Otis Harlan

Active - 1921 - 1939  |   Born - Dec 29, 1864 in Zanesville, OH  |   Died - Jan 20, 1940 in Martinsville, IN  |   Genres - Comedy, Romance, Drama, Western, Crime

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Cherubic, pop-eyed character actor Otis Harlan came to films in the 1920s after extensive legitimate-stage and vaudeville experience. Though he essayed a variety of roles in silent films (he even appeared as a black family retainer in one effort), Harlan was most felicitously cast as a semi-regular in the Reginald Denny comedies at Universal. In 1929, he played Captain Andy in the first filmization of Edna Ferber's Show Boat. Most of his talkie assignments were bits, albeit memorable ones, including Starveling in A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935) and small-town constable Hi Jenks in the 1937 "Our Gang" 1-reeler Roamin' Holiday. Generations of cartoon fans have revelled in Harlan's voiceover portrayal of "Happy" in Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). Otis Harlan was the uncle of silent-movie leading man Kenneth Harlan.

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