Edward Everett Horton, in The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat, and Shall We Dance
Eric Blore, in Flying Down To Rio, The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat, Swing Time, Shall We Dance and The Sky's The Limit
Bing Crosby, in Holiday Inn and Blue Skies
Keenan Wynn, in Three Little Words, Royal Wedding, The Belle of New York, and Finian's Rainbow
Oscar Levant, in The Barkleys of Broadway and The Bandwagon
Robert Benchley, in You'll Never Get Rich and The Sky's The Limit
And The Winner is.....
One of the finest character actors in Hollywood, Blore enlivened Fred's movies with his stuffy, British butler persona, appearing with Fred no less than five times. He and Edward Everett Horton played off each other, sparring endlessly in Top Hat and Shall We Dance. He functioned well in the background, too, fuming as the assistant hotel manager in Flying Down To Rio, and his short turn as the butler in The Sky's The Limit stole the scene and ended with the perfect delivery of an ad-libbed line: "If I weren't such a gentleman's gentleman, I could be such a cad's cad."
Blore's acting was often like the butler he portrayed: smooth, expert, unobtrusive, a minimum of fuss and absolutely essential. His role was not the loud or the obvious, and he supported Fred perfectly. His often outrageous mugging, with pouty expressions, upturned nose, and arched eyebrows usually provoked smiles, but never were overdone or became annoying and never overshadowed Fred. More often, he deftly set himself up for Fred to trip.
Perhaps it was because Fred was an ardent anglophile that they got along so well together. Either way, it was to Blore that the plot resolutions were entrusted and on Blore that the plot swung. Think of the revelation of the French wife, the priest disguise, the adjoining room key, and the inadvertent closet disclosure. Could you imagine a quintessential Fred and Ginger movie without Eric Blore? It either wouldn't be very good- it'd be like Follow The Fleet (ugh)- or they'd have to change the formula (Not much better).
For playing the perfect supporting role, consistently setting Fred up for all the best lines, pushing the limelight away from himself and yet making the most of his small roles and leaving an indelible image on his audience's minds, Eric Blore is AlsoDances.Net's choice for Best Actor in a Role Supporting Fred.
Best Supporting Actress in a non-Singing or Dancing Role