Fred Clark

Active - 1937 - 1968  |   Born - Mar 9, 1914 in Lincoln, CA  |   Died - Dec 5, 1968 in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, CA  |   Genres - Comedy

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American actor Fred Clark embarked upon his lifelong career immediately upon graduation from Stanford University. With his lantern jaw, bald pate and ulcerated disposition, Clark knew he'd never be a leading man and wisely opted for character work. After several years on stage, during which time he was briefly married to musical comedy actress Benay Venuta, Clark made his movie debut in Ride the Pink Horse (1947), playing one of his few out-and-out villains. The actor's knowing portrayal of a callous movie producer in Sunset Boulevard (1949) led to his being typecast as blunt, sometimes shady executives. Clark's widest public recognition occurred in 1951 when he was cast as next-door neighbor Harry Morton on TV's Burns and Allen Show; when Clark insisted upon a larger salary, producer-star George Burns literally replaced him on the air with actor Larry Keating. Dividing his time between films and television for the rest of his career, Clark earned latter-day fame in the 1960s as star of a series of regionally distributed potato chip commercials. Though most of his fans prefer to remember the disappointing Otto Preminger farce Skiddoo (1968) as Fred Clark's screen farewell, the truth is that Clark's last performance was in I Sailed to Tahiti with an All-Girl Crew (1969).

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