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Charles Tannen

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Charles Tannen
Born(1915-10-22)October 22, 1915
DiedDecember 18, 1980(1980-12-18) (aged 65)
OccupationActor, Television screenwriter
Years active1935–1976
Spouse(s)Joan Myrtland (Robertson) Tannen

Charles David Tannen (October 22, 1915 – December 28, 1980) was an American actor and screenwriter. A general purpose actor who worked primarily at 20th Century Fox, he had mostly bit and/or supporting parts in movies, appearing in more than two hundred films, including Jesse James (1939), The Return of Frank James (1940), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), The Fly (1958), and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (1961).

Director Preston Sturges once praised Tannen for his acting ability, being quoted as saying,

If you have a middle-aged character part, either Gentile or Jewish, either comic or dramatic, I urge you to give it to Tannen, and I guarantee that you will be enchanted by his authority, his unction, his voice, his theatrical resource, and his profound ability.

Tannen also made many appearances on such television series as Bonanza, Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, Lassie, The Twilight Zone, Rawhide, The Rifleman[1] and Jefferson Drum. In 1957 Tannen appeared as "Lonnie the Conductor" in the TV westernCheyenne in the episode titled "The Iron Trail."

As a television screenwriter, Tannen wrote episodes for Petticoat Junction, I Dream Of Jeannie, Gilligan's Island, The Brady Bunch, All In The Family and Maude.

His father, Julius Tannen, and his brother, William Tannen, were also actors.


Tannen died in 1980 in San Bernardino, California at the age of 65 of a heart attack.

Selected filmography


  1. ^ "Charles Tannen – The Rifleman".
  2. ^ Great Movie Musicals on DVD – A Classic Movie Fan's Guide by John Howard Reid – Google search with book preview
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Charles Tannen
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