Erik Rhodes

Active - 1934 - 1939  |   Born - Feb 10, 1906   |   Died - Feb 17, 1990   |   Genres - Comedy, Musical, Drama, Crime, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Tall, sharp-featured American comic actor Erik Rhodes made his film debut in the 1934 Astaire/Rogers musical Gay Divorcee, playing genial Italian "professional correspondent" Tonetti ("Your wife is safe with Tonetti: He prefers spaghetti."). Rhodes essayed virtually the same part in Astaire's and Rogers' 1935 vehicle Top Hat, then settled into a short but lively Hollywood career, playing mostly gigolos and sharpers. A master dialectician, Rhodes was at home with the "silly ass Englishman" cadence of his character in Mysterious Mr. Moto (1938) as he was with the Manhattanite intonations of his murder suspect character in The Nitwits (1935). He forsook Hollywood in favor of stage work in 1939, working without interruption (except for wartime service in the Army Air Force) until his retirement in the early '70s.

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