Ralf Harolde

Active - 1930 - 1963  |   Born - May 17, 1899   |   Died - Nov 1, 1974   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Comedy, Mystery, Romance

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Biography by Hal Erickson

The best way to physically describe actor Ralf Harolde is to note his striking resemblance to Zeppo Marx. However, Harolde projected a far more sinister image than Marx, beginning with his film debut as the "gentlemanly" villain in Bebe Daniels' Dixiana (1930). Often cast as a low-life crook, he played an escaped convict who hid behind his wife and children in Picture Snatcher (1933) and the erstwhile kidnapper of little Shirley Temple in Baby Take a Bow (1934). He also showed up in such minor roles as a Tribunal prosecutor in Tale of Two Cities (1935) and a tuxedoed society gangster in Laurel and Hardy's Our Relations (1936). Harolde's film career came to a screeching halt when, in 1937, he was involved in a traffic accident that resulted in the death of fellow actor Monroe Owsley. When he re-emerged on screen in 1941, it was clear that the tragedy had taken its toll: Harolde's facial features had taken on a gaunt, haunted look, and his hair had turned completely white. Remaining active until the mid-1950s, Ralf Harolde still had a few good screen characterizations left in him, most notably the sleazy sanitarium doctor in Murder My Sweet (1944).

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