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Edward Everett Horton

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Title: Edward Everett Horton  
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Subject: List of American films of 1937, List of American films of 1935, List of lost films, List of American films of 1931, The Man in the Mirror (1936 film)
Collection: 1886 Births, 1970 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, American Male Dancers, American Male Film Actors, American Male Radio Actors, American Male Silent Film Actors, American Male Singers, American Male Stage Actors, American Male Television Actors, American Male Voice Actors, American People of Scottish Descent, Baltimore City College Alumni, Burials at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale), Cancer Deaths in California, Columbia University Alumni, Lgbt Entertainers from the United States, Male Actors from New York, Oberlin College Alumni, People from Brooklyn, Phi Kappa Psi, Polytechnic Institute of New York University Alumni, Vaudeville Performers
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Edward Everett Horton

Edward Everett Horton
Born (1886-03-18)March 18, 1886
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died September 29, 1970(1970-09-29) (aged 84)
Encino, California, U.S.
Other names E.E. Horton
Edward Horton
Edward E. Horton
Alma mater Oberlin College
Occupation Actor, singer, dancer
Years active 1906–1970
Partner(s) Gavin Gordon[1]

Edward Everett Horton (March 18, 1886 – September 29, 1970) was an American character actor.[2] He had a long career in film, theater, radio, television, and voice work for animated cartoons.

Contents

  • Early life 1
  • Stage and film career 2
  • Radio and television 3
  • Death and legacy 4
  • Partial filmography 5
  • Radio appearances 6
  • References 7
  • Listen to 8
  • External links 9

Early life

Horton was born in Scotland.[4] He attended Boys' High School, Brooklyn and Baltimore City College, where he was later inducted into that school's Hall of Fame.[5]

He began his college career at Oberlin College in Ohio. He was asked to leave after an incident where he climbed to the top of the Service Building, and after collecting an audience, threw off a dummy, causing the viewers to think he had jumped. Later, he attended college at Brooklyn Polytechnic and Columbia University, where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi.

Stage and film career

Horton began his stage career in 1906, singing and dancing and playing small parts in vaudeville and in Broadway productions. In 1919, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he began acting in Hollywood films. His first starring role was in the comedy Too Much Business (1922), but he portrayed the lead role of an idealistic young classical composer in Beggar on Horseback (1925). In the late 1920s he starred in two-reel silent comedies for Educational Pictures, and made the transition to talking pictures with Educational in 1929. As a stage trained performer, he found more film work easily, and appeared in some of Warner Bros.' early talkies, including The Terror (1928) and Sonny Boy (1929).

Horton initially used his given name, Edward Horton, professionally. His father persuaded him to adopt his full name professionally, reasoning that there might be other actors named Edward Horton, but only one named Edward Everett Horton. Horton soon cultivated his own special variation of the time-honored double take (an actor's reaction to something, followed by a delayed, more extreme reaction). In Horton's version, he would smile ingratiatingly and nod in agreement with what just happened; then, when realization set in, his facial features collapsed entirely into a sober, troubled mask.

Horton starred in many comedy features in the 1930s, usually playing a mousy fellow who put up with domestic or professional problems to a certain point, and then finally asserted himself for a happy ending. He is best known, however, for his work as a character actor in supporting roles. These include The Front Page (1931), Trouble in Paradise (1932), Alice in Wonderland (1933), The Gay Divorcee (1934, the first of several Astaire/Rogers films in which Horton appeared), Top Hat (1935), Danger - Love at Work (1937), Lost Horizon (1937), Holiday (1938), Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Pocketful of Miracles (1961), It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), and Sex and the Single Girl (1964). His last role was in the comedy film Cold Turkey (1971), in which his character communicated only through facial expressions.

Horton continued to appear in stage productions, often in summer stock. His performance in the play Springtime for Henry became a perennial in summer theaters.[6]

Radio and television

From 1945-47, Horton hosted radio's Kraft Music Hall. An early television appearance came in the play Sham, shown on The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre on 13 December 1948. During the 1950s, Horton worked in television. One of his best remembered appearances is in an episode of CBS's I Love Lucy, in which he is cast against type as a frisky, amorous suitor, broadcast in 1952. In 1960, he guest starred on ABC's sitcom The Real McCoys as J. Luther Medwick, grandfather of the boyfriend of series character Hassie McCoy (Lydia Reed). In the story line, Medwick clashes with the equally outspoken Grandpa Amos McCoy (played by Walter Brennan).

He remains, however, best known to the Baby Boomer Generation as the venerable narrator of Fractured Fairy Tales in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show (1959–61),[7] an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959, to June 27, 1964, on the ABC and NBC television networks.

In 1962, he portrayed the character Uncle Ned in three episodes of the CBS television series Dennis the Menace. In 1965, he played the medicine man, Roaring Chicken, in the ABC sitcom F Troop. He echoed this role, portraying Chief Screaming Chicken, on ABC's Batman as a pawn to Vincent Price's Egghead in the villain's attempt to take control of Gotham City.

Death and legacy

Horton died of cancer at age 84 in Encino, California. His remains were interred in Glendale's Whispering Pines section of Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

Horton's companion for many years was actor Gavin Gordon, who was 15 years his junior. They both appeared (but shared no scenes) in only one film, Pocketful of Miracles (1961). They also appeared together in at least one play, a 1931 production of Noël Coward's "Private Lives."[8]

In 1925, Horton purchased several acres in the district of Encino and lived on the property at 5521 Amestoy Avenue until his death. He named the estate, which contained Horton's own house and houses for his brother, his sister and their respective families, Belleigh Acres.[2] In the 1950s, the state of California forced Horton to sell a portion of his property for construction of the Ventura Freeway. The freeway construction left a short stump of Amestoy Avenue south of Burbank Boulevard and shortly after his death, the city of Los Angeles renamed that portion Edward Everett Horton Lane.[9]

For his contribution to the motion picture industry, Horton has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6427 Hollywood Boulevard.

