Walter Pidgeon, actor (born at East Saint John, NB 23 Sep 1897; died at Santa Monica, Ca 25 Sep 1984). Walter Pidgeon graduated from Saint John High School and attended the University of New Brunswick before enlisting in the Canadian Army prior to graduation. An accident during basic training prevented him from seeing action in the First World War, and following his recovery he attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. His fine baritone voice led him to the stage, and at the encouragement of a friend, the dancer Fred Astaire, he pursued a career on Broadway.
Signed by Hollywood in 1926 at the end of the silent era, Walter Pidgeon appeared in a series of inconsequential films before returning to Broadway to hone his dramatic skills. He emerged as a leading man for MGM in the early sound era. Durable, with a commanding presence and frequently cast as a man of principle or the perfect gentleman, Pidgeon saw his career peak in the early 1940s in Fritz Lang's Man Hunt (1941), John Ford's How Green Was My Valley (1941), William Wyler's Mrs Miniver (1942) and Mervyn Le Roy's Madame Curie (1943). He garnered Oscar nominations for 2 of his performances opposite Greer Garson, with whom he starred in 8 films. He also served for 5 years as president of the Screen Actors Guild.
Walter Pidgeon left MGM in 1956, again returning to the Broadway stage, but continued to accept character roles well into the 1970s. In 1973 he appeared in his only Canadian film, The Neptune Factor. He also served as the narrator of Anniversary, a 1963 NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA short celebrating Canadian expatriates in Hollywood. Walter Pidgeon's other notable films include Saratoga (1937), The Girl of the Golden West (1938), Mrs Parkington (1944), That Forsyte Woman (1949), The Miniver Story (1950), Calling Bulldog Drummond (1951), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Executive Suite (1954), The Last Time I Saw Paris (1954), Forbidden Planet (1956), Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961), Advise and Consent (1962), Funny Girl (1968) and Two-Minute Warning (1976).