Portly American character actor Howard Freeman was the archetypal small-town banker or businessman. With his impeccably groomed pencil mustache, finicky manners and eternal air of condescension, Freeman was ideal for such roles as bank president J. P. Norton in Laurel and Hardy's Air Raid Wardens--and equally ideal for the injuries and indignities heaped upon him by the two comedians in their efforts to administer emergency first aid. Air Raid Wardens was made in 1943, Freeman's first year in pictures after several seasons on stage. He quickly found his niche in authoritative roles, even playing a few bureaucratic Nazis during the war years: Freeman portrays a fussy Heinrich Himmler, casually targeting the Czech village of Lidice for extermination in Hitler's Madmen (1943). After nearly two decades in Hollywood, Freeman resettled in New York, remaining available for stage and TV work. One of Howard Freeman's last roles was as a peace-loving police captain mistaken for a slave-driving martinet in a 1963 episode of Car 54, Where are You?