SANTA MONICA, CALIF., FEB. 5 -- Veteran character actor Dean Jagger, who won a best supporting Oscar for 1949's "Twelve O'Clock High" and appeared in more than 150 films, died at his home here today, his wife said. He was 87.

Etta Jagger said her husband was recovering from the flu but was otherwise in good health. He died in his sleep, she said.

Mr. Jagger acted in more than 150 movies, including "White Christmas," "Bad Day at Black Rock" and "Elmer Gantry." He won an Emmy in 1989 for a performance for the religious program "This Is the Life," and starred as high school principal Albert Vane on the television series "Mr. Novak" from 1963 to 1965.

Born in Lima, Ohio, on Nov. 7, 1903, Dean Jeffries Jagger studied at Wabash College. He performed in theater and vaudeville in the 1920s and made his film debut in "The Woman From Hell" in 1929. He followed that with "You Belong to Me" and "College Rhythm" in 1934.

Other parts were in "Western Union," "Valley of the Sun," "Sister Kenny," "Driftwood," "Executive Suite," "Rawhide," "My Son John," "The Robe," "Jumbo," "The Kremlin Letter," "Vanishing Point," "Game of Death" and "Alligator."

Mrs. Jagger said one of her husband's favorite roles was the title role in 1940's "Brigham Young -- Frontiersman."