld Girl (as the father of Judy Garland's character), and 1945's State Fair (as Abel Frake). He returned to Broadway only once more – for the 1951 revival of Kern and Hammerstein's Music in the Air. Winninger had the lead role in only one film, 1953's The Sun Shines Bright, John Ford's remake of Judge Priest. Winninger played the role that Will Rogers portrayed in 1934. Winninger made a notable television appearance in 1954 in I Love Lucy as Barney Kurtz, the former vaudevillian partner of Fred Mertz (played by William Frawley) in an episode titled "Mertz and Kurtz". He made his last film in 1960.
Movies & TV shows
1 Movie · 1 TV show
An anthology series that explored the ways sudden and unexpected wealth changed life for better or for worse. It told the stories of people who were given one million dollars from a benefactor who ins...
Las Vegas Shakedown
A teacher (Coleen Gray) writing a book about gambling meets a hotel/casino owner (Dennis O'Keefe) threatened by a gangster.
The Sun Shines Bright
John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William Priest is involv...
Champ for a Day
An up-and-coming heavyweight fighter, George Wilson, arrives in Vulcan City, a small mid-western town over-run by racketeers, to fight a heavily-favored Frankie Sebastian. George arrives but his manag...
A Perilous Journey
A ship of women embarks on a voyage to California. Director R. G. Springsteen's 1953 adventure drama stars Vera Ralston, David Brian, Virginia Grey, Charles Winninger, Veda Ann Borg and Hope Emerson.
2 TV shows
I Love Lucy
Cuban Bandleader Ricky Ricardo would be happy if his wife Lucy would just be a housewife. Instead she tries constantly to perform at the Tropicana where he works, and make life comically frantic in th...
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars
Schlitz Playhouse of Stars is an anthology series that was telecast from 1951 until 1959 on CBS. Offering both comedies and drama, the series was sponsored by the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company. The t...
Father Is a Bachelor
Johnny Rutledge is a drifter who comes to and discovers a cabin in the forest where five kids: January, February, March, April, and May are living without parents. Their parents died a while ago, and ...
Give My Regards to Broadway
A family vaudeville act is threatened when the eldest son is offered a contract to play baseball. Musical.
The Inside Story
A collection agent arrives in a small town with $1000 for a local farmer. Whilst waiting for the farmer to arrive the money is put in a safe at a hotel for safe keeping. However, it is removed by mist...
Living in a Big Way
A World War II pilot (Gene Kelly) comes home to a bride (Marie McDonald) who, spoiled by her father (Charles Winninger), now wants a divorce.
Something in the Wind
A grandson of a recently deceased millionaire mistakes a beautiful female disc jockey for her aunt, who once dated the grandfather.
During their annual visit to the Iowa State Fair, the Frake family enjoy many adventures. Proud patriarch Abel (Charles Winninger) has high hopes for his champion swine Blueboy; and his wife Melissa (...
She Wouldn't Say Yes
Susan Lane is a gifted psychiatrist, grounded in self-control. Before returning by train to her practice in Chicago, she spends time back East with war veterans, building their self-esteem, but frowni...
Broadway producer Johnny Demming is only interested in big-name talent and scoffs that his sister, father and other small-time talent could be used in a successful show.
Belle of the Yukon
Left by a con man (Randolph Scott), a dancer (Gypsy Rose Lee) finds him in gold-rush Alaska running an honest casino/dance hall.
Sunday Dinner for a Soldier
A poor family in Florida saves all the money they can in order to plan something special for the soldier they've invited to Sunday dinner. They don't realize that their request to invite the soldier n...
Set at the turn of the century, smooth talking con man Eddie Johnson weasels his way into a job at friend and rival Joe Rocco's Coney Island night spot. Eddie meets the club's star attraction (and Joe...
Hers to Hold
Deanna Durbin is all grown up in Hers to Hold, the unofficial sequel to her "Three Smart Girls" films of the 1930s. Durbin plays Penelope Craig, the starry-eyed daughter of wealthy Judson and Dorothy ...
A Lady Takes a Chance
A city girl on a bus tour of the West encounters a handsome rodeo cowboy who helps her forget her simpy city suitors.
Flesh and Fantasy
Three tales of the supernatural are contained in the film. The first story takes place at the New Orleans Carnival. A psychic is involved in the second case. The third is about a man who is in love wi...
During World War I, two German men friends who emigrated to the US and become millionaires agree on most things, with one major difference: one has taken the US side against Germany regarding the war,...
Mister Gardenia Jones
Documentary short film depicting the work of the United Service Organizations (USO) in providing recreational and morale-boosting services for American troops.
A jailed cop befriends a mob chieftain and stages a breakout with him.
My Life with Caroline
A man thinks his high-spirited wife is cheating on him.
