Above: Charles Winninger (right) with Dan Dailey from the movie "Give My Regards to Broadway" (1948).
Charles Winninger - stage and film actor; born Karl Winninger on May 26, 1884 in Athens, Wisconsin.
Winninger was born in a proverbial trunk in Athens to show biz parents who had a nomadic tent show.
Raised in Appleton, Wisconsin, Wininger and his five siblings all were part of the Winninger Family Concert Company (that later became know as Winninger Family Novelties). At the age of 6, Winninger was the family's star "Boy Soprano". Winninger's schooling was sporadic as he spent most of his time working — bouncing from stage to stage. At the age of 8, he left school entirely to tour with his parent's show.
Winninger's 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 also played the role in the 1932 stage revival and in the 1936 film version of the show.
Winninger appeared in over 50 films including, "Show Boat" (1936), "Destry Rides Again" (1939), "State Fair" (1945), "Ziegfeld Girl" (1941) and "Give My Regards to Broadway" (1948).
In 1960, Winninger received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his radio contributions.
For more information on Charles Winninger, visit Wikipedia.
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Above: LIFE magazine ad for Maxwell House coffee photo of Charles Winninger as Captain Henry of the Maxwell House Show Boat radio program.
Above: Charles Winninger with Judy Garland in the film "Ziegfeld Girl" (1941).
Above: Charles Winninger with Tommy Dorsey from the MGM musical, "Broadway Rhythm" (1944).
Above: Charles Winninger in the trailer for the movie State Fair (1945).
Above: Charles Winninger in Blatz Beer advertisement. From Blatz Beer's "I lived in Milwaukee, I ought to know" series.