Oregon Movies, A to Z

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What is a Lillypadder?

November 13th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · 2 Comments · Lillypadder


Lillypadders are artists who make use of a limited stay to Oregon to push forward their careers. Miranda July is a classic lillypadder, as was Clark Gable, Callie Khouri, Jon Jost and Eric Bogosian. John Varley made the most of a long stay in Oregon, but since he now lives elsewhere, he falls within the lillypadder classification.

Edward Everett Horton (above) left Columbia University to pursue an acting career, which quest brought him to Portland, where he performed with the Baker Stock Company. He leapt from the Portland to Hollywood and the rest, as they say, is history.

Portland continued to have a strong fan base for Horton. In the 1940’s he was invited to serve as Grand Marshal for the Rose Festival Parade.

I am fascinated by lillypadders. Please alert me when you learn of one.

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Roger // Nov 17, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    How about Mel Blanc? As I understand it he spent time here as a young man and was active in the community theater.

  • 2 talltalestruetales // Nov 17, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Mel Blanc was a Portlander! He was born in SF, but grew up in Portland, went to Lincoln High School, began his career ( as a musician) at the Paramount Theater playing for vaudeville shows, and rapidly rose to become the bandleader- the youngest in the country. He experimented with radio comedy when radio was brand new — this was here in Portland on KGW. He wanted to go to LA and make it big as a voice artist, and on his third try, he succeeded. He wasn’t born here, and his fame happened after he moved away, but Mel Blanc’s talent was nurtured and developed here in Portland, where he grew up. We should name a street after him!

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