Bulky, foghorn-voiced Stanley Fields was a professional prizefighter before becoming a vaudeville comedian. He came to Hollywood when the movies began to talk, establishing himself as a scowling villain. One of his biggest early film roles was the gang boss who gives torpedo Edward G. Robinson his first big break in Little Caesar (1931). Thereafter, Fields frequently popped up unbilled but never unnoticeable, as witness his spirited performance as a hillbilly theatre patron in Show Boat (1936). Fields' foreboding brutishness made him an excellent foil for such comedians as Wheeler and Woolsey (Cracked Nuts  and Girl Crazy ) Eddie Cantor (The Kid From Spain ) and Laurel and Hardy (Way Out West ). Evidently changing agents in the late 1930s, Stanley Fields enjoyed some of his most sizeable screen assignments in the years just prior to his death in 1941, notably the practical joke-playing crime czar in the 1939 John Garfield vehicle Blackwell's Island.
by Hal Erickson biography