Edward Earle

Active - 1914 - 1956  |   Born - Jul 16, 1882 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada  |   Died - Dec 15, 1972 in Woodland Hills, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Comedy, Crime, Romance, Musical

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One of the first stars to emerge from the old Edison film company, Canadian-born actor Edward Earle had toured in vaudeville and stock before settling on movies in 1915. The blonde, muscular Earle quickly rose to the rank of romantic lead in films like Ranson's Folly (1915), The Gates of Eden (1916), and East Lynne (1921). In the '20s he could be seen supporting such luminaries as George Arliss (The Man Who Played God [1922]) and Lillian Gish (The Wind [1928]). In talkies, Earle became a character player. Though his voice was resonant and his handsome features still intact, he often as not played unbilled bits, in everything from prestige pictures (Magnificent Obsession [1935]) to B-items (Laurel and Hardy's The Dancing Masters [1943] and Nothing But Trouble [1944]). In Beware of Blondie, Earle assumed the role of Dagwood's boss, Mr. Dithers -- but his back was turned to the camera and his voice was dubbed by the Blondie series' former Dithers, Jonathan Hale. Earle's best sound opportunities came in Westerns and serials; in the latter category, he was one of the characters suspected of being the diabolical Rattler in Ken Maynard's Mystery Mountain (1934). Edward Earle retired to the Motion Picture Country Home in the early '60s, where he died at age 90 in 1972.

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