W. C. Fields character jug produced in Japan by Sigma The Tastesetter of Garden City, New York, circa 1990. William Claude Dukenfield (1880 - 1946), better known as W. C. Fields, was an American comedian, actor, juggler, and writer. Fields's comic persona was a misanthropic and hard-drinking egotist who remained a sympathetic character despite his supposed contempt for children and dogs. Fields's career in show business began in vaudeville, where he attained international success as a silent juggler. He began to incorporate comedy into his act and was a featured comedian in the Ziegfeld Follies for several years. His subsequent stage and film roles were often similar scoundrels or henpecked everyman characters.