- This BIO is from tThe Complete Directory to Prime time star, Copyright1987
by Tim Brooks.
b:Nov.16,1908, Cleveland, Ohio
Burgess Meredith began his career as a stage actor in the 30's playing
roles including that of the door mouse in Eva Le Gallienne's production of
Alice in Wonderland. His first great truimph was in Winterset in 1935, in a
role especially written for him.
Burgess was a busy charactor actor on stage and on films from then on.
He entered television during the early live period on the 50's drama
showcases such as Robert Montgomery Presents, Lights Out, and Genral Electric
Theater. Although he usually worked in dramas, his impish twinkle and feisty
good humor lent itself well to comedy, and he scored quit a hit in the 60's
as the most frequently seen of bizarre villians on Batman-The Penguin. On
the other side of the coin, Burgess was featured several times on the Twlight
Zone. Prehaps the best remembered episode of this classic series was his
"Time Enough at last". Says Burgess of this simple but enormously affecting
little piece. "I've heard more about it than almost anything else I've done
on TV. I think it must have had a great impact on people. I don't suppose
there 's a single month goes by, even to this day, that people don't come up
to me and remind me of that episode.
Burgess played many other roles in the years that followed, including
regular parts as kindly avuncular older men on Mr. Novak (1964-1965), Search
(1972-1973), and Gloria (1982-1982). He finnally won an Emmy in 1977 for his
portrayal of lawyer Joseph Welch in the docudrama Tail of Joe (about the life
and times of Senator Joseph McCarthy). He provided narration for various