Charles Clarence Robert Orville Cummings, was an American film and television actor known for his roles in comedy films such as The Devil and Miss Jones and Princess O'Rourke, but was effective in dramatic films two of Alfred Hitchcock's thrillers and Dial M for Murder. Cummings received five Primetime Emmy Award nominations, won the Primetime Emmy Award for Best Actor in a Single Performance in 1955. On February 8, 1960, he received two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contributions to the motion picture and television industries; the motion picture star is at 6816 Hollywood Boulevard, the television star is on 1718 Vine Street. Cummings was born in Joplin, Missouri, a son of Dr. Charles Clarence Cummings and the former Ruth Annabelle Kraft, his father was a surgeon, part of the original medical staff of St. John's Hospital in Joplin, he was the founder of the Jasper County Tuberculosis Hospital in Missouri. Cummings' mother was an ordained minister of the Science of Mind. While attending Joplin High School, Cummings was taught to fly by his godfather, Orville Wright, the aviation pioneer.
His first solo was on March 3, 1927. During high school, Cummings gave Joplin residents rides in his aircraft for $5 per person; when the government began licensing flight instructors, Cummings was issued flight instructor certificate No. 1, making him the first official flight instructor in the United States. Cummings studied at Drury College in Springfield, but his love of flying caused him to transfer to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he studied aeronautical engineering for a year before he dropped out because of financial reasons, his family having lost in the 1929 stock market crash. Cummings became interested in acting while performing in plays at Carnegie and decided to pursue that as a career. Since the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City paid its male actors $14 a week, Cummings decided to study there. Cummings was unable to find any roles. Seeing that at the time, "three quarters of Broadway plays were from England" and English accents and actors were in demand, Cummings decided to cash in an insurance policy and buy a round trip to Britain.
He was driving a motorbike through the country, picking up the accent and learning about the country. His bike broke down at Harrogate. While waiting for repairs, Cummings came up with a plan, he invented the name "Blade Stanhope Conway" and bribed the janitor of a local theatre to put on the marquee: "Blade Stanhope Conway in Candida". He got a photograph taken of himself standing in front of this marquee, did 80 prints. In London, he outfitted himself with a new wardrobe and did up a letter introducing the actor-author-manager-director "Blade" of Harrogate Repertory Theatre, sent it off to 80 New York theatrical agents and producers. Cummings managed to obtain several meetings. One of the producers to whom he sent letters, Charles Hopkings, cast him in a production of The Roof by John Galsworthy, playing the role of the Hon. Reggie Fanning. In the cast was Henry Hull; the play ran from October to November 1931 and Brooks Atkinson of the New York Times listed "Conway" as among the cast who provide "some excellent bits of acting."In November 1932, "Conway" replaced Edwin Styles in the Broadway revue Earl Carroll's Vanities.
He had studied dance by correspondence course. Cummings encouraged an old drama school classmate, Margaret Kies, to use a similar deception - she became the "British" Margaret Lindsay, he said pretending to be Conway broke up his first marriage, to a girl from Joplin. "She couldn't stand me."He was an extra in Sons of the Desert and in the musical short Seasoned Greetings. Cummings decided to change his approach, when in the words of one report, "suddenly the bottom dropped out of the John Bull market, he appeared under this name in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1934, which ran from January to June in 1934. He had a duet with Vivi Janiss, a native of Nebraska, with whom he sang "I Like the Likes of You". Cummings and Janiss went with the show when it went on tour after the Broadway run, they married towards the end of the tour; the tour of Ziegfeld ended in Los Angeles in January 1935. Cummings wanted to move there, he returned to New York, but heard King Vidor was looking for Texan actors for So Red the Rose and auditioned pretending to be Texan.
