1939 is often referred to as the best year in movies. It was a pretty good year for Thomas Mitchell as well.
Not only did the esteemed character actor win the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for his role as the alcoholic Doc Boone in John Ford's seminal western Stagecoach, he also appeared in a few other films that year (maybe you've heard of them): Gone With the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Only Angels Have Wings. Nope, not a bad year at all.
Stagecoach, which also won for its memorable music and was nominated for five other Oscars (including Best Picture), airs tomorrow night at 8:00 PM EST on Turner Classic Movies.