Walter Catlett (Walter Catlett)

Walter Catlett

Walter Catlett was born in San Francisco, California. He started out in vaudeville, teaming up with Hobart Cavanaugh at some point, with a detour for a while in opera, before breaking into acting. He started on stage in 1906 and made his Broadway debut in either The Prince of Pilsen (1911) or So Long Letty (1916). His first film appearance was in 1912, but then he went back to stage and did not return to films until 1929. He performed in operettas and musicals, including The Ziegfeld Follies of 1917, the original production of the Jerome Kern musical Sally (1920) and the Gershwins’ Lady Be Good (1924). In the last, he introduced the song “Oh, Lady Be Good!” Walter Catlett made a handful of silent film appearances, but his film career did not catch on until the advent of talking pictures allowed moviegoers to experience his full comic repertoire. Three of his most remembered roles were as the theatre manager driven to distraction by James Cagney’s character in Yankee Doodle Dandy, the local constable who throws the entire cast in jail and winds up there himself in the Howard Hawks’ classic screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, and as Morrow, the drunken poet in the restaurant who “knows when [he’s] been a skunk” and takes Longfellow Deeds on a “bender” in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. The New York Times film critic Mordaunt Hall wrote that “This clever comedian runs away with the acting laurels” in Big City Blues (1932).

Walter Catlett played John Barsad in the 1935 David O. Selznick production of A Tale of Two Cities starring Ronald Colman. He also provided the uncredited voice of J. Worthington Foulfellow (a.k.a. Honest John) the Fox in the 1940 Disney animated film Pinocchio. In the 1950s, he appeared in films like Here Comes the Groom, Friendly Persuasion and Beau James, as well as Disney’s TV series Davy Crockett. Walter Catlett died of a stroke on November 14, 1960 in Woodland Hills, California. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the 1700 block of Vine Street.

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Born

  • February, 04, 1889
  • USA
  • San Francisco, California

Died

  • November, 14, 1960
  • USA
  • Woodland Hills, California

Cause of Death

  • stroke

Cemetery

  • Holy Cross Cemetery
  • Culver City, California
  • USA

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