Edgar Dearing

Active - 1927 - 1960  |   Born - May 4, 1893   |   Died - Aug 17, 1974   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance, Musical, Crime

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Edgar Dearing was a full-time Los Angeles motorcycle cop in the '20s when he began accepting small roles in the 2-reel comedies of Hal Roach. These roles hardly constituted a stretch, since he was often cast as a motorcycle cop, principally because he supplied his own uniform and cycle; the best-remembered of these "performances" was in Laurel and Hardy's Two Tars (1928). Hal Roach cameraman George Stevens liked Dearing's work, and saw to it that the policeman-cum-actor was prominently featured in Stevens' RKO Wheeler & Woolsey features Kentucky Kernels (1934) and The Nitwits (1935). When he moved into acting full-time in the '30s, Dearing was still primarily confined to law-enforcement bit roles, though he achieved fourth billing as a tough drill sergeant in the Spencer Tracy/Franchot Tone feature They Gave Him a Gun (1937). Dearing's performing weight was most effectively felt in the Abbott and Costello features of the '40s, where he provided a formidable authority-figure foe for the simpering antics of Lou Costello (notably in the "Go Ahead and Sing" routine in 1944's In Society). Dearing also showed up in a number of '40s 2-reelers; he was particularly amusing as strong man Hercules Jones (a "Charles Atlas" takeoff) in the 1948 Sterling Holloway short Man or Mouse? Edgar Dearing's last screen assignment was a prominent role as townsman Mr. Gorman in Walt Disney's Pollyanna (1960).

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