Saturday, February 13, 2016

Lyle Bettger, 1915-2003

Lyle Bettger (center) being followed by William Holden in Union Station (1950)

Today marks the birth anniversary of actor Lyle Bettger. He's one of the many people who started on the stage, in the 1940s, before making it to Hollywood at the end of the decade. One of Bettger's earliest films was Union Station, a movie I thought I had done a full-length blog post on. In this one, Bettger plays a kidnapper, although the story starts earlier, with Nancy Olson playing a woman on a train who sees the kidnapping victim and sees she's disappeared, so when she gets to the big-city train station, she enlists the help of station-master William Holden in solving the case. Olson and Holden had appeared earlier in 1950 in Sunset Blvd., and they have good chemistry in this one which has an interesting story. (And, as I blogged about once, a character who dies in an interesting way.)

Bettger, for whatever reason, kept getting cast as villainous characters, such as the bad elephant trainer in The Greatest Show on Earth, or the Nazi chief officer in The Sea Chase, or in a whole series of westerns in the 1950s. Bettger also did a bunch of TV work.

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