Hearing the sad news of Peter Benchley's recent death made me think of his grandfather, Robert Benchley. Robert Benchley was an essayist and theater critic, known as part of the Algonquin Round Table with Dorothy Parker and other writers of the time.

Benchley's career is perhaps not as well-remembered as Parker's these days, but he was quite popular in his day. He was not only a writer but also starred in a number of short films, based on his monologues and essays, from the very beginning of the sound era up until his death in 1945. The above photo is from his 1935 short How to Sleep, which won an Academy Award. While his short films are difficult to find these days, you can see Benchley in one of his feature-film supporting roles, such as I Married a Witch,The Major and the Minor, and Foreign Correspondent. And if you keep an eye on The Disney Channel, you might catch Benchley touring the Disney animation studios in The Reluctant Dragon, which was my first exposure to the well-known humorist. 
categories Features, Cinematical