He practised his Texan accent by listening to cowboy bands on the radio. The ruse was exposed, he followed it with a part in Paramount's The Virginia Judge. In July, the studio signed Cummings to a long term contract. Before his first two Paramount films had been released, he was given a leading part in Millions in the Air. Cummings had a good role in the Western Desert Gold was in Forgotten Faces, Border Flight, Three Cheers for Love, Hollywood Boulevard, The Accusing Finger, Hideaway Girl, Arizona Mahoney, The Last Train from Madrid. In the mid 1930s, his mother and he received $1 million from mining stock, once thought to be worthless, left to them by Cummings' father. Most of these were B pictures, he had a small role in an A picture, Souls at Sea was in Sophie Lang Goes West, Wells Fargo, College Swing. He ha
Charles Amos Cummings
Charles Amos Cummings was a nineteenth-century American architect and architectural historian who worked in the Venetian Gothic style. Cummings followed the precepts of British cultural theorist and architectural critic John Ruskin. Cummings help to found The Boston Society of Architects in 1867. Born in Boston, Cummings was educated in the Boston Public Schools. Cummings graduated from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. Returning to Boston, Cummings joined the office of architect Gridley Bryant, where he met Willard T. Sears. In 1861 the two left Bryant's office to form their own architectural studio and Sears. Cummings traveled extensively in Europe Italy. Travel, writing about Italian architecture informed his own work, while a part of the larger Gothic Revival style and his partner Sears were not rigorous academic revivalists. Two early projects of the firm, Brechin Hall built in 1861, Stone Chapel built in 1867 both at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts brought positive notice, increased commissions to the firm.
The office designed the massive brick Boston Cyclorama built to exhibit a large cyclical mural The Battle of Gettysburg, today it houses the Boston Center for the Arts. Just down the block from the Cyclorama building, the firm designed the Tremont Livery Stable at 439 Tremont Street. In 1872 the firm designed a large Stick Style residence at 121 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston's Back Bay, the smaller but significant Pratt House in Forest Hills in the Stick Style. Following Boston's Great Fire of 1872, the firm was enlisted in the reconstruction of many downtown buildings. A significant part of Cummings and Sears practice focused on ecclesiastical architecture, building churches throughout Massachusetts and northern New England. In 1874 Cummings was commissioned to design what is considered his masterwork, a new building for the third oldest congregation in America, Old South Church in Boston located in Boston's Copley Square. Completed in the same year was the Bedford Block, an example of Venetian Gothic architecture.
Cummings continued to work until his own death in 1911. His last major commission was the design of the Pilgrim Monument in Massachusetts; the monument took the form of a 220' tower, built as an Italian campanile modeled after the Torre del Mangia in Siena, Italy. The monument's cornerstone was dedicated in 1907 by Theodore Roosevelt and the completed building dedicated in 1910 by William Howard Taft. Cummings collected a vast number of medieval sculptures, on his death bequeathed the collection to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston funding the Charles Amos Cummings Bequest Fund for the collection and care of ancient sculpture for the museum. Cummings wrote several treatises on Italian architecture. In 1901 he published his largest work A history of architecture in Italy from the time of Constantine to the dawn of the renaissance with over 500 illustrations. In the same year, with Russell Sturgis, he published the Dictionary of Architecture and Building, which became a standard architectural text book.
Aldrich, Megan. Gothic Revival. Phaidon Press Ltd: 1994. ISBN 0-7148-2886-6. Bunting, Bainbridge. Houses of Boston's Back Bay: An Architectural History, 1840-1917. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press: 1967. ISBN 0-674-40901-9. Michels, Eileen. "Late Nineteenth-Century Published American Perspective Drawing." Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 31.4: 291-308. The article contains a drawing of the Stick Style Pratt House in Forest Hills, MA by Cummings and Sears. Placzek, Adolf K. Macmillan. Encyclopedia of Architects. 4 vols. Free Press: 1982. ISBN 0-02-925000-5. Withey, Henry F. Biographical Dictionary of American Architects. Hennessey & Ingalls: 1970. High Victorian Gothic architecture in America Site of Old South Church in Boston Site of The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Site of the Pilgrim Monument Architectural history of The Boston Center for the Arts' Cyclorama building Boston history and architecture Site of The Boston Society of Architects