Floor Faber - Netflix
Runtime: 25 minutes
Floor Faber - W. C. Fields - Netflix
William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler and writer. Fields' comic persona was a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist, who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for dogs and children. His career in show business began in vaudeville, where he attained international success as a silent juggler. He gradually incorporated comedy into his act, and was a featured comedian in the Ziegfeld Follies for several years. He became a star in the Broadway musical comedy Poppy (1923), in which he played a colorful small-time con man. His subsequent stage and film roles were often similar scoundrels, or else henpecked everyman characters. Among his recognizable trademarks were his raspy drawl and grandiloquent 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 (Paramount and Universal) 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.
Floor Faber - Final years - Netflix
Fields fraternized at his home with actors, directors and writers who shared his fondness for good company and good liquor. John Barrymore, Gene Fowler, and Gregory La Cava were among his close friends. On March 15, 1941, while Fields was out of town, Christopher Quinn, the two-year-old son of his neighbors, actor Anthony Quinn and his wife Katherine DeMille, drowned in a lily pond on Fields' property. Grief-stricken over the tragedy, he had the pond filled in. Fields had a substantial library in his home. Although a staunch atheist—or perhaps because of it—he studied theology and collected books on the subject. According to a popular story (possibly apocryphal, according to biographer James Curtis), Fields told someone who caught him reading a Bible that he was “looking for loopholes”. In a 1994 episode of the Biography television series, Fields' 1941 co-star Gloria Jean recalled her conversations with Fields at his home. She described him as kind and gentle in personal interactions, and believed he yearned for the family environment he never experienced as a child. During the 1940 presidential campaign, Fields authored a book, Fields for President, with humorous essays in the form of a campaign speech. Dodd, Mead and Company published it in 1940, with illustrations by Otto Soglow. In 1971, when Fields was seen as an anti-establishment figure, Dodd, Mead issued a reprint, illustrated with photographs of the author. Fields' film career slowed considerably in the 1940s. His illnesses confined him to brief guest film appearances. An extended sequence in 20th Century Fox's Tales of Manhattan (1942) was cut from the original release of the film and later reinstated for some home video releases. These scene feature a temperance meeting with society people at the home of a wealthy society matron Margaret Dumont, in which Fields discovers that the punch has been spiked, resulting in drunken guests and a very happy Fields. He enacted his famous billiard table routine for the final time for Follow the Boys, an all-star entertainment revue for the Armed Forces. (Despite the charitable nature of the movie, Fields was paid $15,000 for this appearance; he was never able to perform in person for the armed services.) In Song of the Open Road (1944), Fields juggled for a few moments, remarking, “This used to be my racket.” His last film, the musical revue Sensations of 1945, was released in late 1944. By then his vision and memory had so deteriorated that he had to read his lines from large-print blackboards. From 1944, Fields continued to make radio guest appearances, where script memorizations were unnecessary. A notable guest slot was with Frank Sinatra on Sinatra's CBS radio program on February 9, 1944. Field's last radio appearance was on March 24, 1946, on the Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show on NBC. Just before his death that year, Fields recorded a spoken-word album, including his “Temperance Lecture” and “The Day I Drank a Glass of Water”, at Les Paul's studio, where Paul had installed a new multi-track recorder. The session was arranged by one of his radio writers, Bill Morrow, and was Fields' last performance. Listening to one of Paul's experimental multi-track recordings, Fields remarked “The music you're making sounds like an octopus. Like a guy with a million hands. I've never heard anything like it.” Paul was amused, and named his new machine OCT, short for octopus.
Floor Faber - References - Netflix