Melvyn Edouard Hesselberg (April 5, 1901-August 4, 1981), better known as Melvyn Douglas, was an American actor. Coming to prominence in the 1930s as a suave leading man (perhaps best typified by his performance in the 1939 romantic comedy Ninotchka), Douglas later transitioned into more mature and fatherly roles as in his Academy Award-winning performances in Hud (1963) and Being There (1979). Douglas was born in Macon, Georgia, the son of Lena Priscilla (nee Shackelford) and Edouard Gregory Hesselberg, a concert pianist and composer. His father was a Jewish immigrant from Riga, Latvia, then part of Russia. His mother, a native of Tennessee, was Protestant and a Mayflower descendant. His maternal grandfather, George Shackelford, was a General and Civil War veteran.
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