Leo White

Active - 1914 - 1949  |   Born - Jan 1, 1880   |   Died - Sep 21, 1948   |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

A music-hall favorite in his native England, dapper, diminutive Leo White was brought to America by theatrical impresario Daniel Frohman. In 1914, White joined the Essanay film company, where he appeared in support of Wallace Beery in the Sweedie comedies. Within a year he was a member in good standing of Charlie Chaplin's stock company, playing a variety of dandies, noblemen, and anarchists. He moved to Hal Roach's "Rollin'" comedies in 1917, where he co-starred with such funmakers as Harold Lloyd, Harry "Snub" Pollard, Bebe Daniels, and Bud Jamison. White showed up in several features of the 1920s, including Lloyd's Why Worry (1923), Valentino's Blood and Sand (1922), and the mighty Ben-Hur (1926, as Sallanbat). In the talkie era, he played supporting roles in Columbia and RKO two-reel comedies, and bits in features: in the Marx Brothers' Night at the Opera, for example, he's one of the three bearded Russian aviators. From 1934 to 1948, he was on call at Warner Bros. for bits and extra roles. Leo White spent his last decade essaying one-scene roles in such Warner features as Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), and The Fountainhead (1949), and even had a part in the animated Looney Tune Eatin' on the Cuff (1943).

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