Donald MacBride

Active - 1915 - 1955  |   Born - Jan 1, 1894   |   Died - Jun 21, 1957   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Mystery, Crime, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Vaudeville, stock and Broadway actor Donald MacBride made his Hollywood debut in the 1938 Marx Brothers farce Room Service, reprising his stage role as explosive hotel manager Wagner ("Jumping Butterballs!!!") His previous film appearances had been lensed in his native New York, first at the Vitagraph studios in Flatbush, where he showed up in the Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew comedies of the 1910s. During the early talkie years, MacBride showed up in several one- and two-reelers, providing support to such Manhattan-based talent as Burns & Allen, Bob Hope and Shemp Howard. After Room Service, the bulldog-visaged MacBride was prominently cast in picture after picture, usually as a flustered detective. He was teamed with Alan Mowbray in a brace of 1940 RKO "B"s about a pair of shoestring theatrical producers, and was featured in four of Abbott and Costello's comedies. Among the actor's rare noncomic roles were the dying gangster boss in High Sierra (1941) and the dour insurance executive in The Killers (1946). MacBride's television work includes a season as dizzy Marie Wilson's long-suffering employer on the early-1950s TV sitcom My Friend Irma. Donald MacBride's last film role was as Tom Ewell's backslapping boss in the 1955 Billy Wilder comedy The Seven-Year Itch.

Movie Highlights

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