Malcolm Atterbury

Active - 1954 - 1974  |   Born - Jan 1, 1907   |   Died - Aug 23, 1992   |   Genres - Western, Drama, Action, Thriller, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American actor Malcolm Atterbury may have been allowed more versatility on stage, but so far as TV was concerned he was the quintessential grouchy grandfather and/or frontier snake-oil peddler. Atterbury was in fact cast in the latter capacity twice by that haven of middle-aged character players The Twilight Zone. He was the purveyor of an elixir which induced invulnerability in 1959's "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" and a 19th century huckster who nearly sets a town on fire in "No Time Like the Past" (1963). Atterbury enjoyed steadier work as the supposedly dying owner of a pickle factory in the 1973 sitcom Thicker Than Water, and as Ronny Cox's grandfather on the 1974 Waltons clone Apple's Way. Malcolm Atterbury's best-known film role was one for which he received no screen credit: he was the friendly stranger who pointed out the crop-duster to Cary Grant in North By Northwest (1959), observing ominously that the plane was "dustin' where they're aren't any crops."

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