George "Slim" Summerville

Active - 1914 - 1990  |   Born - Jul 10, 1892   |   Died - Jan 6, 1946   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Western, Romance

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Biography by Bruce Eder

Best known as an actor during the '30s, Slim Summerville led a knockabout life before coming to motion pictures -- born in New Mexico, he was raised in Canada and Oklahoma, but ran away from home as a teenager, working at various jobs. Actor Edgar Kennedy gave him an introduction to Mack Sennett, and Summerville quickly became one of the top members of Sennett's resident slapstick company, the Keystone Kops, and was moved into solo appearances as well. His long, lanky body and innocent demeanor made him a natural for silent comedy, and Summerville soon had a respectable career as a screen comedian. He moved to Fox studios at the end of the teens, and became a director of comedy shorts in the '20s. He moved to Universal later in the '20s, and continued to direct. He returned to acting with the arrival of sound, and turned in a notable dramatic performance in Lewis Milestone's All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) -- he also appeared in the groundbreak musical King of Jazz (1930), The Front Page (1931), The Road Back (1937 -- the abortive sequel to All Quiet on the Western Front), and Tobacco Road (1941), among numerous other films, principally in character roles.

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