John Hubbard

Active - 1938 - 2019  |   Born - Apr 14, 1914   |   Died - Nov 6, 1988   |   Genres - Comedy, Western, Drama, Action

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Biography by Hal Erickson

American actor John Hubbard was active as a choir boy in his home town of East Chicago, and upon becoming a teenager extended his performing activities to acting lessons at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. Declining movie offers until he'd finished his courses, Hubbard was signed by Paramount Pictures in 1937. Few decent roles came his way, and Hubbard's contract was sold to MGM in 1938, where he was cast in a telling role opposite Luise Rainer in Dramatic School (1938), a film that featured such other up-and-comers as Dick Haymes, Ann Rutherford, Lana Turner and Hans Conried. Also in 1938, Hubbard signed a four-picture contract producer Hal Roach; it was Roach who spotted and fully utilized Hubbard's gifts for offbeat comedy in such films as The Housekeeper's Daughter (1938), Road Show (1941) and Turnabout (1940) - the latter film featuring Hubbard as the world's first pregnant man! B-film buffs consider Hubbard's tricky dramatic performance as a murder suspect in Republic's Whispering Footsteps (1943) as his best, but it was back to comedy shortly afterwards, often in supporting roles (he fended off the comic thrusts of Abbott and Costello in Mexican Hayride [1948]). Good parts weren't plentiful in the '50s, so Hubbard exercised the usual prerogative of actors "between pictures" by selling automobiles, and later managing a restaurant. On TV, Hubbard supported the star of The Mickey Rooney Show (1954) and played Col. U. Charles Parker on the 1962 military sitcom Don't Call Me Charlie. Film work was less satisfying during this period, and in fact Hubbard found himself minus screen credit for a potentially good role in 1964's Fate is the Hunter. Comfortably off if not world-famous, John Hubbard retired from movies and his various "civilian" jobs after a character role in Disney's Herbie Rides Again (1973).

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