From his first film, Don Quickshot of the Rio Grande (1923), to his last, Fancy Pants (1950) American supporting player Hank Bell specialized in westerns. While still relatively young, Bell adopted the "grizzled old desert rat" characterization, that sustained him throughout his career, simply by removing his teeth and growing a thick, inverted handlebar mustache. Though occasionally given lines to speak, he was usually consigned to "atmosphere roles:" if you'll look closely at the jury in the Three Stooges 2-reeler Disorder in the Court, you'll see Bell in the top row on the left, making swimming motions when Curly douses the jurors with a fire hose. A fixture of "B"-pictures, Hank Bell occasionally surfaced in "A" films like Abraham Lincoln (1930), Trail of the Lonesome Pine (1936), The Plainsman (1936), Geronimo (1939) and My Little Chickadee (1940).
by Hal Erickson biography