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A great supporting actor.
I thought he was one of the strongest characters in Northwest Passage. BTW not his real teeth in this film but a prosthetic to replace his missing teeth.
Most accounts now say he lost most of his teeth in an accident in 1932. He died of emphysema which may have been connected to the Mustard gas. The aging, hair thinning etc could also have been a feature connected with his damaged lungs. Many Mustard gas victims later succumbed to TB and other lung diseases and of course these are not recorded as WWI deaths.
The WWI German bombardments used to use a mixture of HE, smoke and gas shells as the soldiers got used to the noise and appearance of a gas shell only barrage. Helmets were essential.
David, I'd never heard about the car accident, nice to know, always heard it was the gas but never could figure out how the gas might have knocked out his teeth (then again, my mother always warned me not to pick my nose when I was a kid because I'd get cancer. I never could figure out how picking my nose would cause cancer but it sure stopped me from picking my nose...).
Huw, I always liked Jackie Coogan. He was a child actor who played with Charlie Chaplin and was plaintive in a lawsuit against his parents whom he sued when he grew up and found his parents had squandered all the money he made as a child actor. It caused the State of California to pass a law protecting child actors named after him, "the Coogan Law."
A lot of that generation of actors were true war "heroes" in the best sense of the word.
The Mustard gas could have weakened his gums - horrible stuff. I don't believe anybody did or has done a study of the links between Mustard gas exposure(however slight) and influenza deaths.
He married Betty Grable 1937 which did not last long div. 1939. But as you know she was very much the number one pin-up in WWII (US but Anglos as well) so that must have led to some difficult moments. He was probably the only US soldier not to have her photo pinned up.
That would have been my guess. But ol' Walt was always a good incentive for me to take our NBC (Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Warfare) Training seriously - no matter how much I hated the mask.
Now Jackie Coogan and Betty Grable is NOT a match I would have pictured. But you know what they say about love...