Sunday, October 11, 1970
(College wrestling. Born, Davenport, IA, Aug. 9, 1895; died, LaJolla, CA, Oct. 11, 1967.) A college wrestling champion and Olympic medalist, Nathaniel Greene Pendleton was among the first athletes to become a successful motion picture star. Pendleton, wrestling for Columbia, won the E.I.W.A. championship at 175 pounds in 1914 and 1915. He was the national A.A.U. champion in 1916 and won a silver medal at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium. In 1924, Pendleton began a career in silent films that was to extend long into the “talkies” era. He ultimately appeared in some 100 films, becoming much in demand for the accent he acquired on the Brooklyn streets, where he was raised, as well as his sturdy physique. Pendleton played opposite the Marx Brothers (in Horse Feathers), Myrna Loy and William Powell (in The Thin Man), Jean Harlow, Jimmy Stewart, Margaret Sullivan, Walter Pidgeon, and Abbott and Costello, among others. His films included The Great Ziegfeld, Lady for a Day, Manhattan Melodrama, andNorthwest Passage (with Spencer Tracy and Robert Young).