William Janney

Active - 1929 - 1938  |   Born - Feb 15, 1908   |   Died - Dec 27, 1992   |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Romance, Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

After a brief Broadway career, actor William Janney came to films in 1929. He was sometimes cast as the reckless kid brother who gets knocked off in the first or second reel, as witness The Dawn Patrol (1930) and Hopalong Cassidy Returns. Otherwise, it was Janney's unfortunate lot to play weaklings and snivelers; his films included Crime of the Century (1933), in which he was a red-herring suspect who didn't do it, and Secrets of the Blue Room (1933), in which he was the least likely suspect who did. He also played the nominal hero in Laurel & Hardy's Bonnie Scotland (1935), a film he'd later remember as a pleasurable experience, save for the whining, indecisive character he was called upon to portray. Tired of playing the same basic part over and over, William Janney retired from films in 1936.

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