Born in New York City and educated at the University of Virginia, comic actor Edward Brophy entered films as a small part player in 1919. After a few years, he opted for the more financially secure production end of the business, though he never abandoned acting altogether. While working as property master for the Buster Keaton unit at MGM, Brophy was lured before the cameras for a memorable sequence in The Cameraman (1928) in which he and Buster both try to undress in a tiny wardrobe closet. Keaton saw to it that Brophy was prominently cast in two of the famed comedian's talking pictures, and by 1934 Brophy was once again acting full-time. Using his popping eyes, high pitched voiced and balding head to his best advantage, Brophy scored in role after role as funny gangsters and dyspeptic fight managers (he was less effective in such serious parts as the crazed killer in the 1935 horror film Mad Love). In 1940, Brophy entered the realm of screen immortality as the voice of Timothy Mouse in Walt Disney's feature-length cartoon Dumbo (1940). Curtailing his activities in the 1950s, he did his last work for director John Ford. Brophy died during production of Ford's Two Rode Together (1961); according to some sources, the actor's few completed scenes remain in the final release version of that popular western.
by Hal Erickson biography