After the Oscars ended Sunday night--sooner than ever before, thanks to an earlier start time--I was sleepy enough to hit the sack. So I went searching for something to finish off the night.

I never know exactly what I'm looking for in those situations; I just know what I want when I see it. I happened upon what I consider to be a timeless classic from 1957. It wasn't a box office hit, but it was one of that year's most critically-acclaimed films and featured a knockout cast of great character actors led by the peerless Henry Fonda.

I've seen 12 Angry Men any number of times; it's one of my comfort food movies. And it's a quick watch, clocking in at a brisk 96 minutes. But what these men pack into that time frame is breathtaking.

A Cool Discovery While Watching one of My Favorite Movies

Last night, while watching, I decided to search the filmographies and bios of the actors and learned something fascinating I never knew about one of my favorite cast members, Jack Warden. I've always been a big fan of "below the title" character actors like Warden, and he was always one of the best. In this scene, as Juror #7--a hothead whose baseball tickets make him anxious to expedite the proceedings--he explains, early on, why his vote is "guilty."

It really pays to do a deep dive on your favorite entertainers, otherwise I would never have known that Warden, a New Jersey native, spent a good deal of time in Kentucky.

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Acclaimed Actor Jack Warden's Time in Louisville

Born John Warden Lebzelter, Jr. in 1920, he grew up in and had a great affinity for Louisville where he attended DuPont Manual High School until he was expelled for fighting. I'm not sure if that foreshadowed his turn as a contentious juror, but it might explain him becoming a welterweight boxer under the name Johnny Costello just before he went into the military and served in World War II.

Throughout his career, Warden would periodically return to Louisville as a patron of the arts community he loved.

Jack Warden's Oscar and Emmy Nominations in the 70s and 80s

The still you see above in that Facebook post is from Heaven Can Wait in which Warren Beatty stars as a man mistakenly plucked from his earthly body by a guardian angel who thought he was about to be hit by a truck while bicycling. His soul is then returned to Earth and placed in the body of a multi-millionaire. Warden plays his coach in an Oscar-nominated performance. It was his second nomination after 1975's Shampoo, another collaboration with Beatty.

In the mid-80s, Warden turned to and found great success in television with the comedy Crazy Like a Fox. His role as a private detective who constantly drags his son into unwanted trouble landed him Emmy nominations for the two seasons it aired on CBS.

Jack Warden was one of the best, always disappearing into whatever role he was given. It made him relatable, and maybe that's why he's one of my favorites.

Still, it wasn't until late one Sunday night that I discovered he and I had something rather large in common. It's always worth it to take a minute and do a little research into the performers your watching in your favorite movies or TV series. You never know what you're going to learn.

I Bet You Didn't Know All These Celebrities Were Kentucky Colonels

Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer

LOOK: Which movies were filmed in Kentucky?

Stacker compiled a list of movies filmed in Kentucky using data from Movie Locations, with additional information about each film collected from IMDb.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

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