A veteran of Selig two-reelers in the early 1910s, burly American character actor Horace B. Carpenter came to the forefront after joining the Lasky Feature Play Company (later Paramount) in 1914. For pioneering director Cecil B. DeMille, Carpenter played Spanish Ed in The Virginian (1914) and Jacques D'Arc in Joan the Woman (1916), both still extant, before striking out on his own, directing and acting in some of the cheapest Westerns and action melodramas ever produced. Returning to acting exclusively after the changeover to sound, Carpenter continued to play his stock-in-trade, kindly fathers and ranchers in scores of B-Westerns. Thus, it came as an unpleasant surprise when the veteran actor, out of sheer poverty one imagines, accepted to play Dr. Meinschultz, devouring a cat's eye in the 1934 exploitation thriller Maniac. Carpenter survived this indiscretion with his career somewhat intact and continued to play scores of supporting roles and bit parts right up to his death of a heart attack.
by Hans J. Wollstein biography