William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler and writer. Fields was known for his comic persona as a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for dogs, children and women.

The characterization he portrayed in films and on radio was so strong it became generally identified with Fields himself. It was maintained by the movie-studio publicity departments at Fields's studios (Paramount and Universal) and further established by Robert Lewis Taylor's 1949 biography W.C. Fields, His Follies and Fortunes. Beginning in 1973, with the publication of Fields's letters, photos, and personal notes in grandson Ronald Fields's book W.C. Fields by Himself, it has been shown that Fields was married (and subsequently estranged from his wife), and he financially supported their son and loved his grandchildren.

However, Madge Evans, a friend and actress, told a visitor in 1972 that Fields so deeply resented intrusions on his privacy by curious tourists walking up the driveway to his Los Angeles home that he would hide in the shrubs by his house and fire BB pellets at the trespassers' legs. Several years later Groucho Marx told a similar story on his live performance album, An Evening with Groucho.

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William Claude Dukenfield Poems

William Claude Dukenfield Quotes

You must come down with me after the show to the lumber yard and ride piggy-back on the buzz saws.
W.C. Fields, U.S. screenwriter, George Marshall, and Eddie Cline. Larsen E. Whipsnade (W.C. Fields), You Can't Cheat an Honest Man, response to an insult from ventriloquist's dummy Charlie McCarthy (the voice of Edgar Bergen) (1939). This is indicative of the famed W.C. Fields/Charlie McCarthy "feud" that was popular with radio and movie audiences of the day. Fields' old friend Eddie Cline was the uncredited director for all the comedian's scenes.
Never give a sucker an even break.
W.C. Fields (1879-1946), U.S. actor. Poppy (film) (1936). Fields is earlier reported to have uttered these words on stage in the musical Poppy (1923), though the phrase does not appear in the libretto. Fields made the film Never Give a Sucker an Even Break in 1941. The words have also been attributed to Edward Francis Albee.
If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
W.C. Fields (1879-1946), U.S. screen actor. Quoted in Halliwell's Filmgoer's Companion, ed. John Walker (1995).

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