This time around we’re going with one of my favorite character actors, the amazing Edward Everett Horton. Even if you’ve never seen him in a movie, you’ve probably heard his voice — he narrated “Fractured Fairy Tales” on The Bullwinkle Show.
Wow, I haven’t seen one of those since I was a kid, and I have to admit hearing Horton’s voice is a comforting thing indeed.
Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1886, Horton started out singing and dancing onstage in 1906. He moved to Hollywood in 1919 and was soon appearing in movies. His voice is so distinct it’s hard to imagine him in silent films. His first talkie was in 1929, and in the ’30s he really took off as a character actor, appearing in such flicks as The Front Page (1931), Alice in Wonderland (1933 — as the Mad Hatter!), and Lost Horizon (1937). I particularly love Horton in the films he did with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, though — check him out in this clip from The Gay Divorcee (1934), rocking the socks with sandals as Betty Grable sings to him:
Then there was Top Hat (1935) — I love Horton’s one shot in this trailer:
Horton worked steadily until his death in 1970, appearing in numerous movies and TV series (including his recurring role as “Roaring Chicken” on F Troop). If you’ve never seen Horton in action, do yourself a favor and check out some of his films.
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