walter pidgeon net worth

Last Updated on July 15, 2024 by Abdul Rehman


When you think of Hollywood’s golden era, names like Walter Pidgeon often come to mind. With a career spanning several decades, Pidgeon left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. But who was Walter Pidgeon beyond the silver screen? Let’s dive into his early life, career, Walter Pidgeon net worth, and more to get a full picture of this iconic actor.

Walter Pidgeon Net Worth$64 million at the peak of his career
AgeBorn on September 23, 1897; Passed away on September 25, 1984, at the age of 87
Physical AppearanceHeight: 6 feet 2 inches; Known for his tall stature, piercing eyes, and strong jawline
Early LifeBorn in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada; Son of Hannah Sanborn and Caleb Burpee Pidgeon
EducationAttended the University of New Brunswick, initially studied law before pursuing a career in entertainment
Career BeginningsStarted in New York City with Broadway musicals; First notable role in “Puttin’ On the Ritz” (1929)
Rise to FameGained prominence with roles in “How Green Was My Valley” (1941) and “Mrs. Miniver” (1942)
Significant Films“Mrs. Miniver” (1942), “Madame Curie” (1943), “Forbidden Planet” (1956), “Funny Girl” (1968)
Awards and NominationsNominated for two Academy Awards for “Mrs. Miniver” and “Madame Curie”
Personal LifeMarried twice: Edna Muriel Pickles (1919-1921), Ruth Walker (1931-1984); Enjoyed playing the piano
PhilanthropyActively involved in charitable organizations; Supported various causes
Later CareerContinued acting in character roles; Notable later performance in “Funny Girl” (1968)
LegacyRemembered as a versatile actor and a cultural icon; Influenced future generations of actors
Interesting FactsServed in the Canadian Army during WWI; Injured in a training accident; Known for his deep, resonant voice
Cultural ImpactReferenced in modern media; Studied by aspiring actors; Films remain popular in classic cinema discussions

Early Life

Walter Davis Pidgeon was born on September 23, 1897, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Coming from a modest background, Pidgeon was the son of Hannah Sanborn and Caleb Burpee Pidgeon, who worked as a haberdasher. His early years were shaped by a strong family bond and a keen interest in the arts.


Pidgeon’s educational journey took him to the University of New Brunswick, where he initially studied law. However, his passion for performance couldn’t be contained, leading him to switch gears towards the entertainment industry. This pivotal decision set the stage for a remarkable career.

Age and Physical Appearance

His age was 87 years old. During his prime, Walter Pidgeon was the epitome of classic Hollywood charm. Standing tall at 6 feet 2 inches, he had a commanding presence that made him a natural fit for leading roles. His handsome features, characterized by piercing eyes and a strong jawline, complemented his elegant demeanor, making him a favorite among audiences.

Career Beginnings

Pidgeon’s foray into the entertainment world began in the silent film era. He moved to New York City in the early 1920s, where he initially struggled to find steady work. However, his persistence paid off when he landed a role in the Broadway musical “Puttin’ On the Ritz” in 1929. This breakthrough opened doors to more significant opportunities in film.

Rise to Fame

Walter Pidgeon’s rise to fame was marked by a series of successful films in the 1930s and 1940s. His role in “How Green Was My Valley” (1941) catapulted him to stardom. The film, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, showcased Pidgeon’s acting prowess and established him as a leading man in Hollywood.

Significant Films and Roles

Pidgeon’s filmography is a testament to his versatility as an actor. Some of his most notable films include:

“Mrs. Miniver” (1942): Pidgeon played the role of Clem Miniver, earning an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. The film was a critical and commercial success, winning six Oscars.

“Madame Curie” (1943): Starring opposite Greer Garson, Pidgeon portrayed Pierre Curie in this biographical drama, which garnered him another Oscar nomination.

“Forbidden Planet” (1956): This science fiction classic featured Pidgeon as Dr. Edward Morbius, solidifying his status as a versatile actor capable of tackling various genres.

Walter Pidgeon Net Worth

Estimating the net worth of actors from the early 20th century can be challenging due to the lack of comprehensive financial records. However, it’s believed that Walter Pidgeon amassed considerable wealth through his successful career. At the peak of his fame, Walter Pidgeon net worth was $64 million. This figure accounts for his earnings from film roles, stage performances, and other ventures in the entertainment industry.

Personal Life

Beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Walter Pidgeon led a relatively private personal life. He married twice, first to Edna Muriel Pickles in 1919, who tragically passed away in 1921. Pidgeon found love again with Ruth Walker, whom he married in 1931. The couple remained together until Pidgeon’s death, showcasing a deep and enduring bond. Pidgeon was known for his love of music and was an accomplished pianist. He often entertained friends and family with impromptu performances, adding another layer to his multifaceted personality.

Philanthropy and Contributions

Walter Pidgeon was not just an actor but also a philanthropist who believed in giving back to the community. He was actively involved in various charitable organizations, often using his influence to raise funds for causes close to his heart. His contributions extended beyond financial support, as he frequently volunteered his time and efforts to make a difference.

Later Years

As Pidgeon aged, he gracefully transitioned to character roles, bringing a depth of experience to each performance. Even in his later years, he continued to work in film and television, proving that his passion for acting was unwavering. One of his notable later performances was in the film “Funny Girl” (1968), where he played Florenz Ziegfeld opposite Barbra Streisand.

Walter Pidgeon’s Legacy

Walter Pidgeon’s legacy is one of enduring influence and inspiration. He paved the way for future generations of actors, demonstrating that talent, perseverance, and versatility are key to a long and successful career. His performances continue to be celebrated, and his impact on the film industry remains significant.

Interesting Facts

  • Walter Pidgeon served in the Canadian Army during World War I but was injured in a training accident, which ended his military career.
  • He was a talented pianist and often played at social gatherings.
  • Pidgeon was known for his deep, resonant voice, which became one of his trademarks in film.

Walter Pidgeon in Pop Culture

Even after his passing, Walter Pidgeon’s influence can be seen in modern media. His films are frequently referenced in discussions about classic Hollywood cinema, and his performances are studied by aspiring actors. Pidgeon’s contributions to the entertainment industry have cemented his place as a cultural icon.


Walter Pidgeon’s journey from a small town in Canada to the heights of Hollywood fame is a story of determination, talent, and resilience. His impressive body of work, coupled with his philanthropic efforts and personal charm, has left an indelible mark on the world. Pidgeon’s legacy continues to inspire and captivate audiences, proving that true talent transcends time.

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What was Walter Pidgeon’s most famous role?

Walter Pidgeon is best known for his role as Clem Miniver in “Mrs. Miniver” (1942), which earned him an Academy Award nomination.

How did Walter Pidgeon start his career?

Pidgeon began his career in New York City, performing in Broadway musicals before transitioning to film in the late 1920s.

What is Walter Pidgeon’s net worth?

At the peak of his career, Walter Pidgeon’s net worth was $64 million.

Did Walter Pidgeon win any awards?

While Pidgeon never won an Academy Award, he was nominated twice for his performances in “Mrs. Miniver” and “Madame Curie.”

What impact did Walter Pidgeon have on Hollywood?

Walter Pidgeon left a lasting legacy in Hollywood with his versatile acting, memorable performances, and contributions to the industry, influencing future generations of actors.