- Birth name:
- Walter Davis Pigeon
- Date of Birth:
- 25 September 1897 Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
- 6' 2½" (1.89 m)
Walter Pidgeon, a handsome, tall and dark haired man, began his career studying voice at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. He then did theater, mainly stage musicals. He went to Hollywood in the early 1920s where he made silent films, such as Mannequin (1926) and Sumuru (1927). When talkies arrived, Pidgeon made some early talkie musicals, but never received top billing or recognition. In 1937, MGM put Walter under contract but only in supporting roles and the other man roles - such as in Saratoga (1937) opposite Jean Harlow and Clark Gable and in The Girl of the Golden West (1938) opposite Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Although the 2 films were big successes, Pidgeon was overlooked for his contribution to the films. MGM loaned him out to Fox where he finally had top-billing in How Green Was My Valley (1941). When he returned to MGM, they tried to give him bigger roles and cast him opposite frequent co-star Greer Garson. But Greer seemed to come up on top in Blossoms in the Dust (1941) and Mrs. Miniver (1942), although Pidgeon did receive an Oscar nomination for his role in the latter movie. He remained with MGM till the mid-1950s, making films like Dream Wife (1953) and Hit the Deck (1955) with Jane Powell and old pal, Gene Raymond. In 1956, he left the movies to do some theater, but returned in 1961. He retired in 1977, and suffered several strokes which eventually led to his death in 1984.