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Item ID: 6308

Percy Kilbride
Birth: Jul. 16, 1888
Death: Dec. 11, 1964

Character Actor. He was born in San Francisco, his father a mechanic. His first introduction to the theatre was working as an usher at the Central Theatre at the age eleven. His easy-going bumpkin characterizations and twangy voice became his trademark from the first time he stepped on the stage in a role in the San Francisco production 'Tale of Two Cities.' He continued with his career by working on the road with various stock theatre companies. His career was interrupted by a tour of military duty during World War I and he served in France. In the postwar years, he continued to work for regional stock companies while performing bit character parts in a few Hollywood movies. He also had minor parts in some Broadway Shows debuting in 1928. He was already in his fifties in 1942, when he appeared in 'George Washington Slept Here' a film version of the Broadway Play which recreated his Broadway role. Some of his many credited appearances in films: 'Annie Oakley (debut), Keeper of the Flame, Crazy House, Woman of the Town, The Adventures of Mark Twain, The Southerner and State Fair.' The movie, The Egg and I' created the characters Ma Kettle performed by Marjorie Main and Percy in the role of Pa Kettle which launched the highly successful series of Ma & Pa Kettle Movies. There were ten in all, but Percy retired after filming the eighth, 'Kettle at Waikiki.' Universal Studio's attempted to carry on without him and made two more which were unsuccessful. Percy Kilbride, suffering from Alzheimer's disease and a actor friend Ralf Belmont were crossing at the intersection at Yucca and Cherokee in Hollywood located near his home, on the way to his morning walk down Hollywood Blvd, when both were struck by a speeding car. Belmont was killed instantly, but Percy survived and was taken to a Los Angeles Hospital where he underwent brain surgery. He lingered for over a week but finally succumb to pneumonia and his injuries at age 76. He was cremated at the Chapel of the Pines Crematory and the World War I veteran's ashes were conveyed to San Francisco and interred at the Presidio. (bio by: Donald Greyfield)

Cause of death: Struck by an autmobile

Golden Gate National Cemetery
San Bruno
San Mateo County
California, USA
Plot: Section 2B, Marker 3771

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