While visiting a high school pal in Los Angeles in 1924, roly-poly Grady Sutton made the acquaintance of his friend's brother, director William A. Seiter. Quite taken by Sutton's bucolic appearance and comic potential, Seiter invited Sutton to appear in his next film, The Mad Whirl. Sutton enjoyed himself in his bit role, and decided to remain in Hollywood, where he spent the next 47 years playing countless minor roles as dimwitted Southerners and country bumpkins. Usually appearing in comedies, Sutton supported such master clowns as Laurel and Hardy and W.C. Fields (the latter reportedly refused to star in 1940's The Bank Dick unless Sutton was given a good part); he also headlined in two short-subjects series, Hal Roach's The Boy Friends and RKO's The Blondes and the Redheads. Through the auspices of Blondes and the Redheads director George Stevens, Sutton was cast as Katharine Hepburn's cloddish dancing partner in Alice Adams (1935), the first of many similar roles. Sutton kept his hand in movies until 1971, and co-starred on the 1966 Phyllis Diller TV sitcom The Pruitts of Southampton. A willing interview subject of the the 1960s and 1970s, Grady Sutton went into virtual seclusion after the death of his close friend, director George Cukor.
by Hal Erickson biography