Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck (born November 19, 1889-October 13, 1966), known professionally as Clifton Webb, was an American actor, dancer, and singer known for his Oscar-nominated roles in such films as Laura, The Razor’s Edge, and Sitting Pretty. He was known for his stage appearances in the plays of Noel Coward, notably Blithe Spirit, as well as appearances on Broadway in a number of very successful musical revues. Already trained in dance and theater, he quit school at age 13 to study music and painting. By 19 he was a professional ballroom dancer in New York, and by his mid-twenties he was performing in musicals, dramas on Broadway and in London, and in silent movies. His first real success in film came in middle age as the classy villain Waldo Lydecker in Laura (1944), followed by the part of Elliott Templeton in The Razor’s Edge (1946) – both of which won him Oscar nominations. His priggish Mr. Belvedere in a series of films was supposedly not far removed from his fastidious, finicky, fussy, abrasive and condescending real-life persona. He was inseparable from his overbearing mother Maybelle, with whom he lived until her death at 91, six years before his own death. Devil Goddess (1956)
SITTING PRETTY (1948) 83 Minutes
As part of his research for a book on suburban life, self-described genius Mr. Belvedere takes a job as a babysitter for three hard-to-handle children.
MR. BELVEDERE GOES TO COLLEGE (1949) 83 Minutes
Clifton Webb recreates his Sitting Pretty role as Mr. Lynn Belvedere, the World’s Greatest Genius. Belvedere discovers that he is ineligible for an honorary award because he never attended college. So he enrolls as a freshman in a major university, becoming the target for “hazing” from obnoxious upper class-man Alan Young.
MR. BELVEDERE RINGS THE BELL (1951) 87 Minutes
Fifty-something “super genius” Mr. Belvedere pretends to be 77-years-old to trick his way into a senior citizens’ home where he helps invigorate the current residents. Mr. Belvedere also finds time to smooth a romantic path for a Reverend Watson and his fiancé.
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