1889 - 1960
Born December 29, 1889, actor Pierre Watkin looked as though he was born to a family of Chase Manhattan executives. Serial fans know Pierre Watkin as the actor who originated the role of bombastic Daily Planet editor Perry White in Columbia's two Superman chapter plays of the late '40s. Tall, imposing, imbued with a corporate demeanor and adorned with well-trimmed white mustache, Watkin appeared to be a walking Brooks Brothers ad as he strolled through his many film assignments as bankers, lawyers, judges, generals and doctors. When director Frank Capra cast the actors playing US senators in Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939) using as criteria the average weight, height and age of genuine senators, Watkin fit the physical bill perfectly. Occasionally Watkin could utilize his established screen character for satirical comedy: in W.C. Fields' The Bank Dick, he portrayed Lompoc banker Mr. Skinner, who extended to Fields the coldest and least congenial "hearty handclasp" in movie history.