Coburn, Charles


Coburn, Charles
(1877-1961) and Ivah Wills Coburn (1882?-1937)
   Charles Douville Coburn was born in Macon, Georgia, and after a theatrical apprenticeship made his New York debut in Up York State (1901), followed by a tour of The Christian (1904). Coburn and his wife Ivah Wills Coburn founded the Coburn Shakespearean Players in 1906, a troupe that toured performing Shakespeare and the classics. Coburn also appeared notably on Broadway in The Yellow Jacket (1916), The Imaginary Invalid (1917), The Better 'Ole (1918), The Bronx Express (1922), So This Is London (1922), The Farmer's Wife (1924), Trelawny of the "Wells" (1925), Ghosts (1927), Diplomacy (1928), and Three Wise Fools*(1936). From the beginning of sound motion pictures, Coburn emerged as one of the screen's most beloved character actors playing befuddled fathers (and grandfathers) and benign or corrupt businessmen. Coburn continued in motion pictures into the 1950s and occasionally returned to the stage. With his wife's assistance, Coburn established the Mohawk Drama Festival (1934) at Union College in Schenectady, New York.

The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. .

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