Feisty and already mad as hell about something when he showed up, rather it be as an inept gunsel in "The Maltese Falcon",and departed the same way, even when playing a good-guy homesteader in "Shane." Jack Palance may have taken him out (in a scene that should have been in the unforgetable scenes) but Cook left no doubt about how how he felt about it.
Sadistic prison warden, a nasty nazi, a Jewish escapee from a concentration cap, a gay convict, a cunning district attorney and everything in-between, and the actor never showed in any of them but the character was always spot on.
Always seemed to play a character with some authority and not bashful about using it, but could play it for comedy or drama, however it was written. Oh, that's called acting. Whatever it is called, he was very good at it.
Give him a throw-away line... and stand back. Nobody better at facing adversity, taking it as a resigned so-what-else-is-new fact of life...figuring things couldn't get worse and moving onward. But you knew he knew it would.
Easily and often (always nearly) underestimated and under-appreciated (which was also nearly always.) Taken for granted because he made it look easy. Check out his bit-part as the Barstow policeman in "Grapes of Wrath."
Won three Oscars, but only one was as good as his Old Man Earp in "My Darling Clementine." Brennan was never accused of under-playing. Some performances might have been better if he pulled it down a tad bit.
From the jungles of Edgar Rice Burroughs through the Kyber Pass and on to the white cliffs of Dover one could feel secure that the sun would never set on the British Empire if Sir C. Aubrey had anything to say about it. Plus, as the unofficial mayor of Hollywood's British colony, one could be sure all the cricket games and polo matches were played by gentleman in a sporting manner.
If only a slght touch of prissy was needed for leading man's buddy or the butler that looked down on everybody or a gangster needed an escort for his moll with a guarantee there would be no handky-panky, Horton got the role.
The Welshman famous for his bushy beard and eyebrows, who entertained generations with the colourful and eccentric characters he created on screen, from the Arab sheik who supplied Ben-Hur with his racing horses, to the lecherous English squire in Tom Jones, to the art forging French aristocrat in How to Steal a Million.