Walter Abel (June 6, 1898 – March 26, 1987) was an American stage and film character actor. Known as a prolific and very dependable character actor, Abel appeared in over 200 films, beginning in the silent film era. Often portraying characters of “responsibility,” (the minister keeping morale up in a war zone in “So Proudly We Hail,” the colonel leading a rescue effort in “Island in the Sky”), Abel was a regular in films of the 1940s and 1950s, in particular. A distinctive bearing and direct gaze were two of his trademarks. His eyes were brown and his (adult) height was five feet ten inches. Abel was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Christine (née Becker) and Richard Michael Abel. Abel graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts where he had studied in 1917 and joined a touring company.
He made his Broadway debut in Forbidden in 1919. His many theatre credits include As You Like It, Desire Under the Elms, Mourning Becomes Electra, Merrily We Roll Along, and Trelawny of the ‘Wells’. On the stage, he appeared in Channing Pollock’s play The Enemy (1926) with Fay Bainter. The play was adapted to film as The Enemy (1927) with Lillian Gish and Ralph Forbes. Abel was married to concert harpist Marietta Bitter. He died of a myocardial infarction in Essex, Connecticut.
- June, 06, 1898
- Saint Paul, Minnesota
- March, 26, 1987
- Essex, Connecticut