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Leon Ames

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Full Name  Harry Wycoff
Role  Film actor
Name  Leon Ames
Years active  1931–1986
Occupation  Actor

Leon Ames Leon Ames quotThe Great Morganquot Original 1946 Portrait eBay
Born  January 20, 1902 (1902-01-20) Portland, Indiana, U.S.
Died  October 12, 1993, Los Angeles, California, United States
Spouse  Christine Gossett (m. 1938–1993)
Children  Shelley Ames, Leon Ames Jr.
Parents  Cora A. Wycoff, Charles Elmer Wycoff
Movies and TV shows  Meet Me in St Louis, Mister Ed, The Postman Always Ri, On Moonlight Bay, Murders in the Rue Morgue
Similar People  Edna Skinner, Tom Drake, Rosemary DeCamp, Audrey Totter, Tay Garnett

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Leon Ames (January 20, 1902 – October 12, 1993) was an American film and television actor. He is best remembered for playing father figures in such films as Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) with Judy Garland as one of his daughters, Little Women (1949), On Moonlight Bay (1951), and By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1953). The fathers whom Ames portrayed were often somewhat stuffy and exasperated by the younger generation, but ultimately kind and understanding. His most famous role came as DA Kyle Sackett from the film The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946).


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Life and career

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Leon Ames was born Harry Wycoff on January 20, 1902, in Portland, Indiana, son of Charles Elmer Wycoff and his wife Cora A. De Moss.. Some sources list his original last name as "Wykoff" or "Waycoff", and in his early films, he acted under the name Leon Waycoff.

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Ames made his film debut in Quick Millions (1931). During the 1940s, he was under contract to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

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Ames made his first radio appearance in January 1947 on Grand Central Station.

Leon Ames Leon Ames 1902 1993 Find A Grave Memorial

Ames appeared in a featured role in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) as district attorney Kyle Sackett. He also appeared in the Doris Day-Gordon MacRae film On Moonlight Bay, its sequel, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, and Peyton Place (1957). He played the role of Samuel Eaton, Alfred Eaton's (Paul Newman) father, in From the Terrace (1960). He appeared in the 1961 Walt Disney comedy The Absent-Minded Professor as Medfield College President Rufus Daggett and in the 1963 sequel, Son of Flubber. In 1970, he played Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox in the action war film Tora! Tora! Tora!. His last film role was in Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), as Kathleen Turner's character's grandfather Barney Alvorg.

Leon Ames Leon Ames Bio Facts Family Famous Birthdays

His television roles included leads in the adaptations of Life With Father (1953–55) and Father of the Bride (1961–62). His presence in the latter program was such that, after the show had been on the air a few months, Ames' role was increased because "'father,' as played by veteran character actor Leon Ames became the dominant figure in the whole show."

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He joined the cast of Mister Ed (1963–66) as Wilbur Post's neighbor, retired Colonel Gordon Kirkwood, after the death of actor Larry Keating, who had played Post's neighbor Roger Addison. Ames also appeared in episodes of the NBC anthology series, The Barbara Stanwyck Show, and on the short-lived CBS legal drama, Storefront Lawyers.

He was one of the founders of the Screen Actors Guild in 1933. He served as its president in 1957.

In 1980, after 50 years in show business, Leon Ames was presented with the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award.


On February 12, 1964, Ames and his wife were held hostage in their home as an intruder demanded $50,000 before he would free them. Ames called his business partner, who obtained the money from a bank and delivered it to the house as instructed. After inspecting the cash, the kidnapper left Ames in the house, bound with tape, and instructed Mrs. Ames to drive him in the couple's car. He also forced both the business partner and a guest in the Ames house into the trunk. Eventually, police (who had been alerted by the partner while he was picking up the money) surrounded the car and freed the hostages.


Leon Ames Wikipedia