Pot o' Gold
Jimmy, the owner of a failed music shop, goes to work with his uncle, the owner of a food factory. Before he gets there, he befriends an Irish family who happens to be his uncle's worst enemy because ...
Discovery by Flo Ziegfeld changes a girl's life but not necessarily for the better, as three beautiful women find out when they join the spectacle on Broadway: Susan, the singer who must leave behind ...
The Miracle of Sound
This short documentary, presented and directed by MGM sound engineer Douglas Shearer, goes behind the scenes to look at how the sound portion of a talking picture is created.
My Love Came Back
Amelia is a gifted violinist who is in danger of quitting the Brissac Academy of Music. Julius arranges to have a scholarship given to her through his employee Tony so that Julius can escort Amelia to...
If I Had My Way
In this musical drama, a construction worker becomes the guardian of a 12-year old girl after one of his buddies is killed. She and he head to New York to look for her uncle, a vaudevillian. With the ...
Little Nellie Kelly
Nellie Kelly, the daughter of Irish immigrants, patches up differences between her father and maternal grandfather while rising to the top on Broadway.
The ghosts of three elderly industrialists killed in an airplane crash return to Earth to help reunite a young couple whom they initially brought together.
Three Smart Girls Grow Up
A businessman's (Charles Winninger) youngest daughter (Deanna Durbin) helps her innocent sisters in love.
In China, a singer and a journalist meet while traveling on a train attacked by bandits.
Babes in Arms
Mickey Moran, son of two vaudeville veterans, decided to put up his own show with his girlfriend. There is a child actress who wants to make a comeback and take over the role of Mickey's girl.
Destry Rides Again
The mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff is the one who gets the job when a tough western town needs help.
Pat and Molly Malloy, once famed vaudeville and Broadway performers, arrive to play the small town of Hamilton, Conn. with a troupe of dancers, singers, a trained dog and an educated seal. Harry Clark...
Hard to Get
The spoiled young heiress was made to work out her bill by making beds when she tried to charge gasoline at the auto camp run by Bill Davis. Resolving to get even, she pretends to have forgiven him, a...
Woman Chases Man
A pretty architect devises a wild scheme to convince a handsome millionaire to fund a new housing development project.
A Navy veteran with one leg fights to make himself a success.
When a small-town girl is diagnosed with a rare, deadly disease, an ambitious newspaper man turns her into a national heroine.
Every Day's a Holiday
Mae West portrays a turn-of-century confidence trickster who poses as a famous French chanteuse to avoid arrest. In this guise, she manages to expose crooked police chief Lloyd Nolan and smooths the p...
An American posing as a Russian prince woos a visiting Ohio heiress.
You're a Sweetheart
A Broadway producer is in a quandary when he discovers that the opening of his newest big production coincides with that of a major charity event. He despairs that the show will close after opening ni...
You Can't Have Everything
Starving playwright Judith Wells meets playboy writer of musicals, George Macrae, over a plate of stolen spaghetti. He persuades producer Sam Gordon to buy her ridiculous play "North Winds" just to im...
A woman and her weakling brother inherit a mine. When the brother commits suicide the guide is accused of murder.
Three Smart Girls
The three Craig sisters Penny, Kay, and Joan, go to New York to stop their divorced father from marrying gold digger Donna Lyons and re-unite him with their mother.
Despite her mother's objections, the naive young daughter of a show boat captain is thrust into the limelight as the company's new leading lady.
Chorus girl Patsy Shaw crashes a high-society party, meets playboy Charlie Breen, they fall in love, and are on their merry way to wedded bliss. However, Charlie's snobbish, ever-loving mama doesn't t...
An inventor (Bert Lahr) and his lanky girlfriend (Charlotte Greenwood) set an altitude record in his winged contraption.
Lora Hart got a job as a nurse in the hospital. After completing her training, she goes to work as a night nurse for two small children who seem to be very sick, but something much more sinister is ha...
The Sin of Madelon Claudet
After being out of jail for a crime she did not commit, Madelon turns to prostitution and thievery to send her illegitimate son to medical school.
How I Play Golf by Bobby Jones, No. 2: 'Chip Shots'
Bobby Jones teaches a group of truant businessman how to improve their chip shots.
Following a killing and robbery in a big city back east, gang leader Kedge Darvas and some of his henchies take a train to a small western town in Idaho, with intentions of hiding out there until thin...
God's Gift to Women
A notorious womanizer sets his sights on a pretty American tourist, only to be told by his doctor that he must give up all romance for his health.
The Bad Sister
Marianne falls in love with con man Valentine who uses their relation to get her father's endorsement on a money-raising scheme. He runs off with the money and Marianne, later dumping her. Her sister ...
Soup to Nuts
Mr. Schmidt's costume store is bankrupt because he spends his time on Rube Goldberg-style inventions; the creditors send a young manager who falls for Schmidt's niece Louise, but she'll have none of h...
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article "Charles_Winninger", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.