Alvin Greenman

Biography

As a dialogue coach and script supervisor, Alvin Greenman has worked on such successful television series as Hearts Afire and in movies ranging from Dead and Buried to The Longest Yard. As an actor, however, he carved out a memorable place for himself in American cinema in the 1940s with his portrayal of Alfred, the innocent, idealistic, good-natured department store employee in George Seaton's Miracle on 34th Street. Greenman made his screen debut in that movie, which has proved to be one of the most perennially popular Christmas movies of the 1940s -- he is remembered by generations of filmgoers for his innocent, curly haired visage and for his honest reading of lines like, "There is a lot of bad ism's floating around this world and one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck, make a buck. Even in Brooklyn it's the same -- don't care what Chistmas stands for, just make a buck, make a buck." Greenman appeared in a handful of subsequent films during the late '40s and early '50s (including The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms and the Korean War drama One Minute to Zero), but Miracle on 34th Street was his most memorable work. He gave up acting later in the decade and next surfaced as a crew member, serving as script supervisor on Robert Aldrich's The Longest Yard (1974). He has confined his work exclusively to the production end of the business since, including the movies Twilight's Last Gleaming, Ice Castles, and House of Cards. In Richard J. Baskin's Canadian-made feature Sing (a cross between Rocky and Fame), he served as dialogue coach, teaching the largely Canadian cast how to speak with Brooklyn accents. He was busy in the early '90s on television in the series Hearts Afire, on which he also worked onscreen in small roles as well as behind the scenes as script supervisor. In 1994, Greenman returned to feature films in the latest remake of Miracle on 34th Street, playing a small role in the big-budget color film. In 2001, he also participated, along with Maureen O'Hara and other surviving cast members, in an American Movie Classics cable documentary about the making of the original 1947 film. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

Provided by Rovi