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Catalog Data

Artist:
Roman Freulich, 1898 - 1974  Search this
Sitter:
William Claude Fields, 29 Jan 1880 - 25 Dec 1946  Search this
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Image/Sheet/Mount: 49.3cm x 39cm (19 7/16" x 15 3/8")
Type:
Photograph
Date:
1940
Exhibition Label:
Born Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Comic actor W. C. Fields believed that being “a definite personality” was a key to show business success. To this end, he crafted a larger-than-life public image that was virtually indistinguishable from the scheming, cantankerous, yet somehow lovable characters he portrayed on screen. As Eustace McGargle in D. W. Griffith’s Sally of the Sawdust (1925), Fields perfected the role of the caustic trickster in his first major silent film. He refined this character type in subsequent screen appearances.
Roman Freulich photographed hundreds of popular stars while working for Universal Pictures from the mid-1920s to 1944. In this image, Fields is costumed for his role as snake oil salesman Cuthbert J. Twillie in My Little Chickadee (1940). Fields collaborated with his wisecracking costar Mae West on the script for this comedy set in the Old West. Critics panned the film, but Fields redeemed himself in his next venture, The Bank Dick (1940).
Nacido en Filadelfia, Pensilvania
El actor cómico W. C. Fields creía que, para triunfar en el campo del espectáculo, había que tener una “personalidad definida”. Fue así que se creó una imagen pública que desbordaba la realidad y apenas se distinguía de sus personajes maquinadores y cascarrabias, pero a la vez adorables. Como Eustace McGargle en su primera película silente importante, Sally, la hija del circo, de D.W. Griffith (1925), Fields perfeccionó el rol de bribón sarcástico. En películas subsiguientes refinó el tipo de personaje.
Roman Freulich retrató a cientos de estrellas para Universal Pictures desde mediados de la década de 1920 hasta 1944. Aquí, Fields está vestido para su papel del timador Cuthbert J. Twillie en Mi pequeño gorrión (1940). Fields colaboró con su ingeniosa coestrella, Mae West, en el guion de esta comedia ambientada en el Viejo Oeste. Los críticos destrozaron la película, pero Fields se redimió en la próxima, Detective a la fuerza (1940).
Topic:
Costume\Headgear\Hat\Cowboy hat  Search this
Architecture\Column  Search this
Exterior\Architecture\Porch  Search this
Costume\Chaps  Search this
Costume\Dress Accessory\Holster  Search this
Architecture\Building\Saloon  Search this
William Claude Fields: Male  Search this
William Claude Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Stage actor  Search this
William Claude Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Actor\Movie actor  Search this
William Claude Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Comedian  Search this
William Claude Fields: Performing Arts\Performer\Radio performer  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.91.55
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
Copyright:
© Estate of Roman Freulich
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Location:
Currently not on view
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4d23666ee-6785-4805-917c-1148a73b0a1f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.91.55