|Huddleston as Sheriff Bridges looking for the the Robin Hood Bandit in the 1971 TV movie The Homecoming.|
|Huddleston as A.J. Covington, a writer seeking life experiences as inspiration for a novel|
But Christmas movie fans may also recognize Huddleston from another role--as Santa himself in the 1985 theatrical release Santa Claus: The Movie, directed by Jeannot Szwarc. This children's movie begins with the ancient story of how a local toymaker becomes the mythological, magical Santa Claus. The second half of the movie reveals a storyline about an ambitious elf named Patch, who modernizes toy manufacturing with a magical machine that reduces elf labor. A set back causes him to leave the North Pole and journey to New York City to start again in a new place. There, he’s exploited by an unscrupulous toy manufacturer named BZ, who wants to create profits for himself by replacing Santa’s freely given toys with purchasable ones from his factories. An orphan boy named Joe helps Santa become aware of poor Patch’s situation and BZ's commercialization of Christmas.
|left: Anya Claus (or Mrs. Claus) played by Judy Cornwell with Huddleston (right) as Santa Claus.|
David Huddleston more recently appeared in the 2009 Christmas special of the outrageous comedy series It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia as Frank's former business partner Eugene Hamilton (think Jacob Marley). If you still aren't convinced of Huddleston's awesomeness, then just remember:
Huddleston also played Jeffrey Lebowski in the 1998 cult movie classic The Big Lebowski directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. Don't forget: I included a Christmas-themed Make Your Own Marathon for The Big Lebowski in my book The Christmas TV Companion. I'm really looking forward to next week's Waltons reunion--will you be joining us?