William Claude Dukenfield (January 29, 1880 – December 25, 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler and writer.
Fields’ comic persona was a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist, who remained a sympathetic character despite his snarling contempt for dogs, children, and women.
The characterization he portrayed in films and on radio was so strong it was generally identified with Fields himself. It was maintained by the publicity departments at Fields’ studios (Paramount and Universal) and was further established by Robert Lewis Taylor’s biography, W.C. Fields, His Follies and Fortunes (1949). Beginning in 1973, with the publication of Fields’ letters, photos, and personal notes in grandson Ronald Fields’ book W.C. Fields by Himself, it was shown that Fields was married (and subsequently estranged from his wife), and financially supported their son and loved his grandchildren.