Best of W.C. Fields
William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, and writer. Fields' comic was a and hard-drinking , who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for dogs and children.
His career in show business began in , where he attained international success as a silent juggler. He gradually incorporated comedy into his act, and was a featured comedian in the for several years. He became a star in the Broadway musical comedy (1923), in which he played a colorful small-time . His subsequent stage and film roles were often similar scoundrels, or henpecked characters.
Among his recognizable trademarks were his raspy drawl and vocabulary. The characterization he portrayed in films and on radio was so strong it was generally identified with Fields himself. It was maintained by the publicity departments at Fields' studios ( and ) and was further established by Robert Lewis Taylor's biography, W. C. Fields, His Follies and Fortunes (1949). Beginning in 1973, with the publication of Fields' letters, photos, and personal notes in grandson Ronald Fields' book W. C. Fields by Himself, it was shown that Fields was married (and subsequently estranged from his wife), and financially supported their son and loved his grandchildren.
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