We were watching Jeopardy. The category was Things Related to Wood. Two of the "questions" were "What is Tales from the Vienna Woods?" and "Who is Pinocchio?". I turned to my husband and commented that this was a good night for Christian Rub (pronounced and sometimes spelled "Rube") fans because in 1938s The Great Waltz he played the carriage driver who helped Strauss and the soprano compose that song, and in Disney's 1940s Pinocchio Rub was the human model and voice for Geppetto. The breadth and depth of my knowledge stunned my beloved into silence. I'm sure he was in awe.
Sadly, even my cherished character actor books could provide no details on Mr. Rub's life personal life other than his birthplace in Bavaria and that his wife's name was Amy, but his movie career places him in a number of bona fide classics and personal classics.
Christian Rub, Cliff Edwards and Dickie Jones cut a rug
Some actors become famous for playing butlers. In Christian Rub's case he played more than his fair share of janitors and groundskeepers. Check out Princess O'Rourke with Olivia de Havilland, Once Upon a Time with Cary Grant, Mary Stevens MD with Kay Francis, Murder on a Bridle Path with James Gleason, AllThis, and Heaven Too with Bette Davis, Henry Aldrich for President and Rhapsody in Blue among many others. The one valet credit I could find was the Warren William picture Outcast. I have yet to see it, but it looks like a dandy.
Miliza Korjus, Christian Rub, Fernand Gravet make music history
The Great Waltz
The Great Waltz
When not sweeping up, Christian Rub played a number of musicians and music lovers. He's a cellist in the Charles Laughton segment of Tales of Manhattan, a trombone player in Tovarich and is featured in two Deanna Durbin movies Mad About Music and One Hundred Men and a Girl. He's adorable as a sympathetic innkeeper in The Cat and the Fiddle with Jeanette MacDonald and Roman Navarro.
Above is my favourite performance of a title song of a movie, 1940s Rhythm on the River starring Bing Crosby. Christian Rub is the pawnbroker in the background who can't keep from grooving.
While searching for photos of Christian Rub online I found him misidentified on a couple of sites. He is not now nor never has been Ian Wolfe or Donald Meek. Such an infraction against all three gentlemen would be considered criminal in my family!
Look for Christian Rub the next time you watch You Can't Take It With You where he is one of the Vanderhoff's neighbours or Captains Courageous as one of the shipmates. Soon you'll compile your own list of personal classics.