Partial filmography

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1923 Ruggles of Red Gap Ruggles Credited as Edward Horton
1924 Helen's Babies Uncle Harry
1926 La Bohème Colline
Poker Faces Jimmy Whitmore
1929 Ask Dad Dad Short film
Sonny Boy Crandall Thorpe
The Hottentot Sam Harrington
The Aviator Robert Steele
1930 Wide Open Simon Haldane
Holiday Nick Potter
1931 Kiss Me Again René Alternative title: Toast of the Legion
Lonely Wives Richard Smith/Felix, the Great Zero
The Front Page Roy V. Bensinger
Smart Woman Billy Ross
1932 Trouble in Paradise François Filiba
1933 Soldiers of the King Sebastian Marvello
A Bedtime Story Victor Dubois
It's a Boy Dudley Leake
Alice in Wonderland The Hatter
Design for Living Max Plunkett
1934 Easy to Love Eric
Smarty Vernon
Kiss and Make-Up Marcel Caron
Ladies Should Listen Paul Vernet
The Merry Widow Ambassador Popoff
The Gay Divorcee Egbert Fitzgerald
1935 All the King's Horses Count Josef von Schlapstaat
The Devil Is a Woman Governor Don "Paquitito" Paquito
Going Highbrow Augie Winterspoon
Top Hat Horace Hardwick
The Private Secretary Reverend Robert Spalding
Little Big Shot Mortimer
1936 The Man in the Mirror Jeremy Dilke
1937 Lost Horizon Alexander P. Lovett
The King and the Chorus Girl Count Humbert Evel Bruger
Shall We Dance Jeffrey Baird
Danger - Love at Work Howard Rogers
Angel Graham
The Great Garrick Tubby
Hitting a New High Lucius B. Blynn
1938 Bluebeard's Eighth Wife The Marquis De Loiselle
College Swing Hubert Dash
Holiday Professor Nick Potter
1939 The Gang's All Here Treadwell
That’s Right You’re Wrong Tom Village
1941 Ziegfeld Girl Noble Sage
Sunny Henry Bates
Here Comes Mr. Jordan Messenger 7013
1942 The Magnificent Dope Horace Hunter
I Married an Angel Peter
Springtime in the Rockies McTavish
1943 Forever and a Day Sir Anthony Trimble-Pomfret
Thank Your Lucky Stars Farnsworth
The Gang's All Here Peyton Potter
1944 Arsenic and Old Lace Mr. Witherspoon
Brazil Everett St. John Everett
The Town Went Wild Everett Conway
San Diego, I Love You Philip McCooley
1945 Lady on a Train Mr. Haskell
1947 Down to Earth Messenger 7013
Her Husband's Affairs J. B. Cruikshank
1957 The Story of Mankind Sir Walter Raleigh
1961 Pocketful of Miracles Hudgins
1963 One Got Fat Narrator Short subject
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World Mr. Dinckler
1964 Sex and the Single Girl The Chief
1967 The Perils of Pauline Caspar Coleman
1971 Cold Turkey Hiram C. Grayson (non-speaking role) Released posthumously
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1949 The Ford Theatre Hour Sheridan Whiteside 1 episode
1952 I Love Lucy Mr. Ritter 1 episode
1956 General Electric Theater Mr. Parkinson 1 episode
1957 Playhouse 90 Mr. Carver 1 episode
1959–1964 The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends Many Roles All episodes
1960 The Real McCoys Mr. Medwick 1 episode
1962 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington Senator Crabtree 1 episode
1962–1963 Dennis the Menace Ned Matthews 3 episodes
1963 Our Man Higgins Rawley "Who's on First?" with Don Drysdale
1965 Burke's Law Wilbur Starlington 1 episode
1965–1966 F Troop Roaring Chicken 6 episodes
1966 Batman Chief Screaming Chicken episodes 47 and 48
1969 It Takes a Thief Lord Pelham-Gifford 1 episode
1970 Nanny and the Professor Professor Clarendon 1 episode
1971 The Governor & J.J. Doc Simon 2 episodes

Radio appearances

Year Program Episode/source
1952 Musical Comedy Theater On an Island with You[10]

References

  1. ^ Slide, Anthony (November 13, 1998). Eccentrics of Comedy. Scarecrow Press. p. 65. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  2. ^ a b Fowler, James (April 12, 1997). "Horton's House Grew with Film Career".  
  3. ^ "Actor Edward Everett Horton Dies at 84". Dayton Beach Morning Journal. October 1, 1970. 
  4. ^ "Edward Everett Horton, Jr.".  
  5. ^ Bernstein, Neil (2008). "Notable City College Knights". Baltimore, MD: Baltimore City College Alumni Association. 
  6. ^ Aliperti, Cliff (December 7, 2011). "Edward Everett Horton – Biography of the Beloved Character Actor". Immortal Ephemera. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  7. ^ Desowitz, Bill (August 27, 1999). "Something 'Fractured,' Something New". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  8. ^ "Stars and Talkies of Hollywood".  
  9. ^ "Edward Everett Horton's Encino Ranch Estate and the 101 Freeway; How A Celebrity Lost His Ranch to Suburbanization". San Fernando Valley Blog. 4 April 2012. Retrieved 2013-09-06. 
  10. ^ Kirby, Walter (March 16, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 44. Retrieved May 23, 2015 – via  

Listen to

  • Interview with Edward Everett Horton (January 8, 1940)

External links

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

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