Regis Toomey

Active - 1922 - 1987  |   Born - Aug 13, 1898   |   Died - Oct 12, 1991   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Comedy, Mystery, Western

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Taking up dramatics while attending the University of Pittsburgh, Regis Toomey extended this interest into a profitable career as a stock and Broadway actor. He specialized in singing roles until falling victim to acute laryngitis while touring England in George M. Cohan's Little Nellie Kelly. In 1929, Toomey made his talking-picture bow in Alibi, where his long, drawn-out climactic death scene attracted both praise and damnation; he'd later claim that, thanks to the maudlin nature of this scene, producers were careful to kill him off in the first or second reel in his subsequent films. Only moderately successful as a leading man, Toomey was far busier once he removed his toupee and became a character actor. A lifelong pal of actor Dick Powell, Regis Toomey was cast in prominent recurring roles in such Powell-created TV series of the 1950s and 1960s as Richard Diamond, Dante's Inferno, and Burke's Law